This past weekend (July 24, 2021), my buddy Vlado (N3CZ) and I attended the 2021 Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society (WCARS) hamfest in Waynesville, North Carolina.
Due to Covid-19 lock-downs and social distancing, this was the first hamfest we’d attended in 18 months. I think all of us were having serious hamfest withdrawal, so this regional hamfest was very well-attended. Who knows what will happen in the future with regards to Covid–numbers are climbing sharply again here in NC–so I think many of us were there enjoying everything “while the gettin’ was good.” It helped that even the indoor area is incredibly spacious and had a constant airflow.
It was so great seeing so many friends, readers, and subscribers. Thank you for stopping by our tables.
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In the past, however, I’ve found some real gems among the tables of this small hamfest.
I took a few photos but should note they’re not at all a representation of what was available at the hamfest, rather the things I found of interest (ahem…vintage gear).
This Hallicrafters SX-100 was on one of the first tables I noticed in the main building. I have an SX-99 and have always thought about “upgrading” to an SX-100. The seller was asking $150.
My buddy, Mike (K8RAT) believes the Omni D is one of the best CW rigs ever made. He purchased one–in excellent condition–with matching power supply at a hamfest in Ohio for $200. I believe this one, and another OMNI D at the WCARS hamfest were selling for $300+.
I would have loved a little radio/TV combo like this when I was in middle school. The two inch black and white CRT screen reminds me of the devices everyone carried to open doors and communicate on Space 1999.
I still find the IC-R70 and IC-R71 appealing. Maybe it’s that classic Icom green.
This National NC-173 really caught my attention. The seller had kept this radio in excellent cosmetic condition.
Indeed, the temptation was too much! I purchased the NC-173 and took it home. After turning it on, though, I felt voltage on the chassis (50V, in fact) and no audio. I contacted the seller, who lives locally, and took it to his home work bench. He happily refunded my money and then began looking for the fault. My life has been so hectic, I haven’t gotten back to him yet, but he was holding it for me should I want to purchase again. I may very well go back and purchase it. Hey, if it’s good enough for Thor Heyerdahl, it’s good enough for me!
While none in working order necessarily, these ARCs were being sold for about $25 each. I probably should’ve gotten at least one.
The seller wanted over $700 for this Clansman manpack transceiver and accessories, if memory serves. Someday, I’ll snag one of these.
I did come home with this beautiful 1946 Phillips Model 46-350 with roll-top dial cover. The 46-350 was a very popular model for Phillips after WWII; over 220,000 were produced. Original sales price? $49.95
The seller–an avid antique radio collector–sold this 46-350 to me for $25. I feel like I got a deal, too: the receiver is amazing and the audio is beautiful. The chassis shows wear, but I like that (gives some chronological context–!). The inside is in great shape for a radio that’s almost 70 years old.