Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ham Fest ?

My husband asked me if I wanted to go to Ham Fest with him.
I thought I'd see a lot of this.

But what I got was . . .

this  (no, not my car)

It was Winterfest, for ham radio operators,
at the Gateway Convention Center 
in Collinsville, IL which is 
just over the river from St. Louis.

There were lots of tables full of gear,
lots of meters

and tube testers

and radios, new and vintage.

There were shirts (crazy hams!)

I LOVED this- 
too bad it didn't fit.
I wanted a "Frank" shirt for my gardening chores.
How cool is that!  LOL
(really, I wanted this, they were auto shop extras)

After an exhilarating morning, we made our way back home,
across the river,
through the city,
and into town so we could pick up a few things. 

On the way I saw the sort of ham fest
 I was thought we were attending.
Lucky dogs!

photo credit of hams


Gorges Smythe said...

Not my thing, though it SHOULD be.


Oh my brother in law loved the ham radio stuff....I'd be like you thinking it would be enjoyed the post Kathy!

Lisa said...

as we say down in the south..."Bless your heart!". But I bet hubby was glad to have you tagging along. :)


LindaG said...

Don't think I've ever seen a 'porcupine' car before. ;o)
What a great little fest!
Thanks for sharing it with us. :o)

Carolyn said...

Oh MAN, I was so hoping it was a HAM fest, like bacon & sausage and, well HAM. Well, hope you had fun anyhow :)

Yahoobuckaroo's Blog said...

You should have taken the granddaughter to see the world's biggest catsup bottle while you were there.

I've seen cars around here with huge antennas almost like you would see on a house. Big boxy fringe looking things. It's hard to believe you would need something like that just for HAM use. Are these guys trying to get Moscow in on the long wave, or what? I don't get it. Truckers don't have huge antennas like that.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I forgot to go see the ketchup bottle! Taylor wasn't with us, it's the other grandma's turn for her this weekend. I had to take a photo of that car- really? He couldn't be using all those antennas! I do think Tom can reach Moscow inside with the radio, sometimes, but not in his car because he doesn't have that type in his car but apparently some can. It's this antenna that has a tube running up and down it with the coils inside the tube. I managed to entertain myself at the event but I don't think I'd be excited to go again.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Yeah, me too. That BBQ contest looked pretty good, smelled great too!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

It was different! A bit over the top, the rest of the vehicles were normal except for all the license plates with the ham radio call signals on them.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Oh yes, I was introduced to all his hammy friends. I guess this is what I get for taking him to quilt shops with me!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

If they could just combine the two, it would be a great event

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Maybe you'll get into it when you retire. There's lots of guys that talk all day and then there's the weather spotter guys too. It really is a good way to keep in touch if things got bad.

Catawissa Gazetteer said...

The reason the antenna is so big is that it has to resonate at the lower HF frequencies. CB is in the 11 meter wavelength band. A 1/4 wave CB antenna would be approximately 2.75 meters long. That can be reduced even further by using load coils which is what most CB antennas do. That's what is in that large cylinder you'll see on them.

HF antennas on cars may be designed to resonate as low as 40 or even 80 meters. I think that they can even be designed to resonate at 160 meters, though they don't work that well. You can see why they are so much longer than a CB antenna. Same principles apply, just on a larger scale. A 1/4 wave 80 meter antenna is 20 meters long or somewhere around 65 feet.

And yes, it's quite possible to communicate around the world from a car. Mostly though you'll hear guys talking to other hams inside the country. There are a bunch of nets that run everyday and you'll hear the same group of friends talking on the way home from work. It's just that they may be driving home in another state.

Candy C. said...

I'll bet it was fun even if it WAS the wrong kind of "ham!" :)