Sunday, March 27, 2011

HAM-EX.....over for another year

The parking lot was full Click for full size
Even with all the snow we had over the past week nothing says spring like a Hamfest!! Every year I head out to the Ham-ex hamfest. It is about 40 minutes from my home but is very well attended and lots of goodies to be had. I was up at 6:30 a.m. and off to Starbucks for a coffee and then on the road to the my first hamfest of 2011. This event is sponsored by two Amateur radio clubs, Peel ARC and Mississauga ARC. It is not hard
to tell that lots of planning goes into this event. From the moment you arrive there are numerous parking attendants guiding  you where to park taking you right to a spot. Once in the building check-in is smooth as silk and all who
Flea market area click for full size
 I talked to were very friendly and courteous. There is one large meeting room away from the flea market area were you can sit at a table have something to eat (the menu is from bacon and eggs to just a muffin and coffee),have a rest or look over what you may had purchased.  There is also another room were license exams are going on for those who want to upgrade their license or anyone who wants to become a ham. Also in this room is a special event station VE3XR is setup operating the HF bands.
R7000 again click for large
A Crushcraft R6000 (I believe it was the R6000) is setup outside as the antenna. New comers to the hobby can see ham radio live and up close. This rig in most cases is provide by a local Amateur radio dealer so it is the latest and greatest.  The veterans  can see a rig in action they may only dream of having someday. Icom  also had a presance there displaying the  D-STAR system as well as Alinco showing off all their rigs and the new DX-R8 recieiver.  As you make your way  into the large flea market area it is in a separate building so a short walk outdoors is in order. It's a very large with vendor tables that are well organized. There is both radio dealers as well as many who rent tables hoping to rid themselves of some extra gear. As for items to chose from you have the traditional boat anchor items, radio tubes, computers, any type of ham rigs, antennas, electronic test equipment and then the odd stuff....LED lights that flash and sparkle, security systems and lots more of this and that. Was there deals to be bet there was!!!! I find it very handy to go to the flea market with a list of what I am looking for.
Icom's D-STAR setup "click"
tube display "Click"
This way I have a mission and am looking for specific items. Once I search all the tables for these items and either find and buy or get shut out I then take a more leisurely stroll about the vendors. Also just because it is a "Hamfest" does not mean all the deals are good you should do your homework before going. One item I was looking for was a 20 meter mobile whip for the car. New they are priced from 24.95 to 30.00 depending on the make. I did find a used Pro Am 20 meter whip for sale. It looked a bit used but that is the idea of "used" so I asked what he wanted to my surprise I was told 39.00!!! Now he had other antennas there so I assumed he meant for the whole lot.
Knobs or tubes anyone
 I was told "no just for the 20 meter and that is a firm price" If you did not do your home work you would have over paid at least 10 dollars for a well used antenna.
Over all I had a great time and saw some other hams that I had not seen for sometime and had some short chats. I am looking forward to the next one in June the Central Ontario Hamfest .


  1. Hi Mike, I like the DX-R8 receiver. It would a fine attribute in my shack. And the price is reasonable. 73 Paul

  2. Good afternoon Paul, yes that is a very nice receiver and you wont break the bank when you purchase it.