Maple Ridge Amateur Radio Club Still Loud On The Air – Maple Ridge News

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While some residents of Maple Ridge play Call of Duty to pass the time during their quarantine, others set out to use fairly useful technology during the great wars of the 20th century to spend theirs.

“It’s designed for this type of situation,” said John Mills, president of the Maple Ridge Amateur Radio Club, of his favorite hobby during quarantine.

“Most of us would just as well like to sit and play on our radios. We travel the world without leaving our homes.

The club, which started with four members in the late 1960s, has grown to over 60.

Although their weekly face-to-face meetings have stopped, everyone is still in touch as well.

“It’s mostly about touching the base and seeing how everyone is doing,” said Mills, who can be contacted at his call sign of VA7JPM.

They run a network, or a live gathering of amateur radio operators, every Wednesday evening, where members talk about their facilities and equipment, or contact other cities via the internet, to see how others are doing. clubs.

“Recently our club ran one of our networks with a sister club in Australia,” Mills said.

“One of the things we can do on our system is we can talk to our local radio repeater, and through that go through a repeater in Australia, so we had a conversation of about two and a half hours with people there who are also locked.

“It was interesting to see that their experiences are very similar to ours. “

Amateur radio has played an important role in emergency coordination, and the local club is no exception.

Mills said they were responsible for performing regular tests on emergency operations radio systems for Pitt Meadows, located in City Hall, and Maple Ridge, located in the fire hall.

“If there was an emergency, our club would not be specifically involved in managing the emergency,” said Mills.

“But we would be involved in the humanitarian aspects of that, in terms of reconnecting people.

“We are prepared with our equipment, so we can run on batteries or a generator, and go to any center we need and do communication there. This is a role that amateur radio has played almost since the inception of radio.

With the majority of the club over 45, Mills said they would really like to start convincing young radio enthusiasts to join.

“There is no age limit to obtain an amateur radio license in Canada,” he noted.

“It’s just a matter of taking the course and taking a test, and it’s now your license for life. “

The hobby can be expensive, but the start-up cost is cheap, Mills adds.

“Some radios cost as little as $ 50… and our club has equipment that can be used for free at any time,” he said.


ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca
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