Each year hamfest and flea markets abound. Here is our flea speak, a guide to hamfests and flea markets.




This was passed to me by my friend Karl, AA8VS .

Apparently it originated in the boatanchors netsgroup and is due to W8ZR, K9CH, W9GR, WB4MNF and probably others whom we haven't properly acknowledged, sorry.

What is flea speak at hamfests?

Flea speak is the jargon of second-hand vendors at a ham radio festival. Often it may have two meanings. Here is our guide.

Fleaspeak with english translation follows:

This rig puts out a BIG signal - It's 50 kHz wide.

This is a really good CW rig - It doesn't work on SSB.

This is a really good SSB rig - It doesn't work on CW.

This is a really good rig - It doesn't work on CW or SSB.

The transmitter is outstanding - It doesn't receive.

The receiver is really hot - It doesn't transmit.

This rig is really hot - It's stolen.

It seems to be a vintage regenerative type - It oscillates.

I just re-tubed it - Got 'em from questionable used tube stock.

I just aligned it - The slugs on the transformers are jammed.

I don't know if it works - It doesn't work, probably never has.

It doesn't chirp - It doesn't chirp because it doesn't transmit.

The audio sounds great - The 100 / 120Hz buzz is faithfully reproduced.

I just had it serviced - I sprayed WD-40 over all the wiring.

It comes with the original box - Just brush out the kitty litter.

Better buy it now, cause it won't last - No translation needed here.

Sure, it works at full power - It sucks all it can from the wall outlet.

This rig has wide frequency coverage - It drifts up and down and out of band.

Frequency stability is great - The VFO doesn't work - you'll have to use crystals.

Real popular rig in its day - There were whole HF nets on the repair and maintenance problems.

QST gave this one a really great review - The language broke new ground for profanity.

It might need a bit of tweaking - Marconi himself couldn't fix it, much less align it.

It was used in government service - It was stored outdoors on a wooden pallet.

The dial drive may need lubricating - The gears are stripped and the setscrew's frozen.

I plugged it in to check that it lights up - The light came from the two foot high flames.

I'm selling it because I have two of them - I'm getting rid of my parts radio.

You won't find one at a 'better' price - 'Better' defined as solely from the point of view of the seller.

This is a collector's item - The manufacturer just went belly up and won't honor the warranty.

It came from an estate sale - If you have any problem take it up with the original owner.

I had it on the air just last night - And you thought the woodpecker was gone?.

It worked last time I used it - If it still worked, I'd still be using it.

The only lightning damage was a fuse - The only lightning damage I recognized was a fuse.

I have the [ ? ] somewhere, I'll send it to you, trust me - You'll never see the [ ? ].

I'll help you carry it to the car - I'll do anything to unload this boat anchor.

It works O.K. on 80 meters - It had some parasitics but I got in and really screwed it up and now I want to unload it.

The tubes used by this rig are worth the asking price - The rig uses a rare 7360 beam deflection tube for a balanced modulator, but it's blown and you'll spend at least $80+ to get a new one.

This is the rig of my dreams I really wanted one of these as a kid, but now I've got to let it go - As I've gotten older, I've learned what a hunka junk it is.

The signal quality of this rig was easily recognizable in its day - The high distortion and bad audio quickly identified this rig.

This rig will bring back the feelings and atmosphere of vintage ham gear - The bypass capacitors to the AC line put enough voltage on the chassis to give you a shock in the lips through the microphone, and it smokes so bad when you turn it on that you'll probably start coughing and wheezing.

I'd keep this baby, but my wife is making me clean everything out of the shack - I finally got around to giving this thing the proverbial heave-ho.

There are a couple of other people interested in it - Someone sat on it to tie his shoelaces while walking past the table.

You'd better buy it now, because I'm leaving soon - The previous buyer and his brother, Guido, are heading back toward the table and they aren't smiling.

SO SMILE NOW! - Hamfests aren't 'really' like this at all. Enjoy the rest of your day. - VK2TIP

the author Ian C. Purdie, VK2TIP of www.electronics-tutorials.com asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this web site and all contents herein. Copyright © 2000, all rights reserved. See copying and links. These electronic tutorials are provided for individual private use and the author assumes no liability whatsoever for the application, use, misuse, of any of these projects or electronics tutorials that may result in the direct or indirect damage or loss that comes from these projects or tutorials. All materials are provided for free private and public use.
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Updated 28th November, 2000