Last weekend, ARK attended the annual Norwegian Hammeeting at Gardermoen, arranged by LA2G, Gardermoengruppen of NRRL.
Norwegian Hammeeting is a convention for radio amateurs in Norway to connect and where relevant organizations like NKOM and NRRL present their news and information. During the event there are a number of presentations and talks about relevant topics and projects, in addition to a flea market where you can bid on second-hand radio equipment.
Due to covid, the convention has not been held for the past two years. Therefore, we decided that it was time for a visit as we had lots of topics to discuss with other radio amateurs and representatives from our organizations.
Since neither of us had the time to make the trip Friday night, we had to get up quite early Saturday morning to catch the 7AM flight to Gardermoen. We cannot claim to have gotten a good nights sleep, but nevertheless our expectations for the weekend were high. Luckily the event took place closeby at Thon Hotel Gardermoen, just a 10 minute drive from the airport.
Our primary mission was to participate in the first topic of the day, a presentation held by Torbjørn LA4ZCA about a new beginner license he has worked on in collaboration with NRRL and FFI. This new license is meant to make the amateur radio hobby easier to start with. When introduced, this beginner license will have lower issuance requirements in exchange for limited rights in terms of things like operating bands and output power. Additionally, there is a plan to introduce the hobby early on in schools and make the study material more accessible. ARK has been hosting license courses for a while, so we are naturally interested in this project, considering the opportunities the new license will bring our members.
The next step in our trip was to get ahold of the general secretary of NRRL, Bjørn LB7ZG. We had already been in contact with him previously regarding our visit this weekend, and were determined to meet him in person. He was eager to talk to us, and presented many ideas on how we could get more involved with NRRL. LB1DJ, unsure of his membership in NRRL, discovered that he not only already is a member, but he has paid his membership fee twice and was therefore good for next year. Puh!
NRRL were also also selling merch, ham radio books and other accessories at discounted membership prices on their stand. A tradition in ARK is for the station manager to wear an NRRL-tie during special occasions, but sadly it was missing from their shop. To our great surprise, we asked the NRRL-crew about it and and found that they had plenty hidden away under the table! Turns out a many people had the same thought as LB1DJ and decided to get their membership during the event. In fact, so many people joined that NRRL actually managed to reach a total of 2000 members during the weekend. To celebrate the milestone they brought cake for everyone.
A big part of the weekend is the flea market, where people bring in second-hand equipment and put it up for sale during the event. There are loads of radio transceivers, cables, power supplies – basically everything you need to operate your own ham radio station. LB1DJ was hoping to find himself a HF radio so that he could experiment with antennas on his own and have a radio when travelling home.
In addition to the flea market, a good selection of ham radio suppliers were also present at the event. This was very handy as one could purchase used equipment, and then get the required accessories to become QRV from the get-go. There were loads of antennas, plugs, transceivers and other goodies to choose from.
Later this month, we are planning a trip to LA8W, a contest station located in Rakkestad. They were also attending the event, so naturally we joined their presentation to finally meet up and go over our plans when visiting in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for a blog post after the trip!
LB1DJ succeded in finding a HF transciever in the flea market, a Yaesu FT-891. In addition to the radio, he also got a MFJ-901B ATU, a Yaesu SCU-17 computer interface and a MS-280A PSU for powering his rig. By the time the event was over on Sunday, some repacking had to be done so that the newly purchased equipment could survive the flight back home.
We were very happy with how the weekend turned out, and got to meet a lot of people in the course of the event. We will definitely try to visit the convention again next year, and hopefully bring more people along for the ride. Big thanks to LA4ZCA and LB7ZG for the invitation!
Also remember to visit hammeeting.no for more information about the event, and links to the presentations that were held!