CARA

Calgary Amateur Radio Association

Enjoy Amateur Radio | Serve Our Community


Club Station VE6AO

Station Status:  Available for in person and  remote use.  Contact the Club Station Team at stationteam@caraham.org if you would like to visit or operate the station. 

The club station is available to members to explore DXing, contesting and casual station operation on the HF, VHF and UHF bands using SSB, CW, RTTY, PSK, packet and other digital modes.

 


The club station's three main HF operating positions are named by tower location. The North station uses the north most 100 ft tower and the operating position is next to the window. To the left of it is the South station, which uses the south most 100 ft tower. Two positions to the left of the South station is the East station. It uses the 50 ft tower on the south east side of the lot.    

The club station VE6AO is activated during major contests, normally in the multi-single or multi-two categories and occasionally, multi-multi. The two main North and South stations consist of Yaesu FT-2000 transceivers, DU3500AL tuners and Alpha 9500 amplifiers. Heil boom headsets with HC-4 cartridges are used along with footswitches on SSB and Mircoham microkeyer USB interfaces to connect the radios to the computers and Bencher paddles for CW.

Auto band-switched Dunestar 600 filters, using Top Ten band decoders, keep the inter-station interference to a minimum.  W2IHY two band equalizers, with noise gates, keep the fan noise down between words.  Yaesu u-tune filters allow greater selectivity on some bands during contests and crowded band conditions.


Antennas on North and South 100 ft tower are three independently rotatable Bencher Skyhawks for 10/15/20 @ 101ft, 60ft and 30ft, two Cushcraft 402 CD for 40 meters @ 105 ft and 50 ft and a Cushcraft rotable WARC dipole fixed to the legs of the towers around 90 ft.   A WX0B 3 position stackmatch is used to phase the 3 tribanders and a 2 position stackmatch phases the two 40 meter beams.

Tic ring rotors turn the middle and lower triband yagis as well as the lower 40 meter beam. An Alpha Spid rotator turns the top tribander and 40 meter beam.  A ring of 30, 100 ft radials are attached to the ground system to support shunt feeding of the towers,  as a vertical on 160 meters.

Another 2 port WX0B stackmatch allows the antennas on both towers to be combined and fed in phase the single operator mode. A pair of relays switches the North station from the two operator to single operator configuration, resulting in 6 tribanders on 10/15/20 and 4 2 el monobanders on 40, with 40 M spacing between the two stacks of antennas.

The two towers, ΒΌ wave apart, can be operated as phased verticals on 160 meters using a WX0B 160M phasing box. 

The third HF position is known as the "East" station. It has an FT2000 radio and solid state SPE 2KFA Expert amplifier, which auto selects a 10/15/20 M System One tribander on a 50 ft tower or an 40/80 Mm fan dipole in an inverted V configuration.  

In addition to HF, there are two VHF/UHF operating positions. One position is primarily used for weak signal long distance VHF communications.  A Kenwood TS-2000 is remote controllable for operation on HF, 6m, 2m and 70 cm, in conjunction with KW level  power amplifiers and horizontal beam antennas on a 60 ft tower.

Several VHF radios are available on the second VHF position,  with vertical antennas on the North 100 foot and 60 ft VHF towers, which operate FM, DSTAR and DMR.

A satellite station using a Yaesu FT-847 with a computer controlled azmith and elevation controlled Yaesu rotor allow  2M and 70 cm satellite operation.  

The station's networked computers are used for logging using N1MM contest logging software. The operating positions normally connect to the local packet cluster through a cable Internet connection, thereby providing DX spots on the computer logging software for the band in use.

Wireless computer networking is available in the building and web cams monitor the doors and radio shack along with elaborate entry and security systems. Members and amateurs visiting Calgary are encouraged to contact the Club Station Team at stationteam@caraham.org to arrange a visit. 

In 1998, CARA applied to the Calgary Community Lottery Board for a grant and received a $15,000 grant, which was used to purchase and install the first 100' commercial guyed tower. Later funding has allowed development of the stations to their current state. CARA thanks the Calgary Community Lottery Board for its generosity and the Alberta Government’s Liquor and Gaming Commission’s charitable gaming program, for their continuing support.

Accessing VE6AO

Key Fob Agreement

The club station is available to members to explore DXing, contesting and casual station operation on the HF, VHF and UHF bands using SSB, CW, RTTY, PSK, packet and other digital modes.

To gain access to the club station please download and fill out a key fob agreement.  Members and non members can visit the station with out a key fob but will have to do so while a member with a fob is there.  If you wish to use the station when other members are not on site you will need to fill out this agreement.

You can download the agreement here: CARA Key Fob Agreement.pdf print, fill it out, scan and email it to stationteam@caraham.org.  There is a $10 refundable deposit for the key fob.






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