Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Fun Morning

I did indeed have a fun morning attending the Raritan Valley Radio Club Hamfest today.

The day started early by meeting Bob W3BBO and John N3ZAS for breakfast as a local diner, called the Fountain Bleu here in South Plainfield. Over some French Toast, pancakes, waffles, ham and eggs (not all consumed by me!) we caught up on old times. We were expecting a few other Piscataway Amateur Radio Club members to join us; but unfortunately that never materialized.

I was greeted by a happy surprise as Bob handed me a CD on which he had copied every photo he has that he had of PARC related activities, taken while he lived here in Central NJ for a few years back in the mid 90s. I've gotten the chance to peruse the photos and the memories they have brought back are priceless! What a Father's Day gift!

We headed on over to the Hamfest proper; and proceeded to look around for various items needed. In the end I didn't buy anything; but Bob did pick up a new SLA for his K2 that we found a vendor selling for 5 bucks (How can you beat that?). He also picked up some terminal strips and various little odds and ends. John picked up a Clear Speech speaker with DSP that he found, basically brand new in a box. He was looking for a decent microphone; but ended up not finding one.

I was hunting for some good wire cutters and a small bag of PL-259s; but didn't find anything at a price I liked. What I did come away with was priceless, however. I saw a lot of the guys from PARC and had a good time renewing old friendships! I saw a neat example of a loop antenna for what appeared to be 20 meters suspended from a Black Widow fishing pole. I have one of those and it appeared to be an excellent rendition. I only wish that I had been smart enough to bring along my digital camera to have taken pictures of it. It looks like it would indeed have been an excellent Field Day type of antenna.

I ended up having to leave kind of early as I had a Knights of Columbus function that I was responsible for early in the afternoon. Bob stayed on at the Hamfest a little longer, only to get a drive back to his hotel from another friend and PARC member, Bill W2BT later on. I drove John N3ZAS back to the hotel parking lot, where he jumped into his car and drove home. I got home only to be greeted by a message on the answering machine, imploring me to come and straighten out a mess at the K of C Council Hall (sigh!).

It was fun seeing Bob W3BBO, John N3ZAS, Rich W2PQ, Bill W2WK, Bob W2UDT, Marty KB2JSG, Bill W2BT and Brian N2MPM. There are some others that I wish were there; that hadn't showed up in the small amount of time that I was able to spend. Maybe next year! And now that my term is up as an officer in the Knights of Columbus, I think I'll be able to make Piscataway Amateur Radio Club meetings on a more regular basis.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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