NEAR-Fest XXIV

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by K2GOG, Oct 16, 2018.

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  1. K2GOG

    K2GOG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is a summary with photos of the New England Amateur Radio Festival in Deerfield, NH this past weekend on October 12-13.

    http://notebook.hvdn.org/2018/10/near-fest-what-is-under-tarp.html


    This is one of my favorite ham-fests to attend. This year the rain may have reduced the attendee and tailgate sections, but was still worth the drive from FN31.

    Who else went and what were your thoughts this year?
     
  2. KC1HLU

    KC1HLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nicely done!

    For my positive reactions to this event:
    • The Nashua Area Radio Society seems to be an awesome organization, doing a lot of great work with the schools and truly advancing ham radio to students and contributing massively to STEM.
      • One of their officers gave my Wife and I a full explanation of the Hot Air Balloon projects. Very impressive!
      • The New England Tech Trek setup is great, this is my 3rd Near-Fest and they have been there for the past 2 events. Too bad that the building is off the beaten path so fewer people go in there to see their great work as well as a few other groups (DMR, etc.).
    • Thanks to NE1B, Bill for asking us to sit thru the Skywarn presentation. I had attended the Summer version of it at my local radio club but this Winter version was very interesting even though I am not in the same region that the speaker represents.
    • W6TOM, Tom's presentation on power line RFI was very interesting and well done.
    • W1TP, Tom's presentation on spy radios was very interesting. Always a pleasure listening to him speak. I've attended his Enigma presentation in the past.
    • I enjoyed K1KP, Tony's presentation on setting up the first HF station. Something I need to do very soon.
    • It was nice chatting with KA1ULN, Niece. I knew she looked familiar but couldn't remember from where. Turns out she recognized us from the late, great Boston Computer Society (I ran two user groups for them).
     
  3. KC1HLU

    KC1HLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now for my negative reactions to this event:
    • As a new ham I've attended these events to learn more about ham radio. The fact that the schedule of events is never available until about a week before the event I think contributes a lot to the declining numbers of attendees.
      • This is leaf-peeping season so that those that travel a distance and plan on staying overnight need to plan well in advance. Having a schedule of events available two months in advance could make a difference in convincing some folks to attend. It certainly won't hurt!
    • Oct 2017 the place was crowded (flea market and those walking around). May 2018 the flea market looked to be ~1/2 the size of the prior Oct event. This Oct the flea market was largely disserted, maybe due to the miserable weather?
    • Lack of advertising (except at Boxboro).
      • I didn't see any posts about Near-Fest here on the Zed until a day or two prior to the event.
      • I saw nothing about it posted on a number of Ham forums that I read.
    • There were so few people in the Arts & Science building that the Skywarn meteorologist had no audience for his presentation. So NE1B, Bill asked us to do him a favor and sit thru it. I enjoyed the presentation but it is a shame that there weren't more folks in the building.
    • On my way out of Near-Fest a presenter who I had chatted with earlier asked me what can they do to get more people to attend. See my comments above. Reviewing the OP's well-written AAR you will see very few people in his pictures, sadly that tells the tale.
    • Now for my worst experience! At ~12:30PM on Saturday I decided to move my car up and parked beside the 1st commercial building on the right, since I had back surgery 6 weeks prior, it was to avoid another long walk to the car after putting some things in the car at that time. Coming back to the car after a trip to HRO I noticed a man walking by that commercial building swinging an antenna that looked like mine in a rather hap-hazard manner (which is why he caught my attention). When I got to my car I suddenly noticed that my Diamond NMO mount antenna had been stolen (and I had walked by the thief)! Nice way to end the show for us. After buying a replacement antenna, we just left in disgust (weather certainly didn't help either).
    I won't be attending Near-Fest anymore unless I have moved up in that area and just hit it for a few hours. Not worth the expense of staying over/eating out to attend this event IMNSHO.
     
  4. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks to Mr Mike and the crew of merry men + woman!

    Weather is always a factor with any tailgating hamfest/flea market. Everybody talks about it but does nothing!

    We hammies are a (fool)hearty bunch but we adapt and overcome such petty things as wind swept rain with the occasional 75mph wind shear (like the spring's fest).

    While it is true that some of the "usual suspects" might have endured the weather by staying home. For that leaves the rest of us the Lion's share!

    I found a piece of unmolested vintage gear I have been keeping an eye out for decades. Paid $5(!) and after a bit of cleaning it actually works. That right there was worth my price of admission.

    As long as there's a NEARFEST, we will come!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  5. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its a one hour back road drive for me and I didnt bother as the weather was easily predicted on a radar map. I usually go to socialize but not in the rain......At almost 78 Im past those years. Been to too many to count since the late 60's and over a few different names and locations.

    A big Thumbs up on NARS, I belonged to them years ago and operated a few Field Days. More clubs need to get involved at their current level.

    Carl
    Ham since 1955
     

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