2020 hamcation

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by KJ4OLL, Feb 10, 2020.

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  1. KJ4OLL

    KJ4OLL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Attended the 2020 Hamcation in Orlando on Friday. Have attended for the last 8 years, Friday 2020 seemed to have more tailgate and people in the buildings than I have seen thus far.

    Did not try to attend Saturday, too crowded for me.

    Noted a lack of quality boat anchor equipment. Lots of the typical vendors with new equipment.
    Never did find the usual vendor for test equipment, I needed an HP or Agilent Spectrum Analyzer, none to be found. The tailgaters had lots of “stuff”, but most of what I saw on Friday looked like it had been in someone’s garage/basement since 1940. Old & busted, resembled debris more than radio equipment. I guess all the quality gear is already in the shacks of the owners, not much more available now.
    Fun to talk with friends there, but nothing for me to spend $$$ on this time.
  2. KA4NRF

    KA4NRF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Orlando Hamcation seems to be getting smaller each year. Still had fun looking at all the gear and yes a lot was dirty and rusty. I did see a couple of Spectrum Analyzers out there and brought home some antenna hardware. Almost bought a new HT, but decided to put it off for awhile. More out on Saturday then Friday in the swap areas.
  3. N3IL

    N3IL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    2nd year attendance, had a table in the Swaps Bldg. Definitely less Swaps vendors (i.e. more empty tables) than last year. Many of these empty tables did have names on them. On Friday there were less Tailgaters than last year. The East TG area was almost void of tailgaters, and there were less in the West TG area. The weather may have had an impact - a major cold front preceded by thunderstorms rolled through early Friday morning. Temperature was ~60 degrees at 0700, and there were soggy and muddy areas from the rain. For the most part - the tailgaters were the same from last year (in 'their same location', and for some the same gear from last year). On Saturday, the weather was cooler in the morning - 48 degrees at 0700 though quickly ramping up to low 70's by late morning. There was an influx of tailgaters on Saturday. The newcomers were being set-up on the asphalt road just past the main gates; last year this area was not populated. Once shoppers saw these newcomers, their tables were quickly descended upon by the horde (myself included).

    There were bargains to be held albeit had to search and dig. I purchased a rolling inductor for $1; an early 1980's Motorola MC6800 Development Kit for $5; new sealed project cases for $1 and $2. I missed out on a nice J38 key that sold for $10. Conversely there were quite a few items/prices/sellers that made you think your hearing went bad - you want $200 for a Commodore C64 whose entire case was cracked and broken? Or asking within dollars of what the exact same piece of gear could be purchased brand new with a warranty. Lastly, to the set of sellers who state "on eBay this is listed/sells for $X" - first, search on the sold listings to see the actual sold price, and remember with eBay/PayPal there is a course of action if the item is bad and with the tailgaters there is no recourse. I agree with the observations of the previous two posts that there were many items who had seen better years - a long time ago.

    On new gear inside the commercial vendors building, show discounts were offered on a variety of gear. At HRO, I purchased an Alinco DMR handheld for $11 less than HRO's on-line price.

    Overall, a nice laid-back hamfest; good time to catch-up with friends; and great exercise from walking in the FL sun (especially for us visiting Northerners).
  4. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My XYL K0UO and I Still had a Great Time.
    Thanks to all the vendors and volunteers that attended

    K3LR Tim had an excellent presentation on low-frequency receive antennas.

    The RV parking was good, very easy in and out.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  5. WA2ZQX

    WA2ZQX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Grrrreaaaaate Hamfest! Enjoyed meeting all the characters from the various Ham Videos...Eric-HamRadioConcepts, Tim-Yaesu, Robert-Tarheel Antennas, Ray Novak & Will-ICOM...etc. Less outdoor flea-market activity this year due to wet areas from overnight rains on Friday morning. I had to park farther away due to soggy areas (long walk), but was almost immediately picked up by a golf cart and also got a ride back to my car. Very nice volunteer group, as always. More OEM vendors this year. Glad MASTRANT was there again...besides wonderful guy rope, they have the best stainless-steel turnbuckles at a reasonable price. Good prices at HRO and R&L...DX Engineering plans to show in 2021! WA2ZQX -
    K0UO and K2HAT like this.

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