Fort Wayne Hamfest 2014


I attended the Fort Wayne Hamfest today. It’s only a 90 minute drive due north of here, and I go almost every year. It takes place in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Center, a wonderful venue for such events. It’s the largest hamfest in the State of Indiana, and the final amateur radio hurrah of the year.

Like most hamfests, attendance has fallen over the last decade. There was a time when it took two floors to facilitate all the buyers and sellers. Last year the event seemed just a portion of its former self. So you can imagine my surprise to walk in and see a healthy crowd doing what hams do best.

This particular event seems to bring out a wide variety of boat anchors, and some of the nicest old gear that I’ve ever seen. Take a look at all the pictures I took while there and tell me I’m wrong. I was especially impressed by a table full of refurbished Gonset G-50 six meter transceivers, like the one shown below.

Gonset G-50

The fellow refreshing these said several of the locals are trying to drum up six meter AM activities and this work was instrumental. He was getting $100-$250 per unit, depending on its condition — but all were fully operable. I didn’t pick one up today, but I got his contact information, just in case I decide I can’t live without one.

I attended a talk by Jay Slough, K4ZLE who shared his experience as one of the operators on the FT5ZM Amsterdam Island operation earlier this year. His presentation was very inspiring and seeing what happens on the other end of the pile-up makes waiting in the pile-up a little more palatable. Jay is one busy guy, he just got back from American Samoa operating as W1AW/KH8.

Another enjoyable trip to Fort Wayne is tucked away in memory, and our attention will soon turn to the 2015 hamfest season.

If you Twitter, you might want to take a look at my #ftwhamfest timeline. Thanks!

Author: Jeff Davis