Kalamazoo Hamfest, 19 October 2014

by k9am on October 24, 2014

Son David, K9AMM (vanity call sign) and I traveled over to Michigan this past weekend to attend the Kazoo fest, as we like to do every year. You never know what kind of weather you are going to get. In this case it was cloudy and +32° F when we arrived – brrr! It only warmed up to around 50° F later.

Bill, W9VC

We saw Bill, W9VC in the center of the hall and had a good conversation. Across from Bill was Chris and David bought a WWII Revell B-25 bomber kit from him. I bought an original assembly manual for my Heathkit SB610 monitor ‘scope.

K9AMM and W9VC


After the fest, David, Bill and I drove to downtown Kalamazoo and ended up at Bell’s Eclectic Cafe which is a brew pub with really good food. It opened at noon with a pretty good crowd waiting at the steps. After we finished our lunch, Mark, WB8SFY showed up in the parking lot to pick up a piece of equipment that was sent to him by one of my buddies in Illinois. I hadn’t seen Mark in over one year, as I couldn’t make it to Dayton this year. After a five minute chin wag, we were off headed back to home on I-94.



Last Saturday, David passed is Technician examination at the Baraboo, Wisconsin hamfest! Woo Hoo!

The Baraboo hamfest was very small but nice, out in the country at the Baraboo Steam tractor grounds.

The picture below is of David standing between two of the ARRL volunteer examiners, holding his certificate stating that he passed the test.


Now, for the best part; David’s new callsign showed up yesterday in the FCC ULS database and he is officially recognized by the United States Government as:


Folks, it doesn’t get any better than that!

The Yellow Thunder ARC club gave David a year’s free membership so we will have to attend at least one meeting – 2.5 hours up there, one way.

David was very blasé about the test. He said, “well, you told me to get my license so I did what you told me to do”. We told his Mom about the success and she was very pleased (much to my surprise).

Greg also mentioned that the test was harder than the Novice test we all took back then. Me, I was 17 years old and I studied Fall and Winter to be able to take it and pass it. David studied for only 6 weeks. Of course, back in the Dark Ages (last century) all of us aspiring ham radio ops had to learn the Morse Code.

After the fest Greg and David and I traveled over to Bob K9QLL and Jan’s house to see his new 570 foot horizontal loop and to tell them about David’s incredible ham feat. Bob gave David a 10 meter SSB rig and a 2 meter FM rig! Then we went over to Spark’s restaurant for some good grub and chocolate éclair cake dessert. Yum!

It looks like David will also be getting a 440 MHz DMR/analog hand-held so he will have a surfeit of radios, fer sure. Plus he will now be part owner of the K9AM Radio Ranch, with all of its splendid facilities. Kid has it made, radio-wise.

I had told David beforehand that he should study next summer for the General, then after he passes that test, the following summer study for the Extra. But David said that he wants to start studying for the General exam right away so he can get his General before next summer. HOLY COW!

I will be introducing him to the Morse code but there is no deadline so it ought to be fun for him. He already knows the letter E – dit. David about knows about the ICAO alphabet and will be learning that so he can communicate effectively on the noisy ham bands.

I think it is a great feat for a 12 year old, getting his Technician class ham ticket. But then, I am just his father.

And a big thanks to the ARRL volunteer examiners who proctored his test.

Stay tuned for more!

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