VECTOR July 2020 News

Posted in newsletter

Previous newsletters can be found in the archive.

Our next members’ meeting will be held July 8 online using Zoom. Let’s understand Simplex Relay Day and plan our VECTOR ‘restart’.

Please register in BetterImpact if you will be attending, and make sure you have updated your Zoom software.

  • Join in the Zoom app or in your favourite browser
  • Flip through the meeting files on the Drive

Community News

VECTOR Simplex Relay Event

July 11 Simplex Relay: VHF in the City without a repeater?

by Nick VE7NTX

Let’s have fun together on air Saturday, July 11, playing with radiograms and VHF frequency hopping for a couple of hours sharing trivia questions. Catch you there at 11 am RSVP?

How would you send a radio message from one side of the city to the other without repeaters?

Know a trivia question? On Simplex Relay Day, that’s the only message you need. Send it to another station for an answer. The challenge: you may only send messages over simplex VHF.

Join from home. We’ll welcome all certified amateur radio operators into the event on VE7RVF. Hop over to the calling frequency to find your relay person. Use the quick reference list to agree on an exchange frequency. Hop over and zap, you’re on your way.

Questions? Download a relay operator package. Read it. Print what you need.

Check-in on net at 1100 Saturday, July 11, on VE7RVF (output 145.450 offset -0.600 tone 100 Hz). Finish and check out at 1400. Can you make it? RSVP

What do you think about partnering with VHS for workshop space?

by Jesse VE7DET

Please help me answer some prep questions that VHS asked: Google form.

VHS has a widely outfitted workshop: laser cutting, 3-d printing, electronics, sewing, screen-printing, painting, woodworking, metalworking, welding, and more. VHS also has a small radio club with its own radio and antenna near the Britannia Centre.

The people there are welcoming and supportive. At an open house in December, I was there with a few others* for the tour and we asked if VHS would partner with another group. VHS members welcome partnerships and learning. You can read more on the VHS forum.

*Richard VE7PNP, Tamara VA7ETR, Nick VE7NTX, maybe more?

What are VECTOR’s values?

by Jesse VE7DET, 2020 President, VECTOR

What are VECTOR’s values?

What do members think about holding an annual values workshop for VECTOR? Strong peer-organized organizations review shared values each year to strengthen and tune internal and external teamwork. Please send me your feedback after you read about the idea below.

In 2018 and 2019, we held a couple of workshops to raise member ideas to the front of our attention. To keep your evolving ideas in mind, VECTOR must hold annual “feedback workshops”.

After only the session in November 2019, we learned over 67 ideas suitable for VECTOR. Quite a backlog until people adopt, champion and deliver desired ideas. Imagine the added backlog we could collect in annual workshops. Perhaps overwhelming. What if we could use a different way to make member ideas reality?

What is VECTOR’s just cause?

What do you think the reason is for VECTOR existing? VECTOR shows me a very ambitious one. Let’s examine it together.

Here’s an outline of what’s ahead:

  • What makes up VECTOR’s just cause?
  • Where does this just cause come from?
  • Why think of VECTOR this way?
  • Is there another way to say why VECTOR exists?

(Please check out the rest of Jesse’s great posts in the VECTOR blog.)

VECTOR COVID-19 Update and Major Civic Event Status

Due to the physical distancing requirements of our present COVID-19 situation, all VECTOR activities are still being conducted by radio or through Zoom online conferencing.

The BC Restart plan is currently in Phase 3. What level of activity are members comfortable with? Let’s talk about how we might adjust our activities at our next members meeting July 8.

Please note: ECOMM now has simple requirements for members going into our offices at ECOMM (the Radio Room):

  • only healthy people are allowed in.
  • we must sanitize our work area.
  • we must wear a mask.
  • we must wear examination gloves.
  • we must maintain physical distance indoors.

The meeting room remains off-limits and likely only 2 or 3 people can fit in the radio room.

Thank you for doing your part to “flatten the curve” to protect vulnerable members of our society.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Provincial Health Officer:

“Be kind, be calm, and be safe.”

Field Day Review

by Hiroshi VA7LET and Erland VE7EFK

It started as a breezy morning Saturday June 27 at Iona Beach Regional Park. After Erland VE7EFK and I set up our QRP stations, the task of making contacts began. The bands were alive: 20m, 40m.

Many stations were on the air, most running higher power. After hearing many, and with some persistence, we were able to make contacts along the West Coast. Within a few hours, contacts were made in California, Utah, and Nevada on only 5 Watts. We heard two other members on the air making contacts: VE7NCD and VA7MN.

After relocating my station out to Abbotsford, I was able to contact more - including California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and South Texas. Mission accomplished! Contacts made on 5 Watts!

Erland VE7EFK also enjoyed Field Day:

“Field day has been my introduction to the public side of Amateur Radio, and VECTOR as well. I have participated in two VECTOR field days in the past two years, but this year, it had been cancelled.

Hiroshi VA7LET and I each set up our multi-band QRP radios, portable antennas, as well as small solar panels to keep batteries topped up. Soon we were operating, making a few well earned contacts, and learning that HF can be an unpredictable beast: contacting Alberta (VE6) stations was easier than stations directly south of us, in Washington.”

A Peek at What’s Under the Kimono?

VECTOR Initiatives List:

Curious about the big picture with VECTOR? FYI here is a shortened list of some of the ideas VECTOR is working on. Check out the complete spreadsheet on Google Drive (GD).

  • DSA Caretakers - Establish a sustainable team to confirm and maintain readiness of DSA sites.
  • Radio Room and Roof - Establish a sustainable team to confirm and maintain readiness of VECTOR Radio Room.
  • Community Centre Support - Establish a sustainable team to confirm and maintain readiness of Community Centre sites.
  • City Partner Support - Establish a sustainable team to confirm and maintain readiness of VECTOR kits at VPD, VEMA, REFM, Animal Control, Park Rangers, etc.
  • Hands-on Practices - Host more practice sessions using VECTOR radios stationed around the city on a cycled basis.
  • New Packet Radio Links - Assess New Packet Radio for linking VECTOR-served sites.
  • Training Grid and Skills Tree - Show a clearly explained learning path which helps members meet VECTOR’s purposes.
  • Roles - Include roles for members who only wish to participate without running VECTOR.
  • High-Speed Repeater Links - High speed links between repeater sites (FH5, TEL, HamWAN).
  • High-Speed Site Links - High speed links between VECTOR-served sites and Mesh Networking.
  • Drills - Offer more training and drills.

Check out these super interesting files also in GD:

Key notes from Sgt. Kevin Bernardin’s June talk

Notes by Jesse VE7DET

Sgt. Kevin Bernardin VE7TDK, our VPD liaison, joined VECTOR’s June member meeting to share some inspiring ideas about ways VECTOR could serve the VPD. Here are the highlights:

  • Update VPD Grab and Go Kits with lighter ones.

  • Build a relationship with the Emergency Operations Planning Section (EOPS) to practice how the Departmental Operations Centre (DOC)and VECTOR work together.

  • Prepare for supporting VPD sites, teams, and checkpoints, if VPD radio systems fail.

  • Build partnerships with Community Policing Centres (CPCs) for teaching radio skills and assisting at city events.

  • Help take care of the VPD amateur radio stations and handhelds.

  • Write a Basic Guide to VECTOR Support for DOC.

VECTOR Informal Daily Net at 19:05 on VE7RVF

By Erland VE7EFK

The idea to host a daily wellness check in net was a fantastic idea for the VECTOR community. The timing was important – creating a casual forum to chat and reflect at the beginning of a very stressful time, using a medium that we are trained for – Amateur Radio!

I’m sure many looked forward to this daily event and continue to do so – playing with radios in an informal way.

Join the chat at 19:05 every day on VE7RVF, right after the 19:00 evening cheer for our front line workers.

VE7RVF - VECTOR Ch. 1: 145.450 MHz, -0.600 MHz, t100 Hz

Borrow a Grab and Go Kit for a week?

VECTOR has 4 prototype grab and go kits that need user-testing. You can use it to check in on nets and give feedback.

Each kit has its own radio, computer and antenna. All you need to do is plug it into a 12-Volt system or a regular wall socket.

Sign up and arrange a hand-off.

VECTOR Needs Help Transcribing Brainstorming Session

From Our Wish Backlog

VECTOR needs assistance transcribing or converting the August, 2018, Brainstorming Session recording into a usable spreadsheet. Can you help? Please email Jesse VE7DET for more information on how the spreadsheet could be formatted to make it useful for VECTOR.

File: Brainstorming Session

Upcoming Training & Practice Opportunities

  • Net Control Operator training

    If you would be interested in attending an introductory session on the net control operator program send an email to Andrew VA7YAA and we’ll contact you once viral circumstances permit.

  • Radio Skills Course

    The next Radio Skills Course will be offered on Mondays, October 26 - November 23. Are you interested in delivering a course module or two? Please let us know!

    For more info, please contact rsc@vectorradio.ca

On Air Radio Activities

Please check out the Weekly Previews update to view the activities you can get involved in. You might also catch small activities on our repeaters. Look for activities on our calendar.

Contact Kevin VE7SFA and Jessé VE7DET to get involved.

Announcements, Notable, etc.

Rob Trowhill VE7TRO, New Silent Key

Sad news for members: Rob Trowhill VE7TRO, a previous VECTOR board member, has recently passed away. He will be promoted to new a Silent Key. His legacy in VECTOR includes starting the files that make up a “Battle Box” of reference information for VECTOR members to use in kits. Peace out brother.

NB: Amateur radio operators become Silent Keys when they pass away.

Meet Assistant Chief Jen Gjaltema, Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services (VFRS)

VECTOR’s August 5 Members’ Meeting will welcome Assistant Chief Jen Gjaltema. She will be exploring the topic of the VFRS-VECTOR relationship. (Assistant Chief, Emergency Communications and Technology, VFRS)

Lotus Light Charity Society distributes food hampers

Who: The Vancouver branch of the Lotus Light Charity Society (LLCS Vancouver).

What: LLCS will be distributing food hampers (enough for two weeks) to families (a family of four) and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where: in the parking lot of the Britannia Community Centre, 1661 Napier Street, Vancouver. Please enter at Venables and Cotton.

When: Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 1 pm.

LLCS will distribute with generous donations from Discovery Organics, Fresh Direct, Fresh Point, Produce Terminal, Van-Whole Wholesale, and the Real Canadian Superstore (Grandview Highway), and volunteers from the Strathcona Community Policing Centre and Lotus Light Charity Society. You can donate to LLCS COVID-19 Community Caring Drivehere

Disabled, seniors and anyone with a tweaked immune system will also receive a package of disposable face masks. Thank You!

Floyd VA7PCW

Financial Resources for folks affected by COVID-19 – updated

A compilation by VECTOR member Halldor K. Bjarnason VA7ETF, on our Google Drive

Weekly Net

The weekly net takes place at 20:00 every Wednesday on the VE7TEL repeater: VECTOR channel 2, 145.170 MHz, -0.6 MHz offset.

Each week, a secondary net follows on a different frequency, providing an opportunity for amateur radio operators to test their radio with other bands and modes of operation.

Schedule for upcoming secondary net frequencies:
Date Channel Frequency Information
July 8 401 443.725 MHz, +.500 MHz offset, 88.5 Hz tone
July 15 44 146.430 MHz
July 22 20 147.200 MHz, +.600 MHz offset, 100.0 Hz tone
July 29 7 147.450 MHz, 100.0 Hz tone, Simplex

Monthly Members’ Meeting

The monthly VECTOR members’ meeting is the first Wednesday of every month.

The next 4 Monthly Members’ Meeting dates:
  • July 8 in Zoom virtual space at 18:30
  • August 5 at 18:30, in person to be decided. Note – Assistant Chief Jen Gjaltema plans to join us at this meeting.
  • September 2 at 18:30, in person to be decided
  • October 7 at 18:30, in person to be decided

Look for a link to the Zoom online conference room in your email ahead of the meeting to join remotely. You can sign up for upcoming members’ meetings in BetterImpact.