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Welcome to MIRA

MIRA (Mid Island Radio Association) is an amateur radio (Ham Radio) club located along the north shore (east shore to locals) of Vancouver Island, Canada in the vicinity of Parksville and Qualicum Beach.  

We live in a beautiful region blessed with a mild (for Canada) climate between the Salish Sea to the north and mountains to the south.  Our local landforms are both a boon and a bane.  On one hand, mountains let us put our repeaters up high (Mount Arrowsmith is 5,968 ft. ASL) for great signal coverage.  On the other hand,  they block or cause multi-path interference for line-of-site VHF/UHF signals. 

The Salish Sea, on the other hand, is an all-around boon because it is lower than our radio stations, thereby giving us an uninterrupted signal to other radio stations across the water.

MIRA’s Playground: Oceanside Vancouver Island

Cyber Threat to Amateur Radio

YouTube Video – “The TRUTH About Ham Radio Clubs”

Interesting (and short) video worth checking out!

VE7RBB (VE7RPQ’s linked friend) is back!

Well, our intrepid repeater team has been back at it again. In the last week, the team visited the Errington Fire Hall #1 (just off the Port Alberni Highway) and installed the VE7RBB repeater pair in the radio room there. While VE7RPQ has a great coverage area, we also now have its twin brother operational as well. VE7RBB has an output frequency of 147.180 MHz, -600 KHz offset, and a 100 Hz tone. It is linked to the VE7RPQ repeater via UHF, so whatever is heard on RPQ is also heard on RBB and vice-versa.

Initial testing after setup showed some very strange, inconsistent results but Al M (VA7MP) was up at the radio room doing some power supply repairs and found a loose antenna connector. After it was tighted up, RBB returned to its usual clear self.

More changes are coming, so stay tuned!!!!

MIRA (VE7MIR) at Winter Field Day — Jan 27/28th

Winter Field Day is a fun and challenging event for amateur radio operators to practice portable emergency communications in winter conditions.  This year, it ran from 1100 PST Jan. 27th thru 1100 PST Jan. 28th. A hardy group of amateurs from MIRA took up the challenge once again!

We set up operations in the field at Rodney (VA7FB)’s home. It’s a great location in Fanny Bay with lots of room and very friendly spouse and dogs 🙂 !

Three stations were established:

VE7AX (Don 1) used his Icom IC-7200 on CW mostly 20M with some 10M (100W) on generator power.

VE7ATJ  (Don 2) ran his Yaesu FT991 on battery power with his Buddypole vertical running at first 20W and up to 50W on 15 M mostly USB but some CW (he’s working on it and making great progress).

VA7FB (Rodney) ran his Icom IC205 on generator power 10 W mostly USB on 20M.

We all ran under the callsign VE7MIR and did pretty well. Don (1) and Rodney were able to utilize a portable Wi-Fi network to simultaneously run N1MM to a singfle log. Don (2) ran paper log, but promises to interconnect next year! 🙂

Here are the final stats:

Total QSOs:  106

CW – 58, USB – 48

20M – 56

15M – 45

10M – 5

Total time actually on the air as designated by N1MM+: 4.5 hours

Accomplishments: 

  1. Not a bad QSO total under challenging conditions; QSOs were continent-wide with good signal reports.  Near Solar Max propagation helped, no doubt.
  • We were able to establish the WIFI N1MM logger+ connection with Al’s router and submit our combined VE7MIR log in the required Cabrillo format.  Don VE7ATJ figured out a way of entering his hand logged QSOs into N1MM+ after we got home – a bit painful but it worked. Thanks, Don T.!  I didn’t think it could be done.
  • Don VE7ATJ’s Buddipole vertical worked very well.  My OCF dipole also worked better than I remember from Summer FD.  I am going to try to reconfigure my own Buddipole (which has never seemed to work very well) as a vertical like Don’s.
  • Rodney VA7FB has been working very hard to get into computer logging with N1MM+ and has finally achieved his goal thanks in no small part to Don VE7ATJ’s computer savvy and coaching.
  • WFD was a nice respite from the winter doldrums – fresh air, lots of exercise, great companions.  We defied the dismal weather forecasts. 

More info and pictures are available in the Blog Entry (see top of right hand column).

Extending the range of VE7RPQ!

Thanks to our Repeater Engineer Extrordinaire, Jeff Stanhope (VA7JPS), we now have more access to our Mt. Cokely repeater for our neighbours to the south!

A new simplex remote base has been added to the VE7RPQ repeater system — located on Mt. Benson, just north of Nanaimo. What this means is that hams in the far southern reaches of the Oceanside area (e.g. Nanoose Bay, Lantzville and North Nanaimo) now have a way to join us at the Breakfast Bunch each morning and our Sunday morning nets.

As stated above, the remote base link operates in simplex mode (no offset required) on a frequency of 147.400 MHz with a 100Hz tone. It is directly linked to VE7RPQ on Mt. Cokely, so whatever is broadcast by RPQ will automagically be rebroadcast on 147.400 MHz from Mt. Benson. And vice-versa — whatever Mt. Benson hears will automatically be rebroadcast on VE7RPQ!

It’s a great expansion of our coverage area and we are most grateful to Jeff and the Island Repeater Coordination group for letting us set this up. Enjoy!

Oceanside Emergency Communications Team (OECT) YouTube Links

The OECT operates as part of Oceanside Emergency Support Services (OESS) within the Oceanside area. Below are two recently produced informational videos available on YouTube:

OECT Volunteer Radio Operators Provide Critical Support in an Emergency

72 Hours: Are You Prepared? With Emergency Management Oceanside

New MIRA Blog Posts

Access the newest Blog Posts via the RSS Feed list on the right side of every page. They are listed in order of newest to oldest.  To see all Blog Posts, go to the MIRA Blog Page. Use Categories to choose an author or subject matter.

Informational Resources Page

An “Informational Resources” page has been added to the menus. This page will contain links to ham-related resources that you might find helpful. Check it out by clicking on the “Links” menu item above and then “Informational Resources”.

Join Us

We’re a friendly bunch, and we always provide a warm welcome to visitors and amateur radio operators moving to or residing in the area.  If you or anyone you know is interested in joining our club, we have a member ready and willing to help you out.  For more information, or to join a Saturday Coffee ZOOM, send an email to Dave (VA7QED):

contact@midislandamateurradioassociation.ca 

Coffee Klatches

Saturday Morning Coffee Klatch – Every Saturday Morning at 10:00 am.

Our Saturday Coffee Klatch is a way for members to catch up and socialize. We gather for coffee at the Quality Foods in Qualicum Beach from 10am until around 11:30 am.

For those who wish to continue with ZOOM, a parallel ZOOM coffee klatch will take place every Saturday morning from 10:00 am until noon.

There is also an informal Coffee Klatch at the Parksville McDonalds on the 19A Highway at 10 am on Wednesdays.

 “Built specifically for amateur radio operators by an amateur radio operator (VE7DXE) with input from several amateur radio operators in the Greater Victoria area,” “Ham Shack is a great alternative to on-site Ham Radio swap and shops.”  While giving MIRA members an alternative to in-person equipment sales, Ham Shack increases MIRA’s exposure to the wider Pacific Northwest Amateur Radio Community. 

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