The 2008 Hamfest Report

April 28th, 2008 by Benj Edwards

Benj's 2008 Hamfest ReportA couple weekends ago, I made the requisite annual trek to RARSfest, my local hamfest of choice, which takes place on the NC State Fairgrounds. You might remember my in-depth slideshow on a similar hamfest adventure two years ago. Well, this year I decided to take a few shots of the ‘fest again, and I thought you might enjoy them. So hop in the HamCar, and we’ll take a quick ride through RARSfest 2008.

The McDonalds

Hamfest 2008

“Fresh biscuits ahead. Abandon hope all ye with diabetes.”

As per tradition, my father and I drove through McDonalds. It was delicious.

The Venue

Hamfest 2008

We approached the hamfest with hesitation. No longer were we greeted by the friendly Jim Graham Building. Instead, the Exposition Center (AKA the “Murder Palace” *) took its place as the latest hamfest venue. (RARSfest was actually hosted here last year too, but you missed that one.)

The dark, foreboding sky warns us that we will some day regret bringing home another 400 lbs. of junk.

* I’m kidding.

The People

Hamfest 2008

Thanks to the smaller venue, the hamfest seemed more popular than ever. With attendees packed in like sardines, we barely had enough room to squeeze through the aisles. Plenty of “elbows-in-the-ribs” were had by all.

The Blur

Hamfest 2008

I took this photo as I dove towards the Heathkit H-19 ahead, desperately trying to head off the man in blue — a contest of wits and agility for a vintage prize. As I crashed to the ground, I realized that I already possessed a H-19 in much better condition. Besides, they wanted $70 for it.

The Zenith and the Mac

Hamfest 2008

This guy had some cool computers, one of which I’d never seen before: a Zenith Z-110 (seen standing on its side to the left). It’s a tank-like MS-DOS-running (but not PC-compatible) computer from 1982 with five S-100 bus slots. It also weighs enough to give The Incredible Hulk a hernia. To the right of that you’ll notice an Apple Mac Quadra 950 (which, ironically, also weighs enough to give The Incredible Hulk a hernia). Hard to resist — I bought both of them. Now I have a hernia.

The Serendipity

Hamfest 2008

Just as soon as I’d bought the two computers seen above, I turned around to spot another Z-110 across the room. I had never even heard of the Z-110 until that day, and suddenly there were two of them.

Turns out, somebody stacked the deck. Both units were bought at university surplus sales, likely when the university (probably NCSU) decided to upgrade to something more modern. Meanwhile, somewhere in the city, a hernia-loving man named Benj decided to downgrade to Z-110s. I still hunch over when I walk.

The Haul

Hamfest 2008

I bought a bunch of other stuff at the hamfest (actually, my father covered it as a birthday present), but I didn’t take any more pictures. Ultimately, it all came to what you see above: my final haul from RARSfest 2008 (plus a box that was already in the back of the car). For a complete list of the spoils, check below.

The Flea Market

Hamfest 2008

After we left the hamfest, we decided to check out the flea market that takes place at the same fairgrounds every weekend. We found nothing but rickety tables, fake purses, and those weird bottles you see above. Their contents remain a mystery to this day.

Still heady from our successful hamfest run, my dad and I drove home and parted ways. I spent the next few days knee-deep in computers trying everything out, and I’m still happy with everything I bought.

The Complete Haul

Here’s everything I picked up at RARSfest 2008, sorted by price:

  • Free – 10″ B&W VGA monitor
  • Free – Panasonic PV-SD4090 Digital Camera (uses SuperDisks)
  • $1 – 1 Apple USB Pro Mouse (Black)
  • $3 – 3 Apple USB puck mice
  • $3 – Cybiko w/MP3 Player accesory
  • $3 – Detached teletype keyboard
  • $4 – USB Superdisk Drive
  • $7 – Zenith Z-110
  • $5 – Power Mac 7500
  • $10 – Zenith Z-110 w/monochrome monitor
  • $10 – Compaq Contura Aero 4/25 Laptop
  • $10 – Handspring Palm Visor Deluxe
  • $15 – Mac Quadra 950 (w/lots of ram and big HD)
  • $25 – Apple Powerbook Duo 280c
  • $25 – 1024×768 Color LCD Projector Screen (w/case)

Total Spent: $121 (US)

That should keep me busy for the next few months. If nothing else, it’s given me lots of exercise while trying to make room for it all.

I hope you enjoyed the trip. You’ll probably hear from me again next year with a similar report. Until then, this is Benj saying, “Keep on Hammin'” — or something like that.

2 Responses to “The 2008 Hamfest Report”

  1. Layne Says:

    Always fun to live vicariously through others….

    BTW, you might want to fuzzy the license plate numbers as a privacy thing…..


  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    God forbid that SWW-2206 be publicly spotted at McDonalds. 🙂

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