2020 Orlando HamCation

Joined
Aug 8, 2018
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56
Location
Lakeland FL Area
Lets hear from those who were at the 2020 Orlando HamCation. Did you buy... or just browse? Get any good deals. Maybe you traded in some of your older pre-enjoyed equipment. How'd that go for you? Anything else you might want to say about your experience?

I was there on Saturday. Pulling into the parking lot, I noticed a number of out of state vehicles. One of them was from Alaska, while two others from California. Had to be Hams and not just the general public considering the various antennas sprouting from their vehicles.

This year it seemed like there were twice as many people there as compared to 2019.

73...

BaoFeng_Blogger
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Dec 22, 2013
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3,439
I did not spend much. It was mostly an information gathering event for me. It was a good turn out and a pretty diverse bunch of folks showed up. Spent a lot of time researching mobile antenna options as I am in the market for a new vehicle.
 

wwhitby

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Jan 10, 2003
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Location
Autauga County, Alabama
My son and I were there on Friday and Saturday. I went to a good forum on the early years of ham radio.

My son bought a new Vero VR-N7500 mobile radio. I bought a couple of sections of military mast, some coax, powerpoles, and an Icom IC-T2H HT and accessories that "spoke" to me. I didn't need another HT, but for $25, I couldn't pass it up.

There was a vendor selling military surplus cases and boxes, and my son and I each bought a 2U SKB rack case. One will be our VHF go kit, and the other our HF go kit.

Overall, it was a really great hamfest and we got some deals.
 

KB8KOJ

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May 17, 2004
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Location
Centerville, Ohio
Picked up an Anytone 878 DMR HT from the Bridgecom guys. Spent some time playing with the Flex radios... It was my 3rd year in a row for Hamcation. Had a blast this year, 4 other Dayton area guys plus 1 wife went. We all stayed in the same resort. Nice to get a break from winter, see my family who all now live in Orlando area, and a warm up for Hamvention. Hamcation organizers do a great show!

#Edit Agree it seemed like there were more people than the last 2 years. I only went on Friday and Saturday, but it seems like each day was different somehow.
 

wwhitby

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Jan 10, 2003
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Location
Autauga County, Alabama
#Edit Agree it seemed like there were more people than the last 2 years. I only went on Friday and Saturday, but it seems like each day was different somehow.
The last time my son and I went was 2018, and there were definately more people there this year.

Agree with you that it seemed like there was a difference between Friday and Saturday. Maybe it because we had done it all and seen everything on Friday? Saturday, we just went though each building once and then and just bought the items that we thought about buying on Friday (military mast and rack cases) and then left.

Also, I forgot to mention that I ran into a couple of fellas in the bone yard area that remembered me from when I had my website from 1996-2003. We spent some time talking about scanning back then and the changes that have happened in scanning.
 

escortz28

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Mar 29, 2004
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172
Location
Powell, Ohio
From my QRZ review
2nd year attendance, had a table in the Swaps Bldg. Definitely less Swaps vendors (i.e. more empty tables) than last year. Many of these empty tables did have names on them. On Friday there were less Tailgaters than last year. The East TG area was almost void of tailgaters, and there were less in the West TG area. The weather may have had an impact - a major cold front preceded by thunderstorms rolled through early Friday morning. Temperature was ~60 degrees at 0700, and there were soggy and muddy areas from the rain. For the most part - the tailgaters were the same from last year (in 'their same location', and for some the same gear from last year). On Saturday, the weather was cooler in the morning - 48 degrees at 0700 though quickly ramping up to low 70's by late morning. There was an influx of tailgaters on Saturday as well as 'general public' in attendance. The newcomers were being set-up on the asphalt road just past the main gates; last year this area was not populated. Once shoppers saw these newcomers, their tables were quickly descended upon by the horde (myself included). I purchased a loaded tube caddy for $100, a variety of decent tubes.

There were bargains to be held albeit had to search and dig. I purchased a rolling inductor for $1; an early 1980's Motorola MC6800 Development Kit for $5; new sealed project cases for $1 and $2. I missed out on a nice J38 key that sold for $10. Conversely there were quite a few items/prices/sellers that made you think your hearing went bad - you want $200 for a Commodore C64 whose entire case was cracked and broken? Or asking within dollars of what the exact same piece of gear could be purchased brand new with a warranty. Lastly, to the set of sellers who state "on eBay this is listed/sells for $X" - first, search on the sold listings to see the actual sold price, and remember with eBay/PayPal there is a course of action if the item is bad and with the tailgaters there is no recourse. There were many items who had seen better years - a long time ago.

On new gear inside the commercial vendors building, show discounts were offered on a variety of gear. At HRO, I purchased an Alinco DMR handheld for $11 less than HRO's on-line price.

Overall, a nice laid-back hamfest; good time to catch-up with friends; and great exercise from walking in the FL sun (especially for us visiting Northerners).
 
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