I drove to Claremore OK last weekend to attend the Green County Hamfest at the Claremore Expo Center. Since the Expo Center didn’t have an ATM I was limited on any purchases since most of the floor space was taken up by hams with their used goods and only took cash (which I didn’t bring much of) so I was limited to who I could buy from. Buying some kind of radio equipment, whether it’s needed or not, is a part of being a ham, right?! 🙂 After driving 200 miles round-trip, I felt like I couldn’t leave empty-handed.
Since I’ve still only got my Technicians license I didn’t feel like getting an HF radio at this time, so I ended up getting a Yaesu VX-8DR. The main reasons for sticking with a handy-talkie were:
I wanted a multi-band radio since most of the repeaters in the Fayetteville area are on 70cm and so I could work on getting a satellite contact at some point this year.
I opted for an extra battery and the GPS unit so I can also get started with APRS. Unfortunately the vendor was out of external speaker/microphone adapters so I’m waiting on that to come via UPS.
While I’m waiting for that, I’m studying the operating manual (which is 170 pages) and getting the local repeaters stored in memory.
As for the Hamfest itself, there were LOTs of people there on Saturday and apparently the same person won 2 of the door prize radios (lucky). Most of the flea market stuff was spare parts. I only spotted 5 or 6 decent base-station radios. The Green County ham club gave out their scholarship award of $1000 to a YL ham while I was there.