A couple of hamfest forum presentations

I’ve been roped into filling in one of the time slots for the forum presentations at the Charleston Hamfest coming up in a couple weeks.

Rather than doing one long presentation, I decided to do two shorter presentations. One of them will be pretty easy to do, the other one I’ll have to research and make up as I go along.

This will be the first time I’ve done a hamfest forum presentation, but not the first talk I’ve done. It’s been a while though.

Also on the list for presentations at the hamfest are ARRL SC Section Manager Mark Tarplee, N4UFP, ARRL Roanoake Division Director Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, and ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF.

Charleston Hamfest 2017 haul

Managed to get to the hamfest for a little bit today, but because of a pinched sciatic nerve, I was only able to stay for less than an hour before giving in to the pain.

Early morning hamfest crowd
Early morning hamfest crowd
Early morning hamfest crowd
Early morning hamfest crowd

There was a decent crowd when I got there around 8ish. A few empty tables, but the ones that were there had lots to offer. Didn’t get to make it out back to see if there were any tailgaters though.

I did manage to find a couple of books to add to the library. If I was able to stay longer, I probably would have left with a lot more stuff.

One person at the hamfest had a bunch of books he was selling including this ARRL Antenna Modeling Course book.

ARRL Antenna Modeling Course
ARRL Antenna Modeling Course

He also had an old copy of Single Sideband for the Radio Amateur that I picked up.

Single Sideband for the Radio Amateur
Single Sideband for the Radio Amateur

The SSB book was one I heard mentioned on an episode of the Soldersmoke podcast. It seemed like a good one to look for to add to the bookshelf. Nice coincidence to find one at the hamfest.

Disappointed that I couldn’t stay longer, but glad I made it even if it was just for a little bit.

Charleston Hamfest 2017

The 2017 edition of the Charleston Hamfest is coming up in a little over 3 weeks!

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.

TARC swap meet haul

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.

MFJ-815C SWR/Watt meter
MFJ-815C SWR/Watt meter
Dead power supply
Dead power supply

Charleston Hamfest 2016

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.

Early hamfest crowd
Early hamfest crowd

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.

Donated Elecraft K1 door prize
Donated Elecraft K1 door prize
Donated quadcopter door prize
Donated quadcopter door prize

Makelab Charleston had a table there, which was nice to see. I know there are a few hams in the Makelab.

Makelab Charleston at the hamfest
Makelab Charleston at the hamfest

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.

WB6NOA morse code course on cassette
WB6NOA morse code course on cassette

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.