Last Newsletter for the 46th Annual RARSfest &
ARRL NC State Convention

WOW!!! What an event!!!!! As I set here looking for the words to describe the past weekend those are the first that come into my mind. How else would I describe the interactions, demos, hands-on tables, and great deals we had on Saturday?

To start off I would use the word SUCCESSFUL. The forums and demos were all very well received, the dealers and vendors had lots of great items for show and buy, and, the best part, our attendance was up almost 4% from last year- the highest since last century. And so were our flea Market table participants. I can’t think of anything more successful than more vendors, more forums, and more guest to enjoy them!!

Another word I would use would be WELCOMING. As in we are Welcoming 18 new Technicians licensees, 18 new General licensees, and 9 Extra licensees into the Amateur Radio community. That’s Right!! 13 Volunteer examiners administered 74 tests, in a two hour period, and out of those tests we are welcoming 45, either new hams or upgraded hams, to the radio waves. And for those who are new to the hobby, I hope to see you at our New Ham meetings every second Tuesday of the month. These are located at Ridge Road Baptist Church at 2011 Ridge Road. The next New Ham Meeting will be held Tuesday April 10th, at 6pm, and they are full of information, seasoned hams to guide you, and hands-on projects.

WINNING! Not to steal a not so famous catch phrase but that’s exactly what was happening on Saturday. Our 9am Pre-Registration $100 prize was won by a guest from Old Fort. The 10am $100 prize was won by a guest from Elm City. At 11am a guest from New Hill took home a $100 followed by a Pittsboro $100 winner at 12pm and a $100 Apex winner at 1pm. Then at 2pm there was a grand prize drawing, for $400, won by a very well-known radio operator from Smithfield. And don’t forget the Fox Hunt prize. Yes, a Raleigh ham, with his hand-held and skill, tracked down our elusive fox and won the $30 fox hunt prize. CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Prize Winners!!!!!!

And let’s also look at the word EDUCATIONAL. That’s right, the Hamfest wasn’t just about buying and selling of equipment. It was also hands-on learning, up close and personal demonstrations, and forums designed to assist you in expanding your radio hobby. Many licensed operators took time to build their own J-pole antennas at our Build a J-pole table and there was a waiting list at the learn-to-solder table. Both of the Satellite demos were busy and, per the vendor, their booth stayed busy all day with questions about how to get started with Satellite contacts. And though we admit there was a small blip earlier in the day that had our forums running a bit behind schedule, it didn’t stop them from having many guest attend to learn everything from how to help their community as a ham all the way to learning to use DMR.

But no matter how AWESOME, Yes that is actually a favorite word of mine to use, we see this event as being we still need YOUR help in making it better. Every year we have to look back at the previous event and decide what we need to move forward with and what needs to be left behind. It’s a very big decision for the committee and it helps out greatly to know what you liked, and/or, did not like about the event. So we have created an easy way for YOU to tell us your thoughts.

FEEDBACK! That’s right - we have a feedback form all ready for you to send us your thoughts, and I promise we do read them. All you have to do is go to and you will see it right there on the home page. Click the link that says Feedback, type up a few sentences, hit submit and then leave it in our hands to read and discuss!

And last, but definitely not least, I say THANK YOU! Thank you to all of our volunteers and staff that worked tirelessly for six months to plan, organize, and create the different components of the show. Even after 46 years it takes time, effort, and a leadership team to see it all come together. Thank You to our volunteers who gave up several hours of their Friday and Saturday to set up, work, and break down the event. Without that extra help nothing would have been ready in time. And Thank You to all of our show guests. No matter how much effort and time we put into RARSfest it would be nothing without those of you who take the time to visit and experience. We loved seeing you all on Saturday and we look forward to seeing you back here again April 20th, 2019.

Tara Goodwin (W4TSW) RARSfest Chair

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