Tag Archives: Dayton Hamvention

No new metal building for 2019 Hamvention

The white event tents that house a large number of vendors.

(Source: Southgate ARC)

CQ Magazine report there will still be tents for some commercial exhibitors at next year’s Dayton Hamvention.

In one of their first acts as leaders of the 2019 Hamvention, General Chairman Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, and Assistant General Chairman Rick Allnutt, WS8G, announced on August 5th that they had been unable so far “to reach an agreement on a long-term contract (with Greene County officials) where both the Fairgrounds and Hamvention would feel comfortable erecting a new building.”

The announcement was made “in the spirit of being transparent,” they said. Gerbs and Allnut stressed that the overall relationship between the Dayton Amateur Radio Association and Greene County remains excellent and the Hamvention will continue to be held at the fairgrounds in Xenia. They cited improvements made for the 2018 show and promised more for 2019. However, a new commercial exhibits building will not be among them.

The 2019 Dayton Hamvention is scheduled for May 17-19.

CQ Magazine
http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/

I’ll admit: this is disappointing news. I’ve had a table in the tents the past two years at Hamvention. The first year (2017), the tents were pretty dismal–lighting was almost nonexistent and there was serious water intrusion.

This year, DARA obtained much better tents and did a proper job securing the walls and avoiding the drainage areas. Still, water intrusion was an issue. If it rained (and it did) the floors (i.e. asphalt) got wet. Vendors had to keep their inventory off of the floor at all times, else it would get soaked. Since so many products are stored in cardboard boxes, are electronic, and not waterproof, this was a serious issue. I spoke to one of the larger tent vendors who was really upset about the water intrusion and lack of security and vowed not to return unless they could get a proper indoor space.

To please outdoor tent vendors, I believe DARA ought to give discounted pricing for those spaces, increase security, and at least provide crates or pallets to help vendors keep their inventory from contacting the ground and getting soaked.

Click here to read our review of the 2017 Hamvention–the first at the Greene County Fairgrounds.

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2018 Hamvention photos: Friday Flea Market

It was a long day at the 2018 Hamvention Friday, but we had a brilliant time. As always, it’s a pleasure to meet so many SWLing Post readers and contributors–thank you for stopping by!

Below, I’ve posted photos I took at the Hamvention Flea Market this morning. Note that most of these photos were taken either prior to the flea market opening or just shortly after. The selection was pretty amazing. The rain did come and go throughout the day, but the recycled asphalt that was spread between the aisles did help keep mitigate the mud situation.

Click on the thumbnail to expand each photo. I’ve tried to include price tags when available although the camera phone I used didn’t have the sharpest focus! I plan to post inside exhibit photos tomorrow.

 

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Going to the Hamvention? Stop by booth 6509!

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

You can find us at booth 6509. (Click here for a map.)

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

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.

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 Xenia!

-Thomas (K4SWL)

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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!

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