Dayton Hamvention May 2010

Did not get to go to Fair Radio this year so I arrived late on Thursday but did go to Midwest Electronic Surplus

They are a good company to work with and after several phone sales its always good to see them in person.




Dayton Ohio and Friday the 14th:

As if to prove some bazaar point the weather in Dayton did exactly what they said it would not. The forecast was for scattered morning showers, some locally heavy with clearing in the late afternoon. There were some ominous clouds this morning around 0700 but it never did rain, not a drop and by noon the sky was clear and the sun shining. Very pleasant, almost hot. Cannot ask for better weather for hamvention.

I arrived on site 0730/45 and decided to set up tables and just move some stuff outside before walking around. This was a mistake, this year I had a truck load of military tube testers, TV-7, TV-2 Cardmatics and the like and was swarmed by buyers. In the period of an hour or so was cleaned out of the TV-2 and Cardmatics and only had two TV-7 left by the end of the day. The TV-7 went for $300, the TV-2 were between $400 to $600 and the Cardmatics in there natural state (broken) all sold for $300 each. Many afterwards tell me that was too cheap but would rather see them sell fast low then sit and work to sell them high. Also sold a SP-600 and a HRO-M for $300 each, still have a few things but not much for tomorrow. After the morning workout finally hit the road and saw many things. First R-390 and 390A receivers were plentiful ranging between $500.00 to $650.00, some with covers some without and a very mysterious black face R-390 for $650.00. Do not know how it came to be that way but looked professionally done, looked like every other one I have seen but black instead of gray. There were a number of ART-13 transmitters; at least a half dozen or more between $250.00 and $325.00 also saw LF tuning box and dynamotor power supplies for them. A group of around a dozen TCS receivers and transmitters racked up with shock mounts $300.00 to $375.00 a pair. These were all clean good looking radios, it appears the day of the beat and hacked TCS sets under the table for $25 are gone! Other items of interest, a FRR-59B receiver for only $300.00 that did not sell, remember when they were like gold. A SRR-11 for $150.00 that could be carried away for $100.00 easy. Lots of ARC-5 stuff in fair to good condition $35.00 to $45.00, looks like there price is dropping. A TBW HF and LF transmitter along with the power supply deck very clean looking sold for $300, the original asking price was $375 A RU-11 set complete with all coils, mounts, plugs, head and that weird little service meter net in boxes $400.00 This same seller had several other mix and match GF/RU sets and parts used in black and aluminum for $35 to $45 each, many with shock mounts! Earlier that day he sold Joe a TBX-8 radio, battery box, generator, bags and transit cases for an undisclosed amount. All looking unused. Other items I saw of interest, A Bendix case with shock mounts, no radio but the gray box for $7, donít know how they came up with $7 and not $5 or $10? And several SCR-522 chassis in various states in the $5 to $10 range, looks like no one loves them? Did see a 522 test set for $40 unused. Have not seen the usual test equipment dealers this year, have no idea why but hardly a big loss. The same surplus dealer who had the PSM-37 and many assorted aircraft radios for $1 per pound was there but his bins were clear of radios, just test equipment. Tomorrow is a new day; I have some cash and a 618T and APR-4 that I have been eyeing.


Dayton Day two:

The FRR-59 was sold this morning when I past by, about half the ART-13 was also gone. Saw an ART-13 very clean with LF unit and book sell for $250.00 this morning. Only thing that kept it from being perfect was that it had a terminal strip on the side where the power connector is for hard wiring to the transmitter. Very nice PRC-126 with battery case, antenna and bag for $300.00 and couple different people had PRC-25 and 77 for $400 to $575 each. URC-101 for $500.00 with battery box and antennas for $500.00, a Harris RF-301 under a table that had to be cheep and another table with the companion antenna tuner for the 301 for $150 and willing to sell it for $100 along with a complete Harris 5020 set up for $4,500.00 Interesting in there absence were BC-348 receivers, saw maybe two or three where there are usually dozens or more. This year there were more ART-13 transmitters for sale then BC-348 receivers, did not see a signal BC-342 for sale. On another table they were selling  PRC-10 sets with battery box, antenna and harness for $30 non working and $80 tested and working all without batteries. Several others sold PRC-10 sets, talked to two people who bought PRC-6 and PRC-10 sets with the desire to use military radios. The large amount of people who display and play with these radios is attracting attention and new blood.

3885 AM Net



The 1200 hours 3885 AM net was hosted by Joe, WA4VAG running his restored 1936 BC-223 transmitter paired with a BC-312 complete with rain cover, although it never did rain this year. There were 29 checks ins using all manors of military radios from six operators using BC-611 H/T, two pogo stick radios, at least one MAB and me operating a DAV, and maybe two people using modern Ham rigs.


51.0 Cold War / Marty Renolds Net

The Marty Renolds memorial 51.0 Cold War net saw fifty five station checking in, at lest two PRC-10 that I saw, several PRC-68 and 126 were in use, PRC-25 and 77 were there along with three or four PRC-6 sets that operated and staid on frequency, always a impressive site. This was the first year I have seen RT-1439 VRC series radios in use, what I would not give for one of those Sincgars radios! All in all a good showing and think Marty would have been proud of the PRC-10 and 6 that were in use, although there were no BC-1000 to be found.

Final thoughts

Just because someone wants $300 for a radio don't mean they get it, however I did see someone pay $185.00 for a PRC-10. If there were any $20 to $60 PRC-25/77 sets they would have sold fast and I did not see them. I list the price that people list on items, not what they are worth or what they may eventually sell them for. Did not see many of the $600 R-390 sell so I would doubt that they are worth that much, did see about half the $250 ART-13 sell so they must have a value of around that amount. Dayton has more buyers of military radios per square inch than any other hamfest so the bargains disappear fast so just like the $20 clean and working TCS transmitters the $50 PRC-77 radios if they are there go fast. I saw one of those huge heavy Navy shipboard APR-4 receivers with the four band plug in and normally I would not ask or waste my time with one of those but have been looking for a APR-4Y and thought the multiband plug in would be useful to have. The last time I saw one of those radios  it had several signal band heads but the seller only wanted $25 for the whole mess. This time I though t I would offer $25 or $50 for the head and leave the radio there and the seller was insulted by my offer! He told me the radio and its head were worth at least $300.00 Is the radio worth that much? At least one person thinks so. Just because someone ask that much has little to do with how someone else values the item. Couple years back at Dayton I came across someone who had an TMC SSB converters on his table first thing in the morning for $40.00, I told him people are selling these things for $300 to $450 for use with R-390 receivers and he should put his price up higher. He thought I was crazy and put $175.00 on it and sold it within a couple minutes, value of collectable items are always a variable amount.

Rather Dangerous Mr. S with Hook




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May 10