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Hamfest promotes hobby

Radio operators buy and sell items in Bazetta

BAZETTA — Communicating with others by radios and other electronic devices highlighted the annual Hamfest held at Mosquito Lake State Park and hosted by the Warren Amateur Radio Association.

Larry Oliver of Braceville, president of the WARA, said the morning of the event started with rain but cleared up for the show.

“We were a little worried, but it cleared up for the event. The Hamfest is our main annual fundraiser and get together for people to buy and trade some ham radio equipment especially for those who want to get into the hobby. This lets all the ham radio operators in the area to get together,” he said.

Oliver said being a ham radio operator is a hobby that is growing across the country, with digital communications growing.

He said many local ham operators took part in the annual Field Day in June where people in the United States and Canada communicated with others around the world by radio. Oliver said over 400 contacts were made that day digitally. He himself reached radio operators in Europe.

The WARA has been in existence for 80 years. The club meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month with locations listed at www.W8VTD.com.

Jim Popovich of Newton Falls was on the radio at the event for Parks on the Air, which is a program for amateur radio operators.

“We have people who go out to state parks in the United States and Canada and set up portable operations. It’s like setting up for a practice emergency and temporary set up in unknown areas. We get a little fun out of it,” Popovich said.

Popovich said state parks were picked because they are usable and there are thousands of them.

“‘People today are looking for others who are activated at state parks and accumulate contacts. I have been able to contact 600 people in parks in the United States and Canada since February,” he said.

He said the Parks on the Air helps the radio operators to promote the parks.

“Today’s event lets us show what we can do.” Popovich said.

David and Katherine Donaldson of Williamsfield brought their children, Pamela, 5, and Nathan, 8, to the event.

David said he uses a radio and wanted to show his family what it is like to be a radio operator by seeing others in action today with their radios.

“I hoped this would get them interested in radios.” he said.

Dan Lowery of Champion brought his robot replica from television’s “Lost in Space.”

“I enjoy seeing the reaction from people when they see the robot and remember the TV show,” he said.

He is able to make the robot talk like it did on the show.

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