An article by Laura Churchill Duke in the Tuesday, April 16, 2019 issue of the Halifax newspaper, The Chronicle Herald, featured a story about Amateur Radio operators in Atlantic Canada.
The article provided a glimpse into Amateur Radio from the perspectives of the following Nova Scotia Amateurs:
- Wayne Blenkhorn, VE1BAB, of Port Williams, Nova Scotia
- Fred Archibald, VE1FA, of Port Williams, Nova Scotia
- Arthur Hamilton, VE1GG, of Kentville, Nova Scotia
- Lysle Anderson, VE1BZE, of Steam Mill, Nova Scotia
- Greg Ross, VE1HGR, Melanson, Nova Scotia
- Jacob Hartenhof, VE1EN, Coldbrook, Nova Scotia
“George Lewis, of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, spent decades in his study, tuning the frequency dials, talking to other ham radio operators around the world. His daughter, Lana Churchill (the author’s mother), of Port Williams, Nova Scotia, remembers fondly sitting quietly, reading, listening to the hum of the radio, watching her father hard at work at his hobby.”
“Amateur Radio operators, also known as ham radio operators, have been exploring the airwaves since the 1800s, first using the dots and dash system of Morse code. Over time, ham radio operation has evolved to use a single sideband frequency for voice transmission, and now to an FT8 digital mode to communicate through a computer to send text-based messages.”
Fred Archibald, VE1FA, from Canard, Nova Scotia, said: “There are many challenges that operators like to participate in, says Archibald. For example, on Canada Day, there is a country-wide challenge to see how many other Canadians you can reach, and if you can find someone in every province and territory. Many relationships have been formed from these international connections over the airwaves.”
“Wayne Blenkhorn of Port Williams, Nova Scotia, is a retired radio operator with the Canadian Navy. He knows Morse code like a second language and connects with other operators through this system.”
“Lysle Anderson, VE1B2E, of Steam Mill, Nova Scotia, says he was working in a mission hospital in Kenya in the early 1990s where he met the president of the Kenya Amateur Radio Club. Later, back in Canada, Anderson says he was listening to the airwaves and was surprised to find his Kenyan friend.”
Greg Ross, VE1HGR, of Melanson, Nova Scotia, says you “are never too old to learn the hobby”, speaking from experience as he earned his licence post retirement. “I had always been interested in ham radio operation, since I was a teen, but I just never had the time, opportunity or resources to try it until now.”
And to those just starting out, Jacob Hartenhof, VE1EN, Coldbrook, Nova Scotia, advises not to give up. He says it can get boring at times, waiting to make that connection, but once you do, it’s worth it.
To help introduce people to the hobby, there is an open Field Day every June in Port Williams, Nova Scotia where radios and antennas are set up and visitors have a chance to see how it works and try it. This year’s event is June 22 and 23. Go online to find your nearest club.
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Thanks to VE1CK for the lead.