As you all know, I have been an Amateur Radio operator for many decades and run a very complete station from our home in Coaldale. As a ham I have been a member of the American Radio Relay League for many of those years too. Every year the ARRL puts on an event called Field Day. This is the 70th year that the event has been held and what it is is hams from all across North America take a couple of days to put together simulated emergency radio setups including off the grid power and antennas to communicate with as many other operators as they can in a 24 hour period.
This year, the Southern Alberta Amateur Radio Club (SAARC) of which I am a member, put together a club station with three radios and antennas and participated in the largest amateur radio event held here in North America. We setup our stations under a portable gazebo on a property owned by another ham and used portable generator power.
We had a bunch of operators participate including Cory VE6COR, Geoff VE6LSX, Tommy VE6TJB, Justin VE6JRD, Renze VE6DC, Blair VE6AGH, Terry VA6TMA, Tom VE6ARG (me), Roy VE6AWT and Louise VE6YOY and last but not least Ron VE6SCH. Cory is new to HF communications and because he is visually impaired it was an especially interesting event for him to participate in. He just got into it and was in till the bitter end on Sunday at noon.
The weather was variable but manageable and nothing got too wet when we were hit by a sudden summer thunderstorm. We just kept on operating through it and kept gathering those all important contact numbers.
Amateur radio has been my hobby since 1965 and I can honestly say I have more long term friends through this amazing hobby than through anything else I have done over the years. It has formed my life in terms of what I have done for a living and it is great to be able to still participate and give back to some of our newer hams through mentoring and training courses I teach at my home.
If you are interested in learning more about Amateur Radio, send me a note sometime and ask about the next course that I’ll be teaching in the fall of 2018. Come and join the fun and become a member of one of the most exclusive hobbies in the world. Out of the 37,000,000 people in our vast country, only 65,000 are licensed amateur radio operators. Now that’s exclusive.