GNHLUG at Hosstraders

_It has been announced that the Hosstraders event itself has been discontinued._

What Hosstraders Hamfest
Who Anyone
Why Advocacy/education/help, buy/sell/trade, fun
Where Hopkinton State Fairgrounds, Contoocook, NH
When No more
Start Fri at 9 AM
End Sat at around 2 PM

See Also: HamRadio


_It has been announced that the Hosstraders event itself has been discontinued._

As many GNHLUGers know, it was become something of a tradition for GNHLUG to have a table or two at the twice-yearly Hosstraders Hamfest. We demoed Linux, talked about Linux, answered questions about Linux, and generally did Linux. It also served to help get the word out about GNHLUG and other LUGs. Some years we had a most excellent Linux+radio demo; other times we just did basic evangelizing. We brought some computers and CD burners, and ran off copies of the latest distros on demand. Sometimes, people brought "stuff" to sell, and/or bought more "stuff" (which usually ends up back at Hosstraders next year). Greasy fair food was eaten, war stories were swapped, and a good time was had by all. And it rained.

We welcomed all comers at this. If you were in the area, feel free to stop by. Any help anyone provided was also appreciated, even if it was just sitting at the booth for an hour or so (or longer). More than anything, what we did here was advocate Linux and answer questions.

What is Hosstraders?

Hosstraders, in it's final form, was best described as "a flea market for geeks", although it remaied a hamfest (amateur radio gathering) at it's core. There were many vendors, both commercial and private, selling all manner of things. Ham radio exams were also given. A raffle was held.

All manner of things were sold, including radio comm gear, electronics test gear, computers and peripherals, power handling equipment, tools, books, parts, and just about anything else. It ranged from brand new to moderately used to truly ancient. The latest from Radio Shack to 1950s tube-powered war surplus. Software. Old radio program recordings on CD. I think I saw just about everything except human organs for sale at Hosstraders.

It last took place, in Fall 2006, at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds (about 15 minutes West of Concord), on Fri 6 Oct and Sat 7 Oct. Gates were officially open from 9 AM to 9 PM, but often opened earlier and closed later. Some people arrived Thursday evening and camped overnight. The place was usually a ghost town by around 2 PM on Saturday, though.

More information can be found at ("official" site) and (unofficial).

Helping Out

You needed a pulse. If you had used Linux, that was nice, too. Seriously, we asked mainly for people to help evangelize Linux to a bunch of other geeks. We might ask for someone to keep an eye on the booth for a bit here and there (during bio breaks and 'osstrading), but not a lot of that.

People with radio experience were especially welcome.

Admission and Costs

$5 to get in ($10 before 3PM on Friday), and all the profit goes to help injured children. It's $10 for your own "seller's space". GNHLUG had a space; if you volunteered to help at the booth you could use some of that, so long as it "works with Linux" somehow. There was also a $10 fee for overnight camping.

Getting There

The Hopkinton State Fairgrounds are located at 392 Kearsarge Ave in Contoocook, NH. (Yes, that's right, the Hopkinton Fairgrounds are not in Hopkinton. Go figure.)

Driving Directions

From the South

  1. I-93 (for most people)
  2. I-89
  3. Exit 6 for NH-127 / Maple Street.
  4. Turn East at top of ramp (right if from South, left if from North).
  5. Follow road to T intersection in downtown. Turn left.
  6. As NH-127 curves right (immediately after the bridge), "turn left" (keep going straight) onto Kearsarge Ave.
  7. Follow road about half a mile. Turn right into fairgrounds at Green Gate.

From the North

  1. I-89 South to Exit 7
  2. Left at end of ramp
  3. Pass northbound I-89 off-ramp and take first right onto Kearsarge Ave
  4. Fairground entrance is about 2 miles, on left.

At the Fairgrounds

  • The Hopkinton State Fairgrounds website ( has a fairground map. GNHLUG is in building #16 on that map. The map labels it "American Legion Building Hall".
  • The actual building has no sign. It has two separate green doors with ramps leading up to them.
  • It is across from the building with the ATM in it. It is next to a four-way intersection of paved roads.
  • If you enter at the "Green Gate" and follow the "road" straight in, "our" building is on the right, across from the last permanent building on the left.
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