Gainesville Daily Register
Vendor and visitor registrations are still available for the annual Gainesville Hamfest, set for Saturday, Aug. 25, at Gainesville Civic Center.
The event, hosted by Cooke County Amateur Radio Club, includes up to 70 new and used amateur radio vendors plus programs and hourly door prizes.
Each year, vendors gather to Hamfest to sell antennas, radios, head sets, microphones, electronics, scanners, high frequency radios, books and anything else a ham radio fan might need and want.
Club organizer James Floyd, Sr. described the upcoming event as a “flea market” for those interested in the world of amateur radio — which he said has a local number of roughly 80.
“It’s just a hobby,” Floyd said Friday. “We’re able to talk to other amateur radio operators across the world, if we want to.”
Amateur radio buffs have as much preoccupation with communication equipment as they do with the communication itself. Floyd admitted that the world of a ham radio operator is largely about the toys.
“We usually talk about our equipment,” he said. “There are some ‘roundtables’ that go on, and you never can tell what’s going to go on or what they’re going to talk about.
But if it’s not interesting, you can change the frequency and go to another.”
The league of ham radio enthusiasts in Cooke County may be small compared to other hobbyists, but Floyd said the field offers satisfaction.
“It’s relaxing, and, of course, if there’s a disaster or something, we’re the only ones who have communications,” he said Friday.
Floyd cited a past case where the city of Gainesville sustained a tornado, which brought damage to homes and phone lines in the north part of the city — and only he and other ham radio operators were able to supply help through their equipment.
“It’s very rewarding when you’re able to help someone,” he said.
Floyd also said Hamfest will include amateur radio testing from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cooke County Public Library, which is across from Gainesville Civic Center.
“It’s to test the abilities of the people who have studied to get their radio license,” he said.
Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. Vendor tables are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.
For more information, call (940) 668-7511 or e-mail email@example.com.