I came back last night after two days of great fun at LARC 2018.

I left along with Dileep VU2DLE and joined Deepu VU3TLD who was already at the venue. Our flight was delayed by two hours owing to the fog at the airport. During lunch, I met another old friend Harith George VU3GGH.

On arrival, we went straight to the flea market to see if we can stock up something for our homebrewing.. Guess we were a bit late, a few of the things were already sold out. There I met a few other hams, VU2MUD (Madhukar), VU2JIM (Jose), VU2DIC (Vinod), Prathap (VU2POP) and others. Post lunch, we attended a few talks - Arduino for amateurs was a very enjoyable talk by Farhan VU2ESE. There was a talk by Charu VU2UPX on WSPR exciters. This was great too. Dileep and Deepu know a lot of other hams from their previous ham fest experiences so through them, I met a lot of other hams from Kerala, notably Sunil (VU3SBF) and Praveen (don't remember the callsign). I happened to meet Rahul in person after a long time since we interacted with each other on email over 10 years ago, he gave me a few PCBs of Norcal 40a.

I had to leave early the next day, but the previous night, at the hotel room, Deepu, Dileep and I had some nice conversations on building things. One of the star attractions at the event was the demonstrations of Hex beam antennas by Thaha (from Thrissur, Kerala - don't remember the callsign) and Aravind (VU2ABS). These are clones of excellent designs by G3TXQ, sadly SK in Dec 2018 whose pages have excellent notes on Hex Beams and M0PZT. Just a while before I left, I also met Ramesh VU2VRL and Krishnakumar VU3UNO who are part of the Bangalore Amateur Radio Club (BARC). I am planning to go for these meetings from now on, as much as I can.

All in all, it was a very nice trip and meeting like-minded people is a great experience than interacting with them via social media... Will go next year as well if I can.