Exercise Handshake

Exercise Handshake is a radio exercise in Atlantic Canada which is held on the last Tuesday of each month beginning at 7pm AT.

The exercise began in December 2008 as an radio net for TMR (Trunked Mobile Radio) system, agencies and operators around the province of Nova Scotia. The net was established and hosted by the WestCumb ARC in Amherst due to talks between Jim Hannon VE1AFH Cumberland REMO & Public Safety and Field Communications (PSFC) of Nova Scotia.

The idea of the net was to encourage first responders to learn how to use these radios under normal conditions and also to report any problems (dead batteries etc.) to Net Control so they could let PSFC be aware of these problems. This way in a real emergency or disaster, the radios would be in working order and operators would be available to use them.

The net grew to include testing of all modes of communications including Satellite phones and amateur radio. Amateur radio operators associated with local EMO (Emergency Measures Organization) were asked to learn the operation of TMR radios in case they were needed as radio operators in Emergency situations.
The exercise is also a great time to test backup power (batteries, generators etc.) for radios and EOC (Emergency Operations Centers) around Atlantic Canada.

Amateur radio operators associated with EMO, ARES, CANWARN & Red Cross are invited and encouraged to take part in this exercise.

“It is better to practice learning how to use these radios and run backup power in a monthly exercise than to have then sitting on a desk and expecting them to work in a power outage, real emergency and/or disaster”

With the new TMR2, all agencies throughout the Maritimes can now join in on the exercise and are encouraged to do so. The exercise is a great learning tool for TMR2.


Checking in using Amateur Radio.

Find Exercise Handshake on the MAVCOM repeater system across Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island and Echolink via VE1ZX-L node 100853

HF operations on 3.675Mhz.

DMR, Fusion and D-Star may also be available. Monitor chat rooms for availability.

Call in when Net Control is looking for check-ins using your callsign only.

When Net Control calls you in, give your name, location, number of operators taking part, repeater you are using, if you have emergency backup power and if you are or are not using it.

Once you have finished checking in you may leave the net or continue to monitor

Checking in on Handshake using TMR

If you are unfmailiar with TMR or maybe just need to refresh your memory, the TMR2 user guide can be found at https://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/tmr2-user-guide

Operators taking part are asked to contact Shubie radio (dispatch Shubenacadie NS) to find the Mutual Aid or Common Channel for Handshake.

Once Shubie gives you that information find that channel on your radio. Learn the channels

When Net Control ask for agencies to check in respond with your agency name only. Once they have all the agencies marked down they will then call you in by order of received.

Give your name and agency you are with and any other information you want. If you have other members with you who would like to check-in inform Net Control at this time.

Inform Net Control if you have any problems with your radios. This will be forwarded to Public Safety and Field Communications.

When everyone from your location has checked in you can inform Net Control you are leaving the exercise.

Once Net Control acknowledge you are leaving, return to your home channel.