Last Sunday I drove to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to a hamfest.
Some of my earliest ham radio memories are going with my dad to the hamfest in Cedar Rapids in the 1970s. In those days, the hamfest was a huge event… I vaguely recall table after table of boat anchors and Art Collins sightings. Art, founder of Collins Radio, was one of the local ham celebs that Iowa hams would easily recognize.
In the 1980s and 1990s, PCs began to invade the local hamfests. Even though I’m a bit of PC nut, I was never drawn to PC stuff at hamfests. I figured that I could always buy PCs elsewhere – I was there to buy ham stuff. Maybe that sounds hypocritical coming from a guy who sold a lot of solar panels at Dayton. Oh well.
Anyway, I picked up a few goodies (antenna mount, patch cables, and a barrel connector). I also got to catch up a bit with some Iowa hams I don’t see often. Good times.
Is the local hamfest what it used to be now that the internet is here? No – but it’s still worth the trip in my opinion.