Festivals and Conventions For Amateur Radio Enthusiasts

If you like collecting and bargaining, you will probably find festivals for amateur radio enthusiasts to be very interesting. Imagine a flea market full of technological artifacts from the last one hundred years or so, old and new, big and small. At an amateur radio festival, you can find anything and everything from antennas and batteries to transistors and computers.

The primary sellers at such festivals are individuals that sell their treasures from folding tables or tailgates. Occasionally you will also find some commercial vendors, too. Some amateur radio festivals are very small both in attendance and duration. They get a few hundred visitors and last for a few hours. Others are massive, last for several days and attract thousands of people.

A convention has typically a much broader range of activities compared to a festival. Conventions may include lectures, round tables, seminars, keynote speakers and regular speakers, licensing test exams, and commercial exhibitors. Often they also have swap meets in addition to all the other functions. A convention also may have a theme, such as operating in an emergency situation, low-power operating, digital radio and so on.

Most festivals are Saturday-only events and you need a ticket to get in. You can get a ticket either online or at the door. When you arrive at the festival, make sure to have enough cash with you because most of the vendors only accept cash. If you plan on buying things, take a sturdy cloth bag with you. You want a bag that can tolerate heavy, old, dusty electronic devices. A plastic bag that you get at a grocery store will not cut it.

Don’t count on being able to get some food at the festival. Many of them are very rustic when it comes to the availability of modern amenities. Take some water and sandwiches with you.

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