Hamfests: A Celebration of Ham Radio

By | January 16, 2019

To call attention to some upcoming events in Louisiana. The 38th Annual Hammond Hamfest, on the coming Saturday, January 19, 2019 of the Southeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club in Hammond, LA (SELARC). If you are in the area, come by and attend the Hamfest! Or at least consider sending a (suggested: $15) donation. Click here to scroll down straight to the Hamfest details

According to their website, they will kindly accept donations in the form of check made payable to order of: SELARC

With a note or ‘donation’ on the memo line.

SELARC
P.O.Box 1324
Hammond, LA 70404

Attending the Hamfest in person, however, is an opportunity to win a prize or cash through their raffle while helping to fund a local club whose members provide volunteer public services to local communities, especially during disasters or facilitating communications during local events. For example, in the case of SELARC, by attending their Hamfest and paying for tickets or admission, you would be helping to support local Hams’ activities that are done for free using their own time and energy such as:

  • SELARC Maintains a local repeater which they make available to the local ARES group to facilitate emergency communications in support of the public during emergencies, weekly training nets, And the members’ participation in various communication support activities.
  • SELARC members volunteer annually to assist with the Louisiana Special Olympic Games.
  • Members volunteer annually for the MS “Dat’s How We Roll” Bike tour fundraiser of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, providing communications assistance this activity.

Hamfests are special exhibition events that allow people who might be interested in learning about radio communications or related hobbies such as electronics, engineering, or building radios or who are active in Amateur Radio, or who are just interested in what it is all about — to get together and meet, catch up, or learn more.

Attending a Hamfest is a great way to network or to start to get into the hobby, or help you put a face to some of the names you may have heard on the air. The events include vendor exhibits, Hams can also rent tables for swapping or showing off their equipment, dealers and other hams selling or trading new and used equipment and other supplies related to the hobby, discussion Forums, and prize drawings.

SELARC Hamfest Details

38th Annual Hammond Hamfest
Saturday, January 19, 2019, 8:00am – 2:00pm

Admission is a $5 Donation at the exhibit entrance to help support the club – and includes a chance to win prizes.

Location is the Pennington Student Center of SLU. A map to the location has been provided Here. Basic information is on their Hamfest Page.

The Program, Parking Information, and all the Hamfest Rules are found at this link.


More about Ham Radio

If you are not familiar at all with Ham Radio, I would provide some ideas of what it includes:

Ham Radio or “Amateur Radio” is a hobby with many facets and activities (See: List of Common Ham Radio Activities). Much like our global internet, Ham Radio provides a way of communicating with other people, all over the world — and even into satellites and astronauts in orbit and remote places on earth that are far removed from cellphones and the internet.

Unlike other mediums, however, operating a Ham Radio requires passing a test to obtain a license, and its use is strictly non-commercial and for personal “non-pecuniary” benefits, but the restriction also means rules can be enforced — it helps keep unfriendly or undesirable problems such as spam and abuse from becoming a problem.

Unlike mediums such as internet or cell phones — which rely on fragile infrastructure and frequently go offline completely during disasters or emergencies at the very time people NEED good communications most — skilled active Hams who stay prepared and ready are able to establish communications using solar power, batteries or other alternate sources of power, they can make the calls for help or supplies on behalf of themself or an agency they volunteer with, even during the worst natural disasters and emergencies while all other services are broken.

Active Ham Radio operators often volunteer to work with their local Skywarn or ARES groups and others directly in support of various agencies such as the NWS during times of disaster or national emergency — or just assist in relaying emergency messages for other Hams during serious situations, these people are in demand, because the number of operators are small. When available, these people can and have saved lives and shared information on safety of survivors to concerned family members after many disasters, and in desperate situations: when it would not have been possible otherwise, such as most recently with Hurricane Michael Response and Thanks from the American Red Cross — If you have the aptitude to study and obtain the license, you could increase your preparedness to be a great help to yourself or others.

Ham Radio operators utilize a variety of communication modes that send Voice, Text, Photos, or Images — and even create their own modes and protocols using a variety of Radio Frequency spectrum dedicated to use by Hams. Ham Operators have a freedom to build their own equipment on their own or with a kit, called Homebrew, Hams tinker with, experiment with protocols and modes within radio technology using spectrum dedicated to Hams, and were responsible for many inventions that provide useful technology we have today.

Aside from SELARC’s Hamfest, here are some other Hamfests coming up in the South Central US:

Orange, Texas Hamfest

Orange, TX; Orange ARC, Jefferson County ARC

https://www.qsl.net/w5nd/index_files/HAMFEST%20INFO/hamfest%20info.htm

Louisiana State Convention, 59th Acadiana Hamfest

Rayne, LAAcadiana Amateur Radio Association, Inc.

http://w5ddl.org/hamfest/index.htm

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