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Author Topic: Hamcation in Florida  (Read 13176 times)
G6GIY
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Posts: 5




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« on: July 09, 2011, 01:53:13 AM »

How does Hamcation in FL compare with the Dayton Hamvention. I went to Dayton this year and really enjoyed it, but next year it would be nice to get away from
the cold wet UK in February. 
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 447




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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 06:36:44 AM »

I'll jump in with zero credibility, since I've never been to Hamcation.  Asked the same question a few years ago, and most who'd been to Hamcation were pretty positive about it.  Some claimed that it was going to be "the new Dayton", while others who'd been to both wrote "ah, ya nuts....Dayton's way bigger!".  So, it sounds like Hamcation is nice, and it's Florida.....warm, sunny. Meanwhile Dayton's still the biggest.....gross, run down facility with free flowing sewage, so you've got that to look forward to again.

WDIK, FWIW, and other disclaimers.

Best,
Brad, K9MHZ

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KK8ZZ
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 12:59:09 PM »

Been at both for a number of years...HamCation is nowhere near the size of Dayton...maybe one fifth as large, including the indoor buildings, if that... Flea market spaces are spaced farther apart in Fl, so it's easier to browse...lots of BIG RV busses in the flea market....weather has been highly variable though...two years ago it was 50s for two days...last year too hot........low key, friendly....commercial vendors offer the same lower prices they do at Dayton on Saturday....go, it's great fun!

Bob. KK8ZZ
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KF7CG
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Posts: 872




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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 07:36:51 AM »

I have a fond memory of the Orlando Hamfest, as it was called then. Back in the early seventies it was at the then brand new Shaeraton Twin Towers and I passed my 13WPM code test and Advanced Class License at the Hamfest. This was prior to VE Exams so in front of FCC Examiners and I managed to get 66 characters in a row correct.

I haven't had too many opportunities to hit the Orlando Hamfest(cation) since. I have done Dayton more. They are different and boh are FUN.

KF7CG
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W2EJG
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 04:30:26 AM »

Since the Miami Hamfest imploded, Hamcation is pretty much the only game in town. Nice location, good WX, friendly people. Great time to renew acquaintences. Lots of commercial booths and manufacturers displays. No, it isn't Dayton , but it is easier on old, tired legs.
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W4FID
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Posts: 138




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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 08:57:59 AM »

I lived in the Great Lakes area for 58 years and went to Dayton about 25 times. It is the biggest. Most commercial vendors and manufacturers by far. However it is also the most expensive and in a very tired run down poor facility. The entire town has been on hard economic times a long time and it shows. The area is dirty and you MUST know about the hotel you book. Many are nice. We stay at the same one for the past 6 or 8 years and they treat us royaly. But it's 20 miles away and we know them and they know us. Some are down right crummy. I wouldn't leave my car in some parking lots or eat in some resturants in town. At Hara the restrooms are dirty and the floors are usually wet. The food is poor. You should plan to wait in a long line for either and not be sure which you just did after you're done. They do not seem to care about handicapped accomodations. ALL the handicapped marked spots in the paved lot are fenced off and used by the organizers while handicapped -- if they can get a pass at all -- are on a grass (often mud) field a ways away. How you get a scooter to the paved drive is not easy. How you get a wheelchair or walker there is beyond difficult. Don't be surprised if an organizer's golf cart is blocking the entry ramp and handicapped cannot even get in ......... they zip around doing their thing and have no clue or concern if they block a ramp insteaad of park it 6 feet away and let the ramp be usable. None of the door monitors will have a clue where anything is so don't even bother to ask them.  They are there to see that you have a badge and paid -- not to protect you or be of any assistance for anything you may need. This May the sewer blew up and for several hours there were no bathrooms. Not a single door monitor could even point you to the direction of the nearest porta-potty. Even able bodied have a hard time getting something they bought to their car; walking thru fields and paying a good amout for parking half a mile away. But you do see ALL the manufacturers and new stuff.

I have been to HamCation about 8 times since it's a couple hours away from where I live now. It is about half the size. Has all the BIG time manufacturers and vendors but not as many of the newer/smaller ones. Flea market may be a little smaller.  Facility is not fancy but it is much more user friendly and in much better shape. Area is in a part of town you want to know where you're going -- plan on a rental car and map -- but hotel and meal costs are lower than Dayton and better closer. While Dayton semi has XYL/family stuff and pretends to Orlando actually does ........ so if it's a family thing there is no comparison.

Past 5 years I have been to both. Drive 925 miles each way and spend 4 days at Dayton. Drive 75 miles each way and spend 2 or 3 days in Orlando. Hamcation is growing and thriving while Dayton isn't (many unused tables in the expensive commercial areas the past 2 or 3 years and lots of empty stalls in the flea market). Complaints are mounting and do not seem to be getting recognized let alone addressed by DARA -- while Hamcation gang seems more responsive to inputs.
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K1SMM
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 04:42:01 PM »

HamCation has everything you need and much less congestion.  Very good camping facilities as well.  Very good prices and an extensive flea market.  It gets my vote!

K1SMM
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AK4NX
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 09:39:04 AM »

Orlando HamCation will be February 10, 11, & 12 2012 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds 4603 West Colonial Drive (SR-50) Orlando, FL 32808
Information at http://www.hamcation.com/

John
AK4NX
73
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W4KVW
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Posts: 508




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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 05:59:22 PM »

NEVER been to DAYTON but I have been to ORLANDO HAMCATION every year since 1994 & look forward to it every February.I would LOVE too also make DAYTON at least ONCE before I die but if I don't I'll NEVER know or care what I missed! Maybe when I retire in 2016 I'll make DAYTON a MUST see  at least once?  Wink

Clayton
W4KVW
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KA7NIQ
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Posts: 266


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2011, 10:45:50 PM »

Hey, Tampa has a Ham Fest too you know. I go every year to the Tampa Hamfest, and have a great time. No, it is not Orlando or Dayton, but is still fun.
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WA8KIW
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2012, 02:26:52 PM »

The only common between the two is the weather.  You never know what to expect.  I've been to both when it's be delightful and others when it was crappy.  Although the Dayton fleamarket area seems to be shrinking, it is still several times that of Orlando and prices are high at either.  As for inside vendors, although there were vacant spaces at Dayton this year, it far exceeds the number and size of Orlando.  Dayton is a no-brainer about attending because of how close it is to me.  Would I attend Orlando again?  Yes-because I like seeing different junk!
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WB4TJH
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Posts: 193




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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 10:02:05 AM »

I've been to the Hamcation several times, and to Dayton once. For a non Dayton hamfest, the Orlando hamcation is a very good hamfest. All the manufacturers are there and there is plenty of flea market to keep you busy. Don't hesitate to go, you will enjoy it.
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AB3MO
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 02:27:31 PM »

Good show, not too big, but big enough.  Facilities are quite adequate. Not a good place if a TRW occurs, though. Handles the crowd reasonably well (but not like Disney World).
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If you don't stop to talk too much, omit forums, and dinners, etc., you can do the entire Hamfest in 4-5 hours.
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(I'm not particularly fond of crowds.)
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K4KAM
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 04:07:58 PM »

Good show, not too big, but big enough.  Facilities are quite adequate. Not a good place if a TRW occurs, though. Handles the crowd reasonably well (but not like Disney World).
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If you don't stop to talk too much, omit forums, and dinners, etc., you can do the entire Hamfest in 4-5 hours.
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(I'm not particularly fond of crowds.)

I look forward to it My wife and I will be heading down there friday morning my first time there cant wait!
hopefully will be a general after about 130 pm saturday! Grin
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NC4A
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 01:57:33 PM »

Orlando was fantastic this weekend. Chamber of Commerce weather on Satuday. Lot's of new and used ham toys. Plenty of room to move around, or hang out and talk. Obviously not as large as Dayton, but cleaner and easier to move around. I found everything I needed, and few things I didn't...like a new Baofeng UV-3R dual bander for fifty bucks! Awesome and will be back again next year. 
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