Hamfest celebrates radio culture in Sonoma and beyond
The Valley of the Moon Amateur Radio Club will hold its annual Hamfest, with breakfast and talk, on Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Sonoma Congregational Church, 252 W. Spain St.
What is a Hamfest? It’s a gathering of amateur radio and electronics enthusiasts who host a breakfast and electronics swap meet to share their passion for a hobby that allows them to communicate with radios around the world. that they bought or built themselves. They use modes of operation ranging from using morse code and a telegraph key to digital modes using their laptop connected to their radio.
Although it is a ‘ham’ breakfast, the menu will include blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausages, juice and coffee. Chef and kitchen team leader Ed Jacobson (radio username: W1EJ) has served his special blueberry pancakes at the event for many tasty years. Breakfast is $10 per person for a full breakfast, $8 for two of three courses, and $5 for pancakes only. It will be served from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Burlingame Hall.
The Valley of the Moon Amateur Radio Club is an Amateur Radio Relay League-sanctioned club that began here in Sonoma in the early 1970s. Admission is free for Hamfest, and “hams” and non-hams are encouraged to bring the whole family.
The event will include a walk-in volunteer examiner license review session, for anyone interested in obtaining or improving their amateur radio license, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. and testing for all elements of the license immediately afterwards.
There will be a radio and electronics swap meet with outdoor spaces available and mounds of electronics for sale. Sellers can start setting up at 7 a.m. with spaces rented for $10. Space will be made available free of charge to amateur radio organizations, local non-profit organizations or other public service agencies for tables and information displays.
Sonoma Radio Station KSVY will have a remote transmitter on site and will provide commentary and interview ham radio operators during the morning.
VOMARC also plans to debut its new on-air trailer at the event. The trailer will have a 40 foot tower attached for VOMARC to use for portable and emergency communications events.
For more details, visit the club’s website at vomarc.org. For those who already hold an amateur radio operator license, the conversation will be on the 145.35 MHz repeater, with an access tone of 88.5 Hz.
For more information, email [email protected]