Nova Scotia

Ham radio club takes part in international event

A ham radio club in Halifax wrapped up a 24-hour competition with other ham radio operators spanning two continents on Sunday.

A ham radio club in Halifax wrapped up a 24-hour competition with other ham radio operators spanning two continents on Sunday.

The event was part of the 2011 American Relay Radio League's Field Day Weekend, an annual amateur radio exercise.

"Essentially what we do is contact as many stations as we can in a 24-hour period using a variety of modes including satellite, digital, ordinary voice communications and we use good old fashioned Morse code," said Wayne Harasimovitch, with the Halifax Amateur Radio Club.

The team that made the most contacts wins.

The Halifax club at the St. Andrew's Centre has 140 members of all ages.

John Goodwin has been a ham radio operator for 40 years and is now learning how to use new high-tech ham radios.

"It's firewall controlled with the laptop so that allows you to add on extra stuff later on, when you might want to add on more fancier knobs and stuff," said Goodwin.

Harasimovitch said ham radios still play a vital role today.

"Its reason for being is for emergency preparedness," said Harasimovitch. "In the event of a natural disaster or a manmade disaster, it's important for amateur radio operators to come forth and support their communities."

The Halifax Amateur Radio Club — call letter VE1FO — has a long history dating back to 1933 and is one of the oldest amateur radio clubs in Canada.

Members say it will be some time before results come in because the results have to be submitted to the American Radio Relay League in Connecticut.

now