Hamvention©

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation - AM Fans' started by K5UJ, May 19, 2019.

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  1. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seemed to me that attendance was about the same as last year. But I am pretty sure the flea market sellers were down in numbers. I think the cause is a lot of little things that add up: being on grass instead of pavement--it's not too bad if the wx is dry but it sucks if it is water saturated, like being on a giant wet sponge. Another nuisance is the layout with there being essentially two flea markets, the race track and everywhere else, and you have to cross this sort of gulf, to get from one to the other. A lot of older guys don't like that. But the weather is everything and so many sellers have been burned for so many years now that they've given up. If they had a reserved area, for people who will be there regardless of wx (professional flea marketeers), and a secondary area for anyone who wants to just show up and sell (regular hams), that would help.

    I looked at Nick England's photos and feel like we went to different hamfests. Then I realized the first several photos were taken on Thursday during setup. I missed a lot of that because on Friday I started out walking around in the area to the west of the race track and worked my way over to the east. I think the good stuff was in the race track so next time I need to start out there.
     
  2. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You need to get one of those sling shot jobs or tennis ball launchers. That's how I got one end of my 80 m. dipole over a tree a few years ago.

    If they have added nothing to the original topic, I ignore them and get right back to what was being discussed. They were acknowledged, got to say something, chose to contribute nothing, so what do they expect?
     
    K4KYV likes this.
  3. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Who are those people?
     
  4. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    How was it this year? I heard one report that it rained all night before Friday or Saturday, so the grass must have been saturated one of the days. I couldn't tell from the photos whether or not they had the crushed asphalt along the corridors like they did last year. I couldn't imagine that they would have removed it, because it would take all summer for the grass to grow back, only to lay down a new batch the following spring.
    That's another plus for renting a flea market space. If you can get there Thursday afternoon, you have a pick of a lot of the stuff that will already be sold or traded before the official opening. I have never been able to make it early enough to do that. A couple of times I did get there before they closed the gates Thursday afternoon, but it was so late that most of the other vendors had already covered their stuff and left. At my distance away, I would almost have to rent the hotel room an extra day and arrive Wednesday evening, and I never thought it would be worth the extra expense and effort.

    I did make some extraordinary finds one year at HARA when I managed to sneak in early to the flea market without a ticket before the official opening time, and got first shot at some of the stuff as the vendors were setting up.
    I think the best vendor spots are at the edge of the track, alongside the gulf, across from the stadium, in the row where the guy let us use his spot the second day on the first year at the new location. Absolutely the worst is that row we were assigned that year, because most people passing by don't even realise there is a vendors row there. They should have the outer corridor laid out so that the vendor rows at the outer edge of the track are facing inwards to the corridor.

    The best solution to the rain problem would be to move the date further to mid summer after the fields dry up. Maybe even late September, around the date of the old Cincinnati Stag Hamfest. I remember the wx was always great for that event, before it eventually fizzled. Indianapolis is in mid July; the time I went it was hot and humid, but the wx was dry and sunny. You just don't get that many dry clear spells in the spring in that part of the country. But I'm afraid the flea market isn't the first priority with the hamfest committee; everybody likes to display the new stuff early in the year since that's where the real money is made, and the indoor displays are less affected by the weather.

    The first big mistake was when they moved the date from the 3rd to the 4th weekend in April, since that original date just happened to be a fluke in the weather pattern, a sweet spot when it rarely rained. But I don't know how much good the original date would do at the new venue, since the grass would still likely be saturated even if it didn't rain, plus with recent shifts in the climate, that weekend might not be so ideal any more.
     
  5. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It rained Thursday night but by Friday morning the ground was okay. What little mud there was, was easy to walk around. The crushed asphalt was there. I think it is permanent.
    I think it has changed and isn't as good now. The last few years I walked around with a flea market pass and didn't see anything special or any thing I wanted at least. And so much stuff now seems to be under wraps on Friday morning almost up to opening time there isn't anything to see. Last year I concluded there wasn't much point in getting in early--what I'm looking for will likely still be there after 9 a.m.
    I agree. Another dead area is in the far west side where we were last year. The race track is where the action is.
    I think if they moved it into mid-June that would help.
     
  6. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are right. I remember last year telling someone where our spot was, and he wasn't aware there was more flea market on the other side next to the food court. I don't see how anyone could have missed it. It looked drier over there at first, but I remember after a couple hours of people walking through, the unpaved areas were just as muddy as the track.

    You lucked out this year. That rain could just as easily have come in a few hours later after the hamfest was open. Having it when they do makes it a real crap shoot.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  7. K9GAS

    K9GAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I arrived at my hotel Thursday around 3pm. WX was very nice, just south of Miamisburg. I set my alarm for 4:30, peaked out the window and it was dry but I could see lightning up north. Looked at the wx radar and just about went back to bed. It was all over the north Dayton and heading smack down to Xenia. Heavy rains etc.. Passed through about 6am, so it was nice when I got to the spot at around 7am. Spot was a bit wet, but I was on the side where Fairgrounds road was, middle, just off the racetrack.
    It was a small hill. Made it a bit tougher to set up but it was drained pretty well and I had no trouble parking the truck on it.
    Good thing there was a good breeze or it probably would have been pretty humid. In the level areas I noticed the mud oozing up through the crushed pathways, but pretty easy to avoid. I didn't notice the flea market spots on the other side of the food areas.
    I didn't walk that way, I was getting tired. I finally got a chance to walk over to the food area and get something to eat. Quite a hike from where I was.
     
    KC8VWM likes this.
  8. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The first year at the fairgrounds, there were at least two downpours, and by mid-day Saturday, the race track infield was a giant mud hole. I noticed the area over to the west was relatively dry. That seemed like the place to be. Early the following year I was offered a spot near the Volts building on pavement in that intermediate area between the indoor areas and the race track. I was wary of that because I figured if we were absent most of the time leaving nothing but our junk and that honor system box, we'd invite a lot of hassle from the control freaks. Also, if the wx turned hot and sunny we'd broil on the pavement. So I got the space on the far west end but that turned out to be a dead zone. Meanwhile, the race track infield was much improved by the laying down of that crushed asphalt which was something we didn't know about ahead of time.
    That's why a lot of fellows have quit showing up and I quit getting a space (along with not having anything to sell now). The regular Joe Ham thinks, "Why should I invest in $100 or $200 for one or two spaces, drive hundreds or a thousand miles, spend at least three nights in a motel, then wind up sitting in rain with my stuff covered up?" We can go to any other hamfest in summer, make a decision based on wx forecast the day before, pull in whenever we arrive and drop a tailgate and sell our stuff. Dayton has obvious advantages, but the hassles of having to get in by 8 a.m. and commit to being there until 5 p.m., locate your assigned space, plus the costs, make the wx gamble something that a guy who has a few boxes of junk decide to avoid.

    Jerry, do you know who got the $50 inovonics 222? It was gone when I looked on Saturday. I hope Kevin GZQ got it and that it works okay.
     
  9. K9GAS

    K9GAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Jerry, do you know who got the $50 inovonics 222? It was gone when I looked on Saturday. I hope Kevin GZQ got it and that it works okay.[/QUOTE]

    No Rob, I don't know. Kevin didn't get it either. It was gone when he made it back.
     
  10. W8KHK

    W8KHK Ham Member QRZ Page

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