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Austin Summerfest 2007

AustinSummerfestWideAWe attended the Austin Summerfest ham meet up. I took along my limited digital camera to capture some shots. The quality is so-so but I hope you get the general idea. Ham fest events are great for the electronic hobbyist. The Ham’s bring large collections of components and test equipment to sell or swap. You can stock up your home lab without spending too much. The first picture shows the inside of the swap area.

Ham’s are great people, they love to teach and enjoy discussing project ideas. If you need help with just about anything electronic or radio related, a Ham will help. I am always impressed with their willingness to help and the depth of knowledge they have.

HamsOfAllAges

The picture above shows that Ham fest are for hobbyist of all ages, from the young man sitting on the table to the older gentlemen looking for that special part for their home stations. And yes, even though you don’t see many in this shot, there are women Ham’s at these meets.

BenchEquipmentBI was looking for some general parts and possibly some equipment for my home lab, I found both. I bought the 100MHz Tektronix oscilloscope (about center in the photo) from the rack of equipment in the photo to the right.

BenchEquipmentA

The bench above was covered with reasonably priced test equipment. The oscilloscope in this picture caught my eye for $200 but I went for the other one. It did cost more ($300) but I knew the seller and he thru in several cables, probes, and RF adaptors.

Parts!

PartsA

Here is a table loaded with leaded electronic components. They had two medium zip lock bags filled with random components for $1 each. I bought them both. we will give a run down of the contents in a follow up post. I scored some great parts for my $2 investment.

WideTubesA

Here is another shot of the swap area. The person in the foreground offers vacum tubes.

MicrowaveTalk

Austin Summerfest 2007 included several presentation and educational sessions. I particularly enjoyed a talk given by the Roadrunners group about microwave (10GHz) communications. These guys bounce signals off of rain storms to communicate long distances! I got the itch to play with microwave communications after this presentation.

We met a great Ham and fellow electronics hobbyist at lunch. The restaurant was full. We found a table with two empty seats and asked the guys already seated there if we could join them, of course we could! One of the Hams was S. Cash Olsen (KD5SJ). Cash had driven up from New Mexico to attend the event. He produces surface mount kits for hobbyist and has a computer controlled spectrum analyzer kit as well. I hope to collaborate with Cash on a surface mount kit which may be an upcoming uC Hobby giveaway. He may attend the Maker Fair and the Belton Ham Expo as well.

My Haul
I picked up a nice 100MHz Oscilloscope, two grab bags full of parts, and a surface mount soldering kit. I will do a follow up article on the soldering kit and the grab bags soon.

TekScopeTektronix’s O-Scope $300

Mini heat gun and syringe with SMT solder past, $15.SMTSolderingTools

 

Two grab bags full of resistors, capacitors, transistors and more for $2
GrabBags

If you can be in central Texas on October 6th you should get to the Belton Ham Expo. The Belton Ham Expo is unbelievably huge. I think it’s the biggest ham event anywhere.

Posted in Parts, Scrounging, Workshop Tools.


6 Responses

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  1. W8FG says

    Excellent article, I also visited a local ham meet this weekend. Wanted to comment on Belton, I’ve never been there, but the current largest Ham radio gathering in North America is the DAYTON HAMVENTION, held every May in Dayton Ohio, It is VERY much worth your trip! It is an excellent experience and the show last 3 days. It’s a Friday, Saturday, Sunday event, with some special event’s surrounding it! Ham Radio operators from all around the entire world fly into Dayton OH for this event. There are 10’s of thousands of amateurs there every year. All the major equipment manufacturers are setup and there’s a HUGE flea market, If you can’t find it at Dayton, you don’t need it! http://www.hamvention.org

  2. dfowler says

    Brandon,

    I love grab bags too. There is often someone selling parts by the pound from a 55 gallon drum. I did not see this guy here and that could be a lucky thing for me.. LOL.

    I plan to do a short article describing the contents of the grab bags and giving tips on storting through this kind of stuff. I hope we can get everyone to comment on that article with good sources for grab bags.

  3. dfowler says

    Eric,

    I just did the process online. I assume I have to wait for some confirmation or my new license via the mail. I was surprised that it did not cost anything to renew. Then I need to my rig going agian. Need to find a 10GHz to 2Meter transverter.. LOL

  4. BrandonU says

    Nice Finds! I’ve gotten several “good values” from swap meets. (still looking for a good scope though..) I’m a sucker for any type of electronic grab bag, even from some online surplus sites. It’s kind of exciting to see what will show up in the 3lb surprise box πŸ™‚ And in every case, the value of the parts was WAY more than I have paid!

  5. Alan Parekh says

    Nice scope πŸ™‚

  6. Eric says

    I looked for a Tektronix scope at HamCom… I found a 300Mhz one (real nice), and before I got a chance to get the money out of the ATM, it was gone.

    Did you ever get your license renewed? πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t mind catching you on IRLP or HF sometime.