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Old 26th April 2010, 02:46 AM   #1
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Default Anyone going to the Dayton Hamfest?

Life has been rather hectic lately, but it looks like the chances are good that I will be returning to the Dayton Hamvention again this year. This will be my third trip to Dayton, and every year I have met at least two diyAudio forum members there just by chance. People tend to recognize me. I imagine that there were other members that I didn't see. If anyone is going, and there is interest in a bull session or a guided tour of the swap meet junk (oops I mean goodies) we could arange to meet, or at least swap cell phone #'s.

The Dayton hamfest is the largest in the world. Last year attendance for the 3 day event was 22,000 people. The swap meet area holds over 2500 swap spaces. The theme is ham radio, but there are very few restrictions on what can't be sold there, so it is an excellent place to find tubes, transformers, components, complete tube amps, not so complete amps, test equipment, and who knows what else. Sometimes people purchase space just to show off their latest creation, like last years Prius that was covered in solar cells, 11 miles a day without any gas at all.

The swap area is entirely outdoors and is subject to Dayton's finicky weather. It can be cold (35F), warm (75F), sunny or raining, or as with last year all 4 over the 3 days. NOTE! Rain makes the prices drop, a LOT! Last year the weather was cool but nice on Friday. A seller wanted $50 each for some MRI RF amplifiers. Saturday the rain started, and then the rain came down hard. I bought all 6 amplifiers for $100! I got a 0 to 2KV 100 mA Kepco power supply for $20 and an RF spectrum analyzer for free (known to be broken). Both times that I went to Dayton I left with a small SUV full! This year, I have a bigger vehicle.

There are 3 buildings (a hockey arena and support buildings) that house convention style booths that are mostly ham radio related equipment. It's cool to look at all of the ways that you could spend some serious money in ham radio if you are into it. I do have an extra class ham license and a working radio, but not much interest. Being a radio designer, at work for 35+ years, is enough.

I plan to be there when it opens Friday morning, staying until closing, and returning Saturday, staying until I have to set out on the 1100 mile drive home. It really does take more than one day just to cover the swap meet area. The first time I went, I spent two days in the swap area and never did see the ham radio stuff. Last year I was a bit more orgainzed and I covered the swap area in one long day. Saturday I hit the swaps in the morning, and went inside after I got soaked in the rain for the third time (mid afternoon).

Dayton Hamvention 2010 - Amateur Radio Clubs Worldwide: The Lifeline
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Old 26th April 2010, 03:32 AM   #2
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Owie - I could get into some serious trouble there. I also subscribe to a couple of amateur physics lists, and the older members (well, older than me - I'm no spring chicken) sing the praises of hamfests. The closest thing here is probably the monthly electronics flea market in Livermore.
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Old 26th April 2010, 03:42 AM   #3
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Actually, I misspoke. There's a monthly electronics flea market at a local junior college. It's a dawn to noon sort of affair, which means I have to get up at an ugly cow-milking hour on a day I when I have to stay up 'till 3AM to do a radio show - sigh.
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Old 26th April 2010, 04:39 AM   #4
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I remember meeting you and Brian Beck there. But after more then 25 years of driving out there each spring I have decided not to go this year. The place has changed a lot over the years from what it is today. It's bigger, much more expensive, but there's actually less there of interest to me. This is perhaps because I already have so much stuff. And eBay has hurt it a lot, as it has all the hamfest flea markets. They used to hold it in mid April but changed to May years ago in hopes of having better weather.

I would drive out on Wednesday (all day) and go in as a dealer on Thursday which was setup day. But first I'd stop in at Mendelson's Surplus in downtown Dayton. Two floors of surplus electronics that must have been near 80K square feet each. The building takes up an entire block, but it's been scaled down since those days. There were lots of things to buy on a Thursday at the flea market, but that has also changed nowdays. And probably the thing I'll miss most is the great Chinese restaurant we'd go to on Shiloh Springs Rd. about mile west of the Hara Arena. Try it you'll like it.
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Old 26th April 2010, 10:44 AM   #5
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hey-Hey!!!,
I am going. Been in SE Michigan for 5 yrs and this will be the first one. hope to have the CTD-powered Dodge ready for a long road trip by then( changing the axle gears to 3.07 from 4.10 ) to carry back heavy bits...
cheers,
Douglas
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:09 PM   #6
wa4swj is offline wa4swj  United States
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George,

I'm going - this will be the 36th year for me. I'll be at the QRP ARCI meeting all day Thursday and then off the the Hamvention Friday - Sunday morning. Then a flight back to Florida. Over the years I've bought a lot of stuff there.

Regards,
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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GRRRRRGGAAAAWWWWWW!!!!! DANG i want to go tot his so bad! and this year i even have the TIME to go but not the $$$ FRACK!
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:49 PM   #8
el156 is offline el156  Portugal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa4swj View Post
George,

I'm going - this will be the 36th year for me. I'll be at the QRP ARCI meeting all day Thursday and then off the the Hamvention Friday - Sunday morning. Then a flight back to Florida. Over the years I've bought a lot of stuff there.

Regards,
I really would like to go ! but Portugal is a bit far away! And expensive for the flight! I wonder if there is something like that in Europe! Maybe someone can tell me if there is and when!
Regards
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Old 5th May 2010, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Then a flight back to Florida. Over the years I've bought a lot of stuff there.
PM me with your cell #. Bandersnatch and I have exchanged #'s and we will meet sometime just to discuss audio and general stuff. you are welcome to join in.

I will spend most of my time outside in the flea market area.

If you need any reasonably sized stuff hauled back to FL, I will be leaving Dayton Saturday afternoon for the long trip down I-75. I might make one stop in Georgia to pick up some tubes.
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Old 5th May 2010, 03:24 PM   #10
Arnulf is offline Arnulf  Europe
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I really would like to go ! but Portugal is a bit far away! And expensive for the flight! I wonder if there is something like that in Europe! Maybe someone can tell me if there is and when!
Regards
This is a rather big one, all sorts of electronics stuff (including some tubes etc.):

HAM RADIO | Visitors - News

There are plenty of smaller HAM/electronics fairs around Europe, I'm sure you can find something much closer to you than Germany
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