Saturday, June 20, 2009

What makes for a great Hamfest?

Having a good time, of course!

The RVRC Hamfest, which I attended this morning, was by no means the best one they ever put on. Because of the threatening weather (looked like it was going to pour any minute) attendance was down by both buyers AND sellers from what I could see. The past couple of year's events were much better attended.

All that being said, I still had a good time. I saw faces of old friends and made a few new ones, too. I saw Charles W2SH, who I have come to know through NAQCC activities. We talked a bit and I got him to sign my QRP ARCI WAS application. He had a good time looking through the cards to see which operators that I worked, that he also knew.

The other signer (I needed two) was Barry WB2KLF. Barry and I go back close to 30 years now, since we were both members of the Metuchen Amateur Radio Club in the late 70s and the 80s. It was good to see Barry again and to do some "catching up" as it were, talking about things that have happened in each of our lives since we last saw each other.

I got to see many members of what used to be PARC, the Piscataway Amateur Radio Club. What was cool was seeing Bill W2WK and his son Tim N2LPN. I've known Tim since he was in High School; and found out today that it's actually "Dr. Koeth"; as Tim has earned a PhD in Nuclear Physics. Talk about wow!

It's always nice meeting up with W2WK. Back in our PARC days, he served as President of the club; and I was his Vice-President. That went on for two or three years until I assumed the role of President for two terms. It was also fun seeing Drew W2OU and Rich N2PQ, also two of the finer Hams in the South Plainfield/Piscatway area. And I also got the opportunity to see the faces behind the many voices that I hear regularly on the RVRC W2QW repeater.

I also walked away with a few goodies, too. I bought a 20 foot length of RG-8X coax, complete with PL-259 connectors, which I will use with my portable ops kit. The 50 foot length that I was using will now serve as my coax lead in from my Inverted L (from the balun, that is). I also picked up a set of diagonal cutters - you can never have enough "good" pairs of diagonal cutters as far as I'm concerned. And lastly I bought one of those little palm sized LED flashlights. This one has 6 LEDS at the front and is pretty darn bright. The three needed AAA batteries were included.

In all I may have spent about 25 to 30 bucks. Definitely no big ticket items purchased by W2LJ; but I did see a few pieces of mint looking Heathkit gear that I would have picked up in a heartbeat, had I the disposable income to do so.

By the way, rumor on the Internet has it that Walter Cronkite KB2GSD is gravely ill; something that CBS will not confirm or deny. One of the "most trusted" newsmen in American history, Cronkite became a Ham after he retired. He carried Ham equipment on his sailboat to serve as his main communication mode, I guess. Anyway, as a fellow Ham, please keep him in your prayers.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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