Dayton 2014 report

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by K8MDX, May 18, 2014.

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  1. K8MDX

    K8MDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    The drops began to fall early in the day, sending thousands of soggy hams retreating from the flea market into the humid and smelly confines of the exhibition halls. I had to LOL a bit as I watched an entire group of logo wearing, 2 meter carrying, Skywarn/Mars "Super emergency Radio guys" standing in the rain, in a line to get into the south hall. Apparently umbrellas aren't a part of the "emergency kit". Youre 5 9 in the contest you soggy SOB's haha

    The miniature rivers were flowing a couple inches deep across what little asphalt remains at the decrepit and dilapidated Hara Arena. "If it aint rainin, we aint trainin", I suppose, and as it seems the less then stellar weather can be an advantage when youre in the market for stuff that people would rather not take home and store for another year.

    I came back with some pretty good loot this year - I picked up a 756 pro that came with the Sm50 desk mic and the icom powersupply and all cables for $800. Bought a 150 foot roll of lmr400 for $40, my buddy picked up a 3 element 15 meter monobander for 15 bucks. And some other odds and ends that i was gathering for my upcoming tower project.

    There was the underwhelming news of the ten-tec/alpha/rf-concepts merger. Flex showed the new more affordable latest generation flex 6300 which seemed to be alot of radio for the money but no flex amplifier yet.

    It was good to see all our buddies, but I think next year I'll likely skip Dayton and go to Orlando instead, I want a better venue and better weather.

  2. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have watched a few live feeds from Dayton, and I was appalled at how few people were really there. I was at Orlando this year, and it was packed, compared to the live feeds I have seen from Dayton.
  3. K1SM

    K1SM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Having been attending Dayton for 20 years, it gets worse every year. The facility is a pit, the flea market has more and more electronic junk rather than real useable stuff. Yes, there may be a bargain or two in there but you have to wade through the worthless boat anchors to find them.
    The HARA arena should be knocked down and the fleamarket area repaved. Only Hams would put up with such a venue.
    Lots of empty tables inside. - The only real reason to go is to see friends.
  4. N6CAZ

    N6CAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, this was my first year at Dayton, and it seemed logical for me to go this time – I live close enough to drive there, and I had the time. Even waiting until the last minute to book a room, it was only a minor inconvenience. I’ve known people who have gone, some recently, and I guess all I can say is it is what you make of it!
    My interest in ham radio has peaked in recent weeks thanks to finding JT65. I’ve logged more DX in two weeks than in 20+ years licensed. Seeing what is being done in antenna design, SDR, D-Star, etc. as well as pay respect to the boat anchors is to me worth the trip. Sure you see some of their ads in the back of QST, but here you can talk with the folks who make the stuff as well as touch it and “spin the dials.”
    I will admit the facilities aren’t like a high-class convention center, but at least for the inside portion they seem adequate. If I remember right there were even letters missing from the “HARA Arena sign” but I was paying far too much attention to the displays to really notice. Maybe that’s because it’s my first time there. Outside was another story though. I don’t know how many times I kicked a chunk of asphalt at someone when not paying attention. There were way too many people selling old commercial gear, and I don’t know how many law enforcement light bars I saw!
    In the end, the best memories are the “eyeball” QSOs that I had. It seemed I could strike up a conversation with just about anyone, and it reminds me about what I enjoy in this hobby…the diversity of people you meet. Everyone I interacted with seemed to be in a good mood (even with the rain) and the only complaint I remember was from someone who had an electric cart run over his foot.
    As a side note, I have seen firsthand what happens when you move an established event. Anyone from out west who remembers the Ft. Tuthill hamfest and convention in northern Arizona would understand. They only moved it 30 miles west, but now most of the big vendors skip it, and many of the swap meet vendors have stopped coming as well.
  5. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    Hello Folks, it was my First time to Dayton, and yes the place needs some work, and the flea market area
    need to be repaved.

    I had a nice time.

    It was great to see some of the people I have talked to on the air, and to be able to say Hello
    to others that i have Not yet talked to on the radio. ;)

    Some of the photos I took are on Youtube.

    If not next year, I plan to attend Dayton in the future.


    73 K2HAT Lee
  6. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    I tried to avoid the live feed camera, and saw others doing the same, walk around it.

    I was at Orlando, all 3 days this year. My feet got a tiny bit sore.

    My first visit to Dayton, there must have been 3 to 4 times the people there, Friday and Saturday compared to Florida.

    My feet hurt after just 1 day.

    I came back home Sunday, I had seen all I wanted to and my feet hurt too much to goo back Sunday. :)
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