“Is WARA a VHF only club?”

28 May

Dear WARA member, The question “Is WARA a VHF only club?” is often asked and the answer is usually ‘yes’. As with any organization there is a lot of history involved and WARA is what it is because of that history, but it does not have to remain that way.

Amateur radio is changing in many ways and HF operation is a major part of that change. The hobby has gone from the time of spark gap transmitters with coherer detectors to what can only be described as sophisticated equipment and techniques. Equipment today is often micro-processor based with digital signal processing and digital transmission/reception, as well as conventional CW and SSB. One thing that has not changed is the need for an operating station, at the very minimum a transceiver and antenna.

It wasn’t long ago that most amateurs would have such a station. Sometimes little more than a broom closet to contain the equipment with maybe a dipole or end fed wire somewhere in the backyard. Others more sophisticated of course. Often the biggest problem encountered would be neighbours complaining that their TV reception was being mangled when the amateur transmitted.

Today things are somewhat different. More and more amateurs are living in strata type housing where outside antennas are prohibited, and the problem of electrical noise generated by much consumer equipment can render the HF bands almost non-useable particularly at a sunspot minimum as we are now.

So how does WARA move from being a VHF only organization to one that supports HF operation as well? Is there any desire among club members that WARA should even become involved in HF activities? If the answer to the above questions is a yes then perhaps WARA should have some form of club station available for members use. There are various ways in which this could be implemented and a few suggestions are listed below, although not intended to limit possibilities.

– Obtain a property where a station and antennas can be located.
– One possibility is to rent part of a farmer/landowners property
– Perhaps through personal contacts even at no cost
– Maybe a WARA member has property on which he/she would allow WARA to
install a station.
– Depending on what can be obtained maybe operation would/could be used remotely.

At one time club stations were not uncommon and some still exist. Very close to home in Richmond BC the Richmond Amateur Radio Club has its own station located in Steveston. Go to rarclub.ca to see a photograph of the trailer and tower and read about it, including its history. Why couldn’t WARA have something similar?

If you do believe that WARA should have some form of HF capability and are prepared to be part of a small group to make it happen, then please contact me or any Board member so we can pursue it further. Thank you, Brent Besse va7bnb@shaw.ca

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