Mountain Mail reports
Amateur radio operators and emergency-communications volunteers from throughout New Mexico and surrounding states will meet in Socorro on Saturday, Oct. 30. The annual Socorro Hamfest will be held at the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Hamfest, will include a statewide meeting of volunteer members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). These volunteers train regularly and work with local governments and other organizations to provide vital communication links to help in disaster situations.
Other features of Hamfest include lectures, demonstrations, door prizes, displays, a radio-electronics swap meet, and commercial electronics vendors. There also will be working amateur radio stations, literature on amateur radio and a wide variety of electronic equipment for viewing and sale. Hamfest events kick off on Friday, Oct. 29, with a tour of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array and an evening, pre-hamfest banquet for local and visiting hams.
Examinations for FCC amateur radio licenses will also be given at Hamfest. The examinations begin at noon, with registration for the exams beginning at 11 a.m. While Hamfest is free, there is a fee for the examinations. In addition, examinees must bring photo identification and the original plus a copy of any amateur radio license or examination certificate that they may have.
This program of the American Radio Relay League – the national association for Amateur Radio – has provided “ham radio” emergency communications for agencies such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, countless Emergency Operations Centers and other responders in the worst of times. In events from ice storms to Hurricane Katrina and Haiti, when normal communications systems were down or overloaded, the Amateur Radio operators of the ARES programs filled requests for communications aid.
The Socorro Hamfest is sanctioned by the ARRL and sponsored by the Socorro Amateur Radio Association, the New Mexico Tech Amateur Radio Association, and the City of Socorro.