This past weekend I attended the Oklahoma Ham Holiday Hamfest in Oklahoma City for the first time. It was a good Hamfest overall, I believe.
The Hamfest was held at the Bricktown Hotel in Oklahoma City. The furnishings and interior decorations of this hotel look like they were decorated by my Grandmother about 40-50 years ago, and then someone forgot to update it for recent events. It was clean and well-kept, but it was also like stepping into a hotel of the past.
Leaving that fact aside, the venue was perfectly suited for the Hamfest. The event was held in a large conference/meeting room, and nearly all of the vendor tables were full. I didn’t get a chance to count the number 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 setup a booth right across the aisle from me, Oklahoma Amateur Radio Society, MTC, WB0W, just to name a few.
I sold several of my Wouxun KG-UV8D radios, a few Baofengs and a couple of Zastone radios. I passed out several dozen business cards, and spoke to that many people also, so it was a fantastic networking opportunity for me. I had a fun time and I plan to attend again next year.
Sitting next to me was Bob, W5FKN. I had the pleasure of speaking with Bob most of the day. Bob runs the Sidewinders On Two (S.W.O.T.) Net on Wednesday nights at 8pm, on 144.250USB. He also rebuilds Antenna Rotors and sells them as a very decent price. He had a HamIV, with controller, completely re-done and painted for $475, which is less than half the cost of a new one. He also had several other models, one of which was a CDE for $150. I am thinking about picking this one up myself and putting on my tower that is still sitting in my yard, which I should have put-up by now. I need to get cracking on that, and also on my HF dipoles.
This was a good Hamfest, overall. The prices were mostly decent also. I did find one vendor selling an Icom 706MKIIg for $600. The prices on these 706 radios have dramatically increased over the last few months. About a year ago I paid $500 for one on ebay, which had the extended TX mod, and works perfectly. But every Hamfest I attend seems to have someone selling them for more than I think they are worth. They are great radios, just not worth more than about $500, in my opinion. Most of these radios that I see at Hamfests don’t end up selling, probably because of their prices.
Make plans to attend Ham Holiday next year if you are able.