Tess (my dog) and I was there early and sitting in the HamFest parking lot before 9:00AM. While my Van's motor is not running I enjoyed operating the FT-817 on the bands below 2 meters.
About a year ago, I had some repairs done to my Van's engine. The repair shop felt it was necessary to replace the ignition wires. I did not think to check HF radio operation, as I did not have my FT-817 at the time, Although, afterwards I did notice a little new ignition noise on the AM radio.
So, for now (with maybe solid, noisy ignition wires), I only operated on HF when the Van is stopped. Which may be OK, as I do not like driving down the road with the tip of my 40 meter Hustler Antenna up at 14 plus feet (it is mount on the top rear).
I was surprised, 20 meter was jumping, I made several contacts. There was some sort of contest going on, people looking for Washington counties. My 5 watt FT-817 did me proud, maybe my tuning-up of the antenna a few days earlier paid off.
I may ask the Repair Shop if they have access to resistive "noise suppression" ignition wire, I am due for another tune-up.
Back to the HamFest.
A lot of enthusiastic Hams showed up, we were some of the first few in the door. I did a quick turn around the floor and found a medium size box full of Altoid Tins - For FREE. The fellow said he had several other boxes about the same size if more were needed. I added six Tins to my collection. Later, I noticed the whole box was gone.
The Full Box of Altoids Tins (-6)
At a good price!
At a good price!
As usual, I found the Air Variable Cap, there were some nice ones, but I again resisted the need.
Air Variable Caps
After several trips around the floor, I found my next purchase, it was setting on the table just above the Altoids Tins, I guess I'd missed it before. I am now the owner of a dozen 12x12 inch sheets of single-sided Copper Clad - all for only $6.00. I think it must be 1/2 oz copper, but I have not checked for sure. What ever it is, it will be useful.
Standwood Washington is only about 30 minutes from home, so the trip was not expensive.
Actually, that is NOT true! While driving up the freeway to Standwood, I noticed a slight vibration on the steering wheel. I had noticed it before, but thought it was only very cold stiff winter tires, that had not been rolling much.
After, the HamFest and near home, I went by Les Schwab to have things checked. One of the front tires had some of it's steel belting sticking out, near the tread edge. I check my tires regularly, and at the last check, the tread was showing some ware, but nothing to be concerned about.
After two new front tires were installed, and while still in the Les Schwab parking lot, the local High School ROTC Kids were holding a car wash, the Van needed a wash. I let Tess out while they washed and we were waiting. Tess loves kids, of all sizes, and they had water, and her attention! I am not sure who enjoyed it the most, Tess or the Kids? They washed cars for donations, so it was another $10.00, but it was worth it. Here I have called them, Kids, but in reality, they were Young Adults.
So, this trip did, in fact, cost me more than just my $6.00 for PCB material. That is, an additional $10.00 plus, $415.70 for tires. But now, the Van is clean, and rolls very smooooooth, even at 75mph.