With its beginnings in 2012, our group purchased its first repeater and replaced the VE9FTN analog repeater in Fredericton with a Motorola XPR8400 operating in DMR mode in 2013. Being one of the first DMR repeaters in Canada, networking options were limited, at first we connected with the New England and later the K0USY c-Bridge in the United States.
Not long after our first repeater was set up, another was put up in Saint John, then another in Moncton, then in 2016, Mike VE1ZB installed one in Springhill, Nova Scotia. By this time a c-Bridge system was put in place by Canadian amateurs specifically for Canadian DMR repeaters. Financed and supported originally by Alain Reid (VA2SPB), Don Trynor (VA3XFT), Chris Gaylor (VE2BNI), once this new c-Bridge proved to be reliable, we made the switch.
Why VHF repeaters?
We installed our repeaters on 2 meters because originally back in 2012/13, there were very few DMR repeaters in Canada, most were in the United States, in the early days of the original c-Bridge, the New England Wide talkgroup was the primary talkgroup for all of the Maritimes and New England, and where New England hams have severe restrictions on 70cm due to the PAVE PAWS radar system located at Cape Cod, the majority of their repeaters were VHF, and this was a time when there was no such thing as a dual-band DMR radio, so the decision was made to go with VHF to be compatible with our other east coast friends. To this day we have very close relationship with the original New England network that is 95+ repeaters strong.