Belton Hamfest April 2024

Belton- The biggest Hamfest in Texas didn’t disappoint.

It’s been interesting to observe the ebb and flow of this Hamfest each year as different hams and vendors seem to have seasonal inventory and predilections!  For example, over a given event, I’ve seen periodic abundances of amps, or vintage gear, or HT’s and mobiles, or antennas, or parts, or VHF/UHF.  I’ve definitely seen older hams trying to lighten their loads after years of collecting.  Also, we’re seen the manifestation of estate sales due to the passing of aged baby boomers.  I saw 3 cases of that this weekend- usually with *great* prices since the surviving family or the conservators rarely want to take the stuff home.  So always ask for a lower price, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised 9/10 times.

My biggest objective for this Hamfest was to clear out my workbench area.

I had over 200 lbs. of carcass 3x TS-940/3xIC-746 parts radios that needed removal from my house.  BTW, this is a sidebar reflection of how difficult these radios are to repair (TS-940 PLL issues, IC746 unstable finals)

Luckily, I found another energetic ham who gladly paid me $20 to lug it away!  I considered giving them away for free, but sometime posting a price makes them more desirable- at least that my theory of psychology works.   Also, I had an old Tektronix 565 scope with cart, and it found a home as a giveaway freebie.  For the next Hamfest, I can start selling all the other stuff now that I have less cluttered junk in the way.

Overall, I sold enough stuff to cover all the many items I bought (but didn’t plan to).

Stuff I sold:

$500    IC 765 Pro II
$250    IC 703 QRP
$200    MFJ 989D Tuner
$10      parts from TS940/ IC746
$25      Vibroplex Paddle
$20      Alinco 638 VHF/UHF

Stuff I bought:

$180    3-500Z tube
$75      3-500Z tube
$5        2.4GHz loop Yagi
$55      Heil Pro Set Plus! headset
$250    Heathkit SB-220 6m KW amp
$10      Mini vise
$20      Toy train (for granddaughter)
$50      Jennings 10KV Variable Vacuum cap
$75      Astron RM50 50A Power Supply
FREE    ferrite cores
FREE    plugs/jumpers
FREE    car headlampsd

The freebie stuff I acquired was awesome.  Ferrite cores for RFI and the car headlamps!

The old-fashioned car headlamps are unobtanium nowadays and perfect for use as a protective serial connected load when testing high current devices.

One of my current projects is testing of 3-500Z RF tubes.  While there, I was fortunate to get lots of good advice from tube experts Tom Taylor N5ACA and John Firey W5ZG; which is another reason why getting to a Hamfest is great- getting to chat with other hams.

The tailgate outside was a bit smaller than usual, but still aways fun since you never know what to find when someone pulls up and drops their tailgate.  I was hoping to find an M2 6m Yagi, but not this time.  I almost pulled the trigger on a $30 17-element 220 MHz Yagi but restrained myself this time- possibly to regret it later- sigh.

I’m now seeing more 3D printers showing up for sale.  So, if you’re in the market, I’d expect to see these vendors continue to show up. 

Inside the usual potpourri of cables, antennas, radios, etc.  the estate sales are always fun, since for a good price there’s always a good find.  This is where I bought my ridiculously cheap Jennings vacuum variable capacitor and an Astron 50A power supply.  There was an older AEA ISO Loop antenna for $70, but I didn’t need it.  The buy of the year was witnessing, was a guy who bought a Hickok 600 tube tester for $10.  The seller obviously had no idea what it was worth ($800+).

Hope these photos inspire y’all to come on out to the upcoming ones.