Sunday, August 08, 2010

Small hamfest

I woke up early this morning to go to the Jersey Shore Amateur Radio Society (JSARS) Hamfest.

It was exceedingly small with three vendors in the indoor space and perhaps 12 - 15 vendors outside in the parking lot. I got there right at the opening bell at 8:00 AM and stayed for about an hour. If more vendors came any later than that, I missed them.

I picked up copies of the ARRL's "Wire Antenna Classics" and "More Wire Antenna Classics" for $10 for both books; as well as a 24 LED flashlight for $5. One vendor had one of those small Grundig AM/FM/Shortwave receivers for $25; but I passed.

There were a lot of tubes. Motorola gear, and a lot of old tubed gear; and even some digital SLR cameras. I was contemplating purchasing one of the digital SLRs - they were Kodak bodies with a Nikkor lens and were only $75 - but they were only 2 megapixel. That resolution is poor by even today's "point and shoot" standards. My little Polaroid point and shoot is 5 megapixel.

I saw an Icom IC-730 and was tempted. The IC-730 is capable of being adjusted down to the 100 milliwatt level. I used to own one. But I didn't even ask for the selling price. And sitting here now thinking about it as I type this, that was clearly a stupid mistake on my part. It would have been a great rig for PSK-31 had I been using my brain at the time.

Was this hamfest worth the hour's drive to get to? Probably not; but I can think of worse ways to spend a sunny Sunday summer morning. Plus if attendance keeps declining at these small hamfests, then the organizers will probably start to wonder, "Why bother?". That would not be a good thing.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Larry I hear you regarding the IC-730. I too have gone to many a hamfest and did to much thinking about an item to either go back later and it's gone. Or go home and wish I had gone for the deal.

  2. My digital camera that I bought "new, old stock" on eBay for £25 is only 2.2 megapixel. It's more than adequate for web publishing such as this blog, or even emailing to people. I long ago gave up printing out photos and I'm never going to enter photo competitions or use them for professional publication. And you get a heckuva lot more pix on a memory card...