The 2022 Annual General Meeting took place online Saturday January 29 2022.
Coffee will be on Fridays at 10 am at the Rod & Gun club at 223 Long Harbour Road. Meetings will also be held there. We still maintain the "radio room" at the SAR building, but with the ongoing pandemic, it was a bit crowded to continue holding meetings there.
If anyone has occasion to visit the SAR building for any reason, enter your name on the "sign-in sheet" in the entrance, use hand sanitizer, and wear a mask if anyone else is present.
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. However, there are online courses available through RAC and others.
When Isabella Payne heads back to elementary school in September, she's going to have the best "what I did in my vacation" story to tell. In a tale of "right place, right time," the 8-year-old girl from Kent in southeast England spoke with American astronaut Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS aboard the International Space Station
The story was six years in the making. As a two-year old, Isabella had watched her father arrange a similar contact. This year it was her chance. It would not be surprising if Isabella follows in her father's foot steps and becomes an amateur radio operator herself. As well, since the event, she has spoken with media organizations and has even had email correspondence with NASA - all of which is good preparation for her long-term ambition to become a communication specialist for the space agency, but you never know... she might have loftier goals and become an astronaut herself!
Please note that all member email aliases ...@rac.ca were changed over to ...@myrac.ca on May 15 2023.
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. As well as in other locations, several took place in in Mouat Park in 2022 and 2023. It looks like fox hunting has become a regular activity and more members are encouraged to participate in the future.
photo by Scott VA7EFZ
World Amateur Radio Day was held from 1200Z to 2359Z on April 18 2022. On that day, RAC holds a “Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day” special event. In 2021, 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 was 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 done 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 2023, the dates were January 28 & 29.
The 2023 British Columbia QSO Party, sponsored by Orca DX and Contest Club, took place on February 4 & 5 for a total of 20 hours... 12 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. That was 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.
Rebecca VA7BEC, the BCQP Contest Coordinator, gives thanks to BC clubs who helped promote BCQP 2023 and to those who sponsored a plaque, and to everyone who got on the air and/or helped others do so.
The Pacific North West DX Convention will take place Aug 5-7 2022 at the Centennial Hotel in Spokane, WA. Last year, it took place via Zoom.
The RARC indoor swap meet will take place on Saturday, July 23 2022 between 9:30 am until noon at the South Arm United Church at 11051 No. 3 Road on the SW corner of Steveston Highway. General admission is $5 per person and vendor table are $20. It is free for children 12 and under. There is free parking in the church parking lot and along No. 3 Road where permissible. Door prizes, giveaways and raffles will be announced once they are confirmed.
The Spring Stuff Season took place in Kelowna on April 29 2023 at at the Sphere Research Corporation at 3394 Sunnyside Rd, West Kelowna. They gave away all kinds of great electronic, optical and mechanical parts and equipment free and provide all kinds of other material for a very small charge to clear out excess stock.
Annual Stuff Day!
The Comox Valley Amateur Radio Group held their flea market from 10:00 until 13:00 on April 16 2023 at the Merville Community Hall, located at 1245 Fenwick Road Merville, BC 13 km north of Courtenay’s 17th Street bridge on the “Old Island Highway”, about a 15 minute drive towards Campbell River. The "talk-in repeater" was be VE7RCV on 146.780 MHz - T141.3 Hz.
The Coquitlam Amateur Radio Club (CARESS) hosted a presentation on HFTA (HF Terrain Analysis) by Adrian VE7NZ on Tuesday, May 17th at 19:00 PDT. This was open to all amateur radio operators.
Did you know that your station's performance is dramatically affected by terrain up to 3 km around you? Do you wonder if it would be worth investing in a taller tower? Do you think stations by the ocean get better results? Do you think a contest station works better on a mountaintop or on the prairies?
In this presentation, Adrian VE7NZ, showed how to use ARRL's HFTA software to answer these questions and more. Examples will be shared including excerpts from a full report on how terrain affects VE7SCC's antennas. You will also be shown how to use HFTA software to profile your station.
Adrian was first licensed in 1981 at the age of 15 and has been on the air daily ever since. He is an avid DX'er, contester, and CW enthusiast. Moving up the spectrum, he also runs "The Canada Hub" - a nationwide AllStar network that brings together repeaters across the country on 2 metres to 5.9 GHz, making more active use of our spectrum and providing a network with a distinctively Canadian focus.
Where: In person at the VE7SCC Club Station and remote via a Zoom Conference Call. VE7SCC website.
The event was also live streamed on YouTube and can be viewed there now.
Field Day is always held on the 4th full weekend of June, so it will take place on June 25 - 26 2023 and the Salt Spring Island Amateur Radio Society will be set up at the Rod & Gun Club at 223 Long Harbour Road. A BBQ will be held on the afternoon of Saturday June 24. Visiting amateurs were welcome! There will be space on site for overnight camping for those participating in Field Day. The cost of the BBQ will be $20 / person. Any excess funds went towards maintaining our repeaters and adding battery backup for VE7RSI, VE7RGP and VE7SPR.
Those partaking in the BBQ can send the $20 with an INTERAC transfer sent to our treasurer by email.
See the ARRL web site for the rules and more information.
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. Starting this year, maximum PEP will be 100 W. Class D (home) stations will continue to be able to earn points for contacts with other Class D stations. Club aggregate scoring will become part of the permanent rules. Field Day participants will now be required to obtain publicity, not just try to do so.
The 2023 RAC Canada Day Contest will place on July 1 2022 from 00:00 UTC to 23:59:59 UTC, so actually starting on June 30 at 5 pm Pacific time. 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.
Suggested frequencies: CW – 25 kHz up from the band edge and for SSB – 1850, 3775, 7075*, 7225, 14175, 21250 and 28500 kHz. Check for CW activity on the half-hour.
*Note: For 7075 kHz please watch for conflicts in the band plan where there are overlaps with other modes of operation.
The 2023 rules haven't been posted yet, but you can view the Canada Day 2022 Rules on the RAC web site.
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 were hosted in 2022 by the CVARS (Cowichan Valley Amateur Radio Association) this year. It took place on August 28 2022 from 9 am until noon. Entry fee was $5. It was held at the Crofton Community Centre, 8104 Musgrave Street, Crofton, BC. The talk-in frequency will be on VE7RVC 145.470 MHz - T 127.3 Hz, or the Island Trunk System.
Stay tuned for information on the 2023 event in Nanaimo.
The West Coast Amateur Radio Association held a swap meet on September 25 2022. It took place at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre at 195 Bay St in Victoria. Setup was at 8 am, and it was open to general admission from 10 am until 1 pm. Contact person...
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. This year, the event will take place from May 27-28 2023.