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moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Hamfests are dying a slow death

When I first got into the hobby in 1989, Hamfests were large gatherings. The one in Timonium, MD run by BARC filled 3 buildings and almost the entire parking lot. Manufacturers and vendors galore and good tailgating. This lasted 2 days and was always filled.

Fast forward to this year and the same Hamfest last Saturday (just one day.) No manufacturers or large vendors. Everything confined to 1 building and not even filled up. Very little in the way of selection even in the flea market area.

I guess the internet has really killed the hamfests.


IllIlIlllIll
EliteData
Premium
join:2003-07-06
Hampton Bays, NY
kudos:7
the internet has killed off alot of things but at the same time has also created many things that you could have not done at all or with ease 20 years ago.
--
Suffolk County NY Police Feed - »www.scpdny.com
PS3 Gaming Feed - »www.livestream.com/elitedata


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
reply to moonpuppy
Moonpuppy - Timonium has been decreasing every year. I would invite you to the Berryville, Va hamfest this summer. It is very well attended and lots of vendors.


DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
reply to moonpuppy
I was at the SARA Hamfest ion Southington on Sunday. The were some interesting things I'd have picked up if I had the cash or if I didn't already have them. My basement, garage and attic could be a halfway decent hamfest in and of themselves.

If I hadn't been sick [along with the rest of the household] for the past couple of weeks, I might have grabbed a few old computers and parts, along with some old CB stuff, and gotten my own table.

There are fewer hamfests than there were 20-30 years ago, and the selection is somewhat less due to online sales, but hamfests aren't quite dead yet around here.

moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD
reply to Hank
The reason I went was because I was looking for stuff not normally found locally.

In fact, here is what I picked up:

- N connector to SMA female
- N connector to BNC female
- extra charger pocket for W&W battery charger (Yaesu FNB-4 battery)
- 2 feet of copper braid

I would have loved it if some of manufacturers were there to look at some of their current crop of equipment. The most popular selling of radios were the cheap Baofeng dual band radios.


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
Oh, I fully understand. I don't think you would be disappointed at the Berryville Hamfest.


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
The only hamfest I attend even semi-regularly is the "TRW" hamfest in Redondo Beach.

It's still going strong, BUT at least half of it is computer stuff, vendors selling CD's and DVD's, and other assorted "stuff".

Some of the stuff there is junk (DUH!) and some is good quality. Some prices are reasonable, and some make you wonder what the guy has been smoking.

Used ham gear prices are generally on the high side ("I just saw one on eBay for $XXX! Mine's worth at least that much!"), but then again if you get there early, you *can* find some bargains.

And as I've seen at all hamfests I've been to, you can also get bargains at the end of the day when people have been know to sell that "$200" boat anchor for $25 because they're sick of dragging it around between hamfests!
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.

Barovelli

join:2002-04-03
reply to moonpuppy
3/23/13 was the day, RadioFest in Monterey was the place. As a people watching excursion it was entertaining. As a place to buy middle cost radio stuff it was bad. HRO used to have presence here and I was hoping to see a booth but no. There was a Elecraft booth with a HF rig tuned to some CW with a decoder display cranking out long strings of EEEEEEEEEs. Could not find a dual band mobile antenna to buy or get a closer look at.

Was not a total loss, saw some newer mobile mounts and antennas on cars in the parking lot that looked interesting enough to track down on line so it was not a total bummer.


Robotics
See You On The Dark Side
Premium
join:2003-10-23
Louisa, VA
reply to moonpuppy
I must admit, I haven't been to one in probably 10 years. I saw vendors die out back then even. Just wasn't the same. Most were 3/4 computer junk (at high prices).
Big big change in my book over all. I been hitting hamfests since the early 70's. And the ones now a days don't even compare.
I'm pretty sure my "hamfests" days are officially over.
--
Long you live and high you fly, and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry,
and all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.


aSic
application specific
Premium
join:2001-05-17
Wakulla, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to moonpuppy
OARC's Hamcation was bigger than I remember from 10 years ago. Still couldnt get through it all in one day back then. *shrugs*

»hamcation.com
--
Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to moonpuppy


Being in the midwest, I'm fortunate to be able to hit the Dayton Hamvention. Had over 25,000 people there last year, if I remember right.


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
I truly regret never going to Dayton when I lived in Illinois.

Just like I regret never going to the Indy 500.......

Oh, well....
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
reply to moonpuppy
You should probably plan on coming to the Grand Daddy of HamFests this fall.

The Shelby HamFest is back ... in Shelby (and I'm crazy excited about it, too) for its 57th year!

Last year, when it was in Dallas, NC, it was *p*a*c*k*e*d* with people and sellers. Probably the busiest I've ever seen it. Yeasu, Kenwood and ICOM were there showing off their newest and juiciest hardware. Tons of flea marketers.

The other HamFests that are here in Charlotte, but a lot smaller do quite well.

First time I went there, I was 16. Bought the guts to a 286. It was blazin' at 16MHz! I think turbo took it to 20MHz.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to moonpuppy
Hamfests are dying but we have a large one around here - Sussex hamfest. It's an event the tri-state looks forward to every year.


GeekNJ
Premium
join:2000-09-23
Waldwick, NJ
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS
said by fifty nine:

Hamfests are dying but we have a large one around here - Sussex hamfest. It's an event the tri-state looks forward to every year.

Definitely the largest one in Northern NJ and not worth missing if you are in the surrounding area in mid July.

»www.sussexhamfest.org/
--
Tweaked your connection? | Mail Parse | Speed Converter

unixwolf

join:2007-05-04
Flower Mound, TX
reply to moonpuppy
It will be interesting to see how Ham-Com does this year. I missed Belton (temple,tx) but I heard the main building was pretty empty.


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·Callcentric
·Dish Network
reply to mattmag
said by mattmag:

Being in the midwest, I'm fortunate to be able to hit the Dayton Hamvention. Had over 25,000 people there last year, if I remember right.

I'm hoping to go to Dayton for the first time this year. Just waiting on a customer to pay me so I can afford to go!

The Cedar Rapids hamfest gets worse every year, as do most in the area. The last really good hamfest I was at was in 2001.


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
reply to moonpuppy
I have no interest in standing around other smelly hams while they tool around in their hover round and sell junk for new prices...

I can get used junk on eBay for new prices any day.

I have no interest in hearing why I need to give the ARRL money.

There is a dinner that I am interested in attending during Ham-Com this year... but nothing you're going to find on the official schedule
--
I'm tired of killing stupid people just trying to do my job and go home!


OldCableGuy

@communications.net
reply to UHF
The CR hamfest isn't that bad, frankly. The flea market area is usually pretty large and I've sold lots of stuff at the flea market by making sure I have stuff priced to MOVE not to chin-wag.

That being said, the DSM hamfest this year was a joke...


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to burner50
said by burner50:

I can get used junk on eBay for new prices any day.

What is it with fellow ham's that always start the auction at a high price on ebay? or a buy it now price at a crazy price? I've never seen anything really under $200 for most current transceivers dating back 15 years.

And when you look at a new on HRO vs new on ebay HRO is cheaper for the same.
--
It's NOT Ni-kon It's NE-KON!




LG is NOT Lifes Good It's Lucky Goldstar!



burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
said by Subaru:

said by burner50:

I can get used junk on eBay for new prices any day.

What is it with fellow ham's that always start the auction at a high price on ebay? or a buy it now price at a crazy price? I've never seen anything really under $200 for most current transceivers dating back 15 years.

And when you look at a new on HRO vs new on ebay HRO is cheaper for the same.

They think their shit's made of gold?

And idiots buy it that way.

I sold an IC-208h on there a coulple years back, with the remote head cable / brackets, but used in my car and it showed considerable wear. I started with a 7 day auction and a price of $.01

It went for over $300
--
I'm tired of killing stupid people just trying to do my job and go home!


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
Wow I was just watching one of those on ebay.. it sold $250 today I guess BIN price.


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·Callcentric
·Dish Network
reply to OldCableGuy
said by OldCableGuy :

The CR hamfest isn't that bad, frankly. The flea market area is usually pretty large and I've sold lots of stuff at the flea market by making sure I have stuff priced to MOVE not to chin-wag.

That being said, the DSM hamfest this year was a joke...

I've gotten some great deals there. But it's small compared to years past when it was at Amana.


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
said by UHF:

said by OldCableGuy :

The CR hamfest isn't that bad, frankly. The flea market area is usually pretty large and I've sold lots of stuff at the flea market by making sure I have stuff priced to MOVE not to chin-wag.

That being said, the DSM hamfest this year was a joke...

I've gotten some great deals there. But it's small compared to years past when it was at Amana.

Plano Ham-Com apparently sold all of their tables...

Come on down... At least for the Hamsexy dinner.
--
I'm tired of killing stupid people just trying to do my job and go home!

moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD
reply to burner50
Well, I went to a much smaller Hamfest and scored big.

Picked up an Icom IC-229H for $40 and very good condition. Plugged it in last night and it was doing real well. I had an idea to make this a packet station but who knows now.

Also got an old Yaesu FT-2700RH dual bander from the late 80's. Found out it had the tone board (those go for $100 online now) and it has the voice module in it. Paid just under $100 for it.

There was a guy selling stuff he thought was made of solid platinum. A dual band Kenwood TM-621 (2m/220Mhz) was going for $300! He also had a Kenwood TH-315 220Mhz handheld with the fast charger and he wanted $200 for that. I got a Yaesu FT-109 220 HT for $60 on eBay not a month ago. His stuff was still there when I left.

PL239

join:2013-06-17
Aliquippa, PA
reply to moonpuppy
»www.qsradio.com/

These guys goes to most of the bigger hamfests and sells the products you are looking for at an affordable price.

You won't haggle with them on the price of anything - because it is all new stock - but they do have it.

Hamfests where I live is mostly cheap hams trying to pawn their junk off on other cheap hams that believes them when they say that there is nothing wrong with it when they sell it.

When in fact, no one around here gets rid of anything unless it is broke, or it broke and they sent it away to be fixed and do not want to risk it breaking again. Even then they want every penny they paid for it or more.

I usually only buy the stuff that is cheap or free.
No risk in getting took on those kinds of deals!

PL239

join:2013-06-17
Aliquippa, PA
reply to Robotics
With the average age of a real ham hovering around 69 years old - and no one wants to do anything anymore - the only way you can have a hamfest is if you are willing to pay people to work and help.

The ticket takers and the vendors at the Breezeshooters this year were all in their 20's and 30's.
They were all paid employee's of the Breezeshooters club too.

Back in the day - all you had to do was say Hamfest and everyone with a license for 100 miles would come to see what they could sell or buy.
Because not very many people builds their own stuff or fixes their own stuff or mod's anything anymore - it is tough to buy or sell anything of any decent quality at a hamfest anymore...


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
said by PL239:

Back in the day - all you had to do was say Hamfest and everyone with a license for 100 miles would come to see what they could sell or buy.
Because not very many people builds their own stuff or fixes their own stuff or mod's anything anymore - it is tough to buy or sell anything of any decent quality at a hamfest anymore...

I think you're missing an important factor.

It used to be that if you wanted a new rig, you had to go to the hamfest to get it.

Now, you just have to open an new tab on your browser.

It isn't money, or lazyness.... it is the availability of equipment instantly.
--
I'm tired of killing stupid people just trying to do my job and go home!

PL239

join:2013-06-17
Aliquippa, PA
You have to have things to sell to have a hamfest.

If you sold it on fleabay - then all you will have left to sell is the stuff that no one else wanted.

There is a big difference between selling something that is broke - anonymous at a hamfest vs selling it on fleabay and then having the person come back and want their money back.

When a person could take a transceiver apart, replace the capacitors etc and could repair their own equipment, hamfests were a good place to get used parts cheap.

Today with solid state and the ARRL giving away licenses with a box of cracker jacks' - no one fixes anything anymore.

And the age of the average ham has a lot to do with what a club can or cannot do.

There is only around 2300 known, ARRL clubs.
There is about 23,000 club members.
There is about 700,000 amateur radio licenses - excluding special event call signs, club call signs and contest club call signs.

23,000 out of 700,000 is a disproportionate number...

Back in the day - YOU HAD to know how to fix things, how to build things and how to do things.
It was all a part of your license, - if you couldn't draw a schematic for a Armstrong, a Hartley, a Colpitts oscillator and know the values of all of the components - you didn't get the license...

They dummified it to the point of where even a 6 year old child can pass a Technician test and get a license.


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
said by PL239:

You have to have things to sell to have a hamfest.

If you sold it on fleabay - then all you will have left to sell is the stuff that no one else wanted.

There is a big difference between selling something that is broke - anonymous at a hamfest vs selling it on fleabay and then having the person come back and want their money back.

When a person could take a transceiver apart, replace the capacitors etc and could repair their own equipment, hamfests were a good place to get used parts cheap.

Today with solid state and the ARRL giving away licenses with a box of cracker jacks' - no one fixes anything anymore.

And the age of the average ham has a lot to do with what a club can or cannot do.

There is only around 2300 known, ARRL clubs.
There is about 23,000 club members.
There is about 700,000 amateur radio licenses - excluding special event call signs, club call signs and contest club call signs.

23,000 out of 700,000 is a disproportionate number...

Back in the day - YOU HAD to know how to fix things, how to build things and how to do things.
It was all a part of your license, - if you couldn't draw a schematic for a Armstrong, a Hartley, a Colpitts oscillator and know the values of all of the components - you didn't get the license...

They dummified it to the point of where even a 6 year old child can pass a Technician test and get a license.

23,000 out of 700,000 isn't so bad when you consider that those are the people who have actually stayed around to put up with the ARRL's bullshit.

Get rid of the monetary aspect. The ARRL is out for money. Nothing more, nothing less.

They may have "dummified" it to the point where a 6 year old could get a license, but in today's modern society, board level diagnostics isn't a useful skill anymore because on almost all electronics, the components are not replaceable as they were in the past. So had they not loosened up the requirements, nobody would be taking the test anymore and the number of licensed hams would drop dramatically... Guess what happens then?

Spectrum gets taken back, and auctioned off.
--
I'm tired of killing stupid people just trying to do my job and go home!