Amateur Radio "Ham Fest" held in Walnut Ridge

February 11, 2006 -- Posted at 4:05 p.m. CST


WALNUT RIDGE, AR -- A “ham fest” was held in Lawrence County on Saturday morning.  The event is a forum for amateur radio operators to get together and discuss ham radio.


The gathering is also an opportunity for them to sell some of their old equipment and buy some new equipment.


“This is where we get together as a group of amateur radio operators from a certain region or area and we have swath trading.   We have old equipment being sold we have new equipment being sold,” said David Norris.


The “ham fest” is an opportunity for people to get together and share ideas; and their love for amateur radio.


Boyce Guffey is an amateur radio operator, and he said he loves doing it.  


“It's a hobby.  As one of these boys over here tells me, it's a hobby; nothing but a hobby,” said Guffey.


Other ham radio operators have their own reasons for keeping up with this “hobby”.    


“I love being an amateur radio operator because I work with disaster relief.  I also go into schools and teach a physical science class,” said ham radio operator Tom Elliot.


Elliot teaches classes on ham radio at different high schools throughout the area.  The classes last for one hour for one week.  He says the class teaches the next generation about the importance of amateur radio; especially in times of devastation.


“We went down to Louisiana when the hurricane was going on down there and if it weren’t for amateur radio communication, there would have been no communication,” said Elliot.


“It's a whole different ballgame when you become a ham radio operator.  It opens up the world.  You meet people you never thought you would meet,” said Guffey.   


Seminars are also held at the “ham fest”.  Testing is done as well to make sure all ham operators keep up to date in their training. 


All ham operators must have a license to be on the air.


“In times of need, in times of trouble hams are there.  When all else fails ham radio is going to be there providing communication,” said Norris.

To learn more about ham radio in Arkansas click here.