VECTOR May 2020 News

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Previous newsletters can be found in the archive.

Our next members’ meeting is May 6 and will be held online using Zoom. Please register in BetterImpact if you will be attending. Make sure you have updated your Zoom software.

Vector COVID-19 Update and Major Civic Event Status

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

The order from the public health officer about limiting large public gatherings through the summer due to COVID-19 has effectively removed any need for VECTOR at the large civic events we usually serve. Spring / Summer festivals and events that draw large crowds have been cancelled in Vancouver, including:

We still need to learn how smaller civic events intend to respond to the pandemic restrictions.

The COVID-19 pandemic situation forces us to use physical distancing, and compels us to use remote technology, including our radios, for our team activities.

Because of this, we suspended planned work on site equipment at our primary radio room and other sites which need people to work physically close together. We have also postponed in-person learning activities for non-members and are using a teleconferencing platform to host learning activities for members.

Thank you for doing your part to protect vulnerable members and keep yourself healthy.

Looking for First Nations Contact

Vector is interested in connecting to our First Nations communities, particularly Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. We have approached a few sources in the city for advice about who to speak to, but so far haven’t got very far with this idea. If you have some First Nations connections or ideas on how to proceed, we would welcome your input. We would like to explore deeper connections with First Nations in ways that meet the First Nations at current circumstances without assuming a path forward.

Notes from the Monthly Board Meeting FYI

  1. We have decided to request that the city of Vancouver give VECTOR more time to find ways to get volunteers to accept the CoV waiver. Jesse will contact Davin Fung, CoV, to confirm whether marking volunteers inactive in VVC (enterprise database) affects status in VECTOR database.
  2. We will hold some practice workshops in the Zoom Room (radiogram review, voice practice, data setup, DSA Awareness, radio contact practice, instructional nets, etc). We want to encourage members also to get radios.
  3. VECTOR will renew the 2020 insurance for the CERV for storage and use. Mike or Hiroshi(keyholders) will evaluate how well members can access the CERV in advance of setting out to use the CERV systems to join the communications checks in 2020. Tyson will get keys.
  4. PICs & 5-year residency: We have added two membership requirements: 1) for minimum age 19; and 2) for residency in Canada for the last 5 years. Discussion: it is not possible for VECTOR to evaluate the risk to public safety posed by a candidate based on a VPD PIC and vulnerable sector check of less than 5 years in Canada, an overseas ‘PIC’, and interviews with overseas references and the candidate individually. Note we will apply this retroactively.
  5. Linda is leading to collaborate on Google Docs to draft a revised MOU to adapt to our current reality without VVC, including how ‘City Volunteers’ relate to VECTOR.
  6. Spending funds (while in a holding pattern: VECTOR would like to begin assigning members to take on elements from our Gaming Grant Proposal.
  7. Field Day Bi-weekly Zoom sessions: We are reviewing our existing Field Day Plans and preparing to offer Field Day under the emerging pandemic conditions with alternatives so that we can build capacity in members and give members some degree of normalcy.
  8. VPD/VEMA/VECTOR Strategy:(on hold due to COVID-19) Coordinate with Kirsten Jasper, Manager, Operational Readiness, VEMA (Vancouver Emergency Management Agency) to arrange initial strategy chat with VECTOR representatives.
  9. Response funding for COVID-19: We want to investigate how to fully remotely access VECTOR equipment at the Radio Room so that we can operate our required communications bands when we cannot access our in-person stations, with the potential to invest VECTOR funds in 2020 to complete the system.

Upcoming Training & Practice Opportunities

  • Net Control Operator training

    If you’ve checked in to the VECTOR weekly Wednesday night net, then you’ve participated in a directed net under the supervision of a Net Control Operator (NCO). The NCO training sessions will take you from being a participant to being that operator.

    A commitment of one Wednesday night a month (from approximately 19:30 to 21:00) for about 9 months is required. The schedule consists of:

    • 3 months of receiving training during the weekly net from a current NCO.
      Each month you will work with a different NCO as you progress from monitoring to running the net.
    • 3 months on the weekly net rota and running the net without assistance
    • 3 months of helping to train the next batch of incoming net control trainees

    After successfully completing the NCO training further opportunities for running nets during events and exercises become available to you.

    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 be in contact once viral circumstances permit.

  • Radio Skills Course

    The next Radio Skills Course will be offered on Mondays, from October 26 to November 23. Consideration is being given to add one classroom session bringing the total to five evenings. Four instructional nets will be held on Thursday evenings rather than Wednesdays to avoid conflicts with VECTOR nets and our members’ meeting.

    Feedback from past and prospective participants is welcome as well as from members who have yet to attend. Please share your thoughts on what would facilitate or encourage your participation as well as what might be hindering it.

    Members interested in delivering course modules are also invited to reach out.

    Please email your comments and questions to:

  • On-Air Radio Activities

    Listen for activities on our repeaters or in Zoom to practice your skills, learn more and keep connected. Look for activities on our calendar. Contact Kevin (VE7SFA) and Jessé (VE7DET) to get involved.

Upcoming Service Opportunities

  • Future VECTOR Investment Projects

    Please help us figure out how to build our dream projects, to make VECTOR stronger. We need volunteers to plan and initiate steps to make each of these dreams happen: to bring together a concept and cost summary. We’ll use these plans to order parts we can use next year to build our dreams.

    Dreams we know:

    • High speed links at Fire Hall 5 to TEL and HAMWAN
    • 5 new “next gen” grab-n-go kits
    • Replace outdated and old donated items
    • High speed data links between our sites
    • Full remote control of our Radio Room systems
    • Multiple Winlink receiving stations
    • Wi-Fi bubble and email intake system

    Which dream can you help build? Contact Jessé (VE7DET) to learn how you can help.

  • Summer Civic Events Planning

    (CANCELLED CANCELLED CANCELLED NEVER MIND) The order from the public health officer on 2020-04-18 about limiting large public gatherings through the summer due to COVID-19 has effectively removed any need for VECTOR at the large civic events we usually serve. Spring / Summer festivals and events that draw large crowds have been cancelled in Vancouver

  • Field Day Planning

    VECTOR Day Planning Huddle on Thursday at 18:30

    Let’s create a cross-city special event for the start of July. Join the chat in the VECTOR Zoom Room on Thursdays to work out details. We want your input: should we call it VECTOR Day? How would you imagine we could exchange structured messages on simplex across the City?

    At the last member session, we decided to give everyone space to focus independently on Field Day. To give us a chance to come together on air, we decided to run a special net across the city two weeks later on 2020-07-04. The idea will crystallize in these weekly huddles.

    See you Thursday for a couple of hours. We are working on the project in the ‘Team-VECTORDay’ folder on Google Drive. Sign up in Better Impact

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
April 29 4 146.580 MHz simplex
May 6 201 (VE7RVK) 224.640 MHz, -1.6 MHz offset
May 13 4 146.580 MHz, Simplex 1
May 20 401 (VE7RVU) 443.725 MHz, 5 MHz offset, 88.5 Hz tone
May 27 20 (VE7RVZ) 147.200 MHz, 0.6 MHz offset, 100.0 Hz tone

Monthly Members’ Meeting

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

The next 3 Monthly Members’ Meeting dates:
  • May 6 online using Zoom at 18:30
  • June 3 online using Zoom at 18:30
  • July 1 in person to be decided at 18:30
  • August 5 in person to be decided at 18:30

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.