Stepladders all over
‘HAM’ radio operators invade south shore
Is anyone noticing stepladders aplenty, strange looking aerials going up and wire being carefully strung across back gardens along the south shore?
Amateur radio (aka HAM) enthusiasts are up and running with renewed vigour.
In its initial stages in the late 19th century, the term “HAM” was coined to describe amateur radio operators. While there are different opinions of how the term was derived, the most popular appears to be that professional radio operators perceived their amateur counterparts as unskilled and inept; however, nothing could be further from the truth.
HAM radio requires an understanding of how radio waves operate and “bounce”, as well as knowledge in electronic components, wiring, math and much more in order to be li
censed. Although there is no longer a requirement to learn Morse Code many operators still undertake that daunting challenge.
Transatlantic radio “listening” communication first occurred in 1922, followed by the first two-way radio communication in 1923 between the U.K. and U.S. Although amateur radio communication was suspended during the Second World War, the war emergency radio service was developed by the military and interest resumed after the war.
Over the past century, amateur radio has evolved from being a way for individuals to communicate to being the most effective way to communicate with individuals and emergency crews in disaster areas. A cell phone and landline might be inoperative (like during 9-11) and the electricity might be off, but the HAM radio operator will be receiving and sending information.
The Amateur Radio Relay League of America recently hosted a field exercise, including P.E.I., to test out emergency communications in North America, and the P.E.I. Maritime Lighthouse Amateur Radio Group (MLARG) participated.
The MLARG was also in operation and communicating throughout the world during the re-opening of Point Prim lighthouse earlier this month. A repeat enactment is scheduled for the East Point lighthouse Aug. 18-20. Check out www.facebook.com/groups/MLARG.
In other south shore news, don’t miss the Crapaud Exhibiton today with fun for every age. Check out the results of the flowers, crafts, baking and other competitions. Consider entering a creation in 2018.
You might be able to catch the tail end of the UKI agility trials at For the Love of Dog in New Dominion. Check out firstname.lastname@example.org.
The monthly Ceilidh at the Bonshaw Hall is July 30, 7-9 p.m. Admission is by donation. Proceeds are to the P.E.I. Chapter Crohn’s and Colitis. Call 902-675-4093.
The TD Summer Reading Club continues at the Crapaud Library every Wednesday at 2 p.m. in August. Storytime, along with library hours, is changing to 10:30 a.m.
The annual P.E.I. Truck & Tractor Pull Championships is Aug. 4-5, presented by the Crapaud Exhibition Association and Esso Branded Distributor. Go to www.peitruckandtractorpull.com/.
Friends of the Crapaud Library are holding a booksale/ yardsale at the Crapaud Community Hall, Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations are still being accepted. Call 902-658-2297.
The Augustine Cove Women’s Institute and the South Shore United Church come together to satisfy your sweet tooth with a bake sale and ice cream social, Aug. 7, 4:30-7:30 p.m., at the South Shore United Church (Route 10). Admission is adults, $6; children under 10, $3.
The Tryon and Area Historical Society is hosting a special open house on Aug. 11, 2-6 p.m., celebrating the life of Edward Sharkey of North Tryon (1867 to 1970). Sharkey was born in the year of Confederation and lived to see the centennial of 1967. Call 902658-8837.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!