SAARC ham radio annual field day
By Pieter van Ewijk
The Southern Alberta Amateur Radio Club (SAARC) will be hosting its annual field day, together with the LSCO Ham Radio Club, at 11 a.m. on June 25 to noon on June 26 at Coyote Flats Pioneer Village, located at the Prairie Tractor and Engine Museum near Picture Butte.
Come out and see us, and learn more about ham radio — who knows, you might just get to talk to someone in a foreign country.
Ham radio, as a hobby, has been around since the early years of the last century.
The hey day was from the late 1930s to the 1970s. A decline started in the 1980s, when new forms of mass communications started to become more affordable and more readily available.
Thank goodness there are some of us die-hards who continue the tradition, as it is still valued in times of emergency. We are part of a number of emergency preparedness plans, and ham radio played a big role in emergency communications during the High River flooding — ham radio operators were stationed at certain intervals and at strategic locations to provide communications when the cell towers were overloaded or turned-off to all non-emergency traffic.
Even today, we maintain a regular net of repeaters, hold weekly net-meetings, and often have our radios on to listen to, or respond to, emergencies.
Our annual field day weekend, the fourth weekend in June, is a world-wide event — a time when operators make as many contacts as they can for the contest that runs from noon Saturday until noon Sunday.
Many operators try out new equipment, build new antennas, and some specialize in using or developing alternate sources of power, such as solar, wind or water to generate the electricity needed to operate their rigs.
“Coyote Flats Pioneer Village is an ideal place to have our annual Field Day,” said Pieter van Ewijk — with the call sign VE6PLV. He is also the current president of SAARC.
“It allows us the opportunity to have a camp-out, to set up and space out our antennas needed for operating on the different bands (radio frequencies), and it is a great place to visit and just wander around as well. Come join us for this event,” he added.