Ham radio enthusiasts hosts breakfast and swap meet

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Valley of the Moon Amateur Radio Club President Jim Hill will be presiding over the club’s annual Hamfest breakfast and electronics swap meet on Saturday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. E.

Although it’s a “ham” breakfast, the menu will include blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, juice and coffee. Chief cook will be club member Ed Jacobson, who has served pancakes at the annual event for many years. Breakfast is $8 per person and is served from 8 to 10 a.m.

The Valley of the Moon Amateur Radio Club is an Amateur Radio Relay League-sanctioned club started in the early 1970s. Admission is free for the Hamfest, and attendees are encouraged to bring their family. The event will include a walk-in license exam session for anyone interested in attaining their amateur radio license with registration starting at 9 a.m. and testing for all license elements immediately following.

For those people looking for an electronics bargain, there will be a radio and electronics swap meet with both indoor and outdoor spaces available and mounds of electronics goodies for sale. Mike Miller will be covering the club sale table and other sellers can start setting up at 7 a.m. with spaces renting for $10. Space is available at no charge for amateur radio organizations, local nonprofits or other public service agencies for informational tables and displays.

Hill will be demonstrating an operating radio station and will be talking to other “hams” across the country and around the world. Guest operators are welcome to sit in and make a few contacts during the morning. Club members will be on hand to answer any questions.

Hill and Miller have been working with Dean Knight, the longtime science teacher at Sonoma Valley High School, to teach students the art and skill of building radios and learning electronics. Club members have had a long association with local teachers, helping them use amateur radio in STEM learning, as well as teaching everything from electronics to geography and social science.

The Valley of the Moon radio club has been partnering with Sonoma Skypark Airport to provide aerial disaster damage surveys with local pilots in their low-flying aircraft by flying the club’s radio operators over Sonoma Valley to relay real-time observation to the Sonoma Valley Emergency Operations Center in the Sonoma Police Station. Information on the disaster operations will be on display at the Hamfest.

For more information, visit vomarc.org and click on the “Annual Events” link. For those already licensed as amateur radio operators, talk-in will be on the 145.35 MHz repeater, with an access tone of 88.5Hz.

For more information, email wd6bor@vom.com.

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