[AMRadio] Hamfest Report: Somerset, PA

Merz Donald S merz.ds at mellon.com
Tue Sep 21 12:14:49 EDT 2004

I attended the 1st annual(?) Somerset County ARA hamfest last Sunday, September 19th. Weather was cold in the morning but got very nice as the day wore on. I did not sample any of the food but it was all home cooking. My son had a hot dog and he seemed to like it. But he'll eat anything.
The fest was held at a mall in an empty storefront with tail gating in the parking lot. The only bathroom was clear at the other end of the mall, providing good exercise for overweight hams like me. This fest was tiny with maybe 15 sellers and probably less than 200 attendees before I left at 10:45AM.

Boatanchors were all in the hands of one seller, at strictly eBay prices. Naturally none of it sold. He had a fantastic collection of books and literature and ham gear manuals, again all at huge prices. Copies of Radio News were $10 each. Radiotron designer's Handbook 4th ed. for $75.

HO-10, $90
TR-7/PS-7, price unknown
HAL ST-6000: $75
Bird Watt Meters: $135 each, many slugs $45-$95 each
Hallicrafters SX-85 or 96, not sure, beat up, $40
Heathkit single-bander with 3 unoriginal holes on front panel, $40.
Hallicrafters tube type 2 meter rig I did not recognize, price unknown.
EFJ 6n2 transmitter, really beat up, price unknown.
Much more.

Another guy showed up with an HQ-140X and upon questioning, admitted that it was the one that had been at the Butler fest. he said that he took a stab at fixing it but couldn't get it running. It didn't look any better than it did at Butler.

One of the local hamfest regulars showed up with some transmitting tubes in a box. The asking price would have funded the space program for a month. But as the morning shadows disappeared, he got more reasonable and sold me 15 tubes for $150. There were 2 810's, 4 814s, 3 838s and 6 211/vt-4c. At home, one of the 838's had an open filament. The rest have good filaments but one of the 814s has a loose base. And that's when I started to think about how to test them and that's why I posted my question to the list.

I also bought a Hickok VTVM of a design that I have not seen before, with rusty case for $5. My only other purchase was some B&W coil stock and 2 neutralizing caps for $5.

I saw Morry Weinschenker there (K3DPJ) looking more healthy than I have seen him in some time. Dave Knepper, of CRA fame, was also there, glad to have a hamfest close to where he lives for a change. I also saw uber-collector Bob Sova. Bob is one of those guys that had to build a 5,000 square foot out-building on his property to house his collection. He had some 1,000 pound broadcast and military transmitters in there plus a ton (actually several tons) of other stuff.

Hamfests left this year around here: WACOM 10/3, Another one I can't recall 10/10, and Massillon 10/31. Then that's it for 2004 in this area.

73, Don Merz, N3RHT
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