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Calgary Amateur Radio Association

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2021 December President's Message

12 Dec 2021 9:53 PM | Peter LaGrandeur (Administrator)

from Peter LaGrandeur VA6RPL, President

Greetings, fellow amateur radio enthusiasts.  It is the Yuletide season, and we are looking forward to a slightly less Covid-restrictive Christmas season this year.  The CARA Executive Committee extends a merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and yours.

Don’t forget our virtual Christmas Party, on Zoom, on Dec 21 at 7 PM.  Don your favourite reindeer antlers, Santa hat, or elf getup, and show us your favourite eggnog concoction.  My personal eggnog includes nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. 

Login details:   https://caraham.org/event-4497570?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=12/10/2021

Your Executive Committee has, indeed, been very busy.  Not only are our regularly scheduled monthly meetings filled with much club business, but we communicate on pretty much a daily basis via email, phone, and texting to share information, gather opinions, and even make decisions.  Contact us anytime at executive@caraham.org .

Our Member Survey will soon be available for release.  It is scheduled to go live on 2022 January 15, and will cover many facets of the club.  All members will receive an email, letting them know it’s ready.  It will be accessed through a link on the CARA website.  The raw results will be posted on the CARA website, and be published in the KeyKlix newsletter.  Your Executive Committee will definitely act on the results of this survey.  Yes, we listen!  Queries?  Contact us at executive@caraham.org .

Winter Field Day is on for 2022!  www.winterfieldday.com/ Please contact the event’s coordinator, Neeroo VE6NRO, at VE6NRO@gmail.com, for more information, volunteering, and/or radio operating at this event.

Maker Faire 2022 is at the BMO Centre in Calgary.  https://calgary.makerfaire.com/  CARA plans to have a presence there to showcase our communications trailer and promote amateur radio and its extensive home-brew pursuits.  A coordinator is needed.  Please drop us an email at executive@caraham.org for more info.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) agency has granted us a fund-raiser casino on 2022 June 8 & 9 at the Cash Casino Place in Calgary.  Please contact CARA’s Casino manager, Alan Kearley VE6BUZ, at VE6BUZ@telus.net to volunteer at this event.

At long last, we are finally revitalizing our web site.  It has served us well over the years, at least for existing members.  However, it did nothing to provide information to potential new members, specific amateur radio user groups, the general public, potential new public service clients, and our AGLC benefactor.  Of primary focus is the Home Page, aka the “Landing Page”, followed by some reorganization of the interior pages.  New pages will be added, as required, to better support the topics presented on the landing site.   I can’t say enough about what a fantastic group of people who have joined our web development and social media committee.  Many kudos go to Pat Spencer VE6PDS, Brady Fullerton VA6BAM, Ralph Garnett VA6RHG, Dave Krull VA6DQ, Warren Shockey VE6WMS and Peter LaGrandeur VA6RPL.  A great depth of web development, social media smarts, and industry knowhow exists in this group.  Any questions about this initiative can be directed to webdev@caraham.org .

The development of two new potential amateur radio user groups at CARA is being pursued.  One group is the motorized off-roading community which includes “jeeps”, snowmobiles, and ATV’s.  The other is the offshore cruising sailor community which typically have MF, HF, and SSB amateur radio rigs complementing their communications capabilities on board their vessels.  WinLink has already been installed on all VE6AO operating positions.  These groups, and supporting web pages, will be included on the coming new CARA Home and interior pages.

Many thanks goes to the repeater interest group for doing last minute work on the VE6RYC station roof before the snow started flying.  Well done, guys.  Sixteen stations are currently listed on CARA’s lineup of repeaters. https://caraham.org/Repeaters  That’s no small feat and a great deal of gratitude is owed to the team that sets these up and keeps them going.  Questions about our repeaters can be directed to:  repeaterteam@caraham.org .  Other news includes a renewed priority to implement voice linking between our Calgary, Kananaskis, Bow Valley, and Carbon repeater stations.  The next voice linking is to be out to Fortress VE6AQA.  Suggestions have also been heard to add a voice linked VHF repeater to the south area of Calgary.  Calls have also been heard for this voice linked system to have enough coverage within the Calgary city limits for handheld users to access the system.

At the VE6AO station, where Alberta Health Services (AHS) has recently relaxed Covid restrictions, the members have seen some semblance of life and activities there returning to normal.  The station interest group has been hard at it with ongoing projects.  One of the initiatives the members are working on is the Earth Moon Earth (EME) project aka “moon bounce”.  On hold for the last few years, the EME project has resumed, and the antenna for this is being mounted on the southernmost tower in CARA’s antenna farm behind the CSCC clubhouse.  Other projects in the works include a log periodic antenna which will fill the gaps in bands not easily available through existing infrastructure.  Contact this group at stationteam@caraham.org for more information.

With the widespread vaccination of Alberta’s population, and if variants don’t resurge the Covid pandemic, we are hoping that in-person meetings may resume later in the spring.  Someday … sigh... life will eventually return to normal and we can resume our socials, meetings, and gatherings at our various venues.  Hoping that Santa remembers us all, I bid you all a good night !

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