Field Day

Ham ra­dio clubs re­port suc­cess­ful ex­er­cise in Bay Roberts

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

The Up­per Trin­ity Am­a­teur Ra­dio Club was one of two groups who held their an­nual field day late last month. De­signed to test their com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ skills, the ex­er­cise helps en­sure their ser­vices will be avail­able in the event of any com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ emer­gency.

Two ham ra­dio clubs in the re­gion pulled off a suc­cess­ful ex­er­cise late last month that en­sured their ser­vices will be avail­able in the event of a com­mu­ni­ca­tions emer­gency.

The Bac­calieu Am­a­teur Ra­dio Klub - also known as BARK - and the Up­per Trin­ity Am­a­teur Ra­dio Club took part in Field Day on June 26-27 in Bay Roberts.

The North Amer­ica-wide event al­lows am­a­teur ra­dio op­er­a­tors to test their skills and equip­ment.

Dur­ing the 24-hour ex­er­cise, the roughly 17 op­er­a­tors who took part made some 100 con­tacts, mostly on con­tin­u­ous wave (CW), or Morse Code, said Rendyl God­win, the district co-or­di­na­tor with Am­a­teur Ra­dio Emer­gency Ser­vices and a res­i­dent of Heart‘s De­sire

“ Band con­di­tions weren’t that good, so CW was more ef­fec­tive,” said God­win.

The event was held at the tourist pavil­ion, where the clubs erected a 40-foot fiber­glass mast to hold their multi-band an­ten­nae.

The op­er­a­tors set up their ra­dio equip­ment and gen­er­a­tors and went on the air about 3:30 p.m. on Satur­day, and con­tin­ued un­til about 2:30 p.m. on Sun­day.

God­win said a hand­ful of cor­po­rate spon­sors help make the event a suc­cess.

The clubs will send their con­tact log to both the Ra­dio Amateurs of Canada and the Amer­i­can Ra­dio Re­lay League. Groups in St. John’s and St. An­thony also took part in the event, and the group mak­ing the most con­tacts will win the Small­wood Tro­phy, said God­win.

He said the re­sults won’t be fi­nal­ized for sev­eral months, but all three groups have won in the past.

God­win said the group im­proved on last year’s re­sults, but the num­bers could have been much bet­ter if con­di­tions were right.

“ The point is that in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion, those 100 con­tacts could take mes­sages and re­lay traf­fic,” he said.

The pur­pose of Field Day is to sim­u­late what hap­pens when an emer­gency or a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter knocks out con­ven­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tions meth­ods like land lines, cell­phones and the In­ter­net. In an emer­gency, am­a­teur ra­dio op­er­a­tors are usu­ally the first peo­ple to pro­vide c om m u n i c a t i o n s , G o dwy n ex­plained.

Set­ting up the mast for the an­ten­nae are, from left, Jim Barnes, Wayne Smith, Ross Trick­ett, Ge­orge Hopkins and Rendyl God­win.

Ra­dio op­er­a­tor Wayne Smith looks on as Lois Dawe of the Bay Roberts Tourist In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre gets on the air.

Wayne Smith op­er­ates C.W. (Morse Code), while Rendyl God­win logs his con­tacts.

Some of the am­a­teur ra­dio op­er­a­tors tak­ing part in Field Day last month in­clude, from left, Barry Har­ris, Wayne Smith, Ross Trick­ett, Dave Myrick, Jim Barnes, Rendyl God­win, Cur­tis Pynn, Ge­orge Hopkins and Boyd Snow.

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