Ham radio clubs report successful exercise in Bay Roberts
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.