Sunday, July 15, 2012

The things you find at Hamfests .....

Today was the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, up at the Sussex County fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ.

I went along with two good friends, Tim AB2ZK (who graciously volunteered to drive) and Marv K2VHW.  Both are fellow South Plainfield Hams and fellow CERT Team members.  At the outset, I thought we were in for trouble, as it was very overcast and gloomy as Tim drove up to the house.  I even made sure to bring my CERT poncho along - better to be safe than sorry. Good fortune would be ours, though, as by the time we got up to Augusta the sun was breaking through the clouds.

I met many good friends up there, and was especially happy to hook up with Charles W2SH, who lives all of about 18 miles from me in Millington, NJ.  Chas, as he goes by, is a fellow Fox hunter, who represents NJ very well in the QRP Fox hunts.  If you don't find my call in the Fox's log for any particular night, the chances are good that Charles will be in the log.  He is the veteran of many hunts and does extremely well, as one of the baying hounds.  I will have to put the bug in his ear some time about considering to volunteer as a Fox. I think he would do an outstanding job!

I was also very pleasantly surprised to be tapped on the shoulder by Robert, N2SU who is a regular reader of this blog, as well as John K3WWP's diary.  Robert is an all CW guy and has over 300 countries worked with a barefoot rig and simple wire antennas.  Not a small feat by any means; but all the more impressive considering he's not going the HI QRO/beam/tower route.  Thanks for the tap on the shoulder, Robert, it was so nice to meet you!

My purchases were limited to some ARRL mini log books for the portable ops bag, two sets of tweezers (one set straight tips, one set curved tips), two BNC to SMA adapters, and some solderless "O" ring connectors.

The SCARC Hamfest is one of the bigger ones in New Jersey and I am always glad when I can make it, as it usually conflicts with our Lake George vacation.  I received a flyer for next year's event and am glad to say that I will be able to make next year, too!

It strange what you can find at a Hamfest, though.  It's not all radios, keys, computer parts, and junk.  There are actually some very interesting finds at these electronic flea markets:

The kitchen sink, literally.

Gumball machines

A nylon chair, which is not a strange thing, but click and look at the sign!

Sporting equipment - golf, anyone?

A slot machine (working)

And - an eye chart!

Just goes to show, you never know what you will find!

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


  1. Very interesting for sure Larry I have found the same up this way as well. Folks must be buying stuff from them or they would not be returning. Over the past few years at the ham-fests up this way at least I have found more and more just plan old JUNK people are trying to unload and get money for it!!!

  2. Boy, that is one thing I do miss about ham radio down here in C. America, the ham fests! There are none here to my knowledge. On the other hand, it probably is a good thing as I already have enough junk on the shelves to keep me busy the rest of my life! :)