A friend of mine has invited me to an area hamfest almost every year for the last several years. The last indoor hamfest I attended was back before 1998 in Minnesota. The last outdoor gathering was about five years ago in Tennessee. In Cave City, Kentucky there is a hamfest that just had it’s 32nd annual event and that is where I went.

Earlier in the week when I made the decision to attend I thought about all the equipment I had stashed in boxes. One of the thoughts that occurred to me was that after several years some of the items might not work. I thought about taking some things and selling them while they were still good. However as I pulled them out and tested them most were not in working order. So I dropped that idea and just decided to have a good time.

I do have several unreliable junk two meter mobile rigs. Some were used for packet in the past. I had been looking at a Kenwood TM-271 for the last year. I like that it is two meters only and has the speaker on the front of the radio. We have been short one mobile rig and I thought that if I saw one I would buy it. The night before the hamfest I tested the old two meter rigs and thought I had one of the radios working. On the way I was able to listen, but when I heard my friend give his ID my transmissions were not heard. I needed a new radio.

So while there I found and bought the radio. Then I bought a new antenna. The new radios have much higher transmitter power than the old antennas that I have could handle. While buying my friend spotted an HF mobile antenna that he liked. That helped him make his decision.

Probably the most fun I had was watching my friend count out cash for his new Icom-7000. He then went and purchased the HF antenna. I joked that I was his bodyguard as we walked his purchases back to his car.

When I got back home I did some more looking at the equipment I had that was not working. The PK-232 would not respond until I removed the bad back up battery. It works fine now. The back up battery had been loading down the supply. I have some old Radio Shack handhelds that all need new batteries. An article on line talked about how easy they were to replace. I opened one of the radios up and found that it should be no problem to get them going again. I will probably send in my father’s old Ten-Tec Argonaut 515 to have repaired. Having once owned a 509 I really miss having a nice QRP rig. My Kenwood TS-140S has a bad relay, but as it only affects the broadcast band and 160 meters it should not be a problem.

Now all I have to do is put up some antennas. Like I said before, I wish I had started this blog a year ago. There was a lot that happened with Linux. Looks like ham radio is going to get some attention for a while.



About Tim

Amateur Radio operator, television broadcast engineer living in Minnesota.
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