Southern Alberta Amateur Radio Club

Our next meeting is being held on March12th, 2018 at 7:30 PM.  Our new meeting place is at Training Inc. - 444 - 5th Ave. South in Lethbridge.

It's time to pay your membership dues for 2018!  $20 goes a long way!

 Welcome to the Southern Alberta Amateur Radio Club (SAARC) We're an organization of people that provide entertainment and education for Amateur Radio operators who are members of our club and the ham population at large in our region of the province. We’re located in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada along the Old Man River near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Our club operates the VE6CAM repeater on 146.88 Mhz which provides coverage throughout our region on two meters. Our club has been in operation for many decades and has been the home of amateur radio in this region for hundreds of dedicated ham operators over that time. Join us for our regular meeting and the many events that we host throughout the year. Our dues for joining our club are very reasonable and well worth the small investment. From time to time notices and news will be shared by e-mail as well and please remember that you are not obligated to receive anything from us and if you wish not to, send us a note and we will take you off our list. We hope you enjoy our site and come back often and point others to us too. 73

We Have a New Executive


Our club had a packed meeting on the 8th of January to elect a new slate of officers for the club.  The new executive is:


Geoff Peterson VE6LSX - President

Ron Papp - VE6PAP - Vice President

Pieter van Ewijk - VE6PLV - Secretary

Tom Martins - VE6TRM - Treasurer

Tom Buchanan VE6ARG - Communications Director

Terry Adams - VA6TMA - Director

Cory Martin - VE6COR - Director

Tony Warwaruk - VE6ABO - Director


In addition Blair Shaw has agreed to stay on as the head of the repeater committee and to continue to be our examiner.


Many thanks to all that have donated their precious time and energy to make the club a vibrant organization dedicated to the hobby of Amateur Radio.  Without that kind of commitment we wouldn't be able to accomplish the great things that we do each year.


Have You Checked Out the New Repeater?


Gary Wheeler VE6CV has put a new Fusion repeater VE6DOK up at his QTH on 442.075 + with a 100.1 tone.  After many hours of work by Ross VE6ARS and Gary and help from Geoff VE6LSX for his tower work, the new repeater is on the air and can be heard all over the city and beyond.  The coverage is good on this great machine.  Give it a try and see what the future holds for digital communications and the truly amazing signal to noise capabilities of these repeaters.


Gary also runs an amazing up to date weather site at West Lethbridge Weather.  Have a look at it and see what Gary has been up to in terms of keeping us informed on the local weather.  It also includes a lightning detector that tells you where the lightning is and how to be prepared for it.


Join the Digital Revolution


What a Great New Place to Meet

Many thanks go out to one of our newest hams, David Johansen VE6BDD for arranging a new place for us to park ourselves for the regular monthly meetings for the SAARC.  David arranged that we can meet at:

Training Inc.

444 - 5th Ave. South in Lethbridge.


Many thanks to the owner of Training Inc. for his generous support.


See you on Monday, March 12th at 7:30 PM at the new place.

What's Happening These Days

Spring is Coming - Yes it is!


And if you don't believe me, just ask me again.  Boy this has been the longest winter I can remember and there is still a huge amount of snow on the ground to contend with.  The airwaves are filled with even more comments about the weather than usual.  Anyway it is going to be over soon and as I mentioned to Frank VE6ZP this morning on 88, we should see the end of the snow on the lawns around August.  I certainly hope not.


So what plans have you got for the spring?  It's time to look at maintenance on your antenna systems and think about how to improve your shack and make it more efficient perhaps.  I always am amazed at how many wires grow into a rats nest in behind the rigs and am in awe of the pictures that you see on peoples QRZ page showing how neat and tidy things are.  Are these people really hams or is there something I'm missing here?


I must admit that I cleaned up the mess a year or so ago by creating a better interconnection system for antennas, rigs and power.  I used terminal strips for the power distribution and that certainly cleaned things up.  Additionally I got rid of the multitude of coax cables that came through the 2" pipe I installed in the wall when I renovated the shack six years ago.  Instead I installed a homemade window feed-through panel with enough barrel connectors going through it to accommodate any and all antennas I might want to use.  That cleaned stuff up considerably as well.  Then I simply use short cables from the antenna panel to a BNC patch panel that I can conveniently interconnect anything to anything else using short patch cables.  There is still a bunch of cables running from the back of that panel to all the rigs and but it's easy to test things and check antennas and transmission lines as needed with the antenna analyzer and isolate the problem.  The key is to label everything with white electrical tape and use a permanent CD marker to identify them.  When you make a change, tear the old tape off and wrap some more around the cable and mark it.  This requires discipline but saves a whole bunch of time if you do it.



















So the advantages are numerous to clean up the rats nest on the back of your operating desk and by following a plan you'll provide yourself with a much easier way to make changes if you want to.  All it takes is a bit of planning and when you buy that new rig, you'll simply be able to add it without having to tear everything apart.  The same goes for your antennas.  If you want to experiment with a new antenna, just connect it to the outside of the panel and you have it available without having to drag the outside line inside with all that that entails.


Have fun with getting your shack ready for the next great sunspot high in a few years.  It's going to be great to work 10 and 6 meters again isn't it?


Are You Ready to Upgrade to Advanced?

The next Advanced Qualification course will be at Tom's QTH in the spring of the 2018.  If you are interested in upgrading your qualification to Advanced to take advantage of the extended privileges that come with that ticket, register by sending Tom an E-mail here.  The course material will be available through Coax Publications once again.  The Advanced course will be primarily technical and once again many of the principles will be demonstrated to better explain why and how they work.


Sign up soon as this is going to be a full course from the interest that it has generated so far.

What Antenna Should I Put Up?

There is a new article about which antenna to use to get you started on the air.  Have a look here to see it.  This is for new hams just starting out and experienced ones who want to upgrade or change their antenna systems.

Contact us by e-mail at: | Snail mail: SAARC, PO Box 1024, Raymond, AB T0K 2S0