Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: TIMONIUM 2013 ???  (Read 5260 times)
K2LGO
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« on: April 13, 2013, 07:37:41 AM »

I was wondering about what the TIMONIUM hamfest was like...For many years I made the old two day affair, but its over 250 miles for me each way, and so with gas prices and all, I have not attended for two years...
Logged
N3CFK
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 09:18:17 AM »

Timonium was good this year... it's formally called the Greater Baltimore Hamboree and Computerfest, but we old-timers just call it Timonium (since it's at the MD State Fairgrounds in Timonium, MD). And yes, it has been "shrunk" down a bit to a one-day event, but it may be better to think of it as "all the fun concentrated into one day" instead.  Cheesy

As in the past, the Timonium fest also featured testing, and this year, the testing was in an adjacent building. Theoretically, then, you didn't have to enter the actual hamfest to get tested, but I think few would be able to resist the lure of bargains, gear, accessories, and all the camradery!

Seriously, though, if you remember the 2-day event, you probably remember the days when a lot more hamfests and local ham dealerships existed, too. Blame the economy, eBay, the Internet or whatever, but hamfests have been in serious general decline for years. I, for one, am glad to see the Timonium fest still running. I can't afford to go to Dayton every year, so Timonium is my chance to attend a very nice hamfest and have a great day without a lot of travel and expense.

To be clear, however, Timonium is not a "miniature Dayton" --- the manufacturers and big big national dealers are feeling the economic pinch, too, and have chosen to focus on far fewer events these days. But Timonium has lots of regional dealers and tons of tailgaters going for it.

I attended this year's hamfest (last Saturday April 6) and even volunteered for several hours. The Baltimore Amateur Radio Club (BARC), sponsors this fest and has done everything humanly possible to keep the fest a fun event for us east-coasters. They work hard and passionately, and have chosen to make minor compromises rather than shut down. Kudos for that! This year, I also spent many enjoyable hours perusing the commercial and flea market booths and picked up some great new and used "stuff" at great prices, and socialized with new and old friends at the same time.

Comments I heard about the fest from a few fellow hams had less to do with the quality of the fest and more to do with its "downsizing." As already stated, the Hamboree is now a one day event, and it's all indoors, even the tailgating (a great weather-beater, in my opinion!), and it's all under one HUGE roof in the biggest building at the Fairgrounds. What's not to like? Well, to be truthful, I heard a few folks gripe about the opening time (9 am), but the doors were opened early and everyone seemed to have a good time after that. A few lamented the fact that it was now a one-day event, but in this economy, a somewhat shorter, smaller hamfest is, in my humble opinion, WAY better than none! Attendance was really good this year, and people stayed around well into the afternoon, so it looks like I'm not the only one to come out and have had a good time! Bottom line -- the Timonium Hamfest is alive and well and still a major ham event here in Maryland. The BARC membership is already planning for next year's Hamboree, trying very hard to make it worth your drive. Keep an eye out for the announcements, give it a shot again, and bring a friend! Maybe I'll see you there!
Logged
K2LGO
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 09:52:03 AM »

TO N3CFK....All your comments on this years TIMONIUM hamfest are undoubtedly true..I applaud your enthusiasm, but I must say I looked forward to arriving on Friday at about 5PM, setting up, then going to have dinner, and coming back at 4:30 to 5 AM the next morning to the arriving early morning hawks with their flashlights...I also like the fact that when its outdoors, you can pack up your wagon and leave as you see fit at anytime, a bit difficult with the indoor setup...I do agree with you that these days accommodations must be made just to be able to hold a hamfest, and the crew at TIMONIUM are the best...Always very friendly and accommodating, and eager to help...BOB
   
Logged
N3CFK
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 12:15:15 PM »

Hi Bob,

Your comments are not unique. In fact, they represent many folks' best traditional views of a hamfest. As a kid, I used to get up at "Oh-dark-thirty" to get to a fest and be in full swing before the dew even burned off the grass.... ah, the days! Things sure have changed; I honestly wish we could go back to the old days in a lot of ways!  Smiley

The folks in the Baltimore Amateur Radio Club (BARC) really put a lot of effort into putting on the best hamfest they can, given the modern constraints they have to live with. The planning stretches for the whole year preceeding a fest. Economics, security, safety, licensing, rentals, and all kinds of factors influence the decision-making. For example -- to be able to do outdoor tailgating, BARC would have to rent most of the fairgrounds, at much higher cost, of course, to have the parking lots be part of the hamfest. Extra days also cost more. Since BARC uses hamfest proceeds to fund club and community activities and services, operating at a loss is just not viable. So, lacking some means of doubling or tripling attendance, it is what it is.

Of course, some folks also know that the weather around here can also be very unpredictable... 6 inches of snow a couple weeks ago, for example! How about some rain? That happens, too. People can decide to stay home, not tailgate, etc, given such conditions, but the rent still must be paid. Planners have to make a lot of difficult decisions, and not everyone will be pleased all the time. Still, the Timonium fest goes on. I'd rather attend each year and live with the compromises than stay home and do the yard work.  Wink

All this economic talk aside, I saw lots of people buying, selling, and trading loads of great "stuff" and leaving the fairgrounds happy. The hamfest grub was good and people seemed to be in good spirits. At the end of the day, I think that's what matters the most.

I know you have other hamfests you can go to, but give Timonium another try someday. I also agree, the people are super-helpful and friendly! All-in-all, it's still a great way to spend a Saturday!

73,

Larry, N3CFK
Logged
K2LGO
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 04:09:35 PM »

Hello Again Larry...I don't want to make this a pissing contest, but I do believe your feelings about you rather go to the fleamarket, than cut your grass would change, if a 5 hour drive was ahead of you to get there...That being said, I still love the people who put it on, but I am just stating what might be the feelings of those of us who made the long drives to get there because of the unique circumstances of the hamfest 3 years back...Bob
Logged
N3CFK
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2013, 09:59:30 PM »

Bob,

A five-hour round trip drive would normally be out of my range, so I can really understand your position.

Just curious, though -- how are the hamfests up in your neck of the woods doing? I'm guessing that any org that sponsors a hamfest has to go through the same decision processes that BARC does, and maybe that could lead to shutting down or cutting back if worse came to worst.

I've heard of some hamfests back in my native Ohio that haven't changed much over the years -- but they have always been smaller events at a local parking lot or similar venue. Harder to find places like that in more urban areas...

Well, happy hamfest hunting to you and 73!

Larry
N3CFK
Logged
K2LGO
Member

Posts: 117




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 05:05:56 AM »

Larry....
   Your absolutely right, hamfests in my area are not nearly what they used to be, so once again I am not condemning TIMONIUM, just giving you a perspective on what the people who have to travel long distances might be thinking...I think its also a bit of my own personal disappointment, as TIMONIUM was my personal Dayton, and I looked forward to it every year...And incidentally that five hour trip I mentioned was each way, and of course with that kind of mileage a hotel was also necessary..
   Again I want to give a big thank you to BILL & ROBIN, and so many of the others who have been so helpful organizing the event, and personally helping me with minor problems...I guess NOTHING LASTS FOREVER... 
Logged
K0JEG
Member

Posts: 679




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 06:09:39 AM »

I got the report from dad and my uncle who both say they are disappointed over the downsizing, but also realize that the club has to make money or it won't happen at all. I'm sure it's still larger than the hamfests we have out west though. I had only been there once or twice, usually saving my money for Butler, PA and Gaithersburg in the fall, but usually had a good time and saw some interesting stuff that today would just be Internet purchases.

Times change, tastes change. I know I'd rather buy new than used any more, the price/whistle ratio is much higher on latest and greatest than yesterday's model (not saying the old stuff was worthless, but if I can save up a little longer and get a modern rig, I will). And of course, ebay and the like make it harder to find a bargain locally.
Logged
K8GU
Member

Posts: 719


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 05:46:53 AM »

This year was my first visit to Timonium and I have to say that I was underwhelmed at the time, but in retrospect, it was a decent hamfest.  I'm only about about 45 minutes away and that was totally worthwhile and a good outing with my toddler son.  There was not a lot of decent used ham gear, but there was a lot of stuff that would interest the tinkerers.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!