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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Public invited to Hamfest at Expo Center


Last updated 2/13/2024 at 9:53pm

Amateur radio operators in the region will be gathering Saturday, February 24, at the Orange County Expo Center and the public is invited to attend to learn more about the radio operators who talk with others around the world. And sometimes, out of the world.

Mike Manshack of Orange, one of the organizers, said amateur radio operators are able to speak with astronauts in the International Space Station as it passes over them.

The event will be from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 24. Admission is $10 per person with youth ages 12 and younger admitted free.

The event will include flea marker with people often selling a variety of old communications parts and devices, along with radio dealers who will display their wares. "There's a lot of merchandise, new and used," Manshack said.

"Ham" operators get their name from the first amateur ratio frequency call letters in 1908. The H-A-M comes from the beginning initials of three men who started the Harvard Radio Club.

The event is sponsored by the Orange Amateur Radio Club, the Jefferson County ARC, and the Beaumont ARC. Manshack said hams from several states attend the event, which mainly draws people from the areas between Houston and New Orleans.

Door prizes will be awarded throughout the event and people must be present to win a door prize. Tickets for drawings for gift certificates for radio equipment will be sold for $1 each, or 6 for $5, and 12 for $10. Winners do not have to be present for the raffle.

The grand raffle prize is a $1,250 gift certificate from Main Trading Company in Houston. Second prize is a $500 gift certificate, and third prize is a $250 gift certificate.


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