Surfin’: One Week ’til Dayton
By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
This week, Surfin’ gets more ready for the Dayton Hamvention®.
In response, an acquaintance asked, “What's the big deal? Why should I go to Dayton?”
For one thing, Hamvention is a big deal because it is big. It certainly is the biggest ham radio show in the USA with nearly 19,000 people in attendance last year and it must also rank near the top internationally.
As a result, it attracts the makers and shakers of ham radio. A walk through the ARRL EXPO and you will encounter into ARRL officials, ARRL staff and the ham radio writers you have been reading in the pages of QST, QEX, NCJ and the ARRL library of books.
Just beyond ARRL EXPO, there are the AMSAT and TAPR booths staffed by the folks who are on the cutting edge of ham radio. Talk to them and discover what they have in store for the future of ham radio.
Beyond that are the enclaves of the ham radio manufacturers, distributors and publishers displaying their wares, both hard and soft. Oftentimes, manufacturers wait until Hamvention to introduce new products to the bated breaths of those in attendance, so you never know what to expect!
Amongst the manufacturer and distributor booths, you will also find other ham radio organizations like the Collins Collectors Association, Courage Center Handi-Ham System, Medical Amateur Radio Council (MARCO) and the Quarter Century Wireless Association, to name a few.
Go outdoors and there is a huge flea market where you might finally unearth something you have been forever searching for, like a modified trimmer capacitor. Even if you don’t unearth what you are looking for, you are likely to find something just as good and will not go home empty-handed.
Back indoors, experts will be making presentations and running seminars all day long, covering every ham radio topic imaginable. There is something for everyone to sit in and listen to. It also is an excellent opportunity to rest your feet.
Finally, my favorite reason for attending Hamvention is to see people: Old ham radio friends and acquaintances from all over the globe, who I may talk to on-the-air regularly, but only see once a year in person at Dayton. Renewing those ham radio connections are worth the price of admission, in my opinion.
Until next time, keep on surfin’!