Yesterday (Sunday 3rd November), I attended the Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society (AHARS) Buy and Sell, which was held at the Goodwood Community Centre. This is South Australia’s biggest ‘hamfest’. And this year did not disappoint, with lots of vendors selling their wares in the main hall, including Ross from Strictly Ham in Melbourne.
Next door in the adjacent hall, Ian VK5CZ and I had a display on Summits on the Air (SOTA) and the VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award. During the course of the day we had many interested hams approach us about the 2 programs. It was great to catch up with many amateurs that I had spoken to on air but had never met. This included Paul VK4FPPR/5, who I had spoken to on 40m the night earlier. I had been tuning around the band & heard Paul speaking with Marshall VK3MRG (a keen SOTA enthusiast) about portable operation.
Included in our display was Ian’s Elecraft KX3; my Yaesu FT-817nd; a collection of portable antennas including end feds, linked dipoles, verticals; SOTA & Parks certificates; Mountain Goat trophy, handouts; squid poles; a variety of batteries used for portable operation; bothy bags, an Elecraft T1 tuner: antenna analysers, etc.
Ian also had his laptop, so we were able to show interested hams the SOTAWatch page and the Parks N Peaks spotting page. And on my laptop we had a slideshow of SOTA and Parks activations.
All in all, a very enjoyable day with lots of visitors to the display. And hopefully between Ian and myself, we encouraged a few more amateurs to try portable operation.