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‘Field Day’: Manitoba ham radio enthusiasts dial in to international event

Jim Sutton, secretary/public information officer for Radio Amateurs of Manitoba, takes the controls during Field Day in Winnipeg. Katherine Dornian / Global News

Amateur radio operators a gathering in Winnipeg this weekend for the annual ‘Field Day,” an international event that gives enthusiasts a chance to showcase their skills and share information about the hobby with the public.

Organized by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Field Day takes place over a 24-hour period. Participants set up portable stations and make contact with other hams (amateur radio operators) around the globe, establishing temporary communications under simulated emergency conditions.

“The idea being, in the event of bad things happening, large fires, emergencies, we’re able to communicate with others in the area – or outside the area, into different provinces,” said Geoffrey Bawden Vice President, Radio Amateurs of Manitoba.

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The Winnipeg portion of the event is being hosted by Radio Amateurs of Manitoba and Winnipeg Senior Citizens Radio Club.

Radio Amateurs of Manitoba said the event not only offers an exciting opportunity for amateur radio operators to test their equipment and skills but also serves as a valuable training exercise in emergency communications. It said that in times of crisis, amateur radio operators play a crucial role in providing backup communication channels when traditional methods fail, making events like Field Day essential for honing critical abilities.

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“Field Day is the most anticipated event of the year in the local ham radio community
as it gives us a chance to not only let the public see what our hobby is about but also
for many of us to see old friends face to face,” said Derek Hay, President of the Radio
Amateurs of Manitoba.

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