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.