Richmond’s amateur radio buffs invite public to bounce signals off satellites this weekend

Members of Richmond’s amateur radio community are inviting the public to come see them in action at their annual field day this weekend.

For 24 hours, from Saturday, June 22, at 11 a.m., two different radio clubs will be taking part in the international amateur radio Field Day exercise, with stations set up at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Garry Point Park.

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At the cannery, the Richmond Amateur Radio Club (RARC), call sign VE7GOG, will be testing emergency radio communications as well as showcasing different aspects of the amateur radio hobby, also known as “ham radio.”

The event is basically a ham radio open house, where RARC members join more than 35,000 amateur radio operators from across Canada and the U.S. to demonstrate the science, technical skills, community service and emergency preparedness of amateur radio.

The public will be able to participate in using different modes of radio operation, from high frequency (HF) transmissions to Morse code (CW) to bouncing signals off satellites using VHF frequencies.

“RARC’s radio station situated at the (cannery) has been regarded a viable communication relay location for amateur radio traffic between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island,” said Urey Chan, president of RARC.

“Field Day presents a great opportunity to exercise the station’s communications capabilities as part of the assessments for planned future upgrades.”

Meanwhile, over at Fishermen’s Needle at Garry Point Park, the Richmond Emergency Programs Amateur Radio Society (REPARS) will be also be participating in the Field Day exercise.

Visitors at Garry Point Park are encouraged to drop by and learn more on the capabilities of amateur radio communications in an emergency.

REPARS supports the emergency programs department of the City of Richmond with all aspects of emergency communications.

This is one of the biggest exercises the society’s members participate in, enabling them to learn and improve on their communication capabilities and be prepared.

It also provides a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

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