Ham radio and Morse code are still being used today

Today and tomorrow, June 26th and 27th, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) are showcasing Ham radio in the largest single annual event for emergency communications preparedness. 

Ham radio operators will be participating from home, from parks, from Emergency Operations Centres and from “the middle of nowhere” to communicate with other Ham radio stations.  Often, emergency power and temporary antennas will be used.

Due to the pandemic, not as many people can get together as would normally happen.  That will be the case for two brothers (originally from Hensall, Ontario) and the son of one of the brothers.  Rob Noakes, VE3PCP and his son Justin Noakes VA3AQZ are operating from Inverhuron Provincial Park using the Club call VE3IHR.  Rob’s brother John Noakes VE7NI is participating from his home in Kamloops, BC.

Radio and modern Morse “paddles” plus a gel cell battery

“The purpose of Field Day is to allow Ham radio operators to demonstrate what types of communications can be done in the event other types of communications have failed.  There is also always the camaraderie aspect of Field Day; the common bond of Ham radio operators regardless of the different backgrounds we have in life.  For Rob and me, memories of Field Day go back many years when our Dad (Len VE3CRW) participated in Field Day and took us along for the weekend to listen to the drone of the generator and the crackling of voices and Morse code from radios that used vacuum tubes!” says John Noakes.

ARRL Field Day has been an important part of Ham radio down through the years.  In real life, Ham radio has come to the assistance of government as well as agencies such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army in times of emergencies and disasters.

“Yes, people still do Ham radio.  Yes, people still do Morse code.” assures John Noakes.