03/11/12

Review of: The 2012 Charlotte Hamfest & ARRL Roanoke Division Convention

One of the things since I passed the Technician I’ve most been looking forward to is going to my first Ham Fest, licensed. I’ve been to HamFests before, more than a couple but less than several. I’ve been to the Huntsville Hamfest multiple times and possibly MemFest a couple. But either way I was looking forward to it. Well my dream came true, today March 10th 2012 was the Charlotte Hamfest in Concord, NC. I got up extra early this morning travel to it from Wilmington, 4 hours and I was there. I went to this by myself but hope to drag the fiance to one sometime. I tell you, I walked in bought my ticket went through admission area and looked forward and I was like wow. I was a little overwhelmed, but in a good way. I guess it’s different when you are taking it in by yourself and this time I understand most everything I see in front of me.

I proceeded to the flea market first. If your not familiar with a HamFest all the ones I’ve been to have manufactures and large ham stores in an area, then kind of small business like name plates, shirt, small antenna builders in the next section of the arena. And then segregated together, normally either to one side or the back, is the flea market. And the flea is one word “everything.” Seriously, there are resellers of hard components, connectors, electronics gear, radios, tubes(there’s always at least one person with 4 tables of vacuum tubes), old computer, cameras, and anything you as a consumer of electronics might be interested in or previously owned. I bought a good set of alligator clips and odds and ends connector. Specifically I got a set of SO-239 panel mount connecters with a very thick flange. Those will go to an antenna project.

Long story short. The Charlotte Hamfest 2012 was a very nice hamfest and I had a very nice time. They had great programs planned(I caught most of a D-Star program), nice flea market, and great vendors area. It was in a comfortable heated and cooled arena. It was very well accessible to get into and parking. And was very well attended. I was also told it appeared that attendance was up which is great! I look forward to it next year!

Here’s some pics I stole from MFJ’s Facebook, props to MFJ for these:

03/10/12

Review of: The 2012 Charlotte Hamfest & ARRL Roanoke Division Convention

One of the things since I passed the Technician I’ve most been looking forward to is going to my first Ham Fest, licensed. I’ve been to HamFests before, more than a couple but less than several. I’ve been to the Huntsville Hamfest multiple times and possibly MemFest a couple. But either way I was looking forward to it. Well my dream came true, today March 10th 2012 was the Charlotte Hamfest in Concord, NC. I got up extra early this morning travel to it from Wilmington, 4 hours and I was there. I went to this by myself but hope to drag the fiance to one sometime. I tell you, I walked in bought my ticket went through admission area and looked forward and I was like wow. I was a little overwhelmed, but in a good way. I guess it’s different when you are taking it in by yourself and this time I understand most everything I see in front of me.

I proceeded to the flea market first. If your not familiar with a HamFest all the ones I’ve been to have manufactures and large ham stores in an area, then kind of small business like name plates, shirt, small antenna builders in the next section of the arena. And then segregated together, normally either to one side or the back, is the flea market. And the flea is one word “everything.” Seriously, there are resellers of hard components, connectors, electronics gear, radios, tubes(there’s always at least one person with 4 tables of vacuum tubes), old computer, cameras, and anything you as a consumer of electronics might be interested in or previously owned. I bought a good set of alligator clips and odds and ends connector. Specifically I got a set of SO-239 panel mount connecters with a very thick flange. Those will go to an antenna project.

Long story short. The Charlotte Hamfest 2012 was a very nice hamfest and I had a very nice time. They had great programs planned(I caught most of a D-Star program), nice flea market, and great vendors area. It was in a comfortable heated and cooled arena. It was very well accessible to get into and parking. And was very well attended. I was also told it appeared that attendance was up which is great! I look forward to it next year!

Here’s some pics I stole from MFJ’s Facebook, props to MFJ for these:

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03/8/12

Ham Radio & EDC…Part 1

Ham Radio is now my biggest hobby, definitely spend the most money on it, but it’s not my only one.  Let me preface a little. I am a person the has a particular mindset; it lightly paranoid, very prepared, willing and strong mindset. While yes, that all does sound like I’m really tooting my own horn and maybe I’ve got a “hero” complex or something, it’s all true. I have no complex. I guess it’s hard to be 100% definitive until those things are really tested but I’m can say that I am 100% willing. With all that said, I a person who believes in being prepared, but not in a weird way like “dooms-day-preppers” or anything.

EDC = Everyday Carry, all the stuff you have set aside to carry on a very consistent basis. I believe in being prepared like I said and I do have a very consistent and defined EDC. I actually would say I have 3 versions that sometimes I must alternate through. Just because of school obviously being gun free and I can’t carry into work either. So here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Full EDC – Lethal and Non-Lethal + food, backpack and pocket carry
  2. Work EDC – Non-Lethal + food, backpack and pocket carry; **Lethal in truck** 
  3. School EDC – Partial/Non-Lethal + food, backpack and pocket carry

That probably seems like a lot and it might sound to be difficult to control and deploy, but it’s not. Over time my kit/s have evolved. I’ve added and weeded out plenty, gone through several bags and improved quality of the tools I carry.  Quality improvement meaning that I started with, lets say a, Maglite LED flashlight, but a while back I upgraded my primary torch to a higher-end 4Sevens Maelstrom X7; which is a beast of a light. Things like that, I didn’t through out $1000 dollars at once to put together my EDC, over time I’ve built a nice kit.

I’ve also segregated gear easy to access micro kits inside the pack. Zippered bags, clam-shell kits and organizers. This way transferring stuff from bag to bag is easy and quick. The prime essentials; pens, weapons, navigation, hydration, knives, flashlights and things of that nature are always mounted in the bags, there’s a set in each full time.

This a multi part series…

03/7/12

What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio (or “ham radio”) provides the broadest and most powerful wireless communications capability available to any private citizen anywhere in the world. This worldwide community of ham radio operators use their radios for emergencies, experimentation, and fun!

03/7/12

What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio (or “ham radio”) provides the broadest and most powerful wireless communications capability available to any private citizen anywhere in the world. This worldwide community of ham radio operators use their radios for emergencies, experimentation, and fun!