“Amateur” Amateur Radio Enthusiasts Gather March 3 at the Spitzer Conference Center

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AVON LAKE, Ohio — The Northern Ohio Amateur Radio Society (NOARS), one of the oldest “amateur” radio clubs in the Great Lakes region, will host its annual Winter Ham Festival from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday, March 3, at the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in Elyria.

There will be vendors selling ham radios, computers and other electronic equipment and parts as well as keyboards and antenna parts.

“A vendor who builds antennas will demonstrate their antennas,” said Tom Porter, the group’s treasurer. “They’re unique because they’re so small, like 20 inches tall, as opposed to 5 to 10 feet tall.”

Porter said a flea market section will also be featured along with raffle prizes. “Prizes include three gift certificates to the American Radio Relay League for books, a $50 certificate for anything you want to buy at DXE engineering in Tallmadge, and cash prizes of up to $75 each,” a- he declared.

Porter also said they are planning a fully functioning “live” ham radio station so visitors can see ham radio operators in action firsthand. (This will be) one of the first times we will have a complete station installed inside LCCC. We will run tests to show the purity of the signal and we will broadcast to other ham radio operators in the United States.”

NOARS is one of the oldest radio clubs in the Great Lakes region. It was formed in the late 1950s and received official status in 1963.

The club’s activities, Porter said, include public service, competition (HF SSB, CW, RTTY, VHF/UHF all modes), C4FM repeaters, packet radio, HF and VHF operation, DX’ ing, satellite operation, technical programs at meetings, and amateur radio computing.

The group also organizes a “Field Day” as well as an annual meeting and picnic. Field Day takes place across the country. “It’s a teaching moment,” Porter said, “to help ham radio operators disconnect from the grid, install their own generators, install antennas, teach safety and refuel. generators, while camping overnight at Metroparks in Lorain County. It’s kind of like a contest to see how many places we can contact in the US or Canada. We want it to be a fun and learning event. .

Porter said NOARS also volunteers to help the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s “Bike MS” fundraising race each year. The ride, usually from Brecksville to Ashland College, is a two-day event with more than 100 cyclists on the route, Porter said. NOARS provides communications to a central station to help riders meet all their needs.

Other activities include setting up demonstrations for scout troops and assisting the Ohio State Highway Patrol each year for a three-night event to monitor suspicious activity on the highway.

Admission to this year’s NOARS Winter Ham fest is $7. The money helps the club maintain relay stations to bounce the signal off the replay signal, Porter said. “And you don’t have to be a licensed amateur radio operator to attend. So stop by and see what amateur radio is all about. Everyone of all ages is welcome.”

For more information about NOARS, visit www.noars.net.

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