- Written by: Alexey Tikhomirov (VY0ERC)
- Hits: 10
VY0ERC is scheduled to get back on the air from Eureka, Ellesmere Island (NA-008), Nunavut this Fall. The team (VE1RUS and VE3KTB) is now in preparation to depart to Eureka on October 11, 2021. As soon as the first antenna is erected, VY0ERC will get on the air. The station will be active on HF bands in CW, SSB and digital modes till November 22, 2021 (time permitting).
Participation in CQ WW SSB and the ARRL Sweepstakes is scheduled.
Operations via FM and SSB satellites are also planned.
- Written by: Administrator
- Hits: 64
The Yellowknife Amateur Radio Society had its Annual General Meeting on 1 August 2021. A new Executive was elected. It is that time of year again when membership dues are payable.
Some members have queried what they get for their membership. Membership dues are the primary source of revenue for the Society. Members are entitled to confirm this at any time by looking at the Society's Financial Statements and books. Membership dues are used to pay for
- maintenance of the repeaters (VE8YK, VE8RAE and the experimental Yaesu Fusion repeater);
- new equipment purchases (e.g. the Fusion repeaters, the 2 m Quad Yagi antennas, the YARS fibreglass mast);
- components used to refurbish equipment (such as the VE8RAE repeater, the ICOM 706 at VE8PAT etc.);
- materials to run courses or support prospective amateur operators (textbooks, supplies, etc.);
- logistics support for contests and exercises (groceries, fuel, batteries (e.g. fox hunts));
- subscription to internet service providers for the website;
- affiliate status with Radio Amateurs of Canada;
- social events (but not for any alcohol, tobacco or cannabis*);
You may find the renewal form at: http://www.ykars.com/images/PDF%20Documents/membership%20190818.pdf . This form includes some personal information, which the Society will safeguard and not share outside of the Society without permission.
*For those in countries other than Canada (and a few others), the consumption of cannabis is legal in the Northwest Territories - see Cannabis Products Act, SNWT 2018,c.6.
- Written by: Administrator
- Hits: 208
Field Day 2021 was run from an industrial compound in Kam Lake this year. Over the last year, VE8WD, VE8MT and VE8MN refurbished a trailer carrying mast (and trailer) and mounted an HF YAGI onto it. For Field Day it was put into operation and the results were stunning. The log sheet and supporting documentation are at:
Approximately 414 contacts (or QSOs) were made using 100W or 10W for digital contacts. The aim of this year's contest was not to maximize scoring but rather to test out the antenna and mast. Modes included SSB, CW, PSK31 and FT8.
The following weekend, we worked the Canada Day contest. The results were just as impressive and included 312 contacts. The logs follow:
- Written by: Administrator
- Hits: 256
A Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Website
Around 2012 the Yellowknife Amateur Radio Society (YARS) decided to take control of its domain name and to build its own website, rather than contracting that out. This was a cost-saving measure but also a way in which to abandon the use of the increasingly defunct FrontPage software used to maintain HTML pages on the site. One can see the original site by looking up YKARS.COM in the Wayback Machine.
In 2012 we decided to make use of Joomla 1.3, an open source content management (CMS) program. The use of a CMS is how most modern websites operate and others in use include WordPress and Drupal. In 2012 Joomla was one of the most popular. In 2020 WordPress (which is actually a blog system rather than a proper CMS) was used by about 40.4% of websites on the Internet, followed by Shopify and then Joomla. On 17 August 2021, Joomla released Joomla 4.0. We decided to abandon Joomla 1.3 and work with Joomla 4.0.
On 23 August 2021 we deactivated the old site and embarked on creating a new site under Joomla 4.0 and its upgrades. All links on the website are gradually being verified and articles put through an editorial review. We will also be installing and using a mass mailing system that conforms to Canada's anti-SPAM legislation. Persons may subscribe. Also we will be setting up a blog type newsletter to replace our old newsletter, The Ensign. That newsletter was discontinued and taken off-line around 2015 for various reasons, despite its popularity.
Please be patient with us as this website develops. We are not web developers, so we have a steep learning curve to deal with. At the moment the default Templates in Joomla 4.0 are being used. This might change eventually.
Category Organization Follows Incident Command System (ICS)
This website is structured using the Incident Command System (ICS). That system is a standardized approach to the command, control and coordination of emergency response, providing a common hierarchy that can be used amongst multiple emergency response agencies. It is scalable up or down and so can be used in a relatively small organization such as YARS or a huge organization such as the armed forces. Those in the armed forces might see a similarity to the General Staff System (GSS), based on the 19th century French army system.
The ICS and its adoption by YARS is a key component to our orientation to emergency preparedness and our function in emergency management or civil defence.
The ICS is also an important management tool mentioned in the Northwest Territories Emergency Plan (2018):
6.2 Incident Command System
The Incident Command System (ICS) is an incident management tool designed as a standardized and
coordinated approach to managing emergencies that provides functional interoperability at all levels of
emergency management. ICS breaks up tasks into functional areas of Command, Operations, Planning,
logistics and Finance/Administration. The NWT EMO has adopted ICS as its response model for the
purposes of the NWT Emergency Plan.
The image gallery has been downloaded and installed and populated by images from about 2003 to present. They are arranged in yearly albums and sometimes in sub-albums if there are enough images. These images are a form of record-keeping of the activities of YARS. We have also discovered that they can be used as an image library for the website.
We have systematically reviewed all articles, adding new articles and corrected most broken links. If you think that an article should appear or have comments, let Ian Rennie know. Registered users have the ability to login to our system and submit articles. They will be put through an editorial process before they are published.
- Written by: Administrator
- Hits: 47
What is the Aurora?
The aurora borealis or Northern Lights is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs in the northern hemisphere of the planet. It also occurs in the southern hemisphere where it is known as the aurora australis. Aurora are known to exist on comets, brown dwarfs, other planets and on some moons. Aurora are caused by solar wind interacting with magnetic fields and atmospheric particles. Atmospheric particles become energized and form what is known as plasma. Plasma is energized or ionized gas. It is the fourth state of matter and has been so identified since about 1972. Yes, your high school teachers who taught you the three states of matter were...well...not current in their physics. You see plasma every day when you see the sun, an operating fluorescent light or an operating neon light.
Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction of matter with electromagnetic radiation. Recall that light is electromagnetic radiation of which the radio spectrum is just a portion. Analysis of the light from the aurora reveals different colours and these colours are unique signatures of the elements that compose the upper atmosphere. From Wikipedia, the colours of the aurora have the following significance:
- Red: At its highest altitudes, excited atomic oxygen emits at 630 nm (red); low concentration of atoms and lower sensitivity of eyes at this wavelength make this color visible only under more intense solar activity. The low number of oxygen atoms and their gradually diminishing concentration is responsible for the faint appearance of the top parts of the "curtains". Scarlet, crimson, and carmine are the most often-seen hues of red for the auroras.
- Green: At lower altitudes, the more frequent collisions suppress the 630 nm (red) mode: rather the 557.7 nm emission (green) dominates. A fairly high concentration of atomic oxygen and higher eye sensitivity in green make green auroras the most common. The excited molecular nitrogen (atomic nitrogen being rare due to the high stability of the N2 molecule) plays a role here, as it can transfer energy by collision to an oxygen atom, which then radiates it away at the green wavelength. (Red and green can also mix together to produce pink or yellow hues.) The rapid decrease of concentration of atomic oxygen below about 100 km is responsible for the abrupt-looking end of the lower edges of the curtains. Both the 557.7 and 630.0 nm wavelengths correspond to forbidden transitions of atomic oxygen, a slow mechanism responsible for the graduality (0.7 s and 107 s respectively) of flaring and fading.
- Blue: At yet lower altitudes, atomic oxygen is uncommon, and molecular nitrogen and ionized molecular nitrogen take over in producing visible light emission, radiating at a large number of wavelengths in both red and blue parts of the spectrum, with 428 nm (blue) being dominant. Blue and purple emissions, typically at the lower edges of the "curtains", show up at the highest levels of solar activity. The molecular nitrogen transitions are much faster than the atomic oxygen ones.
- Ultraviolet: Ultraviolet radiation from auroras (within the optical window but not visible to virtually all[clarification needed] humans) has been observed with the requisite equipment. Ultraviolet auroras have also been seen on Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
- Infrared: Infrared radiation, in wavelengths that are within the optical window, is also part of many auroras.
- Yellow and pink are a mix of red and green or blue. Other shades of red, as well as orange, may be seen on rare occasions; yellow-green is moderately common.[clarification needed] As red, green, and blue are the primary colors of additive synthesis of colors, in theory, practically any color might be possible, but the ones mentioned in this article comprise a virtually exhaustive list.
Effect on HAM Radio
The penultimate bullet above is intriguing. The radio spectrum goes from about 30 Hz to 300 GHz. 300 GHz is at the far end of the infrared range but also at the higher end of the regulated radio spectrum. It is only natural that the effects of the aurora will be evident in radio communications - both directly and from the effects on the upper atmosphere (where radio waves are refracted off the layers of the upper atmosphere). It is possible to hear radio emissions from extra-terrestrial aurora - for example the planet Jupiter's aurora interacts with the aurora of its moons. NASA runs an interesting high school level project to detect the aurora by radio - Project Jove - where one builds a radio telescope and sends the data back to NASA. For amateur radio operators, we would call these signals QRN (natural noise) and they can be detected around 29 MHz. Sometimes the terrestrial aurora results in something called auroral flutter and can wipe out HF communications. For amateur radio operators the effects of the aurora are evident all year round. This is one of many atmospheric challenges that operators face in the North and why the VE8 callsign prefix (along with VY1 and VY0) are so rare to hear.
Aurora for Yellowknife
The City of Yellowknife has built up a bit of a reputation as a tourist destination for aurora viewing. Astronomy North maintains a website and promotes the aurora. It is an outreach educational organization and a partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, University of Calgary (physics department), Government of the Northwest Territories and City of Yellowknife. On the Home Page of YARS' website there is a Canadian government space weather RSS feed.
- Auroral flutter an interesting phenomenon - KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog
- The Sound of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) - YouTube
- Listening to Northern Lights - YouTube
- Hubble Captures Vivid Auroras in Jupiter’s Atmosphere | NASA
- Aurora Forecast - City of Yellowknife