Amateurs in the News: CBC News article about recruiting Amateurs in The North (April 2020)Avery Zingel – CBC News – April 4, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a CBC news story written by Avery Zingel on April 4, 2020 but you can find the complete article online at the link provided below. Thanks for writing a great article Avery!

“The call for recruits went out this month, but with a pandemic keeping people at home, the online courses are filling up quickly”, said Ron Thompson, VE8RT. 

“Welder’s Daughter frontwoman, Karen Novak is planning to get her Amateur Radio licence.”

“Novak grew up on an acreage in Alberta and couldn’t get TV signals. She first took an interest in Amateur Radio because her parents owned many shortwave radios.”

“As a synthesizer specialist, I deal with tones and modulating sound. I tune into those frequencies a lot with my work, so this just takes it to a whole other level.” 

“Yuuri Daiku, VY1YU, is an Amateur Radio enthusiast in Whitehorse. He’s taught many students the ways of Amateur Radio through the Yukon Amateur Radio Association.”

“As a kid, he would dismantle and reassemble electronics and radios.” 

“In university, he mounted a small antenna to his fence in Victoria. He made a friend in Vancouver and they would talk about ‘anything and everything.” 

But Amateur Radio can be for more than just casual conversation.

“In the mid ‘80s, during a hurricane, Daiku worked with a network of operators to transmit critical information using a radio hooked up to a car battery. Daiku said establishing backup communications independent of the power grid can be useful in emergency situations, especially in the North, a region prone to outages.”

“In 2012, Amateur Radio operators delivered critical information during a power outage that took out telecommunications in the Yukon for several hours”.

Potential for network of operators in North

“Like Daiku, Angela Gerbrandt sees the value of amateur radios in a crisis. She decided to study for the radio operator’s test because she wants to be able to run emergency communications if her town of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, is ever in need.” 

“As communities are tested by the impacts of climate change, it will be useful to have a network of radio operators, she said.” 

“Gerbrandt said she hopes others in the communities will pursue their license. There is great potential to build a network of operators in Nunavut and around the North, she said.”

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