Well, folks, we did it! The 2008 Marshall Hamfest and Radio Swap is now history.
             Sunny weather and good road conditions helped to bring over 1,130 people to our event - a slightly smaller crowd than last year's, but a respectable showing nonetheless. We had many out-of-state attendees at our event as well:
       Indiana = 93
       Ohio = 16
       Illinois = 7
       Wisconsin = 3
       Alabama = 1
       Colorado = 1
       Texas = 1
       Oregon = 1
      Despite the last-minute challenges posed by the gym equipment failure, our  table setup crew succeeded in devising an alternate plan which minimized  the impact to our vendors. Feedback from several of the attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, and it was suggested that the change in the table layout on the right side of the gym seemed to improve the traffic-flow.
       Co-Chair Bob Kingsbury and I would like to thank sponsoring Marshall High  School teachers Kelly Williams and Jim Hendershot, the SMARS Club Board and Advisory members, and the many fellow SMARS members who donated their time and talents to make the 2008 Marshall Hamfest a success. Special kudos to Nancy Sheldon for organizing yet another Friday night buffet for
the setup volunteers - thank you, Nancy!   
      The 2009 Hamfest is now in the planning stages. We look forward to seeing you there!
Stephanie W8AEZ


As anyone living in Michigan is aware, we will soon be moving into our tornado season. And as anyone living in our state, and watching recent events down south can tell you, there is the potential for the upcoming season to bring us some extreme weather.
        It is the mission of the National Weather Service, R.A.C.E.S., SKYWARN, Emergency Management and our local Law Enforcement agencies to provide the best line of defense in observing and warning our community about imminent extreme weather. Trained observers not only look for extreme weather, but also the pre-cursers, thereby giving the community valuable minutes of advance warning.
        But as dedicated and well trained as they are, there is always a need for additional trained weather spotters.
        Trained weather spotters are necessary to provide the weather service with timely accurate weather observations; accuracy is often lacking with reports from the untrained public.
Dave Smith
KC8COT       E-12
City of Battle Creek and Calhoun County
RACES, Emergency Coordinator 

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.  The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys?  We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!"  The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I have never seen such ineptitude!"  The pastor said, "Hey here comes the greens keeper.  Let's have a word with him."
"Hi George.  Say, what's with that group ahead of us?  They're rather slow, aren't they?"  The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of firefighters who lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime.   The group was silent for a moment.... The pastor said, "That's so sad.  I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."  The doctor said, "Good idea.  And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there is anything he can do for them."  The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"


A reasonably close count of the ECHOLINK CallSign log shows 408 connections  made to W8DF-R during March. No doubt, at least one fourth of these connections were some form of testing. I can say that as I did a bunch of them!
The Echolink host computer was moved to the repeater site around the middle of  the month. The transition went fairly well and is running great on the DSL  service up there.
I had an interesting contact via Echolink a couple weeks ago. Shortly after noon  on March 20, a W6ALC connected to the repeater, so I grabbed my HT and  responded to him. Turns out he was in his hotel room after a day of organizing an amateur radio club. Where? FUNSHON, CHINA! Can you imagine-an American amateur on ham radio using the internet in a communist nation? Did any of you hear  that conversation? Check the ECHOLINK LOG on w8df.com.


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