Island hobbyists gather in Charlottetown for Country Day

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Amateur or amateur radio can be thought of as outdated technology and simply a hobby.

But for Brent Taylor, a member of the PEI Amateur Radio Group, this technology still has practical and important relevance today.

“Our usual communications infrastructure that we rely on so much, like cell phones or mobile data, that the whole system can go down at any time,” Taylor said.

“And, when it does, many of us would be handicapped as far as our ability to communicate or educate people on health and safety issues or disaster issues.”

“Amateur radio is designed to overcome all of these obstacles and stay on the air.”

Brent Taylor says amateur radio skills are important in natural disasters when other communication technologies are not operational. (Nicole Williams / CBC)

Taylor and other members of the PEI Amateur Radio Group were at the Canadian Red Cross building in Charlottetown to participate in the annual Field Day event, where amateur radio operators from across North America communicate with each other. the last weekend of June for 24 hours. period.

Taylor has been a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator since 1984. Taylor enjoys amateur radio because it allows him to communicate with people thousands of miles away. But Field Day is also an opportunity to practice radio communication skills in an emergency or natural disaster, he said.

“We practice to make sure we can stay on air even if we lose electricity or lose our regular communications,” Taylor said.

One aspect that Michael Morrison appreciates about amateur radio is its inclusiveness for people with disabilities. (Nicole Williams / CBC)

Michael Morrison is also in the group and has been a licensed radio operator since 1980. As someone with cerebral palsy, Morrison said that one aspect of ham radio that appeals to him is its inclusiveness.

“I meet people from all walks of life, all over the world and I can meet them on an equal footing,” he said.

“It’s a hobby that you can do, even when you’re not able-bodied like my age. There are a lot of hams that have physical or visual disabilities, but it’s a hobby that doesn’t. no discrimination. “

The annual Field Day event ends Sunday at 3 p.m.


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