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Author Topic: The ARRL Centennial Comvention and Hamfest  (Read 11715 times)

Posts: 1767

« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2014, 07:01:29 AM »

Hey Ken.  I've caught your forum a number of times at the New England convention, and at Dayton perhaps (?), but I had never seen 'TUF's presentation, so went there being they were held at the same hour.  My friend and I were discussing how "tailgating" could be done at that location, and agree that it would be extremely difficult.  There was plenty of room available as it appeared that only a third of the exhibition floor was used.  But getting the stuff to sell from the trunk of a car to the convention floor would be a daunting task with several hundred sellers vying for access to the loading dock.  There were suggestions of using one floor of the parking  garage, but then where would attendees park?  The "fleamarket" sellers at the convention were actually larger vendors, and not the typical card table tailgater. By the way, the normally $17 parking fee was reduced to just $10 per day.

On Saturday, I don't know if it was the popularity of the many forums that kept the exhibition area fairly open or just light attendance, but there was plenty of walking room.  By late Saturday afternoon, booths like Elecraft and MFJ where you normally wait in line were empty and you could walk right up.

I came home with everything I was looking for and then some.  I picked up another ID-880 for our other car along with a seam mount and dual band antenna.  After looking at my beat up IC-W32A HT, my buddy convinced me that really, really needed a small Kenwood TH-F6A replacement. So I got one of those as well, and in doing so I picked up another never before used (for me) band, 1.25m.  So I contributed to the coffers of several of the commercial vendors there.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 07:08:43 AM by K3GM » Logged

Posts: 12

« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2014, 08:03:02 AM »

Hi K3GM...great job on the report.  It looks like Saturday might have had about the same amount of people attending as did Friday.  I believe that Dayton gets about 25,000 for the three days and I would guess that this convention might have saw 5,000 or more.   Dayton is more about the flea market and overall ambience where this was more about the forums/key speakers and exhibitors.   Flea market space as you described is a tricky business in setting up.  Great event.

Posts: 64

« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2014, 09:30:44 PM »

I attended the ARRL Centennial Convention on Friday July 18th. Like K3GM I was very impressed with the convention facilities. The facilities were far superior to the HARA arena at Dayton.

I drove to Hartford for the day from my home QTH in Westchester County , New York. The ride took me about 2 hours . I found the Connecticut Convention Center to have very good parking facilities and the price to park and attend the Centennial Convention was reasonable.

I thought there would be more people at this convention. I estimate there were about 2500 people on Friday. All the exhibits and the "flea market" were on one floor and the forums were held  on an adjacent floor. There was adequate space and one did not feel over crowded as you sometimes feel in the main hall at Dayton.

Some of the exhibiters  that are at Dayton were not present at the Centennial Convention as K3GM has noted. Nevertheless the big 3 Japanese companies as well as MFJ ,Elecraft,Flex and Alinco were there as well as HRO,   R&L, and KJI Electronics. I was not in the market this time to make any major amateur radio purchases  at the Centennial Convention. I cannot comment whether there were any special deals given by the dealers present as their is at Dayton.

I did speak to the two representatives from DARA who were there.I told them that there has been a lot of criticism in recent years about the deteriorating conditions over the years at the Hara arenafor the Dayton hamferst. I said i wish dayton had facilities as nice as the Centennial Convention . They did tell me that within a year or two DARA's contract with the HARA arena expires and they are keeping all possibilities open to to possibly change the venue of the Dayton Hamvention from the HARA arena. Whether there is any truth to this, I do not know.

The only major disappointment I experienced at the Centennial Convention was the "flea market". I thought there would be a lot more vendors and tables at the "flea market". There were only about a dozen and there was very little variety.I have been to local hamfests such as the LIMARC Hamfest on Long island and the Sussex County Hamfest in New Jersey that had many more tables and vendors than were at the Centennial Convention. I know that in recent years the internet has hurt local  hamfest "flea markets" including Dayton, but the "flea market: at the Centennial Convention was pathetic.

I did not see many young people under the age of 21 who were at the Centennial Convention on Friday.
I did feel the ARRL policy of allowing all those under 21 free attendance at their Centennial Convention was a very good idea. Maybe Dayton should follow suit? At least the ARRL is making a concerted effort to attract young people to amateur radio.

I cannot comment on most of the forums. I only attended the one that featured Marti Lane (OH2BH), the noted DXpeditioner .This forum was standing room only with over 200 in attendance. I did see that some of the other forums given at the same time and immediately after the forum that I attended were well attended as well.

I did not attend the Banquet dinner given on friday evening. I cannot comment on it. There was one at Dayton for many years but that was ended a few years back. I don't think holding a banquet dinner at a large Hamfest is a bad idea. If anyone who did attend the Banquet at the Centennial Convention wishes to comment,that would be appreciated.

Overall I feel the ARRL did a very good job in putting on their Centennial Convention. I know that they hold their annual conventions in cities around the USA . But I hope they do not wait another century to hold a convention in their own backyard, at the Connecticut Convention Center.


« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 09:47:54 PM by K2ACB » Logged

Posts: 251

« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 07:22:47 AM »

A message from ARRL President Craigie puts total attendance at 3,300.

I attended the RF-101 training track on Thursday.  The 7.5 hour course taught by League and industry experts was interesting and informative.  The $50 fee for the day also included the $30 League RFI book as a handout and a very nice buffet lunch. 

I attended seven Thursday and Friday forums.  They ranged from good to outstanding.  I have a particular interest in the history of radio and greatly enjoyed John Dilks' forum on voices from the past, including recordings of Marconi (in english) and de Forest. 

I attended all three celebratory meals:  Thursday lunch, Friday banquet and Saturday breakfast.  All three featured decent food and interesting speakers.  In addition, I met a number of amateurs (and spouses) seated at my tables.

In the exhibit hall, I enjoyed talking at length with the Flexradio people about their new 6300 model.

Neil N3DF/Miami

Neil N3DF
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