Report: HamExpo - Belton TX

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by AA7BQ, Oct 6, 2015.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    This year's HamExpo in Belton, TX was another great success. Located about 100 miles south of the Dallas, Ft. Worth metroplex, the Bell County fairgrounds provide an excellent venue for a hamfest.

    We arrived late Friday afternoon and there was already plenty of great swapmeet activities underway. Some swap tables were already setup, there was a great barbeque taking place, as well as musical entertainment by some of the attendees (Sorry, I didn't get your names). The bottom line was that everybody was having fun in a festival like atmosphere.

    The QRZ Bus parked outside the Expo! center. The indoor portion of the hamfest was in the yellow building on the right. The outdoor portion included the entire parking lot. Parking was free, however sellers were asked to pay a small donation. Overnight, self contained campers were also welcome.

    A typical outdoor display. It's always amusing to look at technology that has passed its prime. Still, the better built gear can be a great bargain, regardless of its age. Voltmeters, for example, have gone from VTVM's (vacuum tube voltmeters) to microprocessor controlled digital assistants and yet a volt is still a volt and the older meters remain just as relevant on a test bench.


    We were pleased to meet up with Rich, KI5DX, president of Main Trading Company, a QRZ advertiser. They had a great commercial display in the outdoor area with great prices to match. I would be remiss in not mentioning the hospitality of our Texas brethren. Everyone I met in Belton seemed genuinely happy to be there and friendly to all.

    Lawrence, KB5ZZB poses in front of a huge stack of MTC sale items.

    The indoor area was a mix of commercial and private sellers and was quite spacious. There were over 100 tables, as best as we could count.

    An unusual aspect of HamExpo is that tailgaters can bring their vehicles inside the building. Truly and indoor tailgate event.

    More indoor tables. Notice the "big ass fan" in the ceiling. These fans are great and many of you may know them from Costco stores. The only complaint I had for the event is that they failed to turn this one on. Fortunately, the weather was mild and in the 70's so the fans weren't needed that badly.

    Another great assortment of boat anchors.

    Plenty to look at everywhere. Most folks needed at least 2 hours to see it all.

    If possible, you should definitely put HamExpo on your list. It's truly one of the country's great hamfests.

    -fred AA7BQ October 3, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    WD5GWY, K5MTY, KF5RRF and 1 other person like this.
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is one of the greatest.

    I missed it this year. :(

    Thank you for sharing, And teasing. :D

  3. KF5RRF

    KF5RRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the report!

    Same here. I missed Belton completely this year. There's always 2016, though!

    Unless something has changed, they hold this twice each year - once in April and again in October.
  4. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I knew Fred was going to be there I would have gone just for the visit. He needs to post Heads Up. :D

    I have enough junk from last time I went to Belton. I would just buy more stuff I do not need.

    Belton beats Dayton, and is a lot closer for me. And you can cook and pee in the woods outback. :)

    Last time I was there I worked and tested radios and amps in a friends RV, for free.

    The power inside was limited, but they allowed barbecue pits out back with advanced permission.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  5. WC5P

    WC5P Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    OMG, I am in one of those pictures. I hope it didn't break the camera.
    KA9JLM likes this.
  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the camera is fine.

    It had a wide angle lens. :p
  7. KD5AUU

    KD5AUU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I missed being in the pictures by about two parking spaces - Pretty good lay out this fall - I had a good time and sold off some of my excess stuff.
  8. WB1E

    WB1E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is someone going to post a new thread for the event on 4/15/2016 as it's getting very close.
  9. WC5P

    WC5P Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Belton Hamfest, October 1, 2016

    The bad news: Attendance appeared to be down considerably. Lots of empty tables inside. This kinda surprised me. Usually when the weather is good, Belton draws a good crowd.

    The good news: Owing to the reduced attendance, it was easy to get up and down the aisles without the need for a bulldozer.
  10. W5KV

    W5KV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Belton was great this time around! I felt that attendance was double what it was in the spring, although a lot of the tailgaters, and even some vendors started breaking down REALLY early on Saturday! Picked up a dummy load, jumper cable & some grounding braid!


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