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Hamfest Wrap-Up

Posted: March 27, 2006 1:15:49 • 472 words

This weekend, I went to a HAM radio and computer expo in Maryland with LilPup, Goliath, and Stormwolf. We had a dealer table there to sell EV strobe lights, along with other assorted items. This is for a business we're starting (except Storm, who was just along for the ride), and while it was a good warm-up for the real shows (police, medic, and volunteer police shows), sales kinda sucked (worse than predicted).

I headed up to Pup's place Thursday evening, and spent most of the night working on a computer to use as a cash register for the show. Thursday and Friday kinda blended together, as they were spent assembling and preparing stuff for the show. The hard work paid off, though. Looking at our display, you'd never guess we put the whole thing together in 24 hours. We had a plasma TV on a collapsible lighting truss, a full computer system running point-of-sale, a touch-screen kiosk PC running a siren demo (they were also for sale, so it was a two-fold demo), and dozens of display devices. We were the official epilepsy booth, there was not a place in the building where the light from our booth wasn't visible. We could even be seen from outside. The poor folks across from us weren't pleased, though, since 95% of our displays were pointed straight at two of their four tables.

There were some really cool products we brought. We had remote-controlled searchlights, one of which is on the hood of the Rover for "testing purposes", some LED traffic direction wands, LED road flares, and oodles of LED strobe lights. We also had a light that straps to the sun visor of the vehicle, but no one knew what it was the first day. So, the second day, I removed one of the visors from the truck to use as a display piece :-).

We eventually found out why sales sucked so bad, when we had no shortage of interested parties stop by. In Maryland, volunteers aren't allowed to run any colored lights, only amber (and even that varied based on the source). So, while dozens of people would have liked to have purchased from us, none of them were able to legally.

For our future information, if any of you happen to know what the law says about various colors of lights in your state, please let us know. We already know PA, VA, MD, and AL. Thanks!

Overall, it was a good trip, and a great learning experience. Our next show will be the volunteer fire expo in Harrisburg, PA, and we'll have no shortage of nifty blue LED lights, so if you're a volunteer firefighter in PA (or if you're authorized to use blue lights in any other state), come on by, we'll make you a great deal :-)