Last weekend, March 7, was the annual Irving Hamfest in Irving Texas. I always enjoy this show because it is local and draws local hams to it. It is good to see everyone whom I usually only talk with over the air. There are only a small number of Hamfests that are inside of the DFW area, and this is one of them. It always makes for a good time.
There were fewer vendors at the Irving Hamfest this year than what I’ve seen in the past. Honestly, I think my table was the only one selling Kenwood, Alinco and Icom radios. Main Trading Company attended this Hamfest last year, but they had a conflict with another Hamfest this year, so they weren’t in Irving.
I’ve heard some chatter on the local repeaters during this week following the Hamfest that the attendance was much lower than in years past, and that the IARC didn’t send a formal invite out to vendors of the past, as they have done before. I can’t speak to the notification of previous vendors, as this was my first year as a vendor myself. However I can tell you that out of all the tables they had set out, maybe 3 or 4 of them were empty. It was a pretty full show. And, more importantly in my opinion, there were just as many patrons attending the Hamfest as I have seen in years past. So I don’t believe the rumors that I heard some hams say over the air that “lots of tables were empty, I am glad I didn’t go” – this just simply wasn’t true.
I had my table setup at the very front of the room, so everyone coming into the building usually saw me first. I’m glad I had lots of mainstream and Chinese-brand inventory to sell. I sold out of the ALinco DM-330FXT Power Supplies that I had. These are great little units. They are 25a continuous, 30a max, with 2 hot/ground ports on the front, plus a cigarette lighter adapter, plus 2 USB ports. The unit only weighs a few pounds, so it would go GREAT in a Go-Kit or box.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to walk around to many of the other tables. I saw lots of good used gear and antennas, though. Overall, I’d say this Hamfest was a good event, but not as large as years past. But it was still a very fun time.