Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hamfest time !!!

After not being to a Hamfest for a long time, I really enjoyed myself today. Marianne had to work this morning, so I found myself going with Cara and Joey in tow. I thought perhaps they would dread it and cause me to only stay for nano-seconds, but they were really good troopers. I think even they enjoyed looking at all the "junque" that was there.

I bought a few things, nothing of consequence. I bought a cheapie digital clock for the shack. After losing power a couple of times this past week, it was a reminder that AC operated clocks are a pain! The one I bought is of the LCD variety with big, almost 4" (10 cm) digits for the time, date, and year and the ambient temperature! It is not of the "atomic clock" variety, so I can set it to UTC and 24 hour mode. A lot of atomic clocks will only let you choose between EST, CST, MST and PST here in the US, with no provision for UTC. It runs on two AA batteries and will allow me to either stand it up or hang it on the wall. I thought it was a good buy.

The other treasure that I brought home; was from a guy who had three huge boxes full of old Radio Shack parts, still in their original blister packs. Each pack was a dollar; and I had the best time rummaging through to see what I could come up with. Some of the things I found and bought were a pack of fifteen 2N3906 transistors, a battery holder for 8 AA cells (12 Volts - great for portable QRP radios!), alligator clips, test leads, packages of various voltage regulators, and other things. The last thing I purchased was solder wick. The lady selling it was selling 15 foot (457 cm) rolls for $1 each. Compare that to any electronic store!

There was one case of "Buyer's regret", meaning "I should have picked that up when I saw it, because it was gone when I went back"; and that was a bug that I saw. It was not a Vibroplex; but it was a clone. It did not have a name plate on it, so you could tell it was a knock off. It was only $45 and I should have picked it up as soon as I saw it. You guessed it, it was gone when I went back to look for it again.

I did see some Hams that I talk with on the local repeaters and some Hams that I know through club affiliations. It was great to talk with them and renew old face to face acquaintances. My cell phone hasn't rung so far today; so I guess I didn't win the Hamfest door prize.

On the way home, I stopped in at a diner with Joey and Cara for breakfast. Part of the deal was that if they went with me; then they could have pancakes on the way home. It was one heck of a bargain - I got to go to a Hamfest AND I got to spend some great quality time with my kids. It was definitely a win - win situation.

72 de Larry W2LJ

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