Well my first large hamfest is in the books! It was right here in my backyard. The Huntsville Hamfest. WOW! Lots of big names in the hobby. GigaParts had a stage setup live streaming on Hamfest.tv, Amateur Logic TV was there, W5KUB was live streaming and so much more! There was a extensive forums line up. Bob Heil hosted a forum titled “It’s all about listening”, Georgia D-Star had a forum I attended. Man it was great! NW Digital Radio Even showed off some of their latest projects there! I missed Tim Cunningham’s forum on APRS which was a disappointment, I was looking forward to it. Lots of other great forums that I didn’t get to attend!
There were tons of vendors! Icom, Yaesu, Flex, MFJ, StepIR, Kenwood, Radio Waves, West Mountain Radio, Times Microwave, Alinco, Diamond, and many more! They say that the Huntsville Hamfest is “The Friendliest Hamfest”. That just might be so! I didn’t buy a lot. Just some LMR400, some PL259’s, and various adapters, also a name badge. Nothing terribly exciting. I do now know I want to acquire a Icom 7100 and 51A Plus handheld. Man I really love DSTAR! (More on that later) I wish I would have snapped a few more pictures. I’m really not good at remembering that! I was busy taking everything in!
So many visitors from out of town! I heard and talked to people from Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, and I’m sure there were more! The Flea market was crazy. Military radios, test equipment, computers, crazy cables, small components, and just about everything you could think of! It was there!
Also, lots of fun making eyeball QSO’s! Getting to shake the hands of people that I talk to all the time but never got to meet face to face. Even though I have only been in this just a short time. I have talked to and met many of people that are just genuinely good people. Super smart individuals willing to lend advice and help all along the way. Finally getting to shake the had of these people is great. I’m not just going to say gentleman. Because the hobby also include many smart and super helpful women. I met a couple that worked for Icom, husband and wife. Both super smart and just genuinely great people. The lady also held a passion for 3-Gun just like me! That’s the great thing about this hobby. So many people with tons of diversity!
Located right out side the doors. Bob (kv4pc) had setup a station at the Langbakneset Light in Big Spring Park for the 2015 International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend that was happening at the same time as Hamfest under the call N4L. Who would have thought Huntsville had a light house. You can read more about this here on the QRZ page. Bob payed for the facilities rental out of his pocket for this event and for that I commend him. It was fun seeing it all setup. I’m not sure I got the other gentleman’s name and call when I stopped by to chat. They were both doing a wonderful job talking to everyone that came by. Hams and just people walking by and looking. Always greeting them and talking a little about what was going on and getting people to sign the guest book! Even seen and few had signed the “contact me about ham radio” column of the book! You rock guys! Thanks for your efforts in the event and spreading the love of the hobby!
All in all, it was a great weekend! I look forward to next year!
Oh! One last thing! I snapped a screenshot from APRS.fi of the local APRS traffic around the area Saturday Morning at the exact time of doors opened!