Betsey Doane, K1EIC, writes:
In the early 1990s, Larry Buck, K1HEJ, Luck Hurder, formerly KY1T (now WA4STO) and Betsey Doane, K1EIC, decided to make a plan for demonstrating Amateur radio at The BIG E. So we embarked on getting computer/modem accounts to communicate. And that we did.
There were literally loads of messages passed back and forth to plan the event. Larry was in charge of communicating with the exhibition leaders to be sure we would comply with all requirements.
We recruited many volunteers and opened our first booth which provided lots of Amateur radio information, good conversation among the visitors and hams attending, a full traffic handling area using 2 meter FM and packet and an HF station which we used as we could. Remember, there was no Windows OS, no small computers, and no RMS. But packet was extremely popular at that time. The CT N1DCS and later N4GAA packet nodes were among the largest, if not the largest in the country handling thousands of messages. The W1EDH, K1EIC and W1HAD nodes also assisted in the relay of traffic.
The young people who came up enjoyed writing messages to their families and friends. Thoroughly also enjoyed using the key to write their name as instructed by the chart provided. They had fun, the adults
enjoyed it and so did we.
We did this event every year for close to 25 years adding what we could with the constraints at the fair. Volunteers came from Connecticut, Western Mass and, I think, Rhode Island. We knew we had to staff it fully so there were backups planned.
Connecticut operators are proud to have been an exhibitor at The BIG E for so many years. We were well received. We are truly excited that so many New England amateurs and radio clubs are participating in this year’s BIG E exhibit, and that our New England Division Director, Vice Director, and Assistant Directors are helping to organize The BIG E Space Chat.