Steplad­ders all over

‘HAM’ ra­dio op­er­a­tors in­vade south shore

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY - Diana Lariv­iere Diana Lariv­iere of Ar­gyle Shore is a free­lance writer and P.E.I. mar­riage com­mis­sioner. Her col­umn for The Guardian ap­pears in the news­pa­per on the last Satur­day of each month. She wel­comes com­ments, sug­gested top­ics for fu­ture col­umns and

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 is­landlife101@hot­mail.com.

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!

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