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TRI-CITY NEWS FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2016, A7

WWW.TRICITYNEWS.COM

HAM RADIO OPERATORS

Practising to be on the air in case of major emergency Field Day Exercise this weekend in Coquitlam & PoCo SARAH PAYNE

The Tri-CiTy News

You can watch ham radio operators in action as they try to make contact with operators around the world in the annual Field Day Exercise this weekend. The public can get a look at the technology and practices of the Coquitlam Amateur Radio Emergency Services Society (CARESS) at the event, running from Saturday at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Coquitlam club is partnering with those from Burnaby and New Westminster and will have up to a dozen members operating in shifts throughout the exercise. (Port Coquitlam’s Emergency Preparedness Communications team is also hosting a Field Day event at Castle Park from noon to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). Visitors can make radio contact through the Get on the Air station, helping the team earn points as it competes to be the highest-ranked amateur radio team in its category.) “It’s designed to operate on our own power… where we get upright and contact other stations around the world,” said CARESS member M. Paul Cook. “In the event of a calamity such as a major earthquake, we have to be self-sustaining and selfresilient.” The key is to run autonomously in an emergency where power, telephone, internet and other services have been disrupted or damaged, according to the Coquitlam club. Cook said the exercise is an

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Coquitlam Amateur Radio Emergency Services Society’s president, Richard Wodzniak, operates one of the group’s communication stations.

FIELD DAY DETAILS

Coquitlam’s mutual aid communications exercise runs from Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m. to June 26 at 2 p.m. at the club’s Riverview Hospital location (co-located with the BC Ambulance Service and SPARC Museum); visit http:// ve7scc.org/location for more details. The public is welcome to join and there will be refreshments available. PoCo’s exercise is at Castle Park (2252 Castle Cres.); the team will be there from today (June 24) at 5 p.m. to noon on June 26 and the public is welcome from noon to 4 p.m. on June 25. Visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/ep for more information. opportunity for members — ham operators who have been trained and licensed by the federal government to operate radio stations — to hone their skills and to provide training to newer members as well as showcase their equipment to the public. CARESS and groups like it provide back-up communica-

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tions for the city of Coquitlam using a variety of radios, antennae and computer technology. During the Field Day Exercise, which will take place at the club’s home on the former Riverview Hospital grounds, operators will be aiming to make contact with as many parts of the world as possible. Visitors at the event will get

an inside look at the antennae topping three 80-foot towers and what they mean from a communications standpoint, and will tour the radio room and the club’s facilities. “Some say it’s almost futuristic,” Cook said, noting there are three massive television screens in the room, one of which will show a global map with dots showing where operators have made connections, along with a large computer bank, radio repeaters and other equipment. “Some will be doing Morse code, others will be doing phone or voice communication on a wide variety of frequencies, so people will see first-hand how operators are using computers to update our information on who we’ve contacted,” Cook said. spayne@tricitynews.com @spayneTC

COUNCIL AGENDA

MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2016 7:00 PM – COUNCIL CHAMBERS 2580 SHAUgHNESSy StREEt, PORt COqUItLAM

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Tri-City News June 24 2016  
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