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HamRadioNow: A Pair of Dayton(ish) shows

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KN4AQ, May 19, 2017.

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  1. KN4AQ

    KN4AQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    YO4FKO likes this.
  2. KB9RDS

    KB9RDS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its the Laurel and Hardy Show II. (just kidding). Looks good as i am coming out on Saturday. Keep getting the word out. Thanks.

    Indianapolis, IN
  3. WB5THT

    WB5THT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I tried to attend this morning about 1020 hours local but was stopped for 15 minutes one MILE away with no hope of getting to parking for an hour or so, I gave up. Unbelievable.
  4. K9KHW

    K9KHW Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. K8MOT

    K8MOT Subscriber QRZ Page

    We were looking forward to this Dayton hamfest replacement. Pros: Lots of neat stuff to buy. Really helpful sales people. Cons: The parking crew was a strange group. I was given 4 different directions to park the car. Over a thousand of us were standing at the #3 gate for 2 hours waiting to get into a public fairground. They would not give on the 9:00 am start time. They did have a shuttle system, We had to ask 3 times to different drivers to get a ride. Seems they were not going our way and did not want to. The third time we just got in the cart and pointed to the parking lot. He was not happy but we got to the car. If you plan on eating there, bring lots of cash. Prices were outrageous...Do not expect to see them wearing hats or disposable gloves. There was NO airflow in the building, The heat was really uncomfortable.
    I did like that they has benches at several places, Don't let this review stop you from attending, I think they were trying.....
    K9JDN and KB8AMZ like this.
  6. NK9Y

    NK9Y Subscriber QRZ Page

    I went there for Friday only, which is simply not enough time to see everything. Enjoyed it so much, plan on spending the full weekend there next year. Yes, parking was a problem for many. As I understand it, most of the parking was on the highways leading to the fairgrounds. OK, bad joke. The 2 meter bulletin said the jam was about 2.5 hours long. In my case, just as the brake lights came into view, and over two miles away from the main gate, noticed the fuel gauge was defunct. Was needing diesel fuel quick. The mapping app I have been using is called WAZE, and is as close to real time as I have found to date. The fuel run quickly took me around the pileup, over paved narrow roads, and there are many, past the Xenia high school, which appeared to be about 80 percent empty. Next year, plan to enter the addresses of each off site parking area, to find the quickest one. I parked at the high school after fill up, walked 3 minutes to get to the bus. The attendants were more than pleasant, and helpful. The shuttle bus driver shut the door, and told us we would be there in 5 minutes, and we were. The shuttle from bus parking at the fairgrounds, to the ticket gate was less than 5 minutes. The bus seats are designed for school children, not those of us with significantly more girth. Sure glad I had advanced tickets, the cash line appeared to be a wreck. Am sure any problems from this year will be discussed, and ironed out. My sense is that Xenia really did not believe this would be such a big deal. Money talks, and the local economy boost should gear them up for next year. THANK YOU XENIA HAMVENTION!
    K9JDN, KB8AMZ and WN1MB like this.
  7. KN4AQ

    KN4AQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Traffic was the #1 complaint on Friday. It was solved on Saturday. I talked to Michael Kalter (off camera) and he said the Hamvention committee talked to the police department and 'motivated' them to improve it. Apparently they did. There was no traffic jam on Saturday.


    Heavy rains Thursday and Friday night led to muddy aisles in the flea market (caused by vehicle traffic) by Saturday. Friday wasn't too bad, but they just got christened by a lot of water.

    It was very warm in most of the buildings on Friday. ICOM had good cross-breeze and was more comfortable! The Forum buildings were the only ones with air conditioning.

    The 'overflow' commercial exhibitors were housed in four tents - two large and two small. My booth was in the farthest small tent. We didn't rely on traffic, but our neighbors did, and told me sales were way down from their recent Hara history. When the storms rolled through, so did the water, on the floor and some leaks from the roof. Vendors in the bigger tents fared better.

    On Friday, the tent city was hot and somewhat miserable. Most of Saturday was much cooler (downright chilly in the morning - in the 50's). One big thunderstorm rolled through. The committee has certainly taken note, and we'll all be watching for what they do about it next year. There are more substantial tents available (more expensive, I'm sure), but these were clearly a problem.

    In general, though, I think most hams attending were happy and enjoyed the fest. I haven't seen any attendance figures (they are released months after the fest closes each year). But the crowed looked substantial. With more outdoor traffic than Hara (not counting the flea market), there was more elbow room. In each building, it was crowded enough to prevent rapid navigation through the aisles, just like at Hara.

    I'll call it a qualified success, maybe even 'beat expectations' in some areas. Glitches to fix, but if you didn't come 'waiting to see', I think reports will convince you to come next year.

    I'll have a series of programs coming out in the next few weeks. A bit more walk-around on Saturday, and several interviews with help from Marty KC1CWF from the PhasingLine Podcast. You'll enjoy the thunderstorm that rolled through during the ATV interview

    73, Gary KN4AQ
    WD9EWK, K9JDN and KB8AMZ like this.
  8. WB5THT

    WB5THT Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is my first Hamvention (after 40 years as a ham) and it was so crowded this morning it was difficult to even approach a major seller to buy anything, yesterday I gave up one mile away from the fair grounds after moving 50 feet in 20 minutes in the car. I did score a demo Rigol DP832 lab power supply for about 50% off usual street value.

    I will not be back.
  9. KN4AQ

    KN4AQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    The crowds indicate success, but if that's a contraindication for you, so be it. Most of us bear it as the 'cost of doing business at the world's largest hamfest,' and we're glad it followed Hamvention from Hare to Xenia.

    The traffic problem seems to have been solved on Saturday. Sunday wouldn't be a challenge anyway, so we'll see next year. They did recommend remote parking, and while that had a few issues, it was often better than parking on site.

    They got a huge amount of rain, even for Dayton Weekend (as in "It wouldn't be Dayton without..."). So there was more mud in the flea market and parking lot than they anticipated. I don't think anyone got stuck. It wasn't that deep.

    You know this was a huge move, huge disruption, all new planning with uncertain execution, right? We expected glitches big and small. And we expect the DARA folks to address them. But no break, I guess. Gotta get it right out of the gate? That's a pretty high bar!

    I'd love (and I expect) to see them address 'Tent City' - that was a serious fail for people who spent $450+ for a booth. And I know I'll be back. I think this move came off better than expected. I can't guess on attendance. There were lots of people, and as you said, it was hard to talk to a tech or sales rep. And again, we think that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
    KD5BVX, K9JDN, KB8AMZ and 1 other person like this.
  10. N6JSX

    N6JSX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lots of challenges at the new venue and lots of HAMs this year (I think a lot of the curious HAMs came to see the new place). WX was an issue of challenges, but then again what is Dayton if it is not blistering HOT sun and steamy, very chilly and WET, or just great with clouds and 60F tenp's - well this year ya got it all.... I was there Saturday and the bright-lush green grass gave waa to serious mud, after the just before noon gust busting 20minute down pour with lightening seeking antennas the Swap/Flea market are returned to becoming a swap but now with a river. DARA missed getting a vendor in to do shoe shines as everyone had soiled mud soaked shoes. The worst of it later became the onsite parking lots and the deep rolling hills and drivers who never driven off pavements getting stuck in the grass converted mud holes.
    Next year there need to ban onsite parking and force all to the shuttle buses, I parked at the high school and all was efficient and GOOD. The tractors shuttling were good but they sure did mud up the parking fields - be interesting if the fairgrounds recovers for the actual county fair.

    So that was the bad stuff, now for the good - lots more vendors, more than seen at Hara in +10ys! From my perspective it looked like DARA tried to put the vendors in the same rooms as they did at Hara, so some of it was familiar, just tricky understanding the building relationships but just outside each building they had a vendor floor make - very smart idea. I'm just ever so glad that it did not get to be a hot steamy day as all would have suffered! At the main gate they handed out free event info maps to everyone. The center area food court was nice and setup well - but one major lack of vision was no shade and limited open seating for all to rest/eat. The few bleachers setup did not have any shade/protection (except under them). Many people stood around a trash bins using them as a table top.

    Overall, it will be a Dayton to remember, but for being the FIRST time at a new venue, it was well planned and worked - just the WX did not help them at all. But the cool temps brought out the masses and HAMs can suffer wet well for a purpose!
    WZ4K and K9JDN like this.

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