Radio operators showcase items

BAZETTA — Local HAM radio operators showcased their items and equipment for the public during the annual Warren Area Radio Association summer fest.

The event was held at Mosquito Lake State Park.

Larry Oliver of Braceville, president of the area radio association, said the club has been around for more than 75 years.

“This is a way the HAM radio operators trade and sell different electronic items. Everyone gets a chance to meet all the local HAMs that we talk to on the radio in person. It’s a social event to get to meet people in person whose voice you hear on the radio,” Oliver said.

HAM operators play an important role, especially during severe weather when the electric power is knocked out and cellphone activity may also be down.

Oliver said during the year, club members take part in a Field Day communicating with people across the world.

In September, the HAM radio operators will take part in Ohio State Parks on the Air, which draws people from across Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“They like to take part in different events and communicate with one another,” said Oliver. “We started holding this (summer fest) outside at the fairgrounds and then at Kent State Trumbull before we came to Mosquito Lake State Park. At one time, it was the second largest HAMfest in the state.”

The club meets 7 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month at First United Methodist Church in Warren.

Tom Borocz of Girard said he likes to see what other radio operators are doing.

“We each have our own equipment and we can see new ideas,” he said.

Rich Albrecht of Lordstown said the event allows him to collect needed accessories for his radio.

One of the club members, Dan Lowery of Champion, constructed a B-9 robot, standing over 6-feet tall, like the one on television’s “Lost in Space.”

“I enjoyed ‘Lost in Space’ since I was a kid. I always wanted to have a robot like that so I built one,” he said of the project that took over two years.

Lowery also makes the robot talk like Dick Tufeld who provided the voice for the television robot.

“There are people who grew up with ‘Lost in Space’ and when they walk by, I love seeing the smiles on their face,” Lowery said.

Shepard of Warren said it’s nice to get to meet people in person whom you speak to all the time on the radios.