The 2021 Annual General Meeting took place online Saturday January 30 2021.
Club meetings are held several times a year on Fridays at 10 AM at the SAR building. For now, coffee is on the third Friday of the month at 10 am also at the SAR building. COVID-19 precautions apply. Masks are mandatory. Please sign the "sign in" sheet when you arrive and when you leave. Please use hand sanitizer when you arrive.
SSIARS was scheduled to put on another licensing course for new members to obtain their Basic Amateur qualification from March 14 to April 4 2020, but it was put on hold due to concerns about COVID-19. There may yet be another course later in 2021.
Amateurs often participate in a Fox Hunt which involves searching for a hidden transmitter. It is fun and good practice. A number of our members have directional antennas and offset antennas for this activity. The most recent Fox Hunt was July 3 2021. Andrew VA7ASI hid the transmitter near the high school. Only three members participated, but hopefully more will do so in the future. Scott VA7EFZ was the first to find it, followed by John VE7DPZ. Paul VE7PJO also had it narrowed down. Hopefully this will become a regular activity and more members will be able to participate in the future.
photo by Scott VA7EFZ
World Amateur Radio Day was held from 1200Z to 2359Z on April 18 2021. On that day, RAC held the “Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day” special event. 3373 amateurs participated in the event. RAC made a nice certificate available to participants.
The windstorm that hit BC’s south coast on December 20, 2018 resulted in more than 750,000 customers without power. Salt Spring Island was one of the "hardest hit" areas. The amount of damage was unprecedented. This BC Hydro report explains why there was so much damage and how long it took to restore power.
Winter Field Day is presented by the Winter Field Day Association. The WFD is a dedicated group of Amateur Radio Operators who believe that emergency communications in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that is done each summer but with some additional unique operational concerns. Operation can be from a remote Indoor location, set up Outdoors, or from at Home, so everyone can participate. WFD runs for 24 hours during the last full weekend in January each year from 1900 UTC (11 am PST) Saturday to 1900 UTC (11 am PST) Sunday. For 2021, the dates are January 30 & 31.
The 2021 British Columbia QSO Party, sponsored by Orca DX and Contest Club, ran on February 6 & 7 for a total of 20 hours... 12 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. That is 8 am to 8 pm Pacific time on the Saturday, and from 8 am to 3:59 pm Pacific time on the Sunday.
Rules, tools, helpful hints, in-depth event analysis/reports and scores from past years, examples of the lovely photo-based certificates and plaques are all available for viewing from links on the BCQP page of the Orca DXCC website. Go to www.orcadxcc.org.
The Pacific North West DX Convention will take place Aug 7 2021 via Zoom. This is a free and open virtual convention. Registration is open to all amateur radio operators.
The RARC indoor swap meet will take place on Saturday, Nov 27 2021 between 9 am and 11:30 am at the South Arm United Church at 11051 No. 3 Road on the SW corner of Steveston Highway. General admission is $5 per person. It is free for children 12 and under. Vendor tables are $20 each. There is free parking in the church parking lot and along No. 3 Road where permissible. There will be door prizes from local and national suppliers, including an Icom IC-705. All participants at the event will need to exercise current COVID-19 safety practices.
The Annual Stuff Day in Kelowna is on May 2 2020 from 9 am to 4 pm
at the Sphere Research Corporation at 3394 Sunnyside Rd, West Kelowna.
Every year, they give away all kinds of great electronic, optical and
mechanical parts and equipment free and provide all kindes of other
material for a very small charge to clear out excess stock.
Annual Stuff Day!
Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio. The objective is to contact as many stations as you can on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metre HF bands, as well as all bands 50 MHz and above, and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. While Field Day is traditionally done with portable stations, people have also been encouraged to operate from home as 1D and 1E stations during the ongoing pandemic.
The RAC Canada Day Contest took place on July 1 2021 from 00:00 UTC to 23:59:59 UTC. The 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6 and 2 metre bands can be used. The mode can be CW or phone... e.g. SSB, FM, and AM.
The ARRL runs code practice sessions on the air five days a week, Monday through Friday. The speed varies based on the time of day and day of the week, operating all througout the year. Slow code is sent at 5, 7-1/2, 10, 13 and 15 words per minute (wpm). Fast code is sent at 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 13 and 10 wpm. Code bulletins are sent at 18 wpm. The W1AW CW Operating Schedule is available on the ARRL web site. The code practice is also available via EchoLink.
The Vancouver Island Ham Happenings is hosted this year by the Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association. It will take place on September 11 2021 from 10 am until noon. COVID-19 precautions will apply. Entry fee is $5. It will be held at the Beban Park in the Centennial Building, located at 2300 Bowen Road. The talk-in repeater will be VE7ISC 146.640 MHz - T 141.3 Hz.
This document (updated) about the use of electronic devices while driving in BC (578 KB) was downloaded from the BC Government web site on March 9 2017. It spells out what is and what isn't allowed while driving in BC. Obviously, cell phones shouldn't be used except when using it "hands free" like with a car-kit or a Bluetooth headset. For amateurs, the bottom line is that an HT can only be used if it is attached to the vehicle or worn securely on your person. This really means using a speaker-mic with it so the HT is not in your hands. Mobile radios can be used, but only if the radio is attached to the vehicle. The microphone must be within easy reach. If you use a radio while driving, you might want to print a copy of the document and keep it with you. Some radios also have optional Bluetooth interfaces that would allow the radio to be used in a "hands free" mode.
Distracted driving regulations were mentioned in the July 2016 RAC report. Regulations vary province by province.
SSIARS members assisted with communications for the Swiftsure International Yacht Race race in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The first three years they were at Swiftsure Bank. In 2016, they were at the much busier Neah Bay. The Swiftsure race is probably the largest non-emergency "exercise" that local hams will be involved with. The race is hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.