Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by K5UJ, May 19, 2019.

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  1. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I arrived home a few hours ago from Dayton. Saw a few familiar faces: Mike WB0SND, Mike WO9J, Jerry K9GAS, John K9KEU, Rex WA6GYC, Pete N9HXW, and Janis AB2RA. I did not get to talk to Janis, only said hello from the back of a golf cart as it was pulling away. Also saw but didn't speak with Steve W8TOW and Brian W8KHZ. Rode over there with Greg WB9DNZ, Scott (I can't remember his call sign) and Greg's son. The hamfest has become mostly commercial vendors and professional flea marketeers. I saw more empty spots in the flea market than last year I believe. But the wx both Friday and Saturday was great. Never rained and it was sunny Saturday; cloudy on Friday but much more comfortable that the previous six or so years. Let's hope this is the start of a nice stretch. The 1620 station had a booth but there was zero sign of any transmitter gear that looked like a real radio station. Never saw a rig or audio processor there and no antenna. Outside in the racetrack I saw a few bargains: An Inovonics 222 for $50, A nice clean Cardwell BC339 air variable loading cap 2500 pF for $20, and pairs of NOS Cetron 572Bs for $80. I didn't need any of those so I left them and when I went back on Saturday the 222 and capacitor were gone (to good homes I hope). I took one of the 572B pairs home.

    Now the downers: Few AMers in attendance. Maybe I missed some. I scrounged and scrounged through every box of garbage in the whole flea market and managed to find only ONE 810 size grid grip. Those things are absolutely the hardest part to find. Those crappy ceramic jobs were everywhere. One fellow was selling little bags of copper washers, around 30 to a bag for $1 each. Mostly though, I found the sorts of odd ball small parts I'm looking for missing. No coil clips for example. There were plenty of vintage receivers and AM / CW rigs plus some larger plate and mod. iron, and RF parts (caps and inductors) but I wasn't really looking for any of that. No big mauls anywhere as far as I could tell. However, my opinion is I'm sure markedly different from that of someone getting started in vintage radio. For example I saw a very nice early '40s HRO and a desirable KW Matchbox. There were a few items I would have jumped on seven or eight years ago. So the old rule that a hamfest is as good as your finds applies.
    N2EY likes this.
  2. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the report.
    I only went once about 35 years ago with WA3JVJ and we made a huge haul between the fest and fair radio.
    I got a like new KWS-1 for $400.00 and boxes of tubes, resistors, caps, for stupid low prices.
    That was about prime time for tube gear since no one but nut jobs and wing nuts wanted tube gear, and forget about AM stuff.
    I got a prime R390a at fair radio, Bruce got a bunch of iron I think.
    We must have had 1500 pounds in the caravan on the way home...
    W8KHK likes this.
  3. WZ5Q

    WZ5Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ahhh yes, the incessant draw of the manetics. I gravitate towards it anywhere I go.
    I always bring a wheeled dolly to any hammy hambone function just in case there is some Iron lurking there that I absolutely cannot live without.

    It's a sickness... well actually, it's a full blown fetish.
    W8KHK and AD5HR like this.
  4. W8KHK

    W8KHK Ham Member QRZ Page

    And there is absolutely NO CURE for it. That in itself is GOOD!
  5. K4KYV

    K4KYV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would have grabbed that. I'm still kicking myself 50 years later for taking just one of those and leaving 4 others behind at a "property disposal" yard, where they were smashed with a sledgehammer and thrown into a pile of scrap metal.
    No telling how many vintage "grid grips" have been tossed in the rubbish to be replaced by those shitty ceramic tube-destroyers that somebody thought "looked pretty". I once had about a hundred of those things I had accumulated over the years, but instead of pawning them off to some poor suckers at a hamfest (where they undoubtedly would have fetched enough $$$ to pay for my hamfest ticket and then some), I pulverised mine on the driveway with a sledgehammer to guarantee they would never break the plate cap loose from another good tube.

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    K5UJ and WN1MB like this.
  6. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I regretted passing on it. When I first saw it, I ass-u-me-d that it had to be around 3 or 4 times the actual asking price because it was in such good shape and since I had one I moved on, trying to save money. The next day when I was back at the table where it was, I saw it was gone and only then did I ask the guy there what he wanted for it and got that sinking feeling when he told me $20.
    I bet that over the years whenever a chassis gets parted out, if it has grid grips on it, the idiot pulling parts off for sale, throws them away.
  7. K4KYV

    K4KYV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If I see something that I just might be interested in, I always ask what the vendor wants for it. If it's absurdly high, I just move on, but try to make a mental note where it is. Sometimes I'm surprised how little they are asking for something, and I grab it even if I don't particularly want or need it. If it's something I really would like to have but the price is too high, I'll make a low-ball offer. All they can do is say no. It's not unusual to find the item still there near the end of the day and the guy will take me up on my low-ball offer, or at least be willing to haggle.

    That's how I got that dead 75A-4 at the final HARA hamfest for $275. It had a simple hammy hambone wiring error that I quickly corrected to bring it back to life. It still has other issues though, and I have considered holding onto it as a parts rig if I don't feel like eventually spending the time necessary it back to full working condition. Since then, I acquired another dead 75A-4 free of charge, with a burnt-out power transformer. I replaced the xfmr and brought that one back to life as well, works great except it's deaf on 40m. Maybe between the two I can get one good working receiver and a source of spare parts.

    I agonise the most when the price is absurdly low and I don't really need it, but it's an offer I can't refuse. Sometimes I actually feel a sense of relief when I go back and it's already sold.
  8. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I am glad others keep it going, I don't want any of the old stuff anymore.
    I had much better results from homebrew, and these days, I think I would settle for a good SDR radio and a nice amplifier, maybe solid state.

    I think it may soon get VERY hard to get rid of the old stuff.
  9. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is some dude on QTH that sells bags of parts from chassis that he has stripped.

    Instead of taking a sick unit and fixing it up, he strips the radio.

    Kinda like taking a good, non-rusty '65 Mustang that only has a need for an engine rebuild, but instead, strips it down and sells all the parts individually.

    Kinda sick IMHO.

    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  10. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agreed.....and I see the same thing on the watery auction place.

    I suspect one reason is....$$. An old rig may bring more cash if parted out than as a unit. Plus shipping is much easier and cheaper, particularly for parts that fit into a flat-rate box.

    IMHO there's a point where an old radio is better being a parts source to keep others alive. But some folks don't see that; they just see the $$.

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