The Salt Spring Island Amateur Radio Society is an active group of ham radio operators on Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Southern Gulf Islands. As well as the social aspect, the SSIARS helps maintain the readiness of amateur radio operators to help out with emergencies. The weekly SSIARS net is held on Wednesdays at 7 pm. There are training exercises and fox hunts each year that help maintain a state of readiness. There is usually a barbecue each summer and a Christmas luncheon... in non-pandemic years. We maintain three voice repeaters. All are dual-mode repeaters that handle both traditional FM and digital C4FM. VE7RSI was the first C4FM repeater in the area, changing over in April of 2014. VE7RGP was upgraded in October of 2015. VE7EMG was activated in October of 2017. While VE7RSI was the first C4FM repeater anywhere around here, there are now dozens of them all around us. We also have a WIRES-X node on VE7RGP... node 72058 & room 82058. As well, we operate the VE7SPR packet node & RMS.
SSIARS dues this year are $30. For couples, it is $50. Associate membership is $30 is for those that have not yet passed the amateur qualification test. For youths (under 19) the dues are just $10 / year. Please print out the registration form, fill it out and hand it to the treasurer or secretary at the next coffee or meeting. The completed registration form can also be emailed to the treasurer. Dues can also be paid by cash or by cheque made out to SSIARS.
This is a quote most often heard in the aftermath of a massive disaster. After the dust settles, patterns emerge that point to the fragility of the every day infrastructure we all take for granted. Localized damage is normally repaired with minor delays and little inconvenience, but when widespread incidents occur, failing systems may trigger cascading failures.
Imagine no hydro, no local radio stations on the air, no landlines, no cellphones, and no Internet. Then, seemingly out of the blue, a diverse group of men and women activate their plans to establish a communication network.
Portable antennas, handheld transceivers, basement radio shacks and radio clubs all light up. Within the first hour, contacts are made with neighbours near and far, information is gathered and forwarded to Emergency Operation Centres and other response services. Communication between government agencies and field representatives is established and enhanced.
Within these volunteers are people with lifetimes of varied experience, all able to contribute to the collective need somewhere. While the infrastructure is patched and slowly brought back on line, these people continue to make contacts, pass messages, and fill the gaps as needed regardless of the state of normal communications.
They will evaluate the situation, discuss their actions, tweak procedures, and design new ones. They are adaptive. This is Amateur Radio. When things are at their very worst, we are at our very best!
For more information or to join our team contact the Salt Spring Island Amateur Radio Society or email Andrew VA7ASI.