Tag Archives: 2017 Hamvention

Back from Xenia: My 2017 Hamvention spoils

I’m finally back from a week of travels which included the 2017 Hamvention held a the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio.

As an inside exhibitor, I was quite busy at Hamvention–indeed, my voice is only now recovering.

I did manage to sneak away from our table on several occasions to visit with vendors, friends, and check out new innovations (thanks to ETOW volunteers Eric McFadden, Miles McFadden and Robert Gulley!). I also attended the NPOTA (National Parks On The Air) forum on Sunday.

This year, I posted hundreds of photos of the event here on the SWLing Post: both inside exhibits and flea market booths.

I’ve also already started a re-cap/review of the 2017 Hamvention which I plan to post in the next few days. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, though, a number of readers have asked what I brought home from the Hamvention. Though I had no intention to buy stuff this year–seriously–I did manage to come home with a few treasures.

Panasonic RF-2200

If you’ve been reading the SWLing Post for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the ‘2200. On the shortwaves, it’s a great performer even though the analog tuning can be a bit squirrelly.

Where it really shines is on mediumwave, though. It’s easily the best AM portable I own.

My buddy, Eric (WD8RIF), pointed out this RF-2200 (see photo above) in the flea market. Since I already own an RF-2200, I had no intention of buying one.

While taking a photo of it, the seller started telling giving me details. He said he’d never used batteries in it, and only used a small external wire antenna connected on the back (his homebrew connector was still attached). He then mentioned that he also had the original box, manuals, accessories and packing materials.

I put my camera phone away and picked it up to take a closer look. It had obviously been taken care of over the years. The battery compartment was immaculate and the telescoping whip didn’t have any bends or missing sections–it was straight, clean and original.

Out of curiosity, I asked how much he wanted for it.

He wanted $70.

Sold!

With absolutely no hesitation, I reached for my wallet. Sure, I’ve already got an RF-2200, but one can never have too many RF-2200s. Right?

I took a few photos of the RF-2200 this morning:

Without a doubt, this was my exciting 2017 flea market find. .

MFJ-8121 Analog Shortwave Portable

While browsing the inside exhibits late afternoon on Saturday, I spotted this analog portable from MFJ Enterprises.

In truth, I didn’t realize MFJ even had a shortwave portable in their product line.

This particular unit was on the clearance table and was labeled as a “factory second.” The sales person told me it was likely due to the damaged box (the unit inside had no visible blemishes).

At $12, I decided to purchase it.

You see, I get a lot of requests from readers asking for recommendations of simple analog portables. I thought I might eventually review this MFJ unit.

Last night, I popped some AA batteries in the radio and, sadly, it produced no audio. The tuning indicator works, but the speaker doesn’t even produce a hiss. I suspect this is the real reason it was being sold on the clearance table.

I might contact MFJ and let them know about this, or I might simply pop the radio open and see if it’s a broken connection.

HamSource flashlight

And finally–while not a terribly exciting purchase–I did also pick up this CREE LED flashlight at the Ham Source booth. It’s small, bright and runs on one AA battery. It has three settings: high, low and flashing. It appears to be very durable and the beam can be focused. For eight bucks, it’s the perfect flashlight to live in my new Tom Bihn Synapse 25 backpack.

That’s all, folks!

Looking back, I’m quite impressed with my self-control. I really didn’t want to return home with any new finds. If anything, I’m trying to downsize right now.

But a Panasonic RF-2200?  I always have room for another FR-2200!

Post readers: Have you acquired any flea market finds recently?  Please comment!

2017 Hamvention photos: Inside Exhibits

Saturday was another long day at the 2017 Hamvention, but I did have a moment to visit most of the inside exhibit tables. The following photos were taken (in no particular order) in the main Hamvention buildings at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Again, it was especially fun meeting so many SWLing Post readers and contributors in person!

Click on the photos below to view larger images (click here to view photos of the 2017 Hamvention flea market):

2017 Hamvention photos: Flea Market

We had a rather long day here at the 2017 Hamvention, but we had a fantastic time. It was especially fun meeting so many SWLing Post readers and contributors in person! Thank you for stopping by our booth at 6508.

Below, I’ve posted well over one hundred photos I took at the Hamvention Flea Market this morning. Click on the thumbnail to expand each photo. I’ve tried to include price tags when available! I plan to post inside exhibit photos tomorrow.

2017 Hamvention: setup day photos

We’ve arrived at the 2017 Hamvention–the first year at the new venue at Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio.

By request, I’m posting photos taken today of the new site while exhibitors are setting up.

Since the Greene County Fairgrounds lack the number of indoor exhibitor space, they are using large white event tents to add covered square footage:

I hope we don’t have rain this year as many of the tents have open seams and some holes. Additionally, it’s quite dark inside. Perhaps more lighting will be added.

The flea market area is quite large–some flea market vendors have already set up shop.

Tomorrow, I’ll post photos of both indoor and flea market exhibitors. Stay tuned!

If you’d like to keep up with Hamvention posts, simply follow/bookmark the tag: 2017 Hamvention.

Destination: 2017 Hamvention and the FDIM (Four Days In May) conference

I’ll soon see a lot of this on my way to FDIM and the 2017 Hamvention.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ll be attending and hosting a booth for ETOW at the 2017 Hamvention this week.

Indeed, I’m spending today (Sunday) gathering all of my booth supplies, then organizing and packing them. I’ll be on the road for the better part of a week, so keep this in mind if you try to contact me.

Dayton Xenia Hamvention!

This photo was taken in the Hara Arena–this year, the Hamvention has new digs.

This will be the first year the Hamvention will be held at the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio (just outside of Dayton).

According to the ARRL, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) is expecting up to 35,000 visitors this year. That number is a little hard to believe as it would be a pretty dramatic increase in attendance over previous years. Still, I can attest that obtaining accommodation in the vicinity was quite difficult this year (similar to a few years ago when the Science Olympiad was hosted on Hamvention weekend).

The outdoor exhibits (flea market) portion of the Hamvention is very popular and will be on-site at the new venue.

I imagine a lot of folks will make the pilgrimage, if for no other reason than to check out the new venue. And, quite frankly, many had stopped attending Hamvention in years past as they were put off by the conditions at the former venue, the deteriorating Hara Arena.

Expect photos!

We have a  number of volunteers at our booth this year (table number 6508), so I’ll hopefully have plenty of time to browse both the inside exhibits and the flea market area during slow periods.

As in years past, I’ll plan to take lots of photos, too! I’ll do my best to try to capture the layout and feel of the new venue.

Universal Radio’s booth at the 2016 Hamvention.

On that note–though I can’t promise I can follow through–are there any vendors or products in particular that you’d like me to include in the photos? If so, please comment!

So far on my bucket list:

  • visit Icom booth and check out their new receivers (the IC-R8600 and IC-R30)
  • visit Universal Radio’s booth and see if CommRadio has an update on the CTX-10
  • check out the new Kenwood HT–the TH-D74A–which includes a full-function wideband receiver
  • see if Palstar is any closer to releasing the TR-30A–a transceiver they announced at the 2013 Hamvention
  • check out Elad’s booth and ask about the new FDM-S3 SDR
  • look for any other SDR/QRP and transceiver innovators

I’ll plan to post photos during the Hamvention, of course, but I doubt I’ll be able to include much commentary as I typically have very little free time.

I spotted this Hallicrafters Super Skyrider in the 2013 Hamvention flea market. She would look quite good in my radio room!

I’ll do my best to avoid bringing home any new-to-me vintage gear. Seriously. Wish me luck!

Again, if you’re also attending the Hamvention, why not stop by booth 6508 and introduce yourself!?!

I’ll also attend the Four Days In May QRP conference Thursday and Friday evenings–I should be wearing a name tag, so please introduce yourself if you bump into me there.

If you’d like to keep up with Hamvention posts, simply follow/bookmark the tag: 2017 Hamvention.