We 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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
Here is another shot of the swap area. The person in the foreground offers vacum tubes.
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.
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.
Tektronix’s O-Scope $300
Mini heat gun and syringe with SMT solder past, $15.
Two grab bags full of resistors, capacitors, transistors and more for $2
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.