So early this morning (4am!) I was up and getting out the door to meet Fred and two of our other co-hearts in crime as we took the 2.5 hour drive from Central Illinois down to just this side of St. Louis. And boy, was I glad I went! Winterfest is put on by the St. Louis & Suburban Radio Club and is proclaimed as the biggest, oldest, and most successful hamfest in the Midwest. All indoors in the Gateway Center, the fest offers a little bit of something for everyone. There were the typical vendors, lots of flea market tables, and displays by various organizations.
I spent some time at the Missouri Digital Group booth talking with George WB0IIS about their work with D-Star. We swapped stories and talked about the growth of this technology in both Missouri and Illinois. George had a working Icom stack on display. I showed them pictures of our homebrew repeaters to which they pointed out that in 2005 they didn’t have access to the open source software and alternative hardware that we do today.