• Hamfest Overview (C)

    From Daryl Stout@1:2320/33 to All on Thu May 4 00:05:22 2023
    At The Hamfest

    After you take care of parking and admission fees, you're likely to see
    the following at a hamfest. Note that the bigger the event, the more of
    these there will be.

    Bring cash, as most may NOT accept checks or credit/debit cards. However,
    guard your money carefully!!

    1) Dealers, that sell new gear, accessories, antennas, connectors,
    software, manuals, etc. If you buy computer hardware or software, be
    sure you scan it for viruses and spyware before using it.

    2) Flea market tables, where you can usually get a good deal on used
    gear, that you couldn't afford new. However, the phrases "buyer beware",
    and "you get what you pay for", APPLY!!

    Unfortunately, some of the gear that is "sold" ends up as a "worthless
    boat anchor doorstop"...as the original owner may be wanting to "make
    some money off of a worthless item".

    Try to avoid purchasing "antique radios"...and "learn the smell of burnt
    or overheated electronics". Replacement parts for vintage gear...or where
    the electronics have been burned out...will be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, if not IMPOSSIBLE, to obtain. If the hamfest has a "Test Bench", try the gear out BEFORE you shell out the money, write a check, use your credit card,
    etc...and, if the person won't let you test the gear before you purchase
    it, it's best that you POLITELY DECLINE their offer, and move along to
    another table. If the price sounds "too good to be true", it probably is.

    3) Forums, discussing any of several aspects of the hobby. There may also
    be an ARRL forum, where you can meet your State Section Manager, ARRL
    Division Director, or other officials from the ARRL.

    4) VE Testing, where you can take an exam for a new ham radio license, or
    for a license upgrade. The license exam may be ARRL/VEC, W5YI VEC, or
    another group. For an overview of what a license exam session may entail,
    go to www.theweatherwonder.com/hamradio.htm#examday

    5) Concessions, where the local club is selling food and drink, so you
    don't have to leave the hamfest site to grab a bite to eat, if you don't
    want to. Bear in mind that the menu is usually what you'll find at a
    ballgame (hamburgers, hot dogs, soft drinks, etc.). Restaurants are
    usually nearby, if you prefer to eat out, as it were.

    6) Prize drawings, the main draw of the hamfest. The smaller prizes can be manuals, books, repeater directories, connectors, etc. -- while the big
    prizes can be HT's, mobile or HF rigs. You usually have to be present to
    win, except for maybe the grand prize, which is usually awarded just
    before the end of the hamfest. For the amateur radio gear prizes, you
    MUST be a licensed amateur radio operator, or have just passed your
    license exam at a test session earlier in the hamfest, to win these items.

    7) Wouff Hong. If the event is an ARRL Division or National Convention,
    lasting for more than a day, there may be the Wouff Hong ceremony. This
    Secret Society, and its ceremony is a FUN part of the hobby. However, I
    can NOT go into the exact details as to what goes on...you have to
    experience it for yourself...but you do get a nice certificate afterwards.
    The ceremony is usually held in the mid to late evening hours...midnight
    is preferred, but sometimes, they'll do it a bit earlier. I went through
    it at the 2007 ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention, and the 2013 ARRL
    Delta Division Convention...and let's just say that "a good time is had
    by all". For further details on the history of the Wouff Hong, check out
    the "ham radio history" bulletin, and scroll down to near the bottom.

    8) DFing (Direction Finding) and Fox Hunting. Sometimes there will be a
    "fox hunt" set up where you try to hone your direction finding skills, to locate a hidden transmitter...with the winner usually receiving a nice

    9) Displays of various emergency communications vehicles, etc. related to amateur radio.
    --- SBBSecho 3.20-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (1:2320/33)