PEORIA -- Ham Radio and electronics enthusiasts from several Midwestern states will converge on Exposition Gardens Fairgrounds in Peoria for Illinois’ largest “HAMFEST” on Sept. 16-17.

For over 50 years the “Peoria SUPERFEST,” sponsored by the Peoria-Area Amateur Radio Club, has provided a venue for commercial vendors, this year starting at 8 a.m. Sept. 16 through 2 p.m. Sept. 17. The event will offer new and used amateur radios and accessories, computer equipment, peripherals, and electronic components. A large outdoor open-air flea market will also be open, hosting private sellers with a wide assortment of almost anything electronic.

This year, the theme for the Peoria Superfest is “Do It Yourself” and will focus on kit building and working with micro-controllers and MESH networks. Forums will center around making projects with Arduino microcomputer, and Kit Building. Join Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, for kit building instruction and Mike Brown, KG9DW, for instruction in Arduino programming and MESH networks.

Forums will be held in the Ameren-Cilco Building from 8:30-11 a.m.

Examinations for FCC ham licenses will be conducted on Sept. 16 starting at 1 p.m in the Ameren-Cilco Building. Information on how to become a Ham Radio Operator and on the next Ham Radio class will also be available.

On Sept. 17, there will be a Go-Kit competition at 9 a.m. in the Youth Building for those amateur radio operators that have built portable radio stations that are used during emergency situations such as tornadoes and floods. These Go-Kits are deployed where needed to provide communications to served agencies such as the Red Cross and other groups and aid disaster recovery efforts.

Also on Sept. 17, a high-altitude balloon will be launched from Exposition Gardens at approximately 11 a.m. The balloon will contain a variety of ham radio equipment, including a high-altitude GPS, Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) for tracking the balloon and a UHF simplex repeater. High definition still and video cameras will be part of the payload.

Superfest prizes include a Yaesu FT-991A, a ICOM 5100 and a Rohn 30-foot tower. The winner of the tower will be drawn at 1 p.m. Sunday. The tower winner is responsible for all transportation costs associated with the tower. Hourly prizes will be offered also.

Food service is available onsite during Superfest hours of operation. All events are open to the public. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Advance tickets with two prize stubs at $7 are also available from their website at www.w9uvi.org. Tickets at the gate will be $10 with one prize stub.

More information is available on the Peoria Superfest at www.w9uvi.org

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