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Author Topic: First Time at Dayton  (Read 27177 times)
AJ2I
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« on: March 30, 2016, 03:49:10 PM »

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum

Thinking about making my first time  going to Dayton Hamvention. Any tips/Tricks, Do's and Don't are greatly appreciated.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 06:30:34 PM by AJ2I » Logged
ONAIR
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2016, 06:21:53 PM »

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum

First time I'll be going to Dayton Hamvention. Any tips/Tricks, Do's and Don't are greatly appreiciated.

I will be arriving early friday morning, around 1am and planning to leave Sunday morning.


  Bring a lot of $$$!!!   Roll Eyes
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K3GM
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 08:13:31 PM »

Assuming that you're  going Friday and at least Saturday, my strategy is a follows

Hit the flea market first thing Friday.  Do a quick first pass noting any particularly interesting items and space numbers on a spiral note pad or send yourself email for a permanent record.  Now do it again, this time more slowly making purchases, and dropping offers. If the offer is refused, walk, and let it molder a little.  Check back again later.  Your offer might have been reconsidered.
Lunch
Friday pm, go inside.  Traffic is usually light, and by late afternoon, some the of popular vendors may be just standing there.  It won't be that way come Saturday morning.

Saturday, is a mix of outside and inside.  Mind you that between the buying, I'm also taking turns selling at our spots.

Sunday....Sunday morning is a great day to mop up.  The die hards are still there. Stop by the remaining flea market vendors, and drop an insane offer on that primo Drake R4C your been looking at.  Catch the pickup pulling out of his spot with a 200' reel of 7/8" Heliax in the bed , and offer him a buck a foot, reminding him that he's going to have to put that all away when  he gets home.  You'd be surprised what you can walk away with.

Pack a cheap Walmart poncho, a hat, a couple of bottles of water, amd a small tube of high SPF sunscreen.  Bring a stowable bag, and follow the weather forecasts right up to departure time. Eat the brats on the vendor grills (fantastic), get your badge laminated early for a crisp, permanent souvenir.

Wear deodorant, and don't dress like a scrounge.  Interest at the tables is much higher if you look like a potential buyer and not a tire kicker.

Take it all in, preferable with a couple of buddies.  It's a fun time!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 12:12:02 PM by K3GM » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 04:47:08 PM »

Do not bank on good deals Sunday in flea market. A lot of vendors pull out Saturday nite. Make your best deal by end of day Saturday.
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N8EKT
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2016, 06:58:27 PM »

I like going with several other hams and we each have a complete list of what we are looking for and about how much we would be willing to pay

Multiple sets of eyes looking for the same things is MUCH better than working alone

And go to Mendleson's hardware LAST

I've made the mistake of going there FIRST then having to carry 15 pounds of hardware around the rest of the day

Wear VERY comfortable shoes and sun screen

Take a backpack or pull along in case you fing a bargain on a boat anchor

Take PLENTY of cash and keep your wallet in your FRONT pocket

Saturday is the best day

Don't take ANYBODY's word for what frequency a commercial antenna or radio will work on

There are ALOT of commercial radios and antennas there that won't work on ham bands

carry a small VOM so you can test batteries, antennas, cables,etc




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N8AUC
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 11:02:35 AM »

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum

Thinking about making my first time  going to Dayton Hamvention. Any tips/Tricks, Do's and Don't are greatly appreciated.



Some good pointers here.

Make sure you come Friday, and stay the whole weekend.
Lots of ca$h is a great idea. Keep it in your front pocket, always a good idea.
Carry a backpack - definitely.
Be prepared for ANY weather. Have rain gear, and a warm coat with you.
Comfortable shoes and sunscreen are definitely a must. You will do a LOT of walking.

Park at the Salem Mall and take the shuttle buses. It's a good deal.
Parking there is free.
But the bus pass is $8 for unlimited shuttle rides to and from Hara Arena all weekend.
And, the lot is paved at the Mall, and there are people there the whole time.

I'll see you there.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
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AJ2I
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 01:11:14 PM »

great tips here

Thanks Guys!
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N2SR
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 06:21:55 PM »

And, the lot is paved at the Mall, and there are people there the whole time.



A more accurate description of the old Salem mall lot is that it was once paved.  However when it rains, you won't have to shell out money to have your vehicle towed out of the mud - if you parked in one of the fields close to the venue.

Be careful of the potholes.  Be sure and try and park between the faded lines. 
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If no one is doing it that way, there is a probably a very good reason.
W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 06:32:12 PM »

And, the lot is paved at the Mall, and there are people there the whole time.



A more accurate description of the old Salem mall lot is that it was once paved.  However when it rains, you won't have to shell out money to have your vehicle towed out of the mud - if you parked in one of the fields close to the venue.

Be careful of the potholes.  Be sure and try and park between the faded lines. 

Now that Sears is gone too it is just a question of time as to when that parking area gets reclaimed and repurposed.
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KK4YDR
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 01:07:16 PM »

I have never been to Dayton ham fest but I did go to Orlando  HAMCATION and boy let me tell you I didnt leave before spending over $2500.00. Make sure to bring a bank roll with you if you go. There are so many things you are going to want and it adds up fast. I.e. connectors, cabling, interfaces, doohickeys and doodads alike.
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N2SR
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2016, 02:36:30 AM »

I have never been to Dayton ham fest but I did go to Orlando  HAMCATION and boy let me tell you I didnt leave before spending over $2500.00. Make sure to bring a bank roll with you if you go. There are so many things you are going to want and it adds up fast. I.e. connectors, cabling, interfaces, doohickeys and doodads alike.

Many people don't have a bank roll to take with them.  I've gone to Dayton several times and many times I never bought anything. 

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KK5DR
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2016, 05:58:46 AM »

This year will be my seventh Dayton hamfest.
Only bring, what you are willing to spend.
If you find something that looks like a good deal, and you want it, buy it. If you don't, it won't be there when you come back later.
Make a specific item shopping list. Don't get distracted by too many things not on your list.
Don't spend all your time in the Fleamarket area, there are good deals on cool stuff inside too.
Buy a bus pass, park at the old mall. If you need to load some big iron, get a loading pass and go get your vehicle. If you didn't bring a vehicle, there is a UPS store booth inside the arena, ship it home. Most dealers will ship directly to your home, and you don't pay local sales tax that way.
Pace yourself. If you can't find it at Dayton, it likely doesn't exist anymore.
Listen. You will hear at least a dozen languages being spoken there.
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W4FID
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 04:03:24 AM »

Plan to be self sufficient. Whatever your personal needs are have them covered for yourself. Lines at food court can be very long. Selection is whatever they choose to put out. Cooked properly, kept refrigerated, served sanitary are all questionable. Prices are high. So if you have any special needs bring it don't assume it's there for you. Bathrooms are wet, dirty, and few of them. Don't let yourself get caught short. The arena and "culture" of the staff and fest organizers are not handicapped friendly or even aware -- many are not even interested or capable of being helpful. If you're able bodied you'll do better and good for you. If not -- as many of us are as we age -- plan ahead to take care of yourself. The handicapped spaces on the paved lot near the building are reserved for the fest staff's golf carts. Handicapped parking is by expensive limited availability passes in a field that turns to mud if it rains. Blind people with sight dogs have to walk in the roadway with the traffic whizzing by over a quarter of a mile to get to their friend's car. Not being ugly -- just saying.

Lots of walking and 100% of the time you'll be standing. Wx can change from hot and sunburn to cold and pouring rain. Even in  single day.

A backpack and a money belt are good ideas. Cash talks louder than credit cards and will save time as all the vendors have to process them and data exchange rates can be slow depending on what bandwidth and equipment anyone has at any given time. Water, crackers, energy bars, smaller stuff you bought, extra shirt and sox all are better with a backpack.

You will find everything there and it's exciting. That's why it's the biggest and running strong for so long. That's why I have been about 20 times and will go again. But it's a struggle for many of us.
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KR4BD
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2016, 02:02:52 PM »

I agree with W4FID's comments.  I have only missed 3 or 4 Hamventions since 1975.  Hara Arena has definitely seen better days, but in my opinion, it is not as bad  a place as some have reported.  The flea market is unbelievable and the inside exhibits are excellent.  A couple of things I would like to add:  If you park at the old Salem Mall lot (I suggest you do), be aware that the bus ticket ($8 for all three days) is GOOD on ANY RTA route that weekend.  This means you can use the RTA busses anywhere they go in the Dayton area.  Also, in my opinion, the bathroom situation has gotten a little better in the last couple of years.  Yes, its not as good as home, but attendants seem to be cleaning and restocking them more than in the past.  If you do need more privacy, I suggest using the restrooms near the Hara Arena Offices in the area where the forums are held.  These are usually less crowded and much cleaner.

Most importantly....DO wear comfortable shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking. 

And HAVE FUN!
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KB9CFH
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2016, 09:25:43 PM »

If you have trouble flying or driving, GREYHOUND and DAYTON RTA station is about 3 blocks from HARA. There are rental scooters for those that have trouble walking. About $50 a day but well worth it if you have Heart and vascular problems. I walked until my legs gave out 2/3 of the way around the west lot on Fri. Took a break for the rain and returned about an hour later and rented the scooter for Sat. Saw most of the north lot between showers on Sat. the scooters hinder getting into some of the sellers. If you can walk a little bit, you can park it and pull the keys. Sunday walked to the sellers that hadn't closed up shop on Sat. so if cut down the distance I need to go. I visited the inside when it was raining and got the outside when it was dry. Sunday hit the inside hard.
Be ready for any weather. Have Fun.
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