KK9JEF/AE – Sterling IL Hamfest

Yesterday, I went out to the Sterling IL Hamfest. It was quite a hike from my QTH in Chicago, but it turned out to be totally worth it: I finally upgraded to an Extra class license!

I’ve been casually studying for the Element 4 exam (extra class) for be past few months, with an eye toward upgrading at some point. But what really pushed me into action this weekend was a single Croatian station working the ARRL DX SSB contest, down in the part of 20m that I, as a general, wasn’t allowed to transmit on. He was at least 10-over-S9, just begging to be worked, but I couldn’t… so, a few more practice tests and a two hour drive later first thing Sunday morning, I had the Element 4 exam in hand. An hour after that, I had my Extra.

There were a few more finds at the fest – the club table had a big ole junk in of parts. Mostly miscellaneous circuit breakers and switches, but way down at he bottom were seven or eight multi-turn pots for $0.75 each. What a steal! I bought as many as I could pull out of the bin. I also pulled a few NP0 caps an a bag of 12V DPDT relays.

What a rush of a day it was. Looking forward to excercising my new frequency privileges this week.

Hear you on the air, wherever in the band you are!



2 thoughts on “KK9JEF/AE – Sterling IL Hamfest

  1. HI Jefferey,
    I was reading about your Si5351 TX, or something like that, when I noticed your mention of Hamfesters. Wow! As a 14 year old boy at the end of WW2, I used to take the street car to the club to learn code. It was a long ride from South Shore but I was determined to get my license. My first callsign was W9NJD and I was active until I went to the U of I to study engineering. Basically, I was inactive until 2010 and am now fiddling around with the new way of building ham radio gear.

    I am currently living in Fort Collins, CO and using my old W6VMJ callsign that I had when I lived in CA..
    73, Jack


    • Hi Jack,

      Very exciting! It’s a real treat for the newer generations of hams like me to have such a connection to the history of the radio arts in Chicago. Very cool! Glad to hear you’re getting back on the air as well – perhaps sometime we can make a homebrew to homebrew contact.

      All the Best,


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