From 10 a.m. Saturday June 24, 2017 to 10 a.m. Sunday June 25, 2017, the Coquitlam, Burnaby and New Westminster amateur radio clubs will be jointly conducting their annual Field Day at Coquitlam’s Blue Mountain Park, located at 975 King Albert Avenue.
The public is invited to stop by the Porter Street side of the Park to watch local radio amateurs of all ages as they set up antennas and radio equipment and make contacts with other operators from not only the Lower Mainland, but also from the thousands of local clubs across North America that will be active.
Last year more than 40,000 operators tested their skills in this most popular event of the “ham radio” calendar, which has been held annually in North America since 1933.
Using the call sign VE7SCC, operators will exchange contact information on radio voice bands, as well as by modern digital modes and by using morse code.
The exercises are a field test of the ability to perform mutual aid and support municipal and provincial government agencies in response to an earthquake, tsunami, floods, or other disasters. Amateur radio operators are certified and issued their licenses by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
This year at Blue Mountain Park, a local youth group plans to operate a “Get on the Air” (GOTA) station in order to familiarize themselves with operating techniques, strategies and procedures.
There will also be a demonstration of QRP operation, which is the challenge to make contacts using a minimal five watts of transmitter power, and there will also be radio operation using power from solar-charged batteries.
The emergency services mandate is to run autonomously in the event of emergencies in which power, telephone, internet and other civil services have been damaged. Using radios and computer software, radio amateurs connect and record activity with other stations inside and outside of the disaster area, including radio stations around the world.
Locally, amateur radio organizations provide backup communication for municipalities and the Province, and are an integral component of the planning, response and recovery during the first 72 hours of an emergency. Members who volunteer with Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) are vetted and are issued Provincial identification.
The Coquitlam Amateur Radio and Emergency Services Society (CARESS) has its main site in co-location with the BC Ambulance Station (BCAS) at the Riverview site.
The general public and news media are all welcome to stop by and view the event.