Why do Ham Fests start at 6:30 AM?

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by W9FL, Jul 11, 2021.

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  1. KC0KEK

    KC0KEK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Radio made me an early riser. MW was my start in the hobby. As a teenager, I would get up at 4-5 am to catch stations signing on and other DX. Good times.
    KL7KN and N1VAU like this.
  2. G8XQB

    G8XQB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Did continental, weeks about, double days...over the years, you name it I probably worked it! I DO NOT miss any of it though - these days I am just happy to have a sensible and repeatable sleep pattern!
  3. KK0SS

    KK0SS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Starting early, flipping, making it difficult for "normal people" to attend, saying it ends at 4 but really all the sellers and classes are done at noon, the last drawing is at noon and not 4pm etc, etc, etc is WHY HAM RADIO is slowly dying. We need to make this hobby more mainstream and welcoming.
    G8XQB likes this.
  4. G8XQB

    G8XQB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ah....! Is it a case of 'the early bird catches the worm...' (or maybe the SX-88!!!!)
    KC0KEK likes this.
  5. G0OIL

    G0OIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ugh. Early starts. Not something I like to do any more. Most amateur radio events around here start at 10am which is somewhat more civilised.

    I had 50 years of getting up early: leaving home at 7am to go to school when I was little (two buses across the city and a long walk - how many little kids would do that now?), all those 5am starts to drive a 150 mile round trip to work or the 06:04 train to London when I worked in the City, 3am or 4am starts to get to the airport for a business trip a couple of times a week. We've all done it, right? Well stuff that. These days I work from home and won't start before 9am. If I have to go on a business trip, I travel the previous evening and stay in a hotel.

    If a Hamfest started at Early O' Clock, I don't think you'd find me there :)

    Friends who were in the military tell me of their 4am or 5am starts - well I sincerely respect them and thank them for what they did, but it's a good job they never called me up - I'd have been hopeless :)

    I recall the words of my old pal G4SOI who lives in the next village: once he retired, he said "there's only one 8 O'Clock in the day and it's sure as hell not in the morning". Wise words.
    K5MUG, KC0KEK, WD4ELG and 1 other person like this.
  6. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The second mouse gets the cheese.

    I remember as a then newly licensed Amateur at university hearing about a ham radio event, with breakfast served, about an hour drive away. I convinced a friend down the hall in the dormitory to come with me to the event, he was also then recently licensed. On the day of the event we got up and went, thinking we'd get there as things would be getting rolling. We were very wrong.

    As I recall the event started at 6:30 and was supposed to run for 3 or 4 hours. I don't remember when we got there but it certainly was not 6:30. The food was nearly all gone and cold, everyone else had already eaten and had cleared the tables. When we tried to pay our fee the guy running things refused to take our money. I suspect the guy felt it would not be fair to charge for leftovers. Everyone else attending had to be somewhere between double and triple our age. We had some uncomfortable conversation with another attendee, and I got this feeling we were intruders. Nobody was exactly hostile but not exactly warm either, it dawned on us that this event was not intended to be open to people from out of town.

    I also noticed this pattern of early risers among Amateur radio operators. I thought this might have been a Midwestern thing, a habit from a time and place where dairy farms created a generation of early risers. Apparently this is not unique to the Midwest.
  7. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember daylight savings time happening while in basic training. We held morning formation in pitch black for a week. Getting up early wasn't a problem, I milked cows on the farm before enlisting. The problem was forming up when we could not see our own feet.
    WD4ELG likes this.
  8. G0OIL

    G0OIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    A friend of my father's put his clocks forwards instead of backwards in October and arrived at the golf club 2 hours early in the dark. It was something that he never lived down, though I'm sure he wasn't the first and won't be the last
  9. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read about a ham operator who kept his time on GMT for everything he did. He never shifted between daylight savings time and standard time. He always got up at the same time every day and went to bed at the same time every day. People wanted to meet him he consulted his calendar and converted times when he was available back into their respective time zone. It seems like a hassle at first, but I wonder if it would work to help eliminate that ship that happens around the time we go to daylight savings craziness.
  10. KM4MA

    KM4MA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The old guys can't keep up (late hours) with us whipper snappers. Especially in contesting where a team takes turns in the seat. A hamfest has guys in RVs waiting for sunup! They probably are sleeping by 9:30 at night. :eek:
  11. KI5CAW

    KI5CAW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wanted to go to a recent hamfest even though it started at 6 am and was 40 miles away. Set the alarm for 7, about as early as I can handle, but when it went off I looked at the thermometer. Nine degrees F. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Got up at 8, logged onto the Internet, bought two radios while drinking coffee.
    Competition may be one reason why Fests are not always so well attended. Make it hard for people to attend and they go elsewhere.
    KA2MWS, WD4ELG and AC0GT like this.
  12. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    2 points

    Hamfest start times:

    Host your own hamfest! Start it whatever time you want. Start it at 10:47AM, heck you should name it "The 10:47 hamfest". You can reward late comers by reducing admission fees hourly as the day goes along. Maybe award a prize for the one who shows up after it's over. :D

    Note: Don't start your event at 4:20 PM, you'll end up with a bunch of people with the munchies looking for dinner at the "420 hamfest", dude.

    After you host a couple events please report back here how your event was much more successful because it started later.

    Early risers:
    You'll figure out that one on your own when your body clock clicks over 21,900 sunrises. I don't want to spoil it for you. ;)

    73, good luck with the hamfest, I'm root'n for ya!
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
    N2EY likes this.
  13. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    No! It's more like 8 to 9 p.m. Just wait young feller, your time is coming and a lot faster than you think! HAW HAW HAW
  14. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ha! I have been waiting for that to happen. Now that I started taking my heart meds in the nighttime (arrythmia) about a month ago...BAM! Awake at 5:30 every morning without fail.

    Of course, I don't drink any booze, I don't eat much for dinner, and I exercise and no smoking or sweets. So that probably helps. I have been wanting this to happen so I can get an early start and not drag my a$$ out of bed. Well, at age 57.5, it has arrived. While it's great for walking the dog before sunrise, it's kind of a bummer to collapse at 9:30 at night. LOL
  15. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are a late sleeping night owl compared to some!

    My body seems to like ~3:30-4:30AM. It comes in handy in the fall for duck season. My friends complain about having to get up early at 5AM. :D
    WD4ELG and N2EY like this.

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