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Dayton Hamvention Roundup Saturday May 20, 2023


by Mark H. Derks, KC1RVQ, ARRL Acquisitions Editor

Ramping up

An overnight rain soaked the Greene County Fairgrounds for Saturday’s Dayton Hamvention®, but by the time the gates opened, the skies were mostly clear and the temperature hovered in the mid-60s. The crowds were a little slower to build, as if the convention itself — like many an attendee — needed a little extra time to limber up for the day, but by about 10 AM the show floor was lively. Hams funneled through the ARRL Expo area, snagging 2023 ARRL Field Day t-shirts, Year of the Volunteers pins, and after renewing their membership, walking away with commemorative Gil cartoon mugs or ARRL’s End-Fed Half-Wave Antenna Kit offering. Amateur radio operators sought advice from ARRL experts on everything from emergency communications to estate planning and legacy donations, and the staff and volunteers managed everything with practiced competence.


At the ARRL Meetup! booth, authors Glen Popiel, KW5GP, Ward Silver, N0AX, and Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, drew good crowds for their signings. Popiel, who authored More Arduino for Ham Radio and other titles, traded Arduino projects and elucidated ideas with his usual topsy wit. Silver courted a bevy of admirers and knowledge-seekers – particularly as lead editor for the ARRL Handbook. Frissell invited attendees to the 2023 and 2024 HamSCI Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP). Numerous hams inquired about writing for ARRL’s publications, and several remarked that the Meetup! branding made the booth seem much more approachable.

Innovations at Hamvention

At the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) forum, Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, ARRL Director of Emergency Management, addressed an enthusiastic crowd. He rolled out a variety of strategic partnerships pursued on behalf of ARRL and ARES® volunteers. Some had been in the works for over a year. Partnerships included Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service. Johnston highlighted, in particular, the inclusion of amateur radio in SAFECOM, whose emergency communications division, ”leads the nation’s public safety, national security, and emergency preparedness communications efforts to keep America safe, secure, and resilient.” They are a major stakeholder behind the scenes in emergency management.

HamSCI: The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation rounded out the afternoon of panels, with student presentations by Rachel Boedicker, AC8XY, and Diego Sanchez, KD2RLM. Boedicker discussed the upcoming SEQP and some of what the group hopes to learn through the QSO party. She also provided information on the personal space weather project and the GRAPE 1 and GRAPE 2, which are receivers using a GPS disciplined oscillator to monitor the doppler shift of “frequency standard stations such as WWV/H and CHU.” The doppler shift can be used to measure changes in the ionosphere over time or when aggregated in a network.

ARRL Membership Forum

Dale Williams, WA8EFK, Director of the ARRL Great Lakes Division, moderated a Saturday afternoon ARRL Membership forum, which included short presentations from ARRL Treasurer John R. Sager, WJ7S; Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV; CEO David A. Minster, NA2AA, and President Rick Roderick, K5UR.

Sager highlighted the work of the organization’s Investment Management Committee (IMC) and CAPTRUST, an outside investment firm that was selected to actively manage the ARRL investment portfolio for the benefit of members. Naumann provided an update on The ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTW), including recent improvements that have significantly reduced, and sometimes nearly eliminated, log processing queues. Minster highlighted a handful of ARRL initiatives including the yearlong theme Year of the Volunteers and its complementary operating event, Volunteers On the Air (VOTA). He encouraged members to “reach one rung higher” in their contributions to ARRL volunteerism and support. He also introduced the new ARRL Estate Planning Workbook which is intended to help members develop a plan for their equipment and amateur radio legacy, which will ultimately benefit spouses and other family members following the amateur’s lifetime. Roderick charged members with concentrating on their efforts to make an impact on amateur radio, encouraging newcomers and youth, and ensuring their legacy for amateur radio.

Looking Behind to Look Ahead

Day two of Hamvention started out looking like the weather might turn and the crowds might slow, but by the end of the day, Saturday proved to be another standout day for the 2023 event. As the day wrapped up, a glance back at the ARRL Expo store showed gaps where books had sold out and dwindling stacks of t-shirts, caps, and mugs. The missing items told a story of the day’s success. Onward to Sunday!

[See ARRL’s photo album from 2023 Dayton Hamvention at]



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