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2023 Annual Corn Roast

Annetta and Renze are both looking forward to having everyone over for the corn roast on Saturday, August 19, 2023. Everyone is welcome, licensed or not.

To get to our QTH from Lethbridge: It is 22 km east of the last traffic lights in Coaldale on highway 3. Range Road 18-1 is where you turn south, but right away keep going east on the service road. Then it is the first, and only, house on the south side of the service road. There are a couple of towers above the trees, if you see those, you’re good. Coordinates: 49.7543 N, 112.3195 W.

From the east, it is about 3 km past Barnwell driving west on highway 3. Turn south on Range Road 18-0 but turn west again right away on the service road. You’ll see our¬†house 800 meters away on the south side of the service road.

 

Talk on frequency: 146.520 Mhz.

My phone number: 403-593-8522

 

People usually get here around 16:00 to socialize for about an hour as we get the food ready. Dinner will be around 17:00 (5 pm).

On the menu.

  • Corn of course.
  • Chi and her famous spring rolls.
  • We’ll have hamburgers, sausages, buns, salads, etc.

If you want to bring anything, feel free, but please do not feel like you must. May I suggest a dessert.

 

Please bring your own lawn chair and your own alcoholic beverages.

Hope to see everyone on Saturday the 19th.

Renze VE6DC and Annetta

 

 

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Field Day 2023 – After Action Report

Field Day Participants
Some of the Field Day participants

– by Peter VA6ARI

At final count, 32 operators either camped or visited during Field Day 2023 at the Fort Macleod Lion’s Club campground in southern Alberta. Thanks to Gary VE6CV who put great effort into the successful event, hams attended from as far away as Calgary and Medicine Hat. Except for one storm that soaked everything Friday evening, the weekend weather was perfect on Saturday and Sunday, completely lacking the west wind southern Alberta is so famous for.

Some have commented that this year’s event was more like a mini ham-fest, with workshops, a flea market, pizza supper, and a pancake breakfast. Kevin VE6KVV made a bunch of very unique and creative signs that were placed around the campground and on every camper’s site. It was difficult to choose a sign because they were all so good. The signs made for a very festive atmosphere. (Vince, I left the CW sign for you…I figured you would grab that one). Brian VE6LAY helped Kevin get the signs up around the campground. Brian was also the registration, guestbook, raffle ticket coordinator, and pizza controller man for the event.

Upon arriving at the campground, no one could miss Renze’s VE6DC 260 ft. half-wave antenna stretched out across the entire hill from a tall tower. We knew we were in the right place!

Before noon on Saturday, the group gathered to honor Tom Buchanan (SK) with kind words and memories by various hams who knew him best, followed by a minute of silence. Tom’s daughter’s arrived later in the day and were given a tour of everyone’s campsite and mobile “shack.”

Honoring Tom Buchanan (SK)
Honoring Tom Buchanan (SK) and receiving final instructions before noon.

On Saturday Barry VE6BGR and Cory VE6CYT presented on the NanoVNA, talking about how to calibrate the NanoVNA, as well as how to run NanoVNA Saver software. To demonstrate, they tested an antenna Cory made for the other Cory VE6COR, showing how slight adjustments affecting the resonance of the antenna, are displayed on the NanoVNA Saver software.

Barry VE6BGR and Cory VE6CYT presenting on the NanoVNA
Barry VE6BGR and Cory VE6CYT presenting on the NanoVNA

Later in the day, Martin VE6FH presented on AREDN networks and an ADRCS server running on his portable PC, along with a copy of asterisk. Martin demonstrated how IP phones can be used on a AREDN network to contact other hams on a radio mesh network.

Martin VE6FH presenting on AREDN networks.
Martin VE6FH presenting on AREDN networks. Some of Kevin’s signs can be seen along the wall.

 

Another highlight of the day was Vince VE6LK attempting to contact other CW operators using a piece of string soaked in salt water as an antenna. Unfortunately, though we could hear their transmissions, Vince was unable to contact them. We blamed the failure on the heat of the day drying out the string too quickly.

Sunday started out with a huge pancake and sausage breakfast, prepared by Dave VA6IRE (with the flipper operated by Peter VA6ARI). There was a generous supply of both pancakes and sausages and anyone who left hungry has only themselves to blame.

Breakfast in the Park
Breakfast in the Park

After 12:00 pm on Sunday, the draws began. There were two free Fort Macleod campground weekend passes and a draw for a new Yaesu HT. As the luck of the Irish would have it, a new ham Dave VA6IRE was the lucky winner. Congratulations Dave! The raffles and donations raised over $200 for the campground to plant new trees. Special thanks to George at GPS Central for the donation of the handheld! Everyone also left with a new Yaesu cap.

As a relatively new ham, this was only my second field day. I decided to go QRP this year with my Xiegu G90 and an EFHW antenna pointed roughly North East. This was powered with a little homemade battery box using my DeWalt 18v drill battery. With all the activities going on throughout the two days, I only managed about 20 contacts, but the biggest thrill was that I seemed to have a direct conduit to BC, OR, and WA. Many operators were reporting a 10 to 20 over 9 signal, as I broke through the pileups with my 15 watts. I also attempted some FT8 but was not aware that wsjt-x has a “Field Day” mode and so rather than use that, I ended up just fumbling around trying to change the standard messages to FD messages, which didn’t work all that well. I’ll know for next year.

VA6ARI working QRP contacts into WA, OR and BC.
VA6ARI working QRP contacts into WA, OR and BC.

 

Speaking of next year, the general consensus is that we will once again plan for another Field Day at the Fort Macleod Lion’s Campground in 2024, but hopefully even bigger and better than this past one. Again, a special huge thanks to everyone who helped put on this awesome event and to all of you who attended! Also, a great big thanks to the Lion’s Club Campground for hosting us again this year.

In case you haven’t seen it, we made the front cover of the Fort Macleod Gazette. Thanks to Frank McTighe for the great article and for stopping in to talk to us.

We do not have our final total score yet, as we are still awaiting everyone to send Gary their logs. Please do so as soon as you can so Gary can get that submitted. Thanks.

 

 

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ARRL Field Day Update

ARRL Field Day is ham radio’s open house. 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.

Be sure to join the ARRL Field Day Facebook Group and share your plans, tips, and tricks to a successful Field Day. When posting content from Field Day, use hashtag #ARRLFD on all social media to receive 100 bonus points!

Please make sure to let others know of this event and invite them along. So far we will have campers from Lethbridge, Milk River, Medicine Hat, and Calgary, and who knows where else!

We’ve also invited some very special guests to join us to find out more about the hobby, the gear and the abilities. Luke Palmer is the EMS man for the City of Lethbridge and Ward Eggli spent 30+ years with the Fire Dept and several years as Fire Boss for the air show here. And our special guests to help open up our FD celebrations, the family of Tom Buchanan VE6ARG (SK) will be along to join us while we pay tribute to Tom’s contribution to HAM radio.

Camping

Camping is still available (there’s lots of space). Again there are NO services but there is non-potable water, free firewood (end cuts from the Truss Plant in town), and out-houses. Sites are so nice and very good size. Please let Gary VE6CV know if you’re planning to camp. For those unfamiliar with the site here’s the location:

  • GPS: 49.7566, -113.4061
  • 93081 SEC, AB-811
  • Fort MacLeod, AB, Canada T0L 0Z0

Handhelds

  • In camp we will use 146.54 simplex for in-camp communications
  • 446.500 will be cross banded to 146.52 simplex for any VHF contacts
  • Note: contacts made through repeaters do not count toward Filed Day points. Simplex only.

Call Sign

Everyone will be using their own individual calls for field day. If this is your first field day, we need to log all contacts and then submit them to ARRL. So if you have a logging program or QRZ online or whatever. You can log with a good ole paper and pencil too.

Pizza Supper

The plan is each person (family) will call Fort Macleod Pizza giving them their order and pay prior to 2:00 PM (tentative). Then they have time to make all the pizzas and have them onsite for 6:00 PM Saturday.

Sunday Breakfast

SAARC has graciously donated to cover breakfast of pancakes, sausages, etc. for Sunday morning. Any and all are welcome. If you will be joining us for breakfast, please let us know in advance so we have all the necessities.

Flea Market

There will be a mini flea market so bring along any treasures (and money) and YOU could be the proud owner of some new goodies.

License Exams

PLEASE let Gary VE6CV know by June 22 if you or someone else intends to write their exam(s). This will allow examiners to be fully prepared. There is no charge for the exams on site.

Media

We’ve been in touch with the Fort Macleod Gazette and have sent along field day info. They will be providing some media coverage for us to add toward FD bonus points.

T-Shirts

There has been some interest in Field Day T-Shirts. If we go with the nice T-Shirt (with pocket) from Marks, the front will be printed with Field Day 2023, and then on the back in large letters each person will have their own call sign. The cost is between $42 and $45 from one source. Each person would need to send in the info, call sign, size and payment and Gary VE6CV will bring the shirts to the FD site.

Additional Info

  • Camp site registration will be done at the gate you can pay your camp fees and they will direct you to our area.
  • Brian VE6LAY will be taking care of the initial registration, guest book, tickets, pizza order, etc. Please look for Brian when you arrive.
  • Dave VA6IRE will be coordinating the Sunday morning breakfast and I’m sure he could use some help there.
  • Education sessions:
    • VE6LK – SOTA
    • VA6TI – POTA
    • VE6BGR and VE6CYT – NanoVNA
    • VE6VH – AREDN Mesh Network
    • VE6CV – FT8, QSL Cards, Mobile HF, APRS
  • Rick VE6CW (Saturday ONLY) and Vince VE6LK will be doing ham license exams, upgrades, etc. PLEASE let Gary VE6CV know by June 22 if you or someone else intends to write their exam(s).
  • Martin VE6VH will be bringing a pop-up repeater for comms within the camp.
  • Tune to 440.8 MHz, +5MHz input, 123.7 PL tone.

 

 

 

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CAM Repeater Field Trip

Looking east on Highway 23 and TR 12-4
  • Saturday, June 3, 11:00 am
  • Everyone is welcome to attend.

We will be going out to the CAM repeater to see the site and do some work on the repeater and equipment as needed. Brian VE6LAY will be meeting us at 11 am just north of Barons on the corner of Highway 23 and Township Road 12-4, and we will be heading over to the repeater site at 11:15 am. Look for his blue Ford Taurus. If you need more info, we will be monitoring 146.880 on Saturday morning or you can call Brian at 403-632-5127.

 

 

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May 13, 2023 Meeting Minutes – CAM Field Trip

Members present:

  • Brian VE6LAY, Steven VE6SCL, Cory VE6COR, Gary VE6CV, Tom VE6TRM, Cory VE6CYT, Peter VA6ARI, Geoff VA6SX, Penny VA6PJK, Barry VE6BGR, Dave VA6IRE.
  • We have 15 members in good standing.

Called to order 10:06 am

Motion to accept last minutes: Tom VE6TRM

New business:

  • Peter has set up a Facebook SAARC account and is working on putting club information up. He is also working on a membership list.
  • Gary VE6CV made a motion to set up a task force to locate SAARC equipment and make a list. Motion passed.

Field day Jun. 24th and 25th

  • Will be a camping event north of Fort Macleod on Hwy 811 “Fort Macleod Lions Club Campground.”
  • Gary VE6CV so far has 12 campsites booked.
  • The events will start with a small service for Tom VE6ARG (silent key).
  • If you have a hand held will help with communications.
  • Will be members using solar and generators.
  • Pizza delivery Saturday.
  • Gary has talked to https://fort-macleod-pizza about having pizza delivered to the campground and they are happy to help out. Members who wish to have Pizza can call Fort Macleod Pizza (403) 5533131 place and pay for your order, and tell them its for the SAARC at the campgrounds. We will tell them to plan for a 6 to 6:30 delivery.
  • Pancakes will be on Sunday morning.

CAM Repeater Field Trip: June 3/23, 11:00 am

  • Some members wished to see the repeater.
  • We will be meeting just north of Barons on Hwy 23, turn right on Township Rd 12-4 (50.018836 -113.120846).
  • Brian VE6LAY will be in a blue Ford Taurus. His phone number is (403) 632-5127 and he will be on 146.880 club frequency.
  • We will wait till 11:15 am and then head to the tower location.

Motion to end the meeting: 11:00 am Barry VE6BGR

 

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SAARC Facebook Group

We have set up a new Facebook group for the club. Any hams, or soon to be hams, are welcome to join and share anything that might be of interest to other hams. Please come and join the discussion.

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NEXT MEETING – Saturday, May 13, 2023

The next SAARC meeting will be at:

  • 10:00 AM
  • Lethbridge YMCA on the west side.
  • Room 1504

Parking is best on the south side of the building. The room is just inside the main door to the left.

We will be discussing some of the future plans for meetings, including guest, topic, and demo ideas, and areas where members can get involved, such as promotion, communication, membership, meeting planning, etc. We will also be planning a field day trip out the the CAM repeater site for anyone interested in seeing it. Please join us and come with ideas for improving our club.

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Minutes of the 2023 Annual General Meeting, April 1, 2023

Members Present:

Brian VE6LAY, Barry VE6BGR, Norm VE6NFW, Les VE6GNX, Cory VE6CYT, Wayne VE6WEK, Tom VE6TRM, Jen VA6ACD, Peter VA6ARI, Steve VE6SCL, Stan VE6SYS, Kalvin VE6KRO, David VA6IRE, Gary VE6CV, Austin VE6QBD, Blair VE6AGH, Clinton VE6CWB, Cory VE6COR

Call to order: Cory VE6COR at 9:40 am

Motion to dissolve 2022 executive: 1st Barry VE6BGR, 2nd Peter VA6ARI, passed.

Blair VE6AGH asked to run nominations for 2023 executive, accepted.

Nominations for president: Cory VE6COR unopposed is 2023 president.

Nominations for vice president: Peter VA6ARI unopposed is 2023 vice president.

Nominations for treasurer: Tom VE6TRM and Barry VE6BGR put to a vote via ballots, Barry VE6BG is 2023 treasurer.

Nominations for secretary: Brian VE6LAY unopposed is 2023 secretary

Club directors:

  • Renze VE6DC unopposed.
  • Norm VE6NFW unopposed.
  • Gary VE6CV unopposed.

Motion to destroy ballots: 1st Blair VE6AGH, 2nd Austin VE6QBD, motion passed.

Congratulations to the newly elected committee for 2023!

Field Day

Will be at the Fort Macleod Lion’s Campground, 4 km north of Fort Macleod on highway 811.

Noon Saturday June 24 to noon Sunday, June 25

Bring a handheld radio

Some plans:

  • having pizza delivered Saturday night.
  • having club t-shirts made.

Gary VE6CV is looking for help with door prizes.

Motion to adjourn: Austin VE6QBD at 10:19 am.

 

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Meeting Minutes for May 2022

14 Members present

Call to Order Cory VE6COR


Blair VE6AGH and Peter adopted last meeting minutes

Treasurers report $ 8,942.97 in the bank.Confirmed Tower rent payment was made.

Repeater Committee No report.

Field Day Committee Austin VE6QBD would like help looking for a good place to set up,just off number 4
south of Milk River Call him at Cell 403 647 2200 home 404 647 2410
Blair VE6AGH would like to see people who never participated in field day come and see what its all about.

Discussions on contacts ,conditions and nets. Weekly cam net and echo link # 3316228 is looking for help at 8pm

Old Business NA

New Business NA

Tonights Presentation Was a great discussion on remote and off grid power options including generators and solar panels

Round table:

  • Welcome to new member Tyler VE6TI just found us on the web and joined.Tyler enjoys working CW.
  • Congratulations to Norm VE6NFW for winning the IC 1705 at the Calgary Flea market.working on learning CW and his garden.
  • Stan VE6SYS is going to the Pass and open his cabin Looking forward to field day.
  • Barry VE6BGR Congratulations on becoming the interim president for LSCO lots of HF noise at his place.
  • Blair VE6AGH Working on his vintage radios and working the 7.100 net on 40 meters at 5pm.
  • Peter VA6ARI Works from home has his radio on all day.
  • Cory VE6COR Working on his portable power and loop antenna.
  • Brian VE6LAY Cam net at 9am and 7.100 if conditions let me in lots of noise.
  • Tom B VE6ARG Working on a larger tuner,making a new controller for his hex beam.Designing a 40 meter antenna
    working in the garden .Tom is now the lic. holder for all the LSCO repeaters.And in his spare time
    Toms Notes www.tomsnotes.ca/
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2021 Annual Corn Roast

The 2021 Annual Corn Roast was held on Saturday August 28th, 2021 at Renze VE6DC and Annetta’s property off of Hwy 3 just 22 km east of Coaldale.

Everything began at 4:00 and was a wonderful success! There was much discussion and the sharing of stories and eyeball QSO’s along with much consumption of delicious food. We were excited to have our first in-person event since the beginning of the pandemic!

This included a tailgate sale which many attended and much beloved gear was exchanged.

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