Orlando Hamcation 2023

This year’s edition of Hamcation was pretty good. Definitely seemed more crowded this year than last year, which was good to see. By the time I got there on the first day (about 20 minutes before the gates opened) the parking field was pretty much full. On the second day, they were sending people over to the overflow parking area by the time I got there when it opened.

Didn’t find quite as many things to purchase this year as I found last year, but did pick up a few nice things.

Begali had a table with a bunch of their keys and paddles on display. It was a very popular booth with lots of people stopping by to check things out and send out some Morse code. After stopping by the table a few times to play with the paddles, I decided on the last day of Hamcation to pick up one of their Camelback straight keys.

Begali Camelback straight key

It’s a very nice straight key with a nice responsive action and a solid heavy base that’s not moving anywhere when I’m keying. Very happy with it. Just need to wire it up with a suitable cable now.

Out in the flea market/boneyard area, there were quite a few people with tables set out. Seemed like not quite as many as last year though.

An interesting item I found out in the boneyard was this board with an LCD display on it.

Gabotronics Xminilab oscilloscope module

At first I thought it was just an LCD display module, so I bought it along with a couple ESP32 boards and a book for a few dollars. When I had a chance to take a closer look at it, I discovered that it wasn’t a display module at all, but a tiny little oscilloscope! Should be fun to get it running and see what it can do.

For the workbench, I found this arbitrary signal generator. I’ve been wanting to have one for the workbench for a while. Haven’t tried plugging it in and turning it on yet, so it might be a great addition, or it might become a project.

Pragmatic 2416A arbitrary waveform generator

Looking forward to playing with my new acquisitions when I have some spare time.


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