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Amateur radio operators must pass a written examination and be assigned a call sign from the FCC in order to transmit on the frequencies allocated to the amateur service.
A VE Exam is the “test” given by an accredited Volunteer Examiners (VEs) to verify a given level of understanding toward the amateur radio hobby.
The FCC currently issues three different classes of amateur radio license: Technician, General, and Extra.
Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It’s fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.
Joe Walsh (WB6ACU) talks about the benefits of ham radio.
A hamfest (or ham radio festival) is an Amateur Radio social event that can encompass everything from a simple parking lot swap meet to a giant multi-day convention and everything in between. Most hamfests include some form of swap meet and/or vendor space where individuals and businesses sell new and used items (antiques even) related to Amateur Radio. Some of these events are exclusively for Amateur Radio and others may embrace a broader range electronic hobbies like computers, R/C vehicles and aircraft, robotics, alternative energy, and anything else that runs off of electricity. Many hamfests include demonstrations of new equipment, technology, or techniques related to Amateur Radio or similar hobbies and some have hands on workshops teaching a variety of skills. Whatever activities are involved one of the primary components of a hamfest is the opportunity to visit with old friends and to meet some new ones. Hams use a variety of voice and data communications methods to talk to each other but the chance to put a face to the names one is so familiar with is highly cherished.
SMARTSFESTS is a hamfest and hobby electronics expo that encompasses Amateur Radio and many other aspects of electronics and computers as a hobby. There will be vendors selling new and used equipment and parts, clubs and other organizations informing attendees about their groups and activities, and demonstrations and seminars on various topics related to Amateur Radio and electronics in general. There will also be attendees from all walks of life who enjoy many different facets of these hobbies and most of them love to talk about their hobbies and experiences.