Hamfest to welcome radio, electronics fans

Date Published: 
October 25, 2013

Calling all ham radio lovers: the annual Amateur Radio & Electronics Expo will return to Georgetown on Saturday, Oct. 26. Electronics hobbyists, CBers, boaters and everyone with an interest in communications and electronics is welcome to attend the yearly “Hamfest” at Sussex Technical High School.

With opportunities to buy, sell and learn, the expo offers elements designed to tempt the general public, as well as serious amateur radio operators. Visitors can start at the flea market to find new and used equipment, accessories and parts, plus Sony and Bose vendors.

“There are a lot of amateur radio operators … that are looking for old, used parts. They go home and put together a radio that’s been missing [a piece] for a long time,” Bill Duveneck, expo committee chairman.

Hamfest includes equipment displays, demonstrations and forums that focus on new technology and radio communications.

“It gives people the opportunity to come out and learn a little about ham radio and learn what’s happening world of electronics, … short-wave, hand or CB radio,” Duveneck said.

Because radio operators can mobilize to aid in times of disaster, there will be information sessions on emergency communications, featuring special guests from the American Radio Relay League and the National Association for Amateur Radio.

“There’s certain magic involved when you’re talking over the radio. It’s intriguing,” said Duveneck, who began working with radio during 20 years in the Army Signal Corps. “It gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of new people on the radio. You sometimes talk to people overseas or in different states. You might never get to meet them face-to-face, but you get to know them on the radio.”

Now, his ham friends range across Maryland and Virginia.

“Ham radio dates back to the early days of communication, when everyone used telegraph … in the late 1800s, early 1900s,” said Duveneck. “[Ham] is just a word that substitutes for amateur radio. This is an old hobby.”

Other events planned for Oct. 26 include police K-9 demonstration, free blood-pressure screening by Beebe Medical Center and free door prizes. Grilled chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs and more will be available for purchase.

Gates open at 6:30 a.m. for the flea market, and the expo is open from 7:30 a.m. until about 3 p.m. Admission costs $5.

The event benefits the Sussex Technical High School student Amateur Radio Club and the Sussex Amateur Radio Association. Find the Delmarva Amateur Radio & Electronics Expo online at Facebook and www.radioelectronicsexpo.com.