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Surfin’: Buyin’ Parts, Part 2


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ plans to visit the biggest source of ham radio parts this side of the Sun.

Every year about this time, I compile a want list of parts and gadgets I need for future projects because soon I will visit one of the biggest sources of ham radio parts and other sundry electronics: the Dayton Hamvention®.

Between the dealers in booths inside the Hara Arena and the sellers in the flea market outside the arena, I usually get everything on my want list (and more).

In addition to parts, there are other reasons that I have visited the Hamvention 21 times during the past 32 years.

New ham radio equipment often shows up for the first time at the Hamvention, so the possibility of viewing a debut is always alluring. The array of forums covering the full spectrum of ham radio topics also is a big attraction. But it is the people that motivate me to get in my green Subaru and drive to Dayton.

The Hamvention is a great place to see and meet the ham radio greats -- that is, the folks who have made a name for themselves by way of their accomplishments in ham radio. There are the hackers who created the hardware and software that propels ham radio into the future. And then there are the end users who take that hardware and software and haul it to activate a new country on the DXCC list or haul it into the eye of a storm to provide emergency communications when all other means of communications fail.

It is also a great place to renew acquaintances with the friends you have made over the air through the years. It always amuses me to run into old radio friends at the Hamvention who may live in the next town or the next county, but like me, end up traveling 700 miles to meet their ham radio neighbors! And with an attendance breaking the 20,000 mark each year, you can meet some new friends and neighbors, too!

If you cannot get to Dayton in person, Tom Medlin, W5KUB, will again broadcast live video and audio throughout the Hamvention via and to see what you missed, visit Flickr or YouTube (or other photo and video hosting Web sites) where a search on “Hamvention” will turn up memories of past Hamventions.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, looks forward to meeting Surfin’ readers at another Dayton Hamvention. To contact Stan, send him e-mail at or add comments to his blog.






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