The LEFARS (Loughton) chapter – myself, John G0VEH, Marc G0TOC and driver John G1DJI left soon after 9am for the 66 mile journey to the Cambridge & District Amateur Radio Club (C&DARC) 2012 rally held at Godmanchester. The unrelenting rain lasted all the way up the M11 and A14 until we got to the rally at about 10.05.
The car park was a series a small streams by this time, but driver John’s Honda CR-V wasn’t scared and loved the rain. We weren’t quite so keen to get out of the car but realised it was necessary. Once inside the building, the nice smell of brekkie could be detected. Some diverted off for the full English. However, we carried on walking and went to the main arena for the rally. Entrance fee £3, same as last year.
Inside the arena, a few empty tables were noticed. Also, the floor had been covered as for 2011 by bright green flooring. Main dealers included W&S and Moonraker. The RSGB were there, with bookstand, and opportunity to meet the local reps. RNARS also. Other stands provided a mix of component suppliers to satisfy your need for valves, connectors, homebrew accessories, discrete components etc.
There was a lot of PMR gear and some over-priced ex-military radios -PRC-320 (Clansman) for £149 anyone? Tetra were selling all sorts of varied PMR kit and accessories including some filters in the microwave bands. The Cambridgeshire Repeater Group had a good stand in the middle utilising their communications vehicle as centre display but also selling some cheap, but clean, 2m ex-PMR radios. Motorola low-band (2m) data radio for £10, Kenwood PMR for £30 etc. Also a nice range of OS maps at good prices.
For copper-price watchers, a 100m roll of RG213U from Moonraker now costs £109.95 reflecting the increase in raw materials. Last time I looked, it was typically £90-£95. RG58U was £44.95 for 100m.
By 11am it was time to have a hot drink. Coffee and chocolate were £1.50, tea £1.20 I resisted the temptation to devour the ‘full English’ but many didn’t 🙂 Who can blame them. After the hot-drink break, it was back to the arena for another look around. As always with rallies, it was an excellent opportunity to meet up with old friends. LEFARS members spotted included John G1DJI, Marc G0TOC, John G0VEH, John G0XBJ, Cliff 2E0RCW and Alex, Larry 2E0LKP and Lisa-Joanne, Ron G6LTT and family, Derek M0XDC and family, Wayne G4YOH, Dave M3WMV, Dave G4YGH, Jason 2E0EER, Alan M0TEC, Selim 2E0EKF, Paul 2E0VLT and Keith G1HEQ. Sorry if I missed anyone!
My purchases were modest; a 5m red/black power cable with crimped ends and some sticky labels. Others were more adventurous. Larry 2E0LKP (right) was seen lugging a big box, with transceiver inside, back to the car. Derek M0XDC thought he had bought just a BT Homehub router for a fiver but got the BT Vision box as well.
We left in even more blatting rain just before 1pm and got back to Loughton around 2.10pm. All in all, a good day out in spite of the Wx.
John G8DZH (Email: email@example.com)