Calgary Amateur Radio Association

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CARA Communications Trailer

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  • 10 Jul 2018 3:17 PM
    Reply # 6374892 on 5742135
    Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

    An email-group address ' ' has been set up for those members interested in the use and development of the CARA Communications Trailer.  If you would like to be added to it's recipient list, there are two options:

    1. If you are already a Google account holder, send a request to ' ' and then click on the link in the email you receive.
    2. You can be added by sending an email request to .
    Last modified: 10 Jul 2018 3:26 PM | Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)
  • 10 Jul 2018 8:18 AM
    Reply # 6368786 on 5742135
    Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

    I've made up a log book for the comm trailer so all users of it can record their experiences and feedback.  I will leave in trailer ASAP.

  • 13 Jun 2018 9:41 AM
    Reply # 6308589 on 5742135

    Tool box for Trailer

    Check out the Member's Project Blog for some ideas about developing an equipped  tool box for the Trailer. What needs to be in it? Do you have anything to donate from your excess supply to help save money for the Club? I'm working on a project proposal for collecting supplies.



  • 02 Jun 2018 7:16 AM
    Reply # 6282078 on 5742135
    Robert (Administrator)

    All you need to GOTA in one place.

  • 30 May 2018 10:18 AM
    Reply # 6273264 on 5742135
    Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

     On Friday morning, after 09:00, I will be monitoring VE6RYC as I prepare to take the communications trailer out to the proposed new HF site by DeWinton. 

    For those who want to see where the trailer is stored, and how it is hooked up to a vehicle, if properly equipped, I can do a demonstration.  Included in the demo will be how to use the MANDATORY electric trailer brakes on the trailer.

    If anyone cannot make it out to the HF site over the weekend, I can do a quick orientation on the trailer at the storage place before towing it away.

    Those interested can meet me at the Calgary West Campground office at 09:00 this Friday morning. Address:  221 101 St SW, Calgary

    If you are a bit late, call me on VE6RYC, and I can let you in at the locked storage gate which is 200 metres south of the campground office on 101 Street SW.

    Don't forget to review the trailer user manual "Technical Reference Manual" which is posted on-line on the CARA web site. 

    Are you an amateur radio operator but not a member of the Calgary Amateur Radio Club (CARA) yet?  It not necessary to be a member of CARA to come see the trailer or be a participant at the HF site over the weekend.

    Any other questions or comments, post them here, or contact me at .

  • 11 Apr 2018 10:02 PM
    Reply # 6095877 on 6081178
    Dave Cason (Administrator)
    Hi Peter,
    Yep, it's gonna stay where it is and we're going to clean up the inverter noise and get a 12v lighting system in it .....
    Peter LaGrandeur wrote:

    I have asked the Exec Committee to leave the trailer where it is for the summer.  It is fine there with good access for 2WD vehicles, and it is close to the areas west of the city where it is used.  But we definitely have to find another place for it for next winter.

  • 10 Apr 2018 7:34 AM
    Reply # 6081233 on 5742135

    Good job Peter on the trailer work.  I have removed all my comments from this discussion as we should not be responding here on the open public forum.  Responses should be posted in members only section.

  • 10 Apr 2018 7:03 AM
    Reply # 6081178 on 5742135
    Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

    Hi Harry, sure, all those who plan to tow the trailer should be able to try it out ahead of time.  This Tekonsha electronic brake controller works the same as any industry standard inertia-actuated brake controller with adjustable voltage control to control the brake grabbiness.

    Yes, as mentioned below, the controller is in the BedNet protective bag at the front of the trailer, hanging up at the front.  I can find another container, too.

    Please plan to adapt your vehicle with a 7 pin RV connector with a power wire from your battery.  Please do not run jury-rigged wiring into the trailer power system to run the electric brakes.

    I have asked the Exec Committee to leave the trailer where it is for the summer.  It is fine there with good access for 2WD vehicles, and it is close to the areas west of the city where it is used.  But we definitely have to find another place for it for next winter.

    Yes, in terms of someone forgetting to put the RF controller back into the trailer, that could be a problem.  The controller can also be plugged into a 12 Volt socket power port in the trailer, with the braking force pre set.  I've already installed a 12 V socket next to the RigRunner for that.  See attached pic.

    Last modified: 10 Apr 2018 7:17 AM | Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)
  • 09 Apr 2018 10:40 AM
    Reply # 6079174 on 5742135
    Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

    Comm Trailer Batteries - Tested and Found to be in Great Shape!

    At Disaster Alley last year, there was some concern about the way the trailer's three Trojan Group 31 AGM 100 Ah batteries seemed to be discharging at a rate faster than expected.  The batteries are now five years old.  So, I took the batteries out and had them tested at the shop that supplied them to us originally.  It takes around ten hours per battery for an exhaustive load, recycling, and recharging test protocol. The report came back this morning.  The results were very good.  They all easily charge to a full 13.9Volts.  As for capacity, referring to how much Amp-hour reserve the batteries have, here are the results: 

    Battery 1 - 71 Ah

    Battery 2 - 74 Ah

    Battery 3 - 79 Ah. 

    So, the batteries are in very good shape.  Probably a tribute to using good batteries like Trojans.

    The battery shop does not recommend replacing them yet.

    This battery testing was done free for CARA by Battery World on Barlow Trail NE, compliments of Ken Waldron, manager.  Normally there is a cost for this.  Perhaps, in return, HAM radio people can take their battery business to Battery World and say hi and thanks to Ken.

    So, as to the question as to why the batteries discharge at a faster rate than normal, it will be due to other components in the system that draw power just to run themselves.  Solution to that coming in the upcoming fine tuning to the trailer power system.

    Last modified: 13 Apr 2018 9:29 AM | Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)
  • 09 Apr 2018 10:22 AM
    Reply # 6079110 on 5742135
    Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

    Hi Harry, this electronic trailer brake controller is industry standard for consumer level trailer systems e.g. boats, holiday camper trailers, etc.. 

    The system works off the inertia sensor, which is located in the newly mounted Tekonsha black box on the trailer hitch.  There are no gyros.  The handheld console contains only things like the thumbwheel which controls the voltage (braking force) sent to the trailer brakes.  It also has the manual brake actuator button on it to manually apply the brakes.  The handheld unit contains no brake sensing or inertia sensing. 

    The in-vehicle handheld unit plug inserts into the 12 V cigarette lighter power port on the tow vehicle's dash.

    Last modified: 16 Apr 2018 1:51 PM | Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)
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