Irving—The Irving Amateur Radio Club presented Hamfest at Betcha Bingo on Saturday, March 5. Hamfest allowed club members and amateur radio enthusiasts to share their love of radio and other forms of technology.
During the morning, a satellite passed over the area. A few event attendees took an antenna into the parking lot and connected with the satellite.
Ken Hansen, president of the Amateur Irving Radio Club, coordinated Hamfest.
“Hamfest is basically a specialized flea market in that most everything you see is radio related,” Hansen said. “It is more social than anything else. We have four tables set up with chairs for the hams to sit and talk with each other. They talk on the radio with each other, but it’s a chance to meet face to face.”
Irving Amateur Radio Club will donate money to Irving Cares and Main Place
“Our club is funded from the Bingo hall itself,” Hansen said. “An Irving based charity or charitable organization that provides Bingo and generates revenue for several charities, one of which is the Irving Amateur Radio Club. In turn, we are lucky enough to get more money than we need for ourselves.
“We’ve always given to Irving Great Day of Service.When COVID came along, we realized we had some extra money.We weren’t doing any activities, and we looked at Irving Cares and Main Place.”
Steven Lott Smith, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) North Texas section manager, ran a booth for the ARRL.
“We support fellow amateur radio operators who have a license with their enjoyment in the hobby,” Smith said. “We lobby the government, so government officials and congress are aware of what we do. We also serve the public in weather emergencies called Sky Warn and other national emergencies.It’s important for us to have a voice with our congressional representatives, because a lot of corporations want the same frequencies we use.
“I attend most Hamfests as a representative of the North Texas section of ARRL to allow members to come up and ask questions, to greet them, solve problems, and communicate problems further up the chain of command.”
Andrew Koenig is a member of the Irving Amateur Radio club and he was attending Hamfest to look for some new stuff to buy.
“It’s been a great turnout,” Andrew Koenig said. “There’s a lot of stuff for sale, and I’m enjoying myself a lot. [I like] getting to see a bunch of different people. We talk to a lot of people over the air, but getting to put a face to a call sign is always great.”
“I’m selling some radios and some parts,” Tom Yenny, a vendor, said. “It’s a very good Hamfest. There’s a good turnout here. I think the club did a good job of marketing the event.
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