The Upper Pinellas Amateur Radio Club was well represented at this year’s 2023 Tampa Bay Hamfest. Some of the usual suspects made an appearance and posed for a group photo.
There were plenty of vendors and fellow hams selling their wares.
Surprisingly some people actually made it out of the event without spending anything! I know, right? Hard to believe. A strike team is still trying to figure out how Ryan AF4O didn’t buy a single thing. A supercomputer in an undisclosed location is still trying to calculate the cause of this event.
This seems like a good time for the new Webmaster’s Award. The inaugural award goes to Fred W2SUB for the most un-amateur radio purchase at a ham fest: A pair of bolt cutters! You can see the proof for yourself in the photo at the beginning of the article. Just LOOK what he’s holding in his hand.
All in good fun of course. The author picked up his 2024 Hamcation ticket at the discounted price as well as a pair of new stringers for his hamsticks.
Dee W4DCH got himself a Icom 5100 VHF/UHF for the shack and a rather large 10M whip antenna.
The 10M antennas seemed pretty popular judging by the number you saw moving around the Expo Hall. If you haven’t been to the Tampa Bay Hamfest before it is an annual event held at the Florida Strawberry Festival. Think of Hamcation on smaller scale and without the big vendors there.
As you would expect, there was plenty of old gear for sale. No I don’t mean all the OMs roaming the event either. Just look at some of these classics:
(L-R) Karen KQ4HNI, Olev KO4WUB
as well as Ron W4RFA, Herb W4BCH and Jeff Palmer NE4C but we didn’t get photos. We did get a photo of Ray W8RD before he left the event.
Trouble (L-R) Dee W4DCH, Alan W4UB, Jack N4KIN and Ryan AF4O
Ryan, Rob and Jack also had a good conversation with Matt Copeland NC4FD, VP/Director/Trustee with the West Central Florida group who runs the NI4CE linked repeater system. The author was aware they had multiple analog repeaters linked together but learned they’ve been busy building out digital repeaters using the NXDN open standard.
All in all, I think we all had a good time shopping, talking to friends we know and even some that we’ve only spoken to over the radio. It’s always fun getting together regardless of where it happens.
Hope to see you there in 2024!