Tag Archives: dayton

HARA Arena to close, Dayton Hamvention to use new venue

Hara Arena (Source: Aesopposea via WikiMedia Commons)

Hara Arena (Source: Aesopposea via WikiMedia Commons)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Eric (WD8RIF) for passing along the following news via WDTN and DARA (the Dayton Amateur Radio Association).

(Source: WDTN)

TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – The iconic venue brought sports, concerts, entertainment and special interest shows to the Miami Valley for 60 years is closing their doors due to not being able to overcome an internal legal battle that has spanned the last two decades.

“We are painfully aware of the loss this announcement will generate, which is why we have fought so long and hard to prevent it,” says Karen Wampler, Hara’s marketing director.
The loss will come in the form of $36 million in annual economic impact; youth, men’s and professional hockey programs; and the hundreds of events that called Hara home this past year.

“We had hoped to announce a new era at Hara, but are announcing the end of one, instead.” says Wampler. [Continue reading…]

(Source: Hamvention Press Release)

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) regrets to inform our many vendors, visitors and stakeholders that, unfortunately, HARA has announced the closing of their facility. We have begun execution of our contingency plan to move Hamvention® 2017 to a new home.

DARA and Hamvention® have enjoyed many successful years working together with HARA Arena and we wish the Wampler family the best.

DARA and Hamvention® have been working on a contingency plan in the event HARA would become unavailable. We have spent many hours over the last few years evaluating possible locations and have found one in the area we believe will be a great new home! Due to logistics and timing issues, we will make a formal announcement introducing our new partner. This information will be coming soon. We all believe this new venue will be a spectacular place to hold our beloved event. Please rest assured we will have the event on the same weekend and, since it will be in the region, the current accommodations and outside events already planned for Hamvention® 2017 should not be affected.

We look forward to your continued support as we move to a new future with The Dayton Hamvention®.
Ron Cramer
General Chairman
Dayton Hamvention 2017

Challenges for a new venue

Two years ago, I spoke with a DARA representative who told me about some of the contingency sites they had in mind should HARA Arena close its doors. Many of us attending the Hamvention had a strong feeling 2016 would be the last year at HARA Arena.

Though HARA was (and has been) in a poor state, the site is very large and has one very unique feature: it’s all on one level.

The outdoor exhibits (flea market) portion of the Hamvention is very popular and should hopefully be hosted on site.

The outdoor exhibits (flea market) portion of the Hamvention is very popular.

Most of the Dayton area contingency sites were on at least two levels with limited elevator facilities (a potential problem for the hundreds of attendees who use motorized carts).

I also learned that most of the Dayton area contingency sites had another problem: not enough space to have both the inside exhibits and the flea market hosted at the same venue. One contingency plan assumed the flea market might be relocated somewhere else nearby.

I hope the Site B will have the space for both the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Frankly, if these two portions of the Hamvention are separated, I suspect it will have a very negative impact on attendance numbers. Let’s hope this won’t be the case.

In terms of facilities, almost anything else will feel more modern and cleaner than HARA Arena. I just hope it can accommodate 20,000+ attendees as well.

When DARA announces the new site, I will post the information here.  Simply follow the tag: Hamvention.

Stop by our new booth SA0359 at the Dayton Hamvention next week!

Hamvention-2016

For the sixth year in a row at the Dayton Hamvention, fellow volunteers and I will be representing the charity Ears To Our World (ETOW).

I always enjoy meeting SWLing Post readers who stop by our booth to introduce themselves.

Note: New Booth Location

We’ve been moved to a new table this year: SA0359 in the Silver Arena. Indeed, we may have two tables set up: one with Ears To Our World information and another with soldering irons to build HumanaLight kits.

DaytonMap-ETOW-SWLingPost

Click on map to enlarge

Here’s the full map for reference (PDF).

If you’re not familiar with Ears To Our World and our mission to empower children and teachers in the third word through radio and other technologies, check out our website.

HumanaLights!

HumanaLight-Front

Note that this year we will also give away our HumanaLight kits to those who donate $15 or more to ETOW (while supplies last). 

Look forward to meeting you in Dayton!

-Thomas (K4SWL)

Going to the Dayton Hamvention? Stop by our booth!

Hamvention

For the fifth year in a row at the Dayton Hamvention, fellow volunteers and I will be representing the charity Ears To Our World (ETOW).

I always enjoy meeting SWLing Post readers who stop by our booth to introduce themselves.

For the third year in a row, we will be at booth BA411 in the Ball Arena. Here’s a map for reference.

HumanaLight-FrontIf you’re not familiar with Ears To Our World and our mission to empower children and teachers in the third word through radio and other technologies, check out our website and this article from the Wall Street Journal.

Note that this year we will also give away our HumanaLight kits to those who donate $20 or more to ETOW (while supplies last). 

Look forward to meeting you in Dayton!

-Thomas (K4SWL)

Tallying up Dayton Hamvention purchases

It have a hard time passing up old military gear, like this Signal Corps BC-221-AL signal generator.

I’m a sucker for old military gear, like this Signal Corps BC-221-AL signal generator. (Click to enlarge)

This year, at the Dayton Hamvention, I spent more money than I ever have.  Though the Hamvention is a showcase of innovations and flea market treasures, I typically walk away with a few connectors, cables, or maybe some handy accessories; I rarely spend more than $100, though I budget much more.

But this year was an exception. I walked away with a few bigger-ticket items I found irresistible.  Buyer’s remorse? Nope.

SWLing Post reader, Mike, asked what I purchased, so instead of sending him an email with the tally, I thought I’d post my finds here.

Hallicrafters SX-24

Hamvention-1

Hamvention-01

I already have an SX-24, but this one is cosmetically superb for its age. The seller told me that she “lights up” but has no audio; it was an estate sale item.  I assume that it has a bad capacitor or two (or more). No doubt, it can be fixed and will fill my radio room with warm audio in due time. At least, that’s the theory!

I purchased this Hallicrafters SX-24 for $60.00

Signal Corps BC-221-AL Signal Generator

Hamvention-08Hamvention-06Hamvention-07Hamvention-03Hamvention-04

This is a working BC-221-AL signal generator that will more than pay for itself each time I align my BC-348-Q (or any of my boat anchors, for that matter). It, too, was in excellent shape and I couldn’t pass it up at $30.00 (great price as the seller was ready to part with it on the final day of the Hamvention). I love the fact that its reference book and log, with schematic, are fully in tact. Bonus: it has that great vintage military electronics smell.

Surmen DC Digital Voltmeter

Voltage Meter

I picked up this simple in-line volt meter at Universal Radio for $20.

The photo above is enlarged: the actual unit is very small (2.75 x 1.5 x 1 inches). Since my whole DC system is based on Anderson Powerpole connectors, this simple meter will help keep tabs on voltage. I think Universal sold out of these at the Hamvention, but since they build them in house, you can order online.

Side KX panels and cover

Hamvention-10Hamvention-11Hamvention-12I like traveling with my Elecraft KX3, but I worry about the faceplate being damaged in transit. In the past, I’ve used dense foam to protect the front of the radio, but it’s an imperfect solution.

This year, Gems Products was selling their Side KX panels at Elecraft‘s booth in the North Hall. The Side KX handles protrude a good 1/8″ beyond the height of the KX3’s knobs, thus protecting the rig even if turned upside down. I also purchased the clear Lexan cover which fits perfectly on the radio. Now when I travel, I can throw the KX3 in my backpack and not worry about the face being damaged.

At a Hamvention discounted price of $60 with tax, it was no minor purchase, but the investment to protect a $1,200 portable radio was well worth it. I must say, the fit is excellent and installation took perhaps 5 minutes.

Sony TFM-1600W portable radio

Hamvention-02

This Sony was a late Saturday flea market purchase. The vendor–who attends annually and is well known for his gorgeous display of antique tube radios–had this solid-state Sony sitting at the back corner of the booth. It quickly attracted my attention and that of my buddy (and radio enabler) Mike (K8RAT).

Originally priced at $65.00, the vendor was kind enough to let me talk him down (“beg” is more like it, right Mike?) to the $40.00 cash I had left in my pocket.

Once we got it back to our lodging we confirmed what we had suspected: this Sony has incredible audio fidelity and great sensitivity.  No big surprise here: in the 1970’s, Sony was a brand well-known for superb audio fidelity.

This Sony will need a little work–the pots and band switch need a thorough cleaning. Also, the tuning needle somehow came dis-lodged from the fly-wheel mechanism. All of these things can be fixed, though, and I’ll have a superb receiver that should last a few more decades. For a radio built in Japan in 1971, I’m very happy with its condition.

Palstar SP30B Speaker

PalstarSP30B

I’m a sucker for hand-crafted gear. While perusing the flea market, I looked for an affordable vintage speaker for my BC-348-Q, but I couldn’t find one. Inside, however, I spotted this beautiful speaker at Palstar’s booth in the East Hall. I’ve owned a Palstar R30C shortwave receiver before and know how much they care about audio fidelity and overall quality. The SP30B was originally designed for the R30 series receiver.

The wood speaker cabinet on the SP30B is built by a wood worker exclusively for Palstar; the finish is amazing.

The SP30B retails for $99.95 at Palstar.com. I was able to snag this one for only $75 as it was a display and Palstar’s last one with cherry finish.

Miscellaneous items

I purchased a few additional accessories and supplies:

  • Icom ID-51a BP-272Li extra capacity battery from Batteries America: $52.00
  • 75 feet of coaxial cable: $70
  • 8 blemished PowerFilm solar plates: $5

There may have been more items, but I’m calling this a total Hamvention expenditure of $412. 

Did you attend the Dayton Hamvention?  How much damage did it do to your wallet?

Universal Radio at the Dayton Hamvention

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Universal Radio president, Fred Osterman talking with Rob Sherwood of Sherwood Engineering

Universal Radio is the only radio dealer that has been to every Dayton Hamvention since its inception.  They always bring a large selection of portable and tabletop shortwave receivers. If you attend a Dayton Hamvention in the future, make sure you visit Universal in the East Hall. Even as I type this, inside vendors are closing their booths, yet Universal Radio is still serving a steady stream of customers.

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