Belton Hamfest Spring 2014 Review

This past weekend, March 29, was the Spring edition of the Belton Ham Expo. This was my first Spring Hamfest at Belton, and while it had been reported to me that the Spring one was smaller than the Fall one, I really didn’t know what to expect. Additionally, I actually purchased a table at this Hamfest and setup a few items for sale. This was my first time to ever sell at a Hamfest, but I really enjoyed it so I am planning to do it again.

The Hamfest overall was good. I think they had a record number of people in attendance. I was listening to a couple of people on the Eddy 2-meter repeater on my way home after the show was over, and they were saying that they believed the attendance number was higher than average. The weather was very nice too, so lots of people tail-gating and participating in the outdoor parking lot.

Inside, I saw very few empty tables and tailgate spaces. In the center of the room, they actually have parking spaces where vendors can drive a car into the building and park to sell items out of the back of a truck or van. “Tail-gating” indoors. Pretty cool.

There was a large lack of vendors during this Hamfest, much more than I have seen in the past. Most notably, both Main Trading Company and Houston ARS were missing from the festivities. I didn’t expect to see Main Trading Company there due to some issues they had in the past with Belton (I have no details on this, just what I have read on their Twitter and Facebook accounts) but I was surprised that Houston ARS was missing. Perhaps we will see them this Fall, on the first weekend in October for the Falls Ham Expo.

Prices weren’t all that great, either. Just a few examples of what I saw were:

  • Icom 706MKII for $500 (not the “G” version, so no 440, and only 20 watts on 2-meter)
  • Several Icom IC-7000s for $900-$1000, used. Dx Engineering has them brand new for $1079 right now with free shipping.
  • Kenwood TS-2000 for $1100 in decent used condition, but MTC has them for $1399, brand new with free shipping.
  • NO dual-band mobile radios. I saw several 2-meter only radios, but we never did find any dual-bands until the very last hour. 1 used vendor had a TM-731 buried under some other stuff.
  • NO 900MHz equipment. Several of the people selling Motorola gear had 800MHz radios, but when I asked them about 900MHz, they acted like they had never heard that question before. They are obviously unaware of all the 900MHz activity in DFW.

Overall I’d say the Hamfest was worth attending, but was weaker than previous times. In the Fall, I hope to see as many people, but hopefully a few more vendors, and some more reasonable prices on gear.

beltonhamfestspring2014

9 Responses to “Belton Hamfest Spring 2014 Review”

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  1. Ki5M says:

    Actually our numbers were lower, 775 this time and it has been closer to 1,000 in the past.
    The Temple Amateur Radio Club is very happy with the results we had this time and thank everyone who could come visit.
    Mike Hankins, Ki5m
    Club Treasurer

    • jape says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for replying.
      OK I guess what I heard was just speculation, then. The guys talking on the Eddy machine were saying they thought the count was higher, but they weren’t sure. And I was on my way out of town, so I didn’t get to hear the end of that conversation. Thanks for the clarification.
      Jason

  2. Bruce Love WB5NOQ says:

    Have never been to Belton, but am planning to go in the fall.
    Any word on when that will be?
    As for a dual band radio, I have one that is NIB, Yaesu FTM-400 DR, opened box looked at book and realized it was too smart for me! Will sell for less than I paid, if interested please contact me directly for price. (Myiphone23@sbcglobal.net)
    Again, nothing wrong with radio, it just too smart for me. Have had radio for about four months.
    Tried to figure it out for first month, been sitting for last three months.(in box)
    Was planning to take to Belton.

    • jape says:

      Hi Bruce, thanks for commenting.
      I believe the Fall Belton HamExpo will be the first weekend in October. I’ll confirm that as soon as I can.
      I might contact you offline about that radio, that is a nice one.
      73

  3. Bruce Love WB5NOQ says:

    OK, Thanks for the info on Belton.
    I live in Abilene, am retired, so got lots of time on hands….grin (except for chores)
    If you are interested in radio, I also got a Larsen NMO 2-70 base load ant with it, was going to set it up for mobile so also got
    Larsen MagMount NMO (all New). will also throw that in deal if interested.

    Let me know, maybe willing to meet you halfway or something.

    Guess I figured out after purchase of radio, I am more of a HF CW guy, Yeah, I know, should have thought that one through…grin
    When I first got licensed,(1974) VHF/UHF was all popular, then, 35 years later, after retirement, don’t really care for that anymore.
    Not old, Not dumb, just uninformed.
    Was QRT for 35 years……working……No time for anything else.

    But now I am retired, Free!……….Well, still have wife(42 yrs) but she does not care what I do with Ham Radio, so long as it does not bother her….grin

    Bruce WB5NOQ

  4. Ki5M says:

    I have posted the dates for HamEXPO! on our tarc.org website.
    October 3 & 4, 2014
    April 17 & 18, 2015
    October 2 & 3, 2015
    Tailgating and vendor setup is on Friday and Saturday.
    Doors open to visitors in the building on Saturday morning and normally closes up around noon.

    Mike Hankins, Ki5M
    Club Treasurer

    • jape says:

      HI Mike, thanks for commenting.
      I will definitely be there in October for the Hamfest. Good luck!

Trackbacks

  1. […] of tables, but I would compare it to the size of the Irving Hamfest. It was definitely smaller than Belton, but it also had more commercial vendors than Belton does. Among these were Icom themselves, who […]

  2. […] a 3-hour drive from Grapevine, so it is about the same distance as Oklahoma Ham Holiday and also Belton. If you have interest, I would suggest attending next year, you will probably get to see a huge […]



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