I’m the sort of person who gets excited over a box of old circuit boards at a car boot sale, so you can imagine the state I get into when confronted with the secondhand heaven that is Newark Hamfest 🙂
Living in the middle(ish) of the UK means there’s normally a short travel time to some of the bigger ham radio rallies and even though I’m usually on the first train out in the morning (06.25 this time), a radio rally tops the list of things I’d get out of bed half way through the night for.
Travel time is just over 3 hrs into Newark from Redditch and luckily the rally location at Newark Showground is only about a mile and half walk from the train station, which landed me at the hamfest just after 10am (perfect!)
Only had one mishap on the way as my connecting train in Birmingham couldn’t separate from the other carriages it didn’t need. This took about 20 mins to sort out and with a bit of frantic running on the other end, managed to make the remaining connections into Newark.
Getting back into my radio construction has left me with a few half finished projects that are just waiting for those harder to come by parts. Its been a while since I’ve been up this way and was hoping the radio flea market would cross some of the things off my list.
Another reason for making the trip is to get a look at the brand new radios that are hitting the market and with SDR really starting to take hold, there were a few I was looking forward to seeing ‘in the flesh’. And there was no disappointment in this area as the main hall was like a who’s who of shiny ham radio producers.
My standard rally money rules applied and I only took what I was willing to spend (credit cards left safely at home) as its so easy to get carrried away with all that shiny radio gear laying around. Wasn’t really looking to buy anything like a transceiver as I’m pretty happy on that front at the moment, but had enough cash if something cheap enough presented itself.
This trip was all about bits and pieces, some for my projects and some for a few field day antennas that are on the drawing board. In the end I picked up a budget wire dipole for 40 meters, 30 meters of cheap RG58 coax (can never have enough of that) and a good deal of the much needed components.
Did take a shine to some of the bare copper antenna wire on hand, but I’ve seen it cheaper elsewhere and prepared to wait for delivery (when I need it). The whole day out (train, money spent and entrance fee) cost just over £85 and was worth every single penny 🙂
Really needed a few Weller soldering iron tips, but although they had pretty much everything else, I came away empty handed on that front. Will be looking online for those as my local ‘electronics’ store want so much for them, it would feel like being mugged with a smile!