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March 16, 2009 - TMRA Hamfest

  The TMRA (Toledo Mobile Radio Association) Hamfest was yesterday.  I was kind of bummed because none of the three people I invited to come with me came along.  I was in for a surprise, I ran into 4 people that I knew back from my Ypsi/Arbor days.  I had never been to the TMRA Hamfest even though I've been in Toledo almost 2 years now. I had no idea to expect three of them to be there.  It was nice to catch up a bit. I guess it was a good reminder that Ham radio is not just about geeky tech and building things, it's about friends and connecting with people too.

  Another good thing happened to me there too.  As I was checking out coil forms for my ever-upcoming HF transmitter project one of the vendors asked me if I would like to pick $15 worth of stuff for free.  He was looking for someone to help pack his stuff up after the show.  It sounded good to me so I agreed.  He ended up raising it to $20 because he meant to get a second helper but no one was interested.  Then, after we were done he asked me if I would like to do it again. I said sure so he asked another vendor if she was interested in the same deal.   I suppose I wasn't making any more per hour than I do at work but it seems like a good deal to me.  If nothing else it was nice to come home with pretty much everything I intended to get, see my wife's eyes get big and then get to tell her I only had to pay for part of it!  The first vendor gave me his name and number so maybe I will be doing this again.  Keep this story in mind next time you attend a hamfest, fleamarket, etc... you never know...

  Now that I have been there the TMRA hamfest left a pretty good impression.  It used two buildings and was definitely bigger than most of the ones I've gone to over the winter.  I'm not sure how it compares to Monroe as I haven't been to that one in quite a while.  It's definitely bigger than Chelsea.  I can't compare it to other years but the attendance looked pretty good. i didn't see may empty spots at the tables and until near the end there were enough people browsing that it was difficult getting a good view of most tables.  

  One friend of mine, K8DJK who it turned out had a table there attributes the attendance to the rising cost of gas/shipping keeping people off of Ebay.  This makes sense to me, I have a few things I have been meaning to sell on Ebay for a while now but searching similar items the prices are too far down from when I bought them.  Maybe I will have to get a booth of my own soon.  My friend suggests Findlay.  I don't want to do it alone though, I'd hate to be stuck there unable to browse myself!

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