Over the past several years, it has become apparent that many who have managed to obtain their Canadian amateur radio certification have yet to get on the air. Those of us who teach or help to facilitate the courses are quite discouraged by this and have decided to try to both understand why this is and to do something about it. After all, we would like to see more of you having fun with the hobby.

To this end, we have formed SASTAR: Southern Alberta Support Team for Amateur Radio. Through a combination of online sessions and hopefully (when safe), some personal one on one time, we would like to extend a helping hand to get you on the air and pursue whichever aspects of ham radio you prefer. SASTAR is willing to host Q&A sessions (via Zoom), post resources on a website, and help guide you to the information that you need. We realize that new hams can be overwhelmed by too much information and turned off by not having an experienced ham help them get set up. By having Zoom sessions, we hope that we can get to know each other better and fill this void. In the old days, we called it “Elmering”.

Please note that SASTAR is not affiliated with any club or organization and has come together solely to try to provide support where it may appear lacking. There are no dues and nothing to join. We are doing this simply because we enjoy ham radio and want to share that enjoyment with those who are missing out (in our estimation). As for limiting ourselves to Southern Alberta, this is because we hope to have Elmers available in person when safe.

In addition, there is an email group on Groups.io that you can join where you’ll receive notices of upcoming sessions and other group discussions. It’s a place to post your questions to the reflector as well.

You can join the Sastar Users Group by visiting https://groups.io/g/sastar and creating an account, or by sending a blank email to sastar+subscribe@groups.io.

Jerry VE6TL