Newark HamFest

Yesterday I was at the Annual HamFest in Newark,  one of the bigger Amateur Radio annual rallies.  The RSGB had a very large bookstall (the equivalent of about 3 shop fronts), but no copies of our book.

The PW bookstall, which wasn’t as big but still worth about 2 shop fronts, had 3 copies when I first looked at about 1045.  A couple of hours later I looked and it was down to the last copy.  The HamFest still had all day yesterday and today to run, so I’m sure that last copy will be gone by the time you read this.

My point is that we’re still reaching ex R/Os and other interested parties who are also licensed Amateur Radio operators.  I think it’s worth renewing our contact with both of the above-mentioned organs to persuade them to restock “The Long Silence Falls.”  And I’m sure I can sell a few more at my own club’s rally in February.  This is a smaller, one-day affair, with only about 500 visitors, but still a great place to sell our book and distribute our Association leaflet.  This is a good way to obtain free publicity and maybe a few new members.

It was nice, by the way, to finally get my hands on a soft-cover edition of the tome.  It’s been executed much better than I imagined, and is very professionally made.  Well done to Tony and the team for this.

You never know who’ll see at these events.  I bumped into Mike Carter of the ROA and some of his friends, and we had a great time chatting.

It was good to see so much support for the CW arm of the hobby there, with morse keys on sale – some new, some old, and some very old (including a Marconi 365B), and plenty of books on CW.  I saw iambic (paddle) keys and electronic keyers, and even one of the new capacitive touch paddle keys.  Some of the well-known international CW associations, such as FISTS, had stalls there, with lots of CW enthusiasts visiting.

Finally, as you can guess, the rally wasn’t just about the ROA publication and CW.  You could buy anything there, from second-hand radio stuff to anything new – a transistor or capacitor, IC, huge power valves, complete transceiver, antennae, test equipment, soldering stations, self-build kits, etc etc.  And there were about a dozen lectures scheduled for those who could tear themselves away from the absolutely fascinating stalls on all subjects to do with the radio genre.

Dave Ellis.

Leave a Comment