I was happy to meet Scott Robbins, W4PA, the Product Manager for TenTec. Scott, of course, used to pen a terrific blog, Those Damn Contesters have ruined Ham Radio. Unfortunately, a snafu at the hosting company, JournalSpace, caused all of Scott's work to be lost. According to Scott, about 3 years worth of writing was unrecoverable. What a shame. Scott made a decision to take a break not only from blogging but also from contesting in order to spend time doing other things, presumably with his family, etc. It was nice to finally speak with him, introduce myself (of course he didn't know me from the man in the moon), and tell him how much I'd enjoyed reading his blog and how much I continue to enjoy his spots on TenTec TV.
It was nice seeing some of the vendors, TenTec, Kenwood and Yaesu. Icom wasn't there, however, and Elecraft, who had a small presence at Richmond, was also absent. Most of the area hamfests don't have but one 'major' vendor, if that, so it was nice seeing at least 3 of them.
Otherwise, I picked up a Rigblaster Plus interface - I'm thinking I might like to try some of the other digital modes in the near future. Also, there was a fellow selling keyboards. Now, normally that's not anything that would catch my attention, but one of my fetishes is IBM Model M keyboards. You know, the ones built like a tank with the buckling spring action. This guy was selling them for a buck! I couldn't pass that up :) Especially when you see some of the prices they're going for at other places.
I haven't had much luck in raising my hex any higher. After rebuilding it not long ago, I tried raising the mast by myself - no go - and then with the help of my wife - again, no go. So, for now, it's still at roughly 20 feet and darn close to the house. Results are mixed and I am somewhat puzzled about its performance. I hope that I'm able to raise it soon, perhaps with the assistance of a couple of coworkers? Then I hope to make some fair comparisons.