Hamfest report: NEAT boatanchor finds!!

Sun Mar 11 12:53:17 EST 2001

Hello all,

This is my 'annual report' of my observations of the Mike and Key club
hamfest in Puyallup Washington - probably the biggest ham fair in the
state each year.  (To those not from here, that's pronounced Pew-AL-up)

I was actually amazed at the quantity and quality of boatanchor and tube
gear this year!  The past few years at both the Mike and Key Club show
as well as the W7DK-radio club of Tacoma event, the number of radio
tables vs the number of computer surplus dealers has dwindled dramatically.
I can recal a couple hamfairs where it was downright difficult to even find
radio gear present, there was so much old computer junk.

Not this year!  Literally TONS of boatanchors this year!  I picked up a
beautiful all-band homebrew 12 tube all-band recever built into the same
cabinet used for SX-28's.  Built totally with National components - all the
coils, caps, knobs, even the tuning dial.  Looks like it could have been
built by an engineer.  I will have photos at my web site soon.
And the best part is it works perfectly!  Even has a 4 stage crystal filter!
All for only $40!

Also picked up a funny one - it's got to be the absoulute ugliest piece of
homebrew I have ever seen!  It's a hombrew linear with a pair of 813's
and self-contained power supply.  It is SOOOOO hideous!  It really truly
looks like the guy used a shotgun to make the holes for the parts.  All the
panel markings are made with a Marks-a-Lot marker on the bare aluminum
panel.  He even labeled the meter with that big fat pen.  Inside is a
The seller said the builder was a silent key - probably died trying to tune
thing!  But I had to have it for only $20 - the parts are worth 10 times
and it will be fun to put lots of photos on my site of this beast.

My really neat find of the day is a cool little novice station completely
on aluminum chassis.  VERY well built - especially the power supply.  The
receiver uses a pair of 76's as a simple regen with audio stage and the
uses a single 6L6.  I have not tried it out yet, and need to check it over
first, but
looks like it should all work great I should think.  Very nicely built, and
I got
it for only $20 for all 3 pieces.  I will have photos of this outfit on my
site as
well in a week or so as I get time.

I also bought several boxes and bags of NOS filter caps, coils and coil
and lots of little odds and ends - much of which cost almost nothing.

As far as stuff seen and not purchased:  Seems Ebay pricing has attacked
to a large degree - Collins S-line (32S-1, 75S-1, Spkr/Supply all winged)
HQ-180 $550,  Hallicrafters 6 meter transverter (TC-6?) $400 (!), and so on.
LOTS of overpriced radios got packed right back where they came from.  But I
did see a really decent (grungy but workable) Heathkit SB-303 and SB-401
for only $125 that didn't sell the whole day.  I almost bought the set
times, but I just have too much Heath gear as it is, and I didn't feel like
another heavy radio 1/4 mile to the car!

All in all, VERY good show with LOTS of boatanchors and parts.  I was very
impressed and pleased with the sellers - lots of folks were very reasonable
will to help folks out, and willing to drop prices to get stuff to move.

Sorry for the long report!  Keep an eye in the next week at
www.boatanchors.com -
I hope to have the pix there soon under the 'new stuff' link at the top of


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