[AMRadio] Surplus sites/boatanchor haunts: Update and Thank you

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Fri Feb 18 13:04:58 EST 2005

My apologies up front to those who receive this post on multiple
lists: I received comments and suggestions from several places, and
the information might be of interest as well.

Thanks to everyone who offered tips and suggestions for the Tampa,
Florida area. While I didn't make it to Skycraft Surplus or another
place suggested to me, I did visit a few places folks might find worth
the trip.

First, I did make it to 'Hamcation' in Orlando last Friday.
Unfortunately for me it would appear that Satruday is likely the
better day. The outdoor fleamarket was perhaps 1/4 the size of the
Hosstraders hamfest in Hopkinton, NH, just for reference. Some of the
items seen were: Collins 75A-4 w/speaker for a mere $3K, a decent
SP-600 for $495 (owner says he had turned down an offer of $350
earlier), two Collins 30S-1 amps for $1650 and $1750, and a BC-939(?)
antenna tuner for the BC-610 in so-so shape for a mere $400. Big Gates
console for $400. Homebrew quad of what looked like 3-500Z transmitter
for '10 meter AM or FM' for $1500, a D-104 (nothing special, 1980s
model with push bar on base and japanese aftermarket lever on side
bar) for $250, another next to it with no lever for $150. Also saw a
Halli transmitter and receiver set up (the numbers escape me, but they
look like the SR-150) with no price, 'make me an offer' by the owner.
Someone else had a Hallicrafters power supply for one of the
HA-whatever converters for $25, probably the steal of the hamfest. I
purchased 100' of 14 gauge wire from the Wireman for an antenna
project, and a couple of 3-wafer ceramic switches for 25¢ each. Ran
into a Vermont plate, W1TX. Talked with him a bit. Also spoke with a
guy who had just fixed a friend's DX-100. No one seemed to know
anything about an AM group, other than the frequencies you could find
them on some mornings. I was hoping for an 'AM corral' or similar, but
no joy. Saw a couple of guys intently fiddling with what looked like
some kind of Chinese military backpack radio. But....$3K for a 75A-4?
$250 for a run-of-the-mill D-104? "Y'all" are mighty proud of your
gear!  I won't get into the traffic situation, but I can see why
people camp there for days.

Also visited two museums. The first is, by FAR, the best private radio
museum I've ever seen, and probably the largest collection of WWII
Japanese radios in the country, maybe the world. Col. William Howard
was kind enough to invite me and my YL tour guide to visit his
collections and museum, and I'm certainly glad we made the trip there.
Bill has an extensive collection of not only WWII Japanese gear, but
many of the important pieces of radio gear and other developments from
pre-WWII to present. He also has story boards along the walls
detailing specific events or giving in-depth descriptions of
particular items, people, and so on. And he doesn't have only radio
gear - he has paper, uniforms, ordinance, models, displays, and some
very significant historical artifacts. He also has a vast amount of
knowledge and experience. I never knew that Bill was active in
collecting and analyzing enemy gear in Viet Nam, for example. He has a
great deal of information on his unit's activities there, as well as
many of the artifacts collected. I got a kick out of the chinese radio
riddled with bullet holes. Not much use, but interesting in the
historical perspective. It's impossible to go into great detail here,
suffice it to say that it is well worth a visit. Bill is a great host,
provides very detailed directions for getting there, and is very
devoted to preserving our history. Why, he even has a couple of
operating Stuart tanks! My only regret is not having a day or two more
to spend looking things over and reading everything.  Thanks again,

Final stop was the Florida International Museum in St Petersburg,
which has a wonderful Cold War display centered around the Cuban
Missile Crisis. They have rooms furnished with everything you'd have
seen from that era, right down to the reading materials and kitchen
appliances even period B&W TV sets with old newscasts playing on them.
The also have many interesting CD posters, hand-written notes
scribbled by JFK during his meetings with his staff about what to do,
even a complete, de-commissioned SA-2 surface-to-air missile is on
display. They also have a typical fallout shelter, complete with
bunks,yellow Gonset Gooney box, and canned rations. Other radios on
display were used in the movie '13 Days' and include a small National
(SW-54?) and Zenith Trans-Oceanic. Along the walls, from beginning to
end, are large printed updates by date and time, of the unfolding of
events from the first discovery of missiles to the final deal and
removal. It was much more than I expected from the description given
to me, and very much worth seeing.

So again, many thanks to those who offered suggestions and help. I'm
sorry I wasn't able to catch up with Mark, Andy, and some of the
others who attended the Orlando 'fest, looks like I was a day early.
Maybe next time? And for any of you in, around, or visiting the
Tampa/Clearwater area - take my advice and visit Col William Howard's
museum and the Florida International Museum. I've only scratched the
surface here, there is so much more to see.

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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