Southern Alberta Amateur Radio Club

Our Biggest Basic Course Yet


Once again we are training new people to become ham radio operators in our club.  We have the largest number of people enrolled that we have ever had this time around.  17 students are studying hard to become qualified and come from all walks of life.


The course is being held in Tom VE6ARG home in a training room he has setup just for the purpose.  This is ideal because Tom's shack is right there and he can demonstrate both by video and with actual parts and pieces how it all works.  Tom has a well equipped shack which includes ancient tube equipment to state of the art transceivers able to communicate from 160M to 70cm and a full stack of antennas to cover all bands.


Tom also has a fully equipped workbench for building or repairing existing equipment.  He has thousands of parts and pieces that can be used to demonstrate electronic principles and shares them with the students.


The Advanced course is being run this year as well and there are 4 students so far interested in moving on to the highest step in Amateur Radio and enjoying the additional privileges that gives them.  Congratulations to them on making that commitment.    That course is also being run at the VE6ARG QTH.


So we are busy training new people in our club and look forward to having them on the air as soon as they pass the exams.  Wish them luck.



Some Changes to the Website are Coming


As many of you know, doing an effective website requires the use of sophisticated software.  It is no different with ours.  However sometimes the software providers decide to re-evaluate their product line and software that you think is going to be supported forever is dropped from the line.  This is no different with Adobe.  Adobe has decided to discontinue support for Muse which is the software that I use to create and update our website. Because of this decision, I have had to look for something that will replace it that is both cost effective and robust enough to meet our needs.


I have used several packages over the years to create my own websites and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages.  While searching, I used a criteria that would provide us all that I think we need and at a reasonable price.  It has to be simple to use and easy to work with and not so technical that someone else can't just jump in and take over in the event of a change in your communications director and web master.


I found such a package in Canada that is used worldwide and fits all of the needs that we have. It is provided by Everweb.  Everweb is, however, only a Mac product and the websites you create can only be produced on a Mac.  This is no problem in my case because I work with both PC's and Mac's and they are completely integrated in my business and at home.  In fact I use Mac's almost exclusively in my photography business and I use PC's at home for amateur radio and for my servers.  This could be problematic however for anyone taking it over in the event of a problem with me carrying on.  I will use whatever I need that will provide me with the best sites I can create.


If, however, you feel this could be a problem, then I'm open to suggestions.


Thanks for understanding,




Upgrading the CAM Repeater


On October 27th after breakfast, a bunch of the local hams went out to the repeater site to winterize the equipment.  We needed to clean the solar panels and top up the batteries and we checked the antenna feed-line with a RigExpert AA600 Antenna Analyzer.  We did a complete check of the line using the amazing TDR functions on that tool and the feed-line is perfect to the antenna.  The antenna, however, isn't.  Over the years it has lost three of the four radials it originally had and needs to be replaced.  This has badly affected the radiation pattern and is the  primary cause of the poor performance of our venerable repeater.


Unfortunately the ham that was going to climb the tower was not available so we couldn't get the replacement done at that time.  We did however go over to Geoff VE6LSX and checked out the replacement antenna and it has an SWR or 1.12/1 as measured once again with the antenna analyzer.  So we are good to go with replacing it with the new one whenever we can get out to the site to make it happen.


Rest assured we are trying very hard to return the repeater to its amazing performance and coverage and will get out there as soon as all the planets align.


What's Happening These Days
 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

Our next meeting is being held on Nov. 12th, 2018 at Training Inc. in downtown Lethbridge.  It is at the corner of 5th Ave. and 5th Street South in the old police station.  See you at 7:30 pm.

Our Breakfast Numbers are Rising


  Many of us have been meeting for breakfast every Saturday morning?  This has become the event to attend and we are not only enjoying the nonsense that hams usually get up to, but we are also able to have a great meal for a great price and unlimited coffee as well.  We have arranged with Humpty's for more space to accommodate our numbers.  It would be really nice to have everyone send us a note to tell us if you are attending breakfast.


Come on out and join us at Humpty's on Scenic Drive in Lethbridge for a some good fun. We meet at 9:00am on Saturday mornings.


See you there...



CARA Fleamarket in Calgary Nov. 10th


The Annual CARA Flea-market is being held in Calgary at the Eastside City Church on November 10th, 2018.  Everyone is welcome and the doors open at 9:00.  The address is 1320 Abbeydale Dr. SE, Calgary Alberta.


We strongly urge those of you that have never been to a swap meet before to take this in.  There simply is nothing that will immerse you into Amateur Radio like rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest people you will ever meet.  The who's who of Alberta ham radio will be there and Radio World Central will have a booth as well.  Come on up and sift through treasures that are all at bargain prices find bargains nobody can resist.  Come and see mobile setups like no other like Jerry VE6AB's decked out mobile setup.  Jerry is a machinist by trade and has create some of the most beautiful antenna systems you can ever find.  He's also shared his amazing work as a writer for QST over the years.


We are getting a group together to take people to and from the show and to Radio World for a short visit too.  Send a note to Tom Buchanan VE6ARG at if you can drive or need a ride to and from the show.  We always like to get a group together to attend these events and you are more than welcome if you want to come with us.  Tom has 4 seats available for those that want to go with him.


So see you at the show next Saturday, November 10th and join in the fun.



Did You Know???

Our club is one of the oldest Amateur Radio Clubs in North America.  It was originally founded by Bill Savage VE6EO SK in 1932.  Now that is something to be proud of, isn't it?  Why not volunteer to do some tasks that always need to be done in the SAARC and get off the fence and contribute?  We need your help.  Let's keep this going.

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