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MARCH outpost report...Re: [midatlanticretro] Too Many Games is this Sunday

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  • Herb Johnson
    ... I checked the hamfest s Web page and the PDF flyer. It was not immediately clear where Butler Farm was; the tri-state area is not helpful. Google tells
    Message 1 of 14 , May 5, 2008
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      > Evan,
      >
      > Several of us out here in the western region of MARCH will
      > exhibit some vintage gear next month.
      > We're gonna setup at the Breezeshooter Hamfest on Sun.
      > Jun.1 Clubs here get a free indoor booth to show off
      > their 'wares'. It's the biggest next to Dayton.
      >

      I checked the hamfest's Web page and the PDF flyer. It was not
      immediately clear where "Butler Farm" was; "the tri-state area" is not
      helpful. Google tells me the site is near Butler, PA, not far from
      Youngstown OH and in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania. You might
      suggest that the hamfest flyer include "PA" a few times for those of
      us further away. It would not be an awful run for a weekend, if there
      was stuff to do on Saturday as the hamfest is Sunday only.

      Hamfests are generally on the decline, at least the ones I've visited
      in the Northeast over the last few years. How big and active is your
      Breezeshooter's Hamfest? How many vendors, visitors? Does it start at
      6AM and half the sellers leave by 10AM? Or does it go to noon, or
      later? It mentions "camper hookups" but is tent camping also
      permitted, can the ground be staked for tents?

      Herb Johnson
      retrotechnology.com
    • Dan Roganti
      Herb Johnson wrote: I checked the hamfest s Web page and the PDF flyer. It was not immediately clear where Butler Farm was; the tri-state area is not
      Message 2 of 14 , May 5, 2008
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        Herb Johnson wrote:
        I checked the hamfest's Web page and the PDF flyer. It was not
        immediately clear where "Butler Farm" was; "the tri-state area" is not
        helpful. Google tells me the site is near Butler, PA, not far from
        Youngstown OH and in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania. You might
        suggest that the hamfest flyer include "PA" a few times for those of
        us further away. It would not be an awful run for a weekend, if there
        was stuff to do on Saturday as the hamfest is Sunday only.
        
        Hamfests are generally on the decline, at least the ones I've visited
        in the Northeast over the last few years. How big and active is your
        Breezeshooter's Hamfest? How many vendors, visitors? Does it start at
        6AM and half the sellers leave by 10AM? Or does it go to noon, or
        later? It mentions "camper hookups" but is tent camping also
        permitted, can the ground be staked for tents?
        
        Herb Johnson
        retrotechnology.co

        The Hamfest is held on the Butler Farm Show grounds which is 100 acres.
        I included a maplink and address below.
        Maplink to Breezeshooter hamfest
        627 Evans City Rd Butler, PA 16001-8704

        The size of the Hamfest itself is about 30 acres for just the outdoor flea market. There's almost that much space in parking too, because they need it for all the visitors. The indoor space, when you add up all the buildings, is about 20,000sq.ft

        I don't recall how many vendors there are, but considering that every row outdoors is full and about 95% of the indoors space is always occupied, that would be alot of vendors. So it gets very busy there and it lasts the whole day long, with the visitors and vendors do(unless it pours). I sent them a query about tent camping so I should find out soon.

        We have vendors here from all over that frequent many of the Hamfests. So they open up the place to vendors on Sat at 5pm to setup and settle in before they start on Sun.

        Our Tristate is different than on the east end of PA, here it includes PA, OH, and WV. I suggested that some more info be added to their flyer to accommodate visitors better.


        =Dan
        -- 
        [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/           ]
        
      • Herb Johnson
        Dan, thanks for the comprehensive report on the previous year s hamfest, in anticipation of the upcoming one. I m interested in attending, but here s the
        Message 3 of 14 , May 8, 2008
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          Dan, thanks for the comprehensive report on the previous year's
          hamfest, in anticipation of the upcoming one. I'm interested in
          attending, but here's the problem.

          Chances are, I'd either take someone or go with someone to split the
          cost of gas, which will be considerable. From the Trenton NJ area, at
          25 MPG, $3.50/gal gas, and a distance of 350 miles to Butler PA, it's
          $48 EACH WAY to drive. Gas may be $4 a gallon by then.

          If I'm a seller, I'd be in trouble. I'll report seperately in the
          thread about the YouTube video of the TCF. But people attending don't
          want to buy anything old, they don't KNOW what "old" stuff is. And I
          have nothing "new" enough to bring.

          Now, it's possible that vintage computerists could create an
          opportunity to work with hamfests to bring out "vintage" computer
          stuff. Set up mostly displays and do some trading. But I'm aware that
          some of the remaining hamfest organizers and attendees have
          some...antipathy... about how the new computer sellers crowded the
          radio amateurs out, several years ago when it was popular to sell new
          computer parts at hamfests. Will these guys be happy to see OLD
          computer parts and systems now? I don't know, and I'd be curious to
          hear some reactions.

          But, Dan, I'm glad to hear there is still a large hamfest in
          operation. In this area, say Maryland to Conn. along the east coast,
          I'd say the largest hamfest is the one early in the season
          (March/April) in Timonium MD at their fairgrounds. I did not go this
          year due to time and expense (that one was about $35 in gas each way).
          But that one has become small enough that the organizers included an
          *arts and crafts* show of some sort. I dunno....

          Herb Johnson
          retrotechnology.com
        • Dan Roganti
          Herb Johnson wrote: Dan, thanks for the comprehensive report on the previous year s hamfest, in anticipation of the upcoming one. I m interested in attending,
          Message 4 of 14 , May 8, 2008
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            Herb Johnson wrote:
            Dan, thanks for the comprehensive report on the previous year's
            hamfest, in anticipation of the upcoming one. I'm interested in
            attending, but here's the problem.
            happy to oblige
             
            
            Chances are, I'd either take someone or go with someone to split the
            cost of gas, which will be considerable. From the Trenton NJ area, at
            25 MPG, $3.50/gal gas, and a distance of 350 miles to Butler PA, it's
            $48 EACH WAY to drive. Gas may be $4 a gallon by then.
              
            yep, I hear that--and I shudder to think about it--
            My new project for '09, get scrapped compact car and convert to electric
            The gas money I save from commuting I can use for taking trips.

            If I'm a seller, I'd be in trouble. I'll report seperately in the
            thread about the YouTube video of the TCF. But people attending don't
            want to buy anything old, they don't KNOW what "old" stuff is. And I
            have nothing "new" enough to bring.
              
            This Hamfest is always full of old stuff for sale. The flea market section is dedicated for sellers with old stuff for sale. It's only the indoor booths which have new Ham gear and new PC stuff.

            Now, it's possible that vintage computerists could create an
            opportunity to work with hamfests to bring out "vintage" computer
            stuff. Set up mostly displays and do some trading. But I'm aware that
            some of the remaining hamfest organizers and attendees have
            some...antipathy... about how the new computer sellers crowded the
            radio amateurs out, several years ago when it was popular to sell new
            computer parts at hamfests. Will these guys be happy to see OLD
            computer parts and systems now? I don't know, and I'd be curious to
            hear some reactions.
              
            Like I mentioned above, there's 10 times more old equipment for sale there than new stuff. There's aways a wide variety in sellers to choose from -- radio gear, satellite equip, test equip, components, military electronics, old PC hardware, old databooks, etc.

            But, Dan, I'm glad to hear there is still a large hamfest in
            operation. In this area, say Maryland to Conn. along the east coast,
            I'd say the largest hamfest is the one early in the season
            (March/April) in Timonium MD at their fairgrounds. I did not go this
            year due to time and expense (that one was about $35 in gas each way).
            But that one has become small enough that the organizers included an
            *arts and crafts* show of some sort. I dunno....
            
            
              
            If you plan to go, you wouldn't have to leave so early on Sat.
            Like I mentioned in the previous post, it's best if you time your trip so that you arrive by 5pm there.
            That's when they open it up for vendors to setup and settle in for the next morning.
            I'm waiting on the reply about the tent -- from what I do know , it doesn't matter , all camping's the same--
            I plan to headout early Sun morning to setup cause it won't take so long for us to setup.

            =Dan
            -- 
            [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/           ]
            
          • Matt Patoray
            I will be at Butler for the first time in about 8 years, I will be with my buddy and we will be on 145.270 repeater, maybe some other one in pa, but not sure
            Message 5 of 14 , May 9, 2008
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              I will be at Butler for the first time in about 8 years,

              I will be with my buddy and we will be on 145.270 repeater, maybe some
              other one in pa, but not sure yet.
              My call is KD8AMG

              Matt

              On May 8, 2008, at 8:37 PM, Dan Roganti wrote:

              > Herb Johnson wrote:
              >
              >> Dan, thanks for the comprehensive report on the previous year's
              >> hamfest, in anticipation of the upcoming one. I'm interested in
              >> attending, but here's the problem.
              > happy to oblige
              >>
              >>
              >> Chances are, I'd either take someone or go with someone to split the
              >> cost of gas, which will be considerable. From the Trenton NJ area, at
              >> 25 MPG, $3.50/gal gas, and a distance of 350 miles to Butler PA, it's
              >> $48 EACH WAY to drive. Gas may be $4 a gallon by then.
              >>
              > yep, I hear that--and I shudder to think about it--
              > My new project for '09, get scrapped compact car and convert to
              > electric
              > The gas money I save from commuting I can use for taking trips.
              >
              >> If I'm a seller, I'd be in trouble. I'll report seperately in the
              >> thread about the YouTube video of the TCF. But people attending don't
              >> want to buy anything old, they don't KNOW what "old" stuff is. And I
              >> have nothing "new" enough to bring.
              >>
              > This Hamfest is always full of old stuff for sale. The flea market
              > section is dedicated for sellers with old stuff for sale. It's only
              > the indoor booths which have new Ham gear and new PC stuff.
              >
              >> Now, it's possible that vintage computerists could create an
              >> opportunity to work with hamfests to bring out "vintage" computer
              >> stuff. Set up mostly displays and do some trading. But I'm aware that
              >> some of the remaining hamfest organizers and attendees have
              >> some...antipathy... about how the new computer sellers crowded the
              >> radio amateurs out, several years ago when it was popular to sell new
              >> computer parts at hamfests. Will these guys be happy to see OLD
              >> computer parts and systems now? I don't know, and I'd be curious to
              >> hear some reactions.
              >>
              > Like I mentioned above, there's 10 times more old equipment for sale
              > there than new stuff. There's aways a wide variety in sellers to
              > choose from -- radio gear, satellite equip, test equip, components,
              > military electronics, old PC hardware, old databooks, etc.
              >
              >> But, Dan, I'm glad to hear there is still a large hamfest in
              >> operation. In this area, say Maryland to Conn. along the east coast,
              >> I'd say the largest hamfest is the one early in the season
              >> (March/April) in Timonium MD at their fairgrounds. I did not go this
              >> year due to time and expense (that one was about $35 in gas each
              >> way).
              >> But that one has become small enough that the organizers included an
              >> *arts and crafts* show of some sort. I dunno....
              >>
              >>
              >>
              > If you plan to go, you wouldn't have to leave so early on Sat.
              > Like I mentioned in the previous post, it's best if you time your
              > trip so that you arrive by 5pm there.
              > That's when they open it up for vendors to setup and settle in for
              > the next morning.
              > I'm waiting on the reply about the tent -- from what I do know , it
              > doesn't matter , all camping's the same--
              > I plan to headout early Sun morning to setup cause it won't take so
              > long for us to setup.
              >
              > =Dan
              > --
              > [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/ ]
              >
              >
            • Herb Johnson
              ... Better do the math again. Cost of DC motor + cost of batteries + cost of electricity gas savings. Sorry. Oh, that scrapped car is worth $300.
              Message 6 of 14 , May 9, 2008
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                Herb Johnson wrote:
                >> Gas may be $4 a gallon by then.

                > yep, I hear that--and I shudder to think about it--
                > My new project for '09, get scrapped compact car and
                > convert to electric. The gas money I save from commuting
                > I can use for taking trips.

                Better do the math again. Cost of DC motor + cost of batteries + cost
                of electricity >>> gas savings. Sorry. Oh, that "scrapped" car is
                worth $300. Minimum. Today. Condition irrelevant.

                > This Hamfest is always full of old stuff for sale. The flea
                > market section is dedicated for sellers with old stuff for sale.

                But does it *sell*? or do they bring it back each year? Still, a good
                sign.

                >> Will these {hamfest organizers] be happy to see OLD
                >> computer parts and systems now? I don't know, and I'd be curious to
                >> hear some reactions.

                > Like I mentioned above, there's 10 times more old equipment
                > for sale there than new stuff. There's aways a wide variety
                > in sellers to choose from -- radio gear, satellite equip,
                > test equip, components, military electronics, old PC
                > hardware, old databooks, etc.

                OK, sounds like an adventure worth some effort for me, hundreds
                of miles away. But I would not like to drive it myself, alone, on cost
                grounds.

                > If you plan to go, you wouldn't have to leave so early on Sat.
                >Like I mentioned in the previous post, it's best if you time
                > your > trip so that you arrive by 5pm there[on Saturday].

                > Dan

                350 miles, say 50 miles per hour, that's 7 hours. I'd leave at 10AM to
                get there at 5PM with luck. If I ride with someone that's earlier for
                them to leave to pick me up by 10AM. And, since I'd be camping, they
                better not *snore*. If they insist on a hotel room, that's probably
                $50 a night or more. (The Butler Super 8 is $55/$60 a night that
                day.). Actually, given the $100 in gas round trip, that's not awful
                when split two ways).

                Anyone with some thoughts about this for the June 1st weekend?

                Herb Johnson
                rent a geek
                retrotechnology.com
              • Dan Roganti
                Matt Patoray wrote: I will be at Butler for the first time in about 8 years, I will be with my buddy and we will be on 145.270 repeater, maybe some other one
                Message 7 of 14 , May 9, 2008
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                  Matt Patoray wrote:
                  I will be at Butler for the first time in about 8 years,
                  
                  I will be with my buddy and we will be on 145.270 repeater, maybe some  
                  other one in pa, but not sure yet.
                  My call is KD8AMG
                  
                  Matt
                  
                    


                  Glad to hear that.
                  We'll be in the 3rd building, (last one)
                  Here's an aerial view that I color coded with the different section.
                  http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/maps/breezeshooters.jpg
                • Dan Roganti
                  Herb Johnson wrote: This Hamfest is always full of old stuff for sale. The flea market section is dedicated for sellers with old stuff for sale. But does it
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 9, 2008
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                    Herb Johnson wrote:

                      
                    This Hamfest is always full of old stuff for sale. The flea 
                    market section is dedicated for sellers with old stuff for sale.
                        
                    But does it *sell*? or do they bring it back each year? Still, a good
                    sign.
                      
                    Well, I think there's a certain amount of stuff they don't sell as with any Hamfest.
                    OK, sounds like an adventure worth some effort for me, hundreds
                    of miles away. But I would not like to drive it myself, alone, on cost
                    grounds.
                      
                      
                    350 miles, say 50 miles per hour, that's 7 hours. I'd leave at 10AM to
                    get there at 5PM with luck. If I ride with someone that's earlier for
                    them to leave to pick me up by 10AM. And, since I'd be camping, they
                    better not *snore*. If they insist on a hotel room, that's probably
                    $50 a night or more. (The Butler Super 8 is $55/$60 a night that
                    day.). Actually, given the $100 in gas round trip, that's not awful
                    when split two ways).
                      
                    I had some good luck searching for places on Google Maps
                    Whenever you type in a search query, the locations show up on the map.
                    Anyone with some thoughts about this for the June 1st weekend?
                      
                    I just saw Matt post a message about going.
                    Better do the math again. Cost of DC motor + cost of batteries + cost
                    of electricity >>> gas savings. Sorry. Oh, that "scrapped" car is
                    worth $300. Minimum. Today. Condition irrelevant.
                      

                    The investment usually has a significant cost.
                    The conversion cost is a one time investment, much like adding solar panels on your roof.
                    --Not counting maintenance, but everything requires maintenance--
                    Just as in any undertaking, there's a breakeven point which you want to calculate.
                    This would involve the cost of gas consumption versus the conversion costs.
                    So this would take a few years depending on how much you drive around town.
                    There's a good number of people already that have converted compacts just for commuting.
                    And the component technology has improved since the last decade.
                    Especially the battery life, gone are the Lead acid as choice and Lithium Ion is in nowadays.
                    I subscribe to a few email lists which have plenty of tips and where to find parts.
                    Some of the most common ones that people convert are the GM Saturn and Dodge Neon.

                    =Dan
                    -- 
                    [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/           ]
                    
                  • Dan Roganti
                    Hi folks, I posted some pics from the exhibit we had today at the Hamfest. Some of the captions are still incomplete.
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 1 6:35 PM
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                      Hi folks,

                      I posted some pics from the exhibit we had today at the Hamfest.
                      Some of the captions are still incomplete.
                      http://picasaweb.google.com/ragooman/PittsburghVintageComputingExhibit2008


                      enjoy
                      =Dan

                      [ Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow ]
                      [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/                 ]
                      
                    • Evan Koblentz
                      Great job, Dan! ... From: Dan Roganti [mailto:ragooman@comcast.net] Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:35 PM To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jun 1 8:18 PM
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                        Message
                        Great job, Dan!
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Dan Roganti [mailto:ragooman@...]
                        Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:35 PM
                        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [midatlanticretro] Pics available...Re: MARCH outpost report

                        Hi folks,

                        I posted some pics from the exhibit we had today at the Hamfest.
                        Some of the captions are still incomplete.
                        http://picasaweb.google.com/ragooman/PittsburghVintageComputingExhibit2008


                        enjoy
                        =Dan

                        [ Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow ]
                        [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/                 ]
                        
                      • Herb Johnson
                        Good photos of the exhibit. How was the rest of the show? How many vendors, and of them was there much vintage computing stuff? How many visitors did you
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jun 2 10:54 AM
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                          Good photos of the exhibit. How was the rest of the show? How many
                          vendors, and of them was there much "vintage computing" stuff? How
                          many visitors did you get, was there much interest from the attendees?

                          Herb JOhnson
                          retrotechnology.com
                        • Dan Roganti
                          Herb Johnson wrote: Good photos of the exhibit. How was the rest of the show? How many vendors, and of them was there much vintage computing stuff? How many
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jun 2 4:52 PM
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                            Herb Johnson wrote:
                            Good photos of the exhibit. How was the rest of the show? How many
                            vendors, and of them was there much "vintage computing" stuff? How
                            many visitors did you get, was there much interest from the attendees?
                              

                            Thanks Herb. The rest of the Hamfest was as busy as ever. The traffic on the road to the entrance was a mile long at 8am. But I sneaked in from the other direction :) If you refer to that aerial view link I sent before, the entire flea market section was full again(30 acres) It took me over an hour walking at fast pace just to get through every row in time before all the good stuff was sold. Also the indoor booths in all the buildings were full. The parking section was just about full too. The weather was perfect --sunny all day--

                            Mostly all of it was electronics, radio and ham gear(which there was a ton as usual). There was little vintage computer gear there, mostly PC stuff, a couple of Mac's. I saw a C64 Packet Radio station for sale there--I almost bought that. I picked up an Odyssey² video console for only $20. Picked up some more assorted chip clips--you can never have enough of these :) There was another guy with a bunch of old vintage books for only 25cents, so I bought the whole box--I'll post it on my book list soon.

                            I lost count of the visitors to our booth, there were several dozen people at least. There was the constant 'shooting the breeze' going on there--I would have taken more pics if it hadn't been for that. I spoke with many of them, about all the different computers they had owed and what  computers they worked on at their old jobs. I talked with someone who had worked on the SEL minicomputers that we made for DoD. This is something thats always fun to do because you get to meet more people from around the area. We're going setup the exhibit again next year.

                            =Dan
                            [ Never put off till tomorrow, What you can do the day after tomorrow ]
                            [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/                 ]
                            

                          • Herb Johnson
                            Thanks for the general hamfest report. Surprisingly, I don t see many such reports on the Web. Also, of course, thanks from me for hosting a vintage computer
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jun 3 10:41 AM
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                              Thanks for the general hamfest report. Surprisingly, I don't see many
                              such reports on the Web. Also, of course, thanks from me for hosting a
                              vintage computer exhibit at the hamfest. And congrats for scoring some
                              ancient computing items at the hamfest! I'm sorry I could not make it
                              worth my while, at $100 in gas alone plus time, it's a tough call. But
                              you've made the case to do something next year!

                              Herb Johnson
                              retrotechnology.com
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