HamCom 2014, Day 1

I spent all day today at the HamCom 2014 convention in Plano, TX.  This is the biggest Hamfest of North Texas that happens once a year.  It draws people from all over the state, and even outside of the state.  I saw several vendors from states that surround Texas, as well as some of the big names we always expect to see, such as Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom.

As always, MTC had a huge showing with a massive sale on Ameritron HF amplifiers.  HamCom 2013 was the first time I had met the guys from MTC, and this year they had a larger booth with about twice as many people working as last year.  So congrats to them, it looks like they are growing and doing well, which is always nice to see.  If you ever want a new piece of equipment, check their website first.  They might not always be the best price, but many times they are.

There was some confusion on the W100AW/5 station setup today.  I am not sure exactly what happened, but the Denton Club had their Mobile Emergency Communications station, nicknamed “Cleatus” at the event,  but it was late setting up.  I am told that another club was supposed to be there, but I don’t have any details on that.  A friend of mine, KF5SLK, was supposed to work the 12pm time slot today, but upon arriving, he was told the station wasn’t ready yet.  He was able to get some time in around 3pm, so it seemed to work out well.

The events that were scheduled in the classrooms were also very unorganized.  We attended the Broadband Hamnet talk that was scheduled for 10am, and the instructor was late.  Upon arriving, he said that his schedule was actually for Saturday, but also that they had changed the schedule on him numerous times during the past week.  There also seemed to be multiple versions of the schedule posted around the convention center; one would have an event in a room at a certain time, and then another schedule wouldn’t show that even at all.  I attended a Solar Power session at Noon, and it didn’t show on 2 of the schedules that were live-posted at the center, but since it was on the website, I decided to check anyway.  Upon arriving at the room, the session started on-time, but I was told by many hams that the 11am session on antennas, which was scheduled in that same room, never happened because the instructor never showed.  So the scheduling/organizing of these sessions really needed work this year.  Perhaps HamCom can find and fix the problem before next year.

I had lots of fun, overall.  It was a good day to spend with friends, and I was able to find a couple of excellent deals.  I picked up a used and working Icom 207H for $90.  I plan to put that in my Go-Kit.

Here is a list of vendors whose tables I stopped by.  This isn’t anywhere near the whole list of vendors at the show, but tomorrow I will go back and visit more tables.  KG5AHJ and KG5AHE need some equipment, so they are going with me.

More tomorrow….