UK National Hamfest Sept 28-29

I know the Blackpool Rally is the “SOTA-Preferred” hamfest but does anyone know if anything for SOTA is planned at the NH?

I expect to be driving down there both days, so if anything is planned I’ll try to make a visit, but I’m also going to be busy, so I have no time to arrange anything myself.

73 Ed.

I will be there. There has never been an official SOTA presence at the hamfest as far as I can recall.

The “problem” with the hamfest is it just happens to be held a long way from where most of the UK MT live. In my case it’s a return journey of 870km and 10hrs driving costing about £75 for fuel. Or a 12hr return train journey (a few changes to make) and £130 fare.

To justify the cost of travel, time off work and accommodation, I’d need to tag some other events on to the trip.

I went last year Ed for the first time, I would go again but not this year as along with G4OOE and M0PYG we will be in the North East on a non-SOTA walking holiday with our walking group. Booked months ago.

73 Phil

Hi Phil,
Yes Nick told me about the walking trip, hope the weather is good - not too hot and no rain.

Hi Andy,
Fully understand that Newark is a long way from Scotland and very hard to justify the trip.

I guess I’m spoiled by Friedrichshafen being 90-120 minutes down the road from here (depending upon traffic) but my memories of local rallies 35+ years ago was that they were as big as, if not bigger than, the current National Hamfest. I guess it’s a reflection of the times - less Amateurs around and lots of opportunities to buy whatever is needed from the comfort of the home PC keyboard.

I think every hamfest needs something special to make it “different” and draw what’s left of the available amateurs - what that is - I don’t know.

In any case - thanks to all for answering the question - nothing specifically promoting SOTA or any “meet-up” at the UK National Hamfest.

73 Ed.

Notwithstanding the lack of any formal meet, there are always plenty of SOTA people at Newark. Finding them will probably be tricky though.

If only there was some kind of chatroom accessible by a handheld?

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Thanks Andy,
You just reminded me of an outstanding action - I need to program a codeplug for my UK visit!

73 Ed.

Hi Ed
I will be at the National Hamfest on the two days, helping on the WAB stand, on the two days of the rally, look forward to seeing you again.
Cheers Ken G0FEX

Hi Ken, Ed and anyone else…

I’m planning on being there tomorrow (Friday). I’ll drop by at the WAB stand :slight_smile:

Hope to see a few familiar faces/calls about! Will try to monitor 433.550 if anyone wants to give a shout…

73 de Paul G4MD

Unfortunately I wont be at Newark as I had to cancel my UK trip at the last moment.

73 Ed.

Hi Paul, I will be at the Hamfest tomorrow (Friday) will take H/H and will give you a call I also will be at the WAB stand as got to meet up with ken look forward to meeting you.

Terry G0VWP

As Ken G0FEX, I’ll be on the WAB stand. We get quite a few SOTA activators drop by to see us as we work many of them due the the mutual overlap in our areas of interest, so you may bump into a few around there.

Bit of a nightmare getting there thanks to the M40 being closed and the whole of the Midlands seemingly gridlocked, but it was well worth the trip when I eventually arrived! Seemed almost to have a flavour of the rallies of the old days (showing my age now :-s)

Besides Dave and Ken, and Mickey 'YYY and Richard 'CWI on their stalls, bumped into familiar SOTA-ists Terry G0VWP, Carolin G6WRW, John GW4BVE and Robert G0PEB and was glad to be able to assure all who enquired that Gerald G4OIG is rapidly returning to full health :slight_smile:

Thanks to everyone for the chats (and 'BVE for the coffee!) and apologies to anyone I missed.

73 de Paul G4MD


Paul, I saw you once from a distance, but I lost sight of you and then never saw you again!

I really enjoyed the Hamfest, I went ‘big’ this year. I borrowed my parent’s motorhome and stayed over on Friday night. I spent Friday evening sharing beers and a Chinese take away with the Camb Hams, also spending some time in the mobile shack (affectionately named Flossie). You say that it was like rallies of old, I wonder if you mean that the products and gear are beginning to take 2nd place over meeting and socialising. I definitely don’t go for the shiny gear!

Lovely to meet a few fellow SOTA folk and some folk from QRP circles too.

Well worth the 600 miles and 20 gallons of fossil fuels, most thought that I’d lost my marbles, but the trip was fun from start to finish!

Operating GB18NH on 40m CW Saturday morning was a highlight, I worked as many as I could before the callers ran out.

The Camb Hams’ antennas.

M1BUU operating in the 40m position on CW. Elecraft K3 plus KPA500

The antenna mounted on Flossie
73, Colin


Good to catch up with you also, Paul.

From a WAB viewpoint, it was an amazing rally, doing nearly twice as well as last year. We ran out of some stock - even membership application forms!


I worked GB18NH 40m SSB on Friday - not sure who was operating though.

73 Ed.

Hi Colin, very sorry to have missed you. Looks like you had a great time!

Seemed to be a good collection of people selling “bits and pieces” though I didn’t find the Silver Mica capacitors I was hoping to source :-s

But on the plus side, I suppose it is encouraging that there was enough of a crowd for me to disappear into :wink:

73 de Paul G4MD

Really glad it went well for you Dave, SOTA and WAB are so wonderfully symbiotic :slight_smile:

73 de Paul G4MD

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