Christmas greetings from the Saskatoon Area reporter, Gordon, VE5UJ, who lives with Peggy, VE5ACT/VE5VJ on the farm a few km. from Strasbourg.
Now, I am almost as far from Saskatoon as one can get and still be considered in the “area,” but I do have almost weekly contact with others in the area via the 80 metre Saskatchewan Public Service Net, each evening at 0100UTC or 1900CST. Being that our power source, the sun is at the point of minimum activity in it’s 11 year solar cycle (or we are informed that is the situation) net operation after sundown on 80
metres is challenging at best.

Webmaster Val, VE5AQ has sent word that we have a short time to get these Christmas greetings posted, so that she can get them onto the website in time.

The other district hams that I have contact with are along highways #2, #20, #16 and #5. I have heard not a word from the Watrous group so I suppose all is well there but not much radio activity that I have heard about. Dwight, VE5CBK and Don, VE5IM are
waiting for me to show up for a visit I expect.

I have just this evening spoken with Dave, VE5RY from Humboldt. Radio operation for both himself and Karen, VE5BIX is a mobile activity only. Antenna problems beset the home station quite a while ago and HF and VHF antennas had to come down to allow rotator and base plate repair on Dave’s tower. Dave and Karen became grand parents a couple of years ago and life has become a bit busier.

Dave just attended a information session on solar energy and would like the replacement Humboldt repeater to be operated on that mode.

Eric, VE5EL from Englefeld was the repair person for Dave’s tower repair and any further progress would depend on Eric’s busy schedule, and weather of course.

Arnold, VE5HV lives in Jansen and being that we speak on the phone about every week, I feel qualified to report on some of his activities. Arnold's house is a bit more crowded these days with a group (dozen) vintage wooden cabinet radios from the 40s and 50s. Arnold had skipped the “vacuum tube era” in his radio journey and stepped directly into “solid state”, so there was a bit of a learning curve with this project. I call this “furthering  of ones education” ; some folks don’t see it that way. Now that Arnold’s home is no longer flooded with S9+ power line noise, his radios are beautiful to look at and to listen
to.

Arnold’s repeater on 146.82 – is working fine and he is awaiting calls from passing hams. Stop in for a coffee and meet “Cooter and Daisey” and maybe Arnold will play you a few guitar tunes from the 50s and 60s.

Brian, VE5BJM who does live South of the Saskatoon area is a regular on the Last Mountain repeater on 146.85 - . It was Brian’s UHF setup that years ago enabled VE5AT to join the 21 st century on the IRLP or Internet Repeater Linking Protocol. That feature  continued at Last Mountain until repeater battery capacity limited the time on the air andfinally Brian’s computer failed.

The usual voices heard these days from Last Mountain, VE5AT are Ned, VE5NED, Brian, VE5BJM, myself, VE5UJ and Arnold, VE5HV. New voices that show on occasion are Norm, VE5NEC and Ron, VE5AAX. Passers by are welcome and answered whenever I am monitoring.

I do some high frequency work, mostly CW in the off season and even the odd QSO during morning and afternoon “break” during the farming season. Our old medium frequency standby band from years ago, 160 metres has been exceptionally good (quiet) for the past 4 years or so and has been enjoyable for CW operation and DX as well. I  hear digital signals just above the CW segment of the band, so I think many differentmodes are making use of this band, even in summertime when static levels are low enough.

This is all that I can think of at the moment. Someone is sure to have been “left out” but Iwill write more later. Take care on the roads and thanks for all the great visits at the hamgatherings in 2019.                                             Gordon, VE5UJ.