1) Define and mark off a safe "no camping zone" around the entertainment building so the Jamz can go on as long as the band is willing to play without being silenced by nearby campers - who should have known better than to camp there in the first place.
Actually, no. Many of the folks who park there did so in the 80s/90s as well. Keep in mind that this event is a hamfest, and the majority of the attendees aren't there for a jam session. Back in the days of the original Deerfield, someone may have dragged along an acoustic guitar, harmonica, etc and played in the AM Corral or such, but there was no real organized 'electric' jam until much later at Rochester. There we actually had a building to use, at least for a few events.
We discussed this at great length before the first NEAR-Fest event, because we wanted to incorporate what has become somewhat of a tradition to us in the last decade. In the process, we took into account all attendees and came up with a 'shut down' time for the jam session to provide quiet hours for everyone else to get some sleep. The last thing we want is to annoy the majority to please the few - in any situation. We need to remain considerate of all and keep in mind that this is a public event, not a personal party.
Also be aware that the primary use of the Entertainment Building is Workshops and Forums. So long as they can take place without issue (meaning, no mess or problems encountered Saturday morning), the two uses should be able to co-exist fine.
There needs to be a better site directory. The web site is good, but many do not look at it.
I got inundated by E-mails asking about the VE session, which I had to pass on to Bruce.
Even during the fest, many stopped by the class to ask where the VE session was.
Believe it or not, we discussed this after last October and thought it was taken care of. Obviously, it was not. Partly because it was spread over a couple different people. It impacted everything from the exams to forums/workshops to on site broadcasters.
We had a meeting Saturday afternoon to hash out some of these bugs, October should be much smoother. Rather than using the flagpole location (since it's located at one extreme of the grounds), we plan to use the Relaxation Grove as the main focal point, since it acts as an intersection of sorts as for the main paths through the fairground and is where the announcements and door prizes are handled. We'll also be using signs to indicate where the Forums/Workshops and Exam buildings are located, in conjunction with a map printed on the back of a program/sked handed out at the gate to all who enter. Hopefully this combined with our pre-fest publicity will solve the problems we encountered. And yes - we will have the site broadcasting info printed on these programs as well.
Fascinating presentation by Tom Perera, w1tp, on Morse code history and key collecting.
Please invite him again, and try for similar presentations at future Near-Fests.
If you missed Tom this May, be sure to catch him sometime, somewhere !
Thanks, Dennis - glad you enjoyed it. How about that $10K+ pre-Civil War key he found there on Friday?
Tom also puts on a great forum about the German Enigma machine and code breaking from WWII. He presented this forum last fall, and I was amazed at the information and knowledge Tom shared with us. He might want to take a 'fest off this October, but if he wants to provide a forum, we'll certainly accommodate him.
I hung out with an old friend, made some new friends, bought some gear, attended an R-390a workshop, passed the general exam, and had a great time; I couldn