The hamfest is happening February 4 this year. Same location as the past couple of years, Armory Park Community Center, 5000 Lackawanna Blvd., N. Charleston, SC. Doors open at 8AM and I’ll be there all day helping out with announcements throughout the hamfest and the VE testing in the afternoon.
Looking forward to this one. I’ve been saving up my spending money and hope to pick up a few items this year for the shack and the workbench.
The Trident Amateur Radio Club has a small swap meet/tail gate every year that usually has a handful of people with stuff to sell. It’s not huge, but it’s a nice little gathering and an opportunity to meet up with other hams that I don’t get to see often.
This year’s tail gate gathering was this morning. I usually go more for the hanging out aspect than to find stuff to bring home, but this year I managed to find a few things to bring home with me.
One of the older hams was giving away a bunch of his older amateur radio books, and being a sucker for old vintage books, managed to get a few of them. A 1979 ARRL handbook, an old ARRL antenna book (from 1958 or so I think), an ARRL Radio Fundamentals book from 1972 and a 1959 Rapid Radio Repair book were the ones I grabbed.
He also had an old US Navy AN/URM-26B signal generator in a big heavy duty looking case that still worked (according to the sticky note he put on it anyway), so I bought that from him too. $10 for what looks like a neat piece of equipment (even if it doesn’t work) seemed like a pretty good deal. I’ll wait to check it out once we’re settled in the new house.
The last couple of items I grabbed were off Tom/W4DAX’s table, an MFJ SWR/watt meter and a dead power supply that he didn’t have time to fix up. The SWR meter will be useful in the shack, and the power supply will be a nice project to work on once I get the bench back in operation.
This past Saturday was another Charleston Hamfest. Pretty good hamfest this year with some cool but nice weather for the morning. Pretty decent sized crowd showed up, and I had a chance to make some eyeball QSOs with some of the Twitter hams that I follow, including Andrew/KK4DSD and Beverly/W3BRB. It’s always a little bit weird to have random strangers come up and say stuff like “hey, I know you”, but I’m glad to have the chance to meet them.
Lots of busy tables at this year’s hamfest, which is good. Saw lots of nice radios and a lot of Heathkits that I wouldn’t have minded taking home with me.
Quite a few nice door prizes being given away this year too, including a donated Elecraft K1 and a couple of quadcopters. One of them was given away to the youngest ham present at the hamfest at 1PM.
Makelab Charleston had a table there, which was nice to see. I know there are a few hams in the Makelab.
This year I spent some time at the front of the room helping out with making announcements and giving away some of the door prizes.
With no active projects going on, I didn’t really have much of a shopping list. Still managed to leave the hamfest with a bag of goodes though including this gem that Bryce/K4LXF was going to put on the free table, but gave to me instead.
I’ll see how well (or if) it plays in the car. Could be useful for the drive to and from work.
Also picked up a couple of Mini-Circuits low noise amplifiers, some tools and supplies for the workbench, and a couple of PoV (persistence of vision) kits the Makelab Charleston guys were selling.
Another good hamfest this year, and looking forward to the next one.
It’s preview time for the 2015 ARRL Auction. Quite a few items up for auction this year, especially in the Vintage books section. As usual, there are copies of ARRL Handbooks from decades past. There are also a lot of books from the 1910/1920 period, which is different from previous auctions I’ve seen. I’m pretty intrigued by those items.
Also interesting this year are 5 mystery boxes filled with goodies from the ARRL Lab.
So what’s in the box? We don’t know–exactly (more about that below). But Lab Engineers do because they personally put these boxes together and they’ve promised extra surprises in honor of the ARRL On-Line Auction’s 10th anniversary.
Now keep in mind, what they see as treasures may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we did sneak a forbidden peek and think that, if you’re a winner, you’ll be happily surprised once this mystery is unwrapped.
It will be interesting to see what some of the auction items will go for this year. There are a few books that I’ll be bidding on, maybe some of the gear, and at least one of the mystery boxes.
Had another good time at the Charleston Hamfest today. There were a lot more vendors (including in the tailgate area) this year than last year. The day got off to a bit of a cool and frosty start, but warmed up nicely. Good sized crowd of people attending the hamfest. Here are the early birds. Even shortly after 8 there were a fair number of people browsing around the tables.
Started off the day picking up a couple of items off the Free Stuff table: a 1971 edition of the Radio Amateur’s Handbook, and a CueCat.
I’m looking forward to going through the 1971 handbook. I think it will be cool to see what amateur radio was like when I was 1 year old.
I remember CueCats from my Apple //e days and always thought it would be cool to have one. Should be fun to play with this.
Browsing around the hamfest, I picked up an Ethernet shield, a big bag of resistors and some perfboard to mess around with.
The Ethernet shield will fit in nicely with the growing collection.
A big bag of 1/4 watt 1% tolerance resistors. I should be set for resistors for a good long time.
2 large plain perfboards, and 8 prototyping boards with solder pads. I like using the perfboard for quick prototyping and experimenting with circuits.
I was also able to find most of the things I’ll need to build a window pass-thru block for the antenna.
Two 3 inch SO-239 bulkhead connectors and some screw-on caps for the cable ends.
There were a lot of other things I wish I could have picked up too (isn’t that always the case?), but I’m pretty pleased with what I got today.
To top things off, I won one of the door prizes being given out too, a $50 ARRL gift certificate. Not sure what I’ll get with it, but it will be something good.
The VE testing session at the hamfest went very well. There were 16 people taking tests today, 9 of whom were taking the Tech (Element 2) test. Everybody left with either a new license or an upgrade, so very successful on all accounts.