Niagara Falls is about to become the new honeymoon capital for hams. And you’ll be amazed to find out why

Hams in the Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY area can now enjoy improved DMR coverage with the launch of VE3XPR DMR repeater. Photo credit: Saffron Blaze.

Attention shoppers and honeymooners! VA3XPR has expanded its DMR coverage to better serve the Niagara Falls & Buffalo, NY, areas! VE3XPR, the new sister repeater of VA3XPR, was commissioned today from the top of the Niagara Escarpment in the village of Fonthill, ON, which is about 18 km (11 mi) west of Niagara Falls in the heart of Niagara’s wine country. This new DMR repeater will complement existing DMR coverage around the Niagara Peninsula provided by VA3XPR in downtown Toronto, VE3UHM in Hamilton and VE3OBI north of Oshawa.

RELATED: VA3XPR moves to Canada’s tallest building, blanketing Toronto with DMR coverage

The VE3XPR DMR repeater join the VE3PLF D-STAR repeater in providing digital ham radio repeater coverage around to the Niagara Peninsula from this picturesque location. Both repeaters share a Sinclair 310-C8 antenna side mounted at the 55 m (180 ft) level of the tower, with a pattern that favours coverage toward the north, south and west.

FullSizeRender 20
On the left,the 61m (200 ft) VE3XPR DMR repeater tower in Foothill, ON. The tower on the right was part of the former AT&T microwave network, which spanned across North America.

The VE3XPR DMR repeater can be accessed on 442.7125 MHz, +5,0 MHz offset with a colour code of 1. To facilitate local communications in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the Local talkgroup (TG2) for VE3XPR will be interconnected with VA3XPR, VE3UHM and VE3OBI, providing a convenient place for hams in the GTA to keep in touch. Also, the talkgroups available on the VE3XPR DMR repeater will mirror those available those available on VA3XPR, which can be found on the VA3XPR website.

A special thanks goes out to Eric Meth, VE3EI, of the Canadian Operators Bringing Regional Assistance (“COBRA”) Radio Club for providing access to the site, Jon Rorke, VA3RQ, for duplexing equipment and installation assistance and Stéphane Ricard, VE2TAX, for his help in configuring the c-Bridge to make this connection possible. Also a congratulations goes out to Mike Chartrand, VA3MCX, for being the first person to work the repeater directly from his Toronto QTH using his Kirisun DP770 DMR handle talkie.

VE3XPR VA3XPR coverage map Foothill Ontario ham radio repeater RF
The expected mobile coverage map for the VE3XPR DMR repeater, located in Foothill, ON.

So whether you’re a honeymooner visiting Niagara Falls to tie the knot or a day shoppers looking for all of the deals south of the border in the Buffalo, NY area, be sure to pack your DMR radio, as you now have wall to wall DMR coverage.

About Don Trynor, VA3XFT

Don is a 16-year veteran of the telecommunications industry and a licensed Canadian ham radio operator since 1988. He is passionate about VHF/UHF repeater communications, especially using digital modes and he has owned and operated a number of ham radio repeater installations over the years, including ones in both the provinces of Ontario (VE3/VA3) and New Brunswick (VE9). In addition to ham radio, Don enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, biking and astronomy.