Saturday, December 12, 2015

Meanwhile, up at the hamfest...

There was a hamfest in Poplarville today.  Side definition: hamfest (n), a ham radio swap meet and small-time vendor show.  No actual pork products are involved.  The usual stuff was out in force: tons of old "boat anchor" radios and power supplies, tables of spare parts that would put a well-equipped Radio Shack (should such a thing even exist anymore) to shame, booths selling callsign-engraved knick-knacks, and several lame jokes about arriving and leaving early could be overheard.  In short, all the usual stuff.

It was however a smallish affair, maybe half the sheer volume of stuff packed into the Poplarville National Guard armory at the same event three years ago.  I don't think the event's so much in decline however, it's just no longer over-stuffed.  For all the right-sizing going on, I still found what I was looking for, a good clean used Yaesu FT-857D.  I need a second radio that's small enough to take camping or even on a hike, and this one fills the bill.  To be sure, it is a deep menus puzzlebox, but most of the settings fall into the set-it-and-forget-it realm.  Anyway, it was good to find it used, because that saved me a couple hundred bucks.  I anticipate that it'll take me a few weeks to get it all sorted out to the point that I'm ready to take it camping, but so far I've made a few contacts on HF with it and they were no trouble at all.  Need to sort out programming in the local VHF repeater frequencies next.

Needed to pick up a handful of wire insulators, was even looking at them on a table just as I was leaving, but with a new radio in my arms my brain was overloaded so I passed.  Got to put in a small parts order soon anyway.

So, successful day.  Just... lots of manual to read, and a puzzlebox to sort out in the upcoming rainy days.

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