Hackaday At Hamvention

There are a few interesting Hackaday gatherings going on next weekend. The first is the Bay Area Maker Faire. Most of the Hackaday and Tindie crew will be in San Mateo next weekend, and we’re giving away free tickets to the Faire – a $70 value, free to Hackaday readersHackaday is crashing a pub on Saturday night. There’s also a super-secret meetup on Sunday. Don’t tell anyone.

On the other side of the country, there’s an even better convention for people who build stuff.. It’s Hamvention, the largest amateur radio meetup in North America. I’m going to be there. Find me and pick up some Hackaday swag. I’ll be posting to the Hackaday Twitter all weekend.

A wooden modem and proof I can find cool stuff.
A wooden modem and proof I can find cool stuff.

The main purpose of my visit is to document the immense swap meet. There will be over a thousand vendors hocking their wares, from antique radios to gauges and other electronic paraphernalia. It is the biggest draw to Hamvention, and by every account I’ve heard, it’s impossible to look at everything.

It might be impossible to look at everything, but apparently I’ve very good at separating the wheat from the chaff at ham swaps. During my last visit to the W6TRW swap meet in Redondo Beach, I found an UltraSPARC laptop (!), and a wooden modem from the mid 60s. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it will be my job to document all the oddities of Hamvention.

Depending on how many people I meet at Hamvention, there might be a semi-official Hackaday get together after the show. The US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson would be cool, but Ihop or Denny’s would be far more realistic. Look for the guy in the Hackaday hoodie flying a Hackaday flag and he’ll give you some sweet stickers and swag.

31 thoughts on “Hackaday At Hamvention

  1. the sparc-book; was it a real sun box or a tadpole? I remember both and when they both mattered ;)

    the bay area will also start (if it hasn’t already) to have its regular flea markets for tech; in cupertino there’s one that lots of makers know about. the name escapes me, but its once a month in spring/summer time and is at a local community college parking lot. its 1/100 the size of the huge one at dayton, but its still worth mentioning since it has an electronics/ham/computer/test gear kind of focus to it.

    1. I think you mean the Electronics Flea Market @ De Anza College, formerly known as the Foothill Flea Market when it was there. It was this morning, so you missed it, but repeats on the second Saturday of the month, March through September.

      I did not come home empty handed today. In fact, I am not sure I ever have. A great place to find used test equipment surplus from recently closed startups and parts for pennies on the dollar. Grass Valley professional video processing equipment was going for $5 this morning.

      1. Sounds like fun. Wasn’t aware of this event before seeing your article but plan to drive up to Dayton next weekend and will look for you. I loved the comment that it’s hard to visit the Hamvention flea market without walking away with something!

  2. Groovy. I’ll be there too, Hack-A-Day!
    Be sure to stop by the ARRL Education Booth and say hi. (I’ll be the tall guy in the blue ARRL shirt.) Also check out the electromagnetic buzzer we’ll be building with kids on Saturday at 1pm in the ARRL Expo area.

  3. I’ll be there with my best friend from high school. We’re celebrating our 50th Hamiversary! We’ve got 100 years of ham radio between us. Took our tests together. Wives are staying home for some reason. :)

  4. I’ll be at Hamvention as well, I LOVE the flea market. Good thing I saw this posting, I may have worn my Hackaday t-shirt and been puzzled why people would have been asking me for swag…

  5. FYI as to your suggestion for possible Dayton meetup locations–Denny’s no longer exists here and the only IHOP is in Beavercreek and has hateful wait times for seating. Last Saturday it seemed as though the entire population of B’creek showed up there for breakfast.

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