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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The September-October 2022 SARC Communicator

 

We're Back With 130+ Pages Of Projects, News, Views and Reviews

'The Communicator' digital periodical of Surrey Amateur Radio Communications is now available for viewing or download.

Read in over 145 countries now, we bring you Amateur Radio news from the South West corner of Canada and elsewhere. With less fluff and ads than other Amateur Radio publications, you will find Amateur Radio related articles, projects, profiles, news, tips and how-to's for all levels of the hobby.

This month two new columnists, Daniel's Workbench with several projects, refurbishing the MFJ CW oscillator, home-built antennas and much more.

You can view or download it as a .PDF file from:  https://bit.ly/SARC22Sep-Oct


Previous Communicator issues are at https://ve7sar.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Communicator

As always, thank you to our contributors, and your feedback is always welcome. 

The deadline for the next edition is October 20th.

If you have news or events from your club or photos, stories, projects or other items of interest from BC or elsewhere, please contact us at communicator@ve7sar.net

73,

John VE7TI

'The Communicator' Editor






Thursday, July 7, 2022

SEPAR Mobile Cruise-In

 Come show us yours... 

Many Amateur Radio licensees have home stations where the hobby is practiced for fun, contacting similar stations all over the globe, but the hobby has a serious side as well. We provide emergency communications where all other systems, such as cell phones or even radio towers fail. Many of us have mobile stations (in compliance with distracted driving regulations) that permit us to operate wherever and whenever. Mobile Amateur Radio is not restricted to cars and trucks but bicycles, even pedestrians and equestrians. This type of broad-based community availability requires no commercial infrastructure, hence the slogan: “ Amateur Radio works when all else fails”. This has been shown time and again all over the world.

SEPAR would like to host a first ever event of its kind locally. We have a commitment from the Surrey Fire Service and I expect that support from our contacts at the Surrey RCMP (or Surrey Police Service)  to judge the entries.  Prizes will be awarded for the neatest installation and the most bands covered.

The idea for this local event originated with the Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS), a Wisconsin group who have been doing the Mobile Cruise-In for twelve consecutive years.  Their turnout varies with the weather, but in past years they've had 50 or more entries. In addition to the entrants and Amateur Radio spectators, we welcome members of the public to stop by and check out the goings on. They say that it's a great way to generate some exposure for Amateur Radio and our emergency programs.

We appreciate the support of the A&W restaurant at that location but, if you are not an A&W fan, there are several other refreshment options adjoining the same large parking lot.

So polish up your mobile rig, dust off your Grab ‘n Go kit and come show it off at  the ‘Cruise-In’

August 25: The post event video is now available at: https://youtu.be/VxwvYtPwaGU 






Friday, July 1, 2022

The July-August 2022 Communicator Periodical

 

125+ Pages Of Projects, News, Views and Reviews

'The Communicator' digital periodical of Surrey Amateur Radio Communications is now available for viewing or download at https://bit.ly/SARC22Jul-Aug 

Read in over 145 countries now, we bring you Amateur Radio news from the South West corner of Canada and elsewhere. You will find Amateur Radio related articles, projects, profiles, news, tips and how-to's. 

This month we welcome back Daniel's Workbench with several projects, plus a new columnist 'Amateur Radio Outside the Box' and much more.

You can view or download it as a .PDF file from: https://bit.ly/SARC22Jul-Aug


Previous Communicator issues are at https://ve7sar.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Communicator

As always, thank you to our contributors, and your feedback is always welcome. 

The deadline for the next edition is August 20th.

If you have news or events from your club or photos, stories, projects or other items of interest from BC or elsewhere, please email them to communicator@ve7sar.net

Gave a great summer and keep visiting our site for regular updates and news: https://ve7sar.blogspot.ca    

73,

John VE7TI

'The Communicator' Editor






Sunday, June 26, 2022

Field Day 2022 (Sunday) Update

 

It's a wrap!

Well, its all over for another year. A solar storm just before the weekend significantly affected propagation but we did make a substantial number of contacts, including on VHF.



It struck me how much Field Day has changed over the years. Despite the poor early 1985 photos, here are some of the comparisons...

No more paper logging and SDR transceivers


Antennas for every purpose and mode
Here Moon-Bounce, our 'BigFoot' and Satellites


That sense of accomplishment and
pride in the hobby remains the same

If you would like to see video of  SARC Field Days of the 1980's, and those more recent, visit our YouTube Channel.

So that's it for another Field Day. The RAC Canada Day contest is just around the corner though. This year SARC-SEPAR is operating as VE7RAC. See you on the bands.

There will be additional coverage and photos in the next Communicator e-Zine on July 1st.




Saturday, June 25, 2022

Field Day 2022 (Saturday) Update


Here are a few photos of today's activities at VE7SAR and VE7HME




Our SEPAR - SARC Field Day 24-hour emergency communications exercise. Moon-bounce, satellites, Morse code and voice. Thank you to all our visitors, but especially to City of Surrey Councillors Brenda Locke & Linda Annis for recognizing that what we do as Amateur Radio operators and Surrey volunteers is more than just a hobby.

Left to right: City of Surrey Councillor Linda Annis,
Former Surrey Councillor and MLA Marvin Hunt,
and City of Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke

Councillor Brenda Locke checks out the SEPAR trailer
while Manvir Judge VA7BKI logs a contact.

Manvir VA7BKI one of our recent course graduates,
attempting a satellite contact 


Kevin VE7ZD/KN7Q at his EME (Moon-bounce) station




Wednesday, June 22, 2022

North American Emergency Communications Exercise June 26-27


 “Who ya’ gonna call? Radio Hams!”

Emergency Communications Exercise June 26-27

Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark, or worse. Tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, storms, landslides, ice and even the occasional cutting of cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, for over one-hundred years the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio. These federally certified radio operators, often called “hams” provide backup communications for everything from community events to local Emergency Operations Centres.  Surrey “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators testing their emergency capabilities this weekend. 


In recent years, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies around the globe. When communications become overloaded or fail, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. On the weekend of June 26-27, Surrey’s ham radio operators will join with thousands of similar groups and individuals throughout Canada and the United States, using a variety of voice and data techniques in an annual exercise of emergency communications capabilities known as “Field Day”. 

This annual event is recognized throughout North America, and locally through a civic proclamation by Surrey City Council designating June 20-26 as “Amateur Radio Week”. Self-sufficiency is the key. Using only emergency power, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, parking lots, schoolyards and backyards throughout the continent and operate without commercial infrastructure for the duration of the 24-hour exercise. Their slogan, "When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams, as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, the internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 38,000 amateur radio operators across the continent participated in last year's event.  

Surrey Fire Service Assistant Chief Shelley Morris, who coordinates emergency response for the City of Surrey adds: “Amateur Radio plays an integral part in emergency preparedness during any major disaster for the city. They train extensively and they operate a communications room out of our Number One fire hall. They play a very important role keeping backup communications for the operations centre up and running during a major disaster and providing enhanced life safety for the citizens of Surrey.”

Gord Kirk, coordinator for the Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio (SEPAR) group highlighted the value of Amateur Radio in its flexibility. “Amateur Radio is not centralized. There is no single point of failure; it does not rely on the Internet, a power utility or a communications company, cell towers or other infrastructure to provide service. It works when nothing else is available.  In partnership with the Surrey Amateur Radio Communications (SARC) group we provide knowledgeable people, sophisticated equipment, and thousands of volunteer hours annually to support the City of Surrey Emergency Program. Once set up, we need nothing between us but air.” 

The SARC group supports SEPAR by providing equipment, infrastructure and technical assistance. SARC President John Brodie commented that: “We are fortunate that what hams enjoy as a technically-challenging hobby can make a vitally important contribution to emergency communication during a crisis”.

The Surrey team placed first in their Canadian category in recent years. The event takes place from 11am Saturday, June 26th to 11am Sunday, June 27th.  While this is normally a public affair, due to current COVID restrictions there are no public demonstrations, although in past years the technology shown has included contact with astronauts orbiting in the International Space Station. This year, smaller stations and individuals will participate from several neighbourhoods in Surrey.

Amateur Radio is growing in Canada and requests for training have increased significantly since COVID restrictions started. Hams socialize daily through radio contacts and the basic equipment to communicate worldwide can be purchased for less than $50. You no longer require Morse code, although it is still used in the hobby. Amateur Radio is practiced as a hobby, as a sport, and as a reliable means of communications by outdoors enthusiasts and others where cellular telephone towers do not exist. There are now over 30,000 Amateur Radio licensees in Canada, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the Amateur Radio emergency services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of provincial and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free. 

To learn more about Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio visit http://separ.ca/. To learn more about Amateur Radio visit http://www.rac.ca/.   See what modern Amateur Radio can do. 

In a nutshell:

Surrey Field Day Overview

SUMMARY: An emergency preparedness exercise to establish long distance communications capabilities in support of the City of Surrey Emergency Program. Surrey Amateur Radio operators will set up a field station simulating emergency conditions, without using commercial services, to contact thousands of other hams throughout North America and beyond, in the continent’s largest ham radio on-air event. This team placed first in their Canadian category for Field Day 2018. They will be looking to better their score in 2022 after COVID prevented team participation for the past two years; the public is invited to observe contest operations, see ham radio’s new capabilities, experience a moon-bounce contact, view a satellite contact and learn how to obtain their own Industry Canada radio certification.

WHO: Federally certified Amateur Radio Operators supporting the City of Surrey Emergency Program.

WHAT: Hams will set up and operate field radio stations to contact other hams throughout Canada, the US and beyond over 24 hours using a variety of modes including voice radio, Morse code, satellites, and digital. The objective is to see who can make the largest number of contacts during the exercise period.

WHERE: The Surrey Emergency Program facility at 5756 142 Street, Surrey BC.

WHEN: Operations 11 am Saturday, June 25 to 11 am Sunday June 26.

WHY: Participation in the amateur radio community Field Day. Amateur Radio operators emergency communication skills under adverse conditions with generators, battery-powered equipment and portable antennas.

Special awards are given for “alternative” power sources such as solar, wind and other means. Field Day is a competition as well as a “trial run” for emergency communication skills used during disaster situations

Our Amateur Radio volunteers will accommodate photo opportunities, interviews, and profiles of the activities of both our participants in an important national Amateur Radio event and their role in the Surrey Emergency Program. There is an opportunity to see all Amateur Radio communication modes in action, including voice, Morse code, satellite, and digital. There will be opportunities for the public to participate, including activities geared toward children.

There will be opportunities to explore the relationship to other facets of the Surrey Emergency Program.

Sponsors and participants:

  • ·         Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio
  • ·         Surrey Amateur Radio Communications
  • ·         Surrey Fire Service
  • ·         Surrey Emergency Program

Our Field Day video: https://youtu.be/4zAtFz9hcZY

 




Sunday, May 1, 2022

The May - June 2022 Communicator Periodical

 

130+ Pages Of Projects, News, Views and Reviews

'The Communicator' digital periodical of Surrey Amateur Radio Communications is now available for viewing or download at https://bit.ly/SARC22May-Jun

Read in over 140 countries now, we bring you Amateur Radio news from the South West corner of Canada and elsewhere. You will find Amateur Radio related articles, projects, profiles, news, tips and how-to's. 

This month antennas, connectors, fuses, circuit breakers and much more.

You can view or download it as a .PDF file from: https://bit.ly/SARC22May-Jun



Previous Communicator issues are at https://ve7sar.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Communicator

As always, thank you to our contributors, and your feedback is always welcome. 

The deadline for the next edition is June 20th.

If you have news or events from your club or photos, stories, projects or other items of interest from BC or elsewhere, please email them to communicator@ve7sar.net

Keep visiting our site for regular updates and news: https://ve7sar.blogspot.ca    

73,

John VE7TI

'The Communicator' Editor






Monday, March 28, 2022

World Amateur Radio Day - April 18

The IARU

April 18 has been declared World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was founded, during the International Radiotelegraph Conference in Paris. That is why radio radio amateurs worldwide celebrate this day with special activities every year.

The advocates of an International Amateur Radio Union were of the opinion that the shortwave spectrum that radio amateurs use to  transmit and to receive, could unite people all over the world, something that was assumed impossible. Therefore, this unifying action was undertaken.  In addition to protecting  and preserving frequency spectrum for the radio amateur, the IARU also strives to protect the  frequency spectrum of importance to other services. For radio amateurs, protection of our bands is of utmost importance, as shown through amateur response in countless emergencies and disasters worldwide.

Interest in  amateur radio has  only grown since those early days, with more than 3 million radio amateurs worldwide. Through this medium people from different countries and cultures could interact  with each other and  exchange ideas, long before there were facilities such as (mobile) phones, e-mail or social media.

And  amateur radio is still popular because you don't need a mobile network or internet  to  communicate. This is especially important to those in remote areas, those with outdoor interests such as hikers, off-roaders and hunters, emergency preparedness, as a hobby, or as an entry to a new career path such as electronics and communications. The service is, and always has been completely infrastructure independent. Radio amateurs are especially important  to maintain connections during disasters, in the event that regular communication channels  are no longer available. For example, the Amateur Radio Service kept agencies in New York City in contact with each other after their command center was destroyed during the tragedy of 9/11.

Radio amateurs were the first to discover that the HF spectrum  was not the wasteland that experts from those days branded it, but a tool that could support global communication. When the industry discovered that amateurs could successfully communicate worldwide on these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was again in great danger of  being pushed aside. This led to the creation of the IARU. At the International Radio Telegraph Convention of 1927, amateur radio assignments were made that are  still  recognized today: 160, 80, 40, 20 and 10 meters. In the course of the years,  the IARU  has also worked to give radio amateurs new bands at 136 kHz, 472 kHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 18 MHz, 24 MHz and 50 MHz, and a regional European allocation at 70 MHz.

The 25  countries that formed the IARU in 1925 have now grown to more than 160 affiliated associations in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North Asia. Region 2 includes North and South   America and Region 3 includes Australia, New Zealand, the  Pacific Islands and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as the representative of the interests of radio amateurs.

IARU has member societies in countries shown in yellow

All radio amateurs are invited to go on the air on World Amateur Radio Day to explore our hobby, to promote it to family and friends, and within their interests.

Do you want to get involved? 

We offer our on-line courses about every 12-weeks. Further information is available at: https://bit.ly/SARCcourses

RAC “Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day” Special Event

On Monday, April 18, 2022, Radio Amateurs of Canada is once again organizing a special on-air event to celebrate World Amateur Radio Day.

Every year on April 18, Radio Amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of Amateur Radio and to commemorate the formation of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) on April 18, 1925. Radio Amateurs of Canada is once again holding a “Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day” special event in which we encourage as many Amateurs as possible to get on the air and contact as many RAC stations as possible.

  • RAC official stations will operate across Canada from 0000Z to 2359Z on April 18. The RAC official station call signs are VA2RAC, VA3RAC, VE1RAC, VE4RAC, VE5RAC, VE6RAC, VE7RAC, VE8RAC, VE9RAC, VO1RAC, VO2RAC, VY0RAC, VY1RAC and VY2RAC. 
  • Those contacting one or more of these stations will be eligible for a special commemorative certificate noting their participation in RAC’s Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day Event.
  • Participants simply need to complete one or more contacts, on any band and mode, with RAC official stations to earn their certificates.
  • No logs need to be submitted; simply check back on the RAC website when instructed and enter your call sign to download your certificate.

Sources: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/international-amateur-radio-day-april-18/,   https://1drv.ms/b/s!ApeN-l7qi2UFk3OAFuk8KTSq4Rti?e=LOohoE, and RAC “Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day” Special Event

~



Monday, February 28, 2022

The March-April 2022 SARC Communicator

 

130 Pages Of Projects, News, Views and Reviews

'The Communicator' digital periodical of Surrey Amateur Radio Communications is now available for viewing or download at https://bit.ly/SARC22MarApr

Read in over 140 countries now, we bring you Amateur Radio news from the South West corner of Canada and elsewhere. You will find Amateur Radio related articles, projects, profiles, news, tips and how-to's. 

This month a special feature on 220 MHz, including its history and current state, including an antenna project for the band.

You can view or download it as a .PDF file from:  https://bit.ly/SARC22MarApr



Previous Communicator issues are at https://ve7sar.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Communicator

As always, thank you to our contributors, and your feedback is always welcome. 

The deadline for the next edition is April 20th.

If you have news or events from your club or photos, stories, projects or other items of interest from BC or elsewhere, please email them to communicator@ve7sar.net

Keep visiting our site for regular updates and news: https://ve7sar.blogspot.ca    

73,

John VE7TI

'The Communicator' Editor






CQ CQ CQ

The September-October 2022 SARC Communicator

  We're Back With 130+ Pages Of Projects, News, Views and Reviews 'The Communicator' digital periodical of Surrey Amateur Radio ...

The Most Viewed...