7th annual Vette City Hamfest

Published: Oct. 6, 2018 at 10:24 PM CDT
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In the summer of 1956, a group of amateur radio operators in Bowling Green, Kentucky organized the Warren County Radio Club.

In September of that same year the group set up a demonstration table at the Southern Kentucky fair.

"The Kentucky Colonel's Amateur Radio Club started doing this in 1962," said Frank Armstrong, chairman of Vette City Hamfest.

A hamfest is basically an indoor swap meet where people buy and sell self-made equipment.

The first hamfest of the Kentucky Colonels Amateur Radio Club was August 4th, 1963 at Beech Bend Park.

76 hams and their families attended, much like it was today.

Even giving away door prizes has remained a tradition.

"Amateur radio operators under federal law are actually a reserve radio system for the entire country as part of being given federal license by the Federal Communications Commission to handle emergency radio traffic and assist the community," Armstrong said.

For the 7th year in a row a ham radio operator released a balloon with a solar powered transmitter called the sky-tracker.

"We launched it from Bowling Green," said Bill Brown, ham radio operator and engineer.

"We can talk to each other through ham radio so i can sit in my house in Hunstville, Alabama and transmit live pictures directly to Hank in Bowling Green, Kentucky even though he is 200 miles away from me," Brown said.

"Ham radio actually it is a hobby," Armstrong said.

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