An Outline of Amateur Radio
By Bruce Lenton VE3ZB
Amateur Radio operators can communicate around the world, without extensive infrastructure,or the need for service providers. In other words, once a Radio station is set up, communication is essentially free. Amateur Radio can still operate when other infrastructure is down!
Amateurs have great fun making radio contacts and pushing the technology to the limits. For example, some of our local hams have bounced signals off the moon, talked to the International Space Station and built Microwave Transceivers to communicate across Lake Superior. One Amateur has transmitted television signals for a great number of years. There is a magnitude of modes and frequencies available to Radio Amateurs. One who truly get into the hobby, will never be bored
However, technology is a tool which allows us to communicate. It is communication that takes us to the realm of society and community. Communication builds and supports community. This refers not only to the community of Radio Amateurs, but also to our community of Sault Ste. Marie.
Radio Amateurs help each other to learn and use the technology; but it goes beyond that. In many cases, we help each other with the problems of living, whether it be getting to a doctor’s office, or attending club meetings. Amateur Radio tends to break the barriers of isolation and loneliness and bring people together.
To build our community we have a set of simple rules. In all of our communication, on and off the air, we do not talk about issues that can potentially divide us-Politics, Religion Race and Sex. It is not that these issues are not important, but maintaining our community has greater importance.
Our concern is the possibility of a disaster in Sault Ste.Marie, where life and property are in peril. Each emergency service can communicate with its dispatcher, but not to each other. However, in a disaster, intercommunication of vital information, to the correct service is essential. This is where Amateur Radio comes in. We can provide the link between emergency services via Amateur dispatchers and the use of our VHF repeaters.Therefore, we need Amateurs on the ground to relay information. It is for this reason that the Algoma Amateur Radio club, wishes to train as many new operators as possible so that they can not only enjoy the hobby, but also protect and support our community.