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Author Topic: Hamvention Report  (Read 7186 times)
K3GM
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Posts: 1802




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« on: May 18, 2012, 07:52:26 PM »

The weather today could only be described as spectacular.  It probably hit the upper 70's with very low humidity.  The entire day featured a cloudless sky with a nice breeze.

A a seller, I would describe the buyers as a lot ot "tire kickers".  We had a few sales, but nothing to write home about.  The feeling is there are fewer and fewer buyers looking for components or "modules" (what we were selling) that could be used to build a finished piece of equipment, and more who are looking at transceivers, tuners, and amplifiers.  There seemed to be fewer and fewer Heathkit green, and more modern charcoal grey rigs on tables.  As usual, by 4:30 the inside crowds were thinning out, and we could walk right up and talk to vendor such as Wayne and Eric, owners of Elecraft without interruption.  The last 90 minutes, we scrambled around picking up some of the items on the want list.  Not being able to find an American Beauty soldering iron that I was looking for, I decied to try crimp on connectors, and sprung for a complete crimper package.  It seemd though that the PL-259 crimp connectors are just as expensive as ther solder on types.  Tomorrow is suppose to be a repeat of today, but a little warmer.  Too much of a good thing is rare at Dayton.  The site is still a dump, the lot is still a mess.  Some "large" individual tripped in a pothole and took a spill smacking he head in the process.  The parking lot surface is an embarrassment.  As usual, the bathrooms had ther odor of death by late morning.
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ZENKI
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Posts: 938




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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 12:09:04 AM »

So whats new?

FT3000?
TS990S?
Hilberling?
Elecraft?
Alpha?
Flexradio?

Anything new?

The bathrooms have always been a problem at Dayton, you would think the committee could organize a team of cleaners who would clean the toilets every hour. This is really an embarrassment. At the Tokyo Ham Fair you could just
about eat your food off the floor!

The weather today could only be described as spectacular.  It probably hit the upper 70's with very low humidity.  The entire day featured a cloudless sky with a nice breeze.

A a seller, I would describe the buyers as a lot ot "tire kickers".  We had a few sales, but nothing to write home about.  The feeling is there are fewer and fewer buyers looking for components or "modules" (what we were selling) that could be used to build a finished piece of equipment, and more who are looking at transceivers, tuners, and amplifiers.  There seemed to be fewer and fewer Heathkit green, and more modern charcoal grey rigs on tables.  As usual, by 4:30 the inside crowds were thinning out, and we could walk right up and talk to vendor such as Wayne and Eric, owners of Elecraft without interruption.  The last 90 minutes, we scrambled around picking up some of the items on the want list.  Not being able to find an American Beauty soldering iron that I was looking for, I decied to try crimp on connectors, and sprung for a complete crimper package.  It seemd though that the PL-259 crimp connectors are just as expensive as ther solder on types.  Tomorrow is suppose to be a repeat of today, but a little warmer.  Too much of a good thing is rare at Dayton.  The site is still a dump, the lot is still a mess.  Some "large" individual tripped in a pothole and took a spill smacking he head in the process.  The parking lot surface is an embarrassment.  As usual, the bathrooms had ther odor of death by late morning.
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K3GM
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Posts: 1802




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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 03:52:19 AM »

Flex is showing their 6000, Kenwood of course is displaying therir new 990,  Yaesu 3000 was there and getting lots of attention, I walked by the Hiberlings as that's probably not in my future.  I plan to do a thorough pass of inside today.  Yesterday was 80% outside selling with an occasional dash to a specific vendor in the fleamarket. I did have time to go to the Elecraft booth and get the external SVGA adapter for my P3 panadapter.  They are about 2 months away from a software release that will split a large external monitor and put the decoded digital or CW on the bottom, and the waterfall above it.  A USB keyboad willl plug into the back of the new card creating a standalone digital station; no more sound cards and PC involvement.  About to leave for day two!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 03:54:07 AM by K3GM » Logged
K3GM
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 05:56:59 PM »

If there was ever too much of a good thing, today it was oft talked about Hamvention weather.  Saturday featured a brutally, cloudless sunny day, with a high in the low 80's, and a bit more humid than Friday.  Despite the cover of an open SUV hatch, I came away looking like a lobster.

Morning flea market crowds were strong, but I think it died by 1PM or so.  I'll be curious to see the attendance reports.

We found that Alinco is about to release an SDR transceiver with all HF coverage, and a price tag of around eight hundred dollars. A stop was made to check out the Flex 6000 as well, and that is a really nice piece.  The little Baofeng HT and it's competition were flying off the seller's table, and by 4PM it and the accessories were cleaned out.  We also found a Chinese transceiver the looked strikingly similar to the Yaesu quad band FT-8900.  This one was labeled TF-9800 and even featured the 6 "hyper buttons" along the sides of the display.

Tapped out, and burnt to a crisp,we've decided to head directly home tomorrow morning and forego the shortened last day on Sunday.  It was a great hamvention and I can't believe I'm going to say this but for the first time that I can remember, I wished for some clouds to provide a bit of shelter from the sun.

It would be interesting to hear the impressions of other attendees.
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K1XV
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Posts: 69




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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 08:45:13 PM »



The bathrooms have always been a problem at Dayton, you would think the committee could organize a team of cleaners who would clean the toilets every hour. This is really an embarrassment. At the Tokyo Ham Fair you could just
about eat your food off the floor!

 As usual, the bathrooms had ther odor of death by late morning.
[/quote]

=========================

I swear, there must be people doing their colonoscopy preps in the Dayton mens rooms.
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73BRAHMA
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 05:07:30 AM »

I enjoyed the Hamvention after having not being able to attend the last seven or eight years. I'll be fifty this year, and attended the Hamvention regularly since I was eight with my dad, so I noticed several things;

1.  Hara Arena holds a sentimental place I my memory for many reasons, but a fact is a fact, and the place needs razed.  That is not the responsibility of the Hamvention organizers, but it is their responsibility to hold Hamvention at a location that is remotely presentable- Hara Arena is NOT that place anymore.  The arena is the arena, it hasn't seemed to have changed, still filthy, dingy and antiquated, but the parking lot- its absolutely deplorable.  The condition alone of the Hara facility is, sadly, enough for any ham to take pause when thinking about attending, especially from any distance.  I live an hour away, and I'm rethinking ever attending again.

2.  I don't know when this started, but I was surprised that Yaesu wasn't positioned in the main hall.  Maybe it has to do with payment for that spot vs. the condition of the facility.

3. Again, in relation to #1 above, I was pleasantly surprised by the attendance.  It was a beautiful day, and anyone familiar with the hazards of hiking amongst glacier till-like conditions had a good time.  I am still amazed at outside vendors who anticipate a million people looking for one type of capacitor.  I cannot believe the sheer volume of items some vendors continue to bring, but it's not my packup problem.

In all, I had a good time.  I passed my General Class test (in an extremely seedy, filthy room in the bowels of the arena) and saw every square inch.  It is somewhat of a homecoming to go there, seeing the ghost of my dad and his passed buddies going "off for donuts" (probably brats and beer) "leaving me in charge" at the outside table, but the days of that particular venue should, and needs, to end.

73
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 411




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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 06:34:06 AM »

Good Hamvention, pathetic dump of a facility.....same, same.  No river of sewage this time, though.

Flea market actually seemed larger this year, and the commercial vendors all showed up and were located in their usual spots.

Kenwood's new HF rig looks nice.  Glad to see they're putting out some new gear.  I guess their demise, as sworn to be inside information by some here, was overstated.

Big wreck in I-70 east of Indy, just in time for the Saturday returnees headed west, and the highway was closed for 4 hours.  ARRL's fault, I'm sure.

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K9NZ
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 06:37:51 AM »

 Myself and N9VO (Jim) had a great time.Great weather and a good crowd. We set up in the flea market Friday with a few rigs and some surplus antennas and other goodies, sold out by 10:00 Saturday morning. The place looked good this year, There is no excuse for hams within a couple hours drive not to show support for the hobby here ! I never fail to have a fun trip and meet a few interesting people.
Thanks to all the people who do the labor to put on the greatest hamfest in the world and thank you guys who support our hobby by showing up, Remember you only get out of it what you put in. Long Live the Dayton Hamvention.

                                      K9NZ
                                      Metamora, In
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W8AAZ
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 07:17:17 AM »

Decided with a friend to sell this year after many years of not setting up outside.  We needed to move some stuff out.  He had the hassle of the paperwork, etc.  for getting it.  Got totally roasted from two cloudless days. I think if Sat. had been partly cloudy, it might have helped. Moved alot of our stuff, made some good money. Even though I took a beating on alot of it. Before it opens up, the other sellers wander around and try offering you 30-50% of your tag prices and you have to run them off. Before the buyers even get inside. An annoying behaviour. I had an item that I was offering in minty condition for 50% of retail for starters. A kid offered me about 2/3 of that, and said he could get them for 1/3 of my price online, a provable BS.  But then sales went pretty good for me on both Fri. and Sat. Never did get to see alot inside.  Probably did not get to see all of outside either.  Lot of empty room out there for more sellers. Flea market seems down but plenty of good stuff for me. My friend thought prices were high.  I saw high, middling, and low, all over the place. You could get a decent HF rig for as low as 250$ out there, ca. maybe 90s vintage or older. Kept trying to justify another backup radio. And had the itchy wallet finger the whole time. Toilets is one thing that irks me after all these years. Nasty early and just don't think about what you are stepping in. I myself would not drive over two hours every year to get to it. I am pretty local.
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KC8YBC
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 03:35:17 PM »

Impressions from an buyer....

Outside fleamarket seemed a bit better than last year. I for one was in a buying frame of mind after making the decision to venture into the world of HF. Picked up the following for what I thought were decent prices on Friday AM;

Kenwood TM-D710A - mint, boxed with Greenlabs GPS - $380
Kenwood TS-570DG - exc cond, $425
Yaesu FT-100D - good cond, needed new mic cable $350

Inside the vendor #s seemed down on last year. Booths were definately more spread out. By early afternoon many were heading inside to get out of the heat that was brutal (glad I wasn't selling for 3d). Dissapointed that TenTec did not have the YouKits FG-01 antenna analyzer on hand to sell and I had to settle for a 'ship later'. Was going to take my general exam but the stiffling smelly arena facilities and the masses of people put an end to that. I will take it at my local club in June. Great to deal with the Buddipole co, super nice folks. Walked away with a buddistick to complement my FT-100D.

I live local (50mi) so went back this morning (Sun) to pick up a few things I forgot about and to spend an hour with the main commercial vendors with hardly any crowds. Overall it was a fun if not hot event. Will be back next year to continue the addiction.....

Jon
KC8YBC
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KB9BPF
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 06:16:07 PM »

Well, the guys in my small group (K9SD, NV0R) and I (KB9BPF) all had a great time. Personally, it was about the most fun I've had at Hamvention since I began attending in 1990.

- I myself didn't take hardly anything to sell, nor did I take much money to spend. The focus of this year's Hamvention for me was to be socializing, which I did with gusto! I spent most of my time at the flea market space telling people about Sam's stuff and shooting the bull with whomever cared to stop.

- The restrooms didn't seem as grusome as I remembered from the past, but generally speaking I had done my duty by midmorning so I didn't see them in their full glory.

- Although Sam forgot to bring the expandable canopy's cover, we improvised with a tarp and stayed mostly in the shade, enjoying the low humidity and light breeze. Best Hamvention weather I've ever experienced!
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KB3ZBE
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2012, 09:36:49 PM »

I was there with a friend on Saturday.  This was my first visit
to the Dayton Hamfest, he was a veteran.

My impressions were that the facility is difficult to navigate, it's
antiquated and for the number of people that attended it's
no longer suitable.  Long lines to get a hot dog ($4) and a
$25 entrance fee along with $10 to park means that somebody
is making lots of $$$ here.  The restrooms were pathetic and
the Dayton Club organizing this really needs to take a
hard look at how to reinvent this affair.  If they don't,
it will vanish in a few years.

Most of what we saw in the "flea market" outside was junk.
Lots of old computers, rusty & dusty parts and CB junk.

I live in Pittsburgh, PA, about a 260 mile drive and $60 in
gas each way.  I really don't know if I'll be back.

The cost and aggravation outweigh the benefit.

Mike

 
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 09:47:30 PM by CADDY2507 » Logged
W8AAZ
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2012, 11:53:20 AM »

I spent little time inside. Spent all two days outside roasting and trying to sell/buy.   Did see some bargains and bought some.  Pretty much got stuff that I can resell for a profit to cover the costs of the stuff I am keeping from the flea market. I saw plenty that  I would have loved to buy except for space and cash limits. Came out ahead, pretty much. Prices were all over the place so no one can say there were no bargains. Depending on your view of what you were looking for. If you have a narrow interest or list of needs, well someones idea of what they want will be disappointed in any given year there. It varies.   
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KD4EBL
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 12:57:31 PM »

This was my second Hamvention. I thought the facilities were about the same shape as last year. Attendence was up (25K I heard) and I saw better stuff for sale both inside and in the flea market. I passed my Extra test, but noticed the lines were much longer and there seemed to be fewer people running the paperwork. I bought a fair amount of odds and ends, a used tuner, a heil mike and a lot of cables. The best deals were the stuff I bought on Sunday. The best deal was the 20 new ampohal N conectors someone labeled as "free". DARA runs HARA as a well oiled machine, the amount of time and effort to negoiate another venue (if there was even one available) would take more than a year to put together. On top of that, everyone else would have to change their plans for lodging, off sites meetings, etc.

Believe it or not, I doubt anyone is making tons of money on this event. the costs these days for venues, inculding the paid staff, advertisting, security, clean up, etc really are high. Couple that with the cost of extra space for the forums and it creates large costs and slim margins. Since we had great weather, I am sure there was a little extra in the kitty this year from the last minute participants. Next year it might rain and they might take a lost, who knows. My only beef is that there is never enought time to talk to everyone I want to meet and catch up with.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 08:54:23 AM »

Didn't use the restrooms around the arena: the other ones that I did use were clean, and seemed to be  attended regularly. But the A/C is something of a disaster.

Couldn't help but wonder if the number of Sherriff and police cars was because the guys could have a nice quiet time at a place without violent criminals and without getting shot at......
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