The Saskatoon Amateur Radio Association came into existence on April 7, 1931. A gathering of 15 enthusiastic Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) got together to draw up a constitution and apply for affiliation with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). A charter of affiliation was granted on November 2, 1931.
In May, 1933 the club sponsored a one-day event referred to as a Hamfest. This was the first of many annual conventions, where enthusiasts came together to participate in social and technical activities, demonstrations and contests. It is interesting to note that the total cost of this convention was $42.75 leaving a $5.85 surplus.
The years from 1934 to 1948 saw little activity. The Amateur Radio fraternity provided many persons with technical expertise to help with the war effort. In 1948 a nucleus of enthusiasts gathered again and changed the name to "Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club". Since 1948 the club has been actively promoting new membership, providing instruction to prospective Hams, and generally promoting amateur radio as a hobby and a source of public assistance in times of disaster.
Activities during the 1960s included radio experiments referred to as "Auroral Scatter". This project involved attempting to "bounce" very high frequency (VHF) signals off the Northern Lights (Aurora) and be heard by Ham stations in the Northern part of Canada. Successful contacts were made using Morse Code (CW) between Saskatoon and Yellowknife in April 1961. Some experiments using this technique continued at the University of Saskatchewan for many years due to the requirement that reliable radio communication to the Northern part of Canada was essential during the "Cold War".
Amateur Radio has been at the forefront of technical advances in communications as was demonstrated by "moon bounce" experiments conducted by Saskatoon Hams. An experiment in July, 1965, bounced signals off the moon that were successfully received by a Ham located in the south-eastern part of the United States.
Members of the Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club are currently involved in communications via satellite and are affiliated with an organization called AMSAT. AMSAT is responsible for a cooperative venture between the Amateur Radio fraternity and the American Space program (NASA) in the development and launch of satellites carrying amateur radio equipment. This program further enhances the technical and communications expertise of the participants.
Currently, the Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club is assisting the public school system in the development of a "Space" program where students simulate the launch of Space Shuttles and conduct experiments in simulated Space Stations. Along with this activity the club is helping to provide training and facilities for communication with the NASA Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).
Membership in the Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club varies between 50 and 80. New members are encouraged to become involved. Meetings are held on the second Saturday of every month (except July and August) beginning at 10:00AM at McClure United Church, 4025 Taylor St. E, Saskatoon.
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