Austin, Manitoba is a busy place this weekend. If you are nearby, visit the Manitoba Amateur Radio Museum.
For many of us, a hobby evolves into a labor of love. Ham radio is no different. Hats off to 93 year old Dave Snydal, VE4XN and many friends for creating the Manitoba Amateur Radio Museum in Austin, Manitoba.
Austin is located just off the Trans Canada Highway in south central Manitoba. You will find lots to see in this small rural community, including the famous Manitoba Agricultural Museum. In fact, you will find many visitors attending the annual Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede there this weekend.
Hams in the region started building the Manitoba Amateur Radio Museum in the 1980’s. They built and moved into their own space, shown above, in 1992.
At the museum, volunteers operate a ham station (VE4ARM) and a two meter repeater (VE4MTR) on 146.31/.91 MHz. There are also some beacons in operation. But for most of us, the main attraction is an extensive collection of vintage radio gear. You will find a time machine of sorts, with many post WWII radios as well as some dating back 100 years.
Take a look at pictures of the collection at the MARM web site. And, if you happen to be in southern Manitoba, drop in for a visit. The museum is open during the day through to the end of September.
Manitoba Amateur Radio Museum Insights
Many of the folks who built MARM are now Silent Keys but their efforts over the years have been remembered by the new generation of hams in Manitoba and elsewhere.
Building this type of museum is important for remembering all types of radio equipment. But just as important is remembering the people and the hobby that contributed so much to smaller communities.
Group activities have always been an important part of many hobbies, including amateur radio. A museum or a club station can also provide a focal point, as well as resources such as a shared workshop for maintaining and refurbishing equipment and making experiments.