WALL TOWNSHIP — The New Jersey Antique Radio Club hosted its annual Summer Tailgate Swap Meet and Ham Fest last weekend, attracting radio aficionados and vendors who shared their collections and knowledge of ham radios.
Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of the radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting and emergency communications.
The summer tailgate, which is hosted on the lawn of the New Jersey Antique Radio Club building within the InfoAge campus, is one of the best places to go for hands-on advice and parts for restoring antique radios.
“We probably get up to three different kinds of people that will come here,” said Ted Kopp, a member of the New Jersey Antique Radio Club.
“You’ll get someone looking for a particular piece of radio equipment that they want you to collect, like ham. Some people might be looking for a particular accessory to a complete rig or something a spare to what they already have. On some occasions, you’ll have scouters that’ll come down and try to pick up stuff that they know they can turn over a profit.”
While enthusiasts can undoubtedly try their luck with the many online sellers on the internet, the NJ Antique Radio club offers hands-on experience with vendors who are passionate and equipped to offer valuable advice for assembly.
“Unfortunately, aside from the online resources that are there for various pieces of equipment, whatever it might be, your best bet is to go to an event like this and search out through the various tables and vendors. It varies from year to year greatly, depending on what folks are willing to sell,” said Mr. Kopp.
Radio clubs are the backbone for many collectors and restorers, providing them with the resources, technical knowledge and connections needed to keep their hobby going.
About three times a year, the NJ Radio Club offers its resources in repair clinics, a unique opportunity for someone who may be interested in restoring a radio to its former glory.
“So let’s say you had grandma’s radio and you wanted to get it fixed. It’s not like you can bring that to Geek Squad, so you bring it here, make pre-arrangements to work with one of our experts. They’ll sit down with you, go through the radio and 90% of the time it’ll leave here working and all you pay for is the cost of the parts,” said Mr. Kopp.
“If you research it well enough, and a lot of these folks in this particular organization can really help you out with that. And you can bring it back to mint condition.”
For more information on the NJARC and what it has to offer to its members, go to njarc.org.
This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.
Subscribe today! If you're not already an annual subscriber to The Coast Star, get your subscription today! For just $34 per year, you will receive local mail delivery weekly, with pages and pages of local news and online access to our e-edition on Starnewsgroup.com.