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Author Topic: Impressions of 2011 Hamvention  (Read 4859 times)
N8DV
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« on: June 04, 2011, 09:33:14 AM »

Hi all, I was wondering what are some impressions from those that attended the 2011 Hamvention. I for one, noticed the smaller yet again--lots of empty spaces, of the flea market participants. No Radio Shack, no industrial overstock vendors, Mendolsons tent was a little sparse and not as good as years past. I think there were more cars parked in the flea market area that actual vendors. Inside, not too bad. Still a lot of empty vendor spaces. Good to see new faces such as Chameleon Antennas. I actually purchased one from the vendor.
Boy do I miss some of the inside exhibitors like GM, Ford, the American Red Cross' emergency communications vehicle.
Well, what does the assembled multitude say? How was the Hamvention this year?
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 09:55:18 AM »

I live in area and this show peaked in 90's and has been dying a slow death since then as seen by loss of vendors and attendance as last I heard they were hoping to hit 20K officially. (At peak it was close to 30k) What is killing it is facility. It has not been improved or upgrade internally for over 25 years and most of it dates back well over 50 years. One upgrade that was done in 90's was to build a golf course around it and eliminate on site parking and access. I strongly believe that unless DARA moves it to a proper and more modern facility it is just a question of time before some other group in another town displaces it as premiere show.
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N8DV
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 10:35:31 AM »

Thank for your opinion. I agree. Hara needs to be torn down, it's long past it's prime. Have you been to The Airport Expo center? Now that would revive Hamvention. It has 100,000 square feet under it's roof. Even Bill Goodman's gun and knife shows have moved from Hara to The Expo Center. I wonder when DARA Hamvention committee will see the light and change the venue.
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 06:03:23 PM »

Thank for your opinion. I agree. Hara needs to be torn down, it's long past it's prime. Have you been to The Airport Expo center? Now that would revive Hamvention. It has 100,000 square feet under it's roof. Even Bill Goodman's gun and knife shows have moved from Hara to The Expo Center. I wonder when DARA Hamvention committee will see the light and change the venue.

FAA nixed that idea in late 90's. They did not like the idea of all those active radios (HF and VHF/UHF) on airport site and thought their might be RFI with flight control. Maybe they should look into it again and see if they changed their stance. 
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KG0MN
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 01:30:57 PM »

I would have to concur Hara has passed its prime and after the sewage issue on the next to the last day it has pretty much stunk up the place for those that thought it might work for a few more years.  My wife a ham as well said the place left her feeling dirty when she left so that is no something that will encourage women to attend.  She also camps, fishes and hunts so she is not a priss by any sense of the word.  Not being from Dayton I have no suggestions as to where to move but as good a job as the Dayton group does I would hate to see if leave the area even when it is an 11 hr drive for me.
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W8NYC
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 03:34:44 PM »

My train club also do train shows at Hara
Hara need to be torn down or something.
Sewage leaking across the lot.
That were a couple of restrooms closed.
I did notice empty tables and lot out back.
Dara need to move it somewhere else or hamvention is
going to die a slow death.
Just my thoughts
Steve
W8NYC
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G6GIY
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 05:49:21 AM »

I went to Dayton this year for the second time and again struck lucky with the weather.
 I think the show is great but the venue is poor and it reminds me of a major UK Ham radio show which used to be in Leicester UK that was in a old sports center.The organizers moved to a new location and it was never the same and slowly reduced in size.
  I have some sympathy with the Dayton organizers they have a difficult decision to make over the next few years. I noticed on my visit to the Air force Museum in Dayton that there was Plenty of space there including, a rarely used runway and taxiway. Perhaps an approach to the museum director may be worthwhile.       
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K3GM
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 06:58:00 AM »

It's interesting that with this thread, and the "Why is Dayton in Dayton?" thread, there has not been one comment made from anyone associated directly with the Hamvention.  That alone speaks volumes.
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 10:04:42 AM »

It's interesting that with this thread, and the "Why is Dayton in Dayton?" thread, there has not been one comment made from anyone associated directly with the Hamvention.  That alone speaks volumes.

How can you voice support something that is becoming increasingly hard to defend? You cannot so you keep quiet and hope it goes away.
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KR4BD
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 12:56:39 PM »

I went to Dayton this year for the second time and again struck lucky with the weather.
 I think the show is great but the venue is poor and it reminds me of a major UK Ham radio show which used to be in Leicester UK that was in a old sports center.The organizers moved to a new location and it was never the same and slowly reduced in size.
  I have some sympathy with the Dayton organizers they have a difficult decision to make over the next few years. I noticed on my visit to the Air force Museum in Dayton that there was Plenty of space there including, a rarely used runway and taxiway. Perhaps an approach to the museum director may be worthwhile.       

Many years ago, I believe DARA tried to work something out to hold the HAMvention on that old abandoned runway and some possibly abandoned hangers but were turned down by the government.  The runway would be a good place for the flea market, but there would not be any place at that site for the new vendors.  Parking and the proximity to the Air Force Museum was also a problem.  You can bet the Government would not shut down the Museum for a few days so we hams could "take over".   As a former resident of the Dayton area and graduate of the University of Dayton, I can't think of anyplace HAMvention could be held IN DAYTON.  The new center near the airport has been suggested, but again, the Feds said...no-no, we can't have all that RF in the area of active runways at a Major Airport... 

To EVERYONE who is familiar with Hamvention . . .   Just consider all the space needed for parking cars (old Salem Mall, all the fields around HARA, etc), the exhibit Halls, etc.  There just is nothing big enough and available IN DAYTON right now.  Yes, you might be able to cobble up a multi-site situation, but that would create a HUGE need for even more busses...

Even though HARA Arena is unquestionably "a dump" in every sense of the word, I will still come to Hamvention every year, the BEST ham radio event there is.  If a new and better facility is built, that would make the trip even better.

Tom, KR4BD (ex: WB8VMI)
Formerly from Englewood and Dayton, OH
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 02:00:35 PM »


Even though HARA Arena is unquestionably "a dump" in every sense of the word, I will still come to Hamvention every year, the BEST ham radio event there is.  If a new and better facility is built, that would make the trip even better.


Wishing and waiting is not going to make it happen (new facility) When people start moving events out of Hara to where ever only then will they consider a serious upgrade. I would be interesting to know how many millions of dollars in fees and rent DARA has paid HARA in last 15 or 20 years and nothing to show for it. 
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K3TN
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 02:57:59 AM »

I went to Dayton this year for the first time in about 15 years. Definitely a smaller flea market than I remember, but seemed like more commercial vendors inside by a large factor. The Hara arena was dumpy then, it is dumpy now - didn't seem that much different to me. To me, it is actually fine as a hamfest venue - other than that sewage eruption!

Here in Maryland, we used to have a large hamfest in Gaithersburg, MD at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. After years of everyone complaining about the facilities, they moved it to a new (at the time) minor league baseball stadium in Bowie, MD - attendance plummeted, and that hamfest is no more.

John K3TN
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John K3TN
K3GM
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 04:07:42 AM »

........Here in Maryland, we used to have a large hamfest in Gaithersburg, MD at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. After years of everyone complaining about the facilities, they moved it to a new (at the time) minor league baseball stadium in Bowie, MD - attendance plummeted, and that hamfest is no more.

John K3TN

That nearly brand new stadium was a beautiful location.  The years I attended, there were many vendors, and big crowd, plenty of parking.
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KF7CG
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 10:49:46 AM »

Having been to a Boy Scout event (100 Years of Flight Celebration) at the Air Force Museum, I will tell you that the security environment even then (pre 9/11) was a real problem. Wright-Patterson is a working Air Force Base with many flights in and out. Even neglecting exhibit space problems, that site is just not the right place.


David
KF7CG

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W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2011, 11:30:10 AM »

Having been to a Boy Scout event (100 Years of Flight Celebration) at the Air Force Museum, I will tell you that the security environment even then (pre 9/11) was a real problem. Wright-Patterson is a working Air Force Base with many flights in and out. Even neglecting exhibit space problems, that site is just not the right place.


There are no daily flights out of Area B where museum is located (and has not been for many many years) but access, parking and security would be a issue for a crowd that big. 
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