This was my first time attending the Hamfest in Gainsville. I had heard mixed reviews about the show from hams around the DFW area, on various repeaters, so I didn’t exactly know what to expect when I showed up there. The show was supposed to go from 7am-1pm, but I arrived around 8:30am and left about an hour and a half later. I saw everything there was to see…twice.
The show was small, and only about half of the tables were being used. It was disappointing. However, I really can’t complain because of all the items I did see, I was able to score 3 or 4 really good deals.
I bought a used Radio Shack HTX-212 for $20. These radios sell for $60-$100 on ebay, constantly. I have one already, I bought it brand-new when Radio Shack first released them, maybe 12-15 years ago. And I used it in my truck for years. It still powers up and talks like it was new, and I have never had any work done to it. So $20 for a 45-watt mobile rig isn’t bad at all. I have some friends that are interested in getting a ham radio license, so I may offer this to one of them as an incentive to go ahead and take the test.
I also bought a Tonfa UV-985 dual-band HT that will transmit 8W on high power, on both 2M and 70CM. It is very similar to the Baofeng radios, but it is a bit more powerful, and has a nicer looking display, in my opinion. I’m looking forward to testing it on some repeaters around here.
I’m not sure I will go back to this show again, though. I might change my mind a few times between now and next year, but the show was very small and not really all that much to see. I am glad that I went this time because it was my first experience with the Gainsville Hamfest.
However, I did learn about the Belton Hamfest today and am now planning to attend that show, which I am told is one of the largest and best Hamfests around here.