February 20 – Greg Williams Says Ham Radio is a hobby with something for all types of personalities.
“There are people who just enjoy talking to their friends on the radio,” said Williams, a member of the Dalton Amateur Radio Club. “We have people who use it to help out in emergencies. I volunteer with the local emergency management agency. Most of us are trained as Skywarn observers and work with the National Weather Service to deal with storms and high winds Reporting hail and the like There are people who like to take part in competitions or communicate in Morse code. “
Williams chairs the Hamfest Committee for the club hosting the 39th annual Dalton Hamfest on Saturday, February 27, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at the North Georgia Agricultural Fairgrounds, 500 Legion Drive, Dalton. Entry is $ 5. The Dalton Noon Lions Club will sell refreshments and the local Boy Scouts will help park and collect donations.
“Hamfest is basically a market for new and used two-way radios,” Williams said.
Exhibitors include companies that showcase the latest radios, antennas, cables, and other consumables, as well as amateur radio operators, so-called hams, who want to sell or trade excess parts.
Williams said the show generally draws 1,000 to 1,400 people from across the southeast and across the nation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year visitors are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing. Hand sanitizer is provided.
Williams said those interested in getting involved in amateur radio are encouraged to attend. He said club members will be on hand to talk about their hobby and answer questions.
Jeff Ownby, assistant director of the Whitfield County’s Emergency Management Agency, said amateur radio operators play an important role in responding to disasters.
“They are a resource we rely on, especially in bad weather,” he said. “Usually they set up a weather network and report what they see and we monitor it. All of our staff are amateur radio operators.”