Dayton Hamvention 2016 Recap

This year I was able to attend the Hamvention for only one day. I was on a business trip and did not get back until Friday night at about 11:00 PM. But it was great to still be able to attend the Hamvention for at least one day. So here are some of my comments about this year's Hamvention.

First, the Hara Arena is rapidly decaying. There are all sorts of rumors about Montgomery County wanting the property to the county fairgrounds. There are also rumors about the owners losing money, taxes owed, etc. Clearly there is no money being put into any upkeep of the facility. The condition of Hara this year was the worst I have even seen.

Restrooms were filthy and poorly maintained. Two of my friends used the outside port-a-lets because they were cleaner than the bathrooms!

Attendance was down quite a bit. I am guessing it might have been as low as 16,000. From what I heard from other hams, the place is just too unattractive and turning off many from attending.

The parking lot that host the flea market is also deteriorating. The pavement is crumbling in many places. Very few garbage cans were placed in the flea market. As a result, you saw piles of old electronics abandoned on the ground. Guess the XYL told them to sell it or leave it.

We tried attending the Yaesu Fusion forum, but the room had to be in the mid 80's so it was just too hot to sit in there. Apparently Hara's air conditioning was not working or they could not afford to turn it on. The rest of the forum rooms were also too warm. No forums this year.

Since Yeasu came out with a very affordable Fusion radio, the FTM-3200, I purchased one from Ham Radio Outlet (HRO). At $169 it will give me the opportunity to evaluate and compare the various digital voice methods commonly being used on the VHF/UHF bands. I'll write a blog with a comparison between DStar, DMR and Fusion soon.

Speaking of DStar, Kenwood was showing their new DStar, APRS, FM dual-band handheld. It is supposed to be available around November of this year. This has been rumored since November of last year so it now appears to be reality. Now that a second major manufacturer has begun selling DStar radios, that should put to bed all that FUD about DStar being proprietary and only an Icom standard. The radio looked great as it uses a color screen. The problem is the list price is supposed to be north of $600. Needs to be in the $300 range or it is going to be out of the reach of many hams.

The Europeans were there showing off their concept of a multi-digital mode VHF/UHF radio that supports DStar, DMR, Fusion and FM. The radio is tentatively priced between $800 to $1,000. Kind of high, but might be worth it as everything will be built into one radio. If a group of hams can pull this off, surely Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu can do it also. It's just a crying shame that all the manufacturers could not agree on one standard instead of creating the division by having so many different digital modes.

Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) was showing the JT-65 capability that will soon be added to the DM-780 application within the HRD Suite of fully integrated applications. That is the best ham radio application out there for someone who wants software to do it all. Spoke to Rick at HRD who said they have over 50,000 paid users! If you build and maintain it, they will come!

While on the subject of vendors, there was also a reduction in the number of commercial vendors. For that matter, even the number of flea market vendors seemed down but the rain might have forced many to just give up.

There were a number of niche vendors there showing off their products and there was just too many of those new products to talk about here. More SDR radios, more digital voice hotspots, and a host of other things being discussed on many of the forum boards at eham, QRZ and Yahoo Groups.

All I can say is that DARA better find a new venue fast and find a way to invigorate the Hamvention.


Dayton Hamvention 2015 has come and gone

Another Dayton Hamvention has come and gone. While the weather was warm, there was still the usual rain. Not too bad though as it usually came later in the day on Friday and Saturday.

I did not get too many pictures this year. Just take a look at some of the previous years picture I have on the site to see what it looks like at the Hamvention. But what pictures I did get are pretty funny.

I attended this year with Rod, WI0T, and Russ, WB8ZCC, but Russ only made it on Saturday. Seems he came down with one of those 24 hour bugs on Friday. We all ran into an old friend from the UK, Rod, G3KEL. We met Rod about 10 years years ago at the FDIM get together which runs in conjunction with the Hamvention. Rod missed the last two years so it was good to see him return.

As for new products. Elecraft introduced their new K3S which has more improvements over their previous K3. Nothing really new from TenTec, Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood that has not already been introduced.

CQ Magazine actually made it there and they sure scaled down their booth to a tiny single unit. Some new subscribers asked when they would get their first issue and I heard them being told "about 6 weeks." Think those new customers might be surprised. I did enjoy watching some other current subscribers having lively discussions about delivery and refund issues.

The folks working on the FreeDV/Codec 2 were there showing a small box that will allow encode and decode of FreeDV digital voice without the need for a computer. $200 bucks but the creator did not feel the need to bring them to sell at Dayton! Seriously, that was a bad move. WI0T and I would have each bought one on the spot.

Algoram was showing off their open HT platform. Only issue there is you have to use it in conjunction with your smart phone! That alone turned me off....on to next booth for us. Give me one piece of hardware to carry, not two.

AES was absent again. So that left more business for R&L, HRO, Main Trading, and the rest of the retailers. AES just not what it used to get back in their glory days.

ARRL had a nice exhibit as usual and they always had a number of visitors.

DStar forums were always packed, but folks, quit mixing the newbee information with the information for more experienced DStar users. How many times must we have to listen to the basics presentation!

Good news is that there are now over 3,100 DStar repeaters in the world and still growing. So when people say DMR and Fusion are growing, well they have a long way to go. So if you want to talk to someone no matter where you travel, you might want to get DStar.

DStar's open platform is clearly demonstrated at Dayton. Plenty of add-ons and even non-Icom radios. You won't find things like DVAPs, Hotspots, etc. for DMR and Fusion. While DMR and Fusion may have slightly better audio due to using about twice the bandwidth, those other digital modes still do not have the flexibility of DStar.

The flea market was the usual disappointment. Mostly consists of equipment that should be in a landfill somewhere or recycled for the metal and plastic. Prices for dirty old crap were high. I mean you might as well spend a few more bucks and get new equipment with a warranty.

BTW, some of the vendors inside were selling those Beofeng dual-band handhelds for $29 with charger and battery! Who says ham radio is expensive?

Ham Radio Deluxe confirmed that JT-65 will be added soon to their DM-780 application within HRD. HRD just gets better and better. It's a bargain for what it does and the number of radios it can support. Buy it and pay the annual's worth it!

The big news are the flyers around the Hara Arena saying some remodeling will be taking place for 2016! Great news as Hara is really bad looking. It almost appears that maintenance is just not being done. In one area inside we noticed the roof leaking. More good news in that the air conditioning appeared to be working. So while it looks bad, at least it was reasonably comfortable inside.

All in all, we had a great time and look forward to the next Hamvention in 2016.


Thinking about buying Ten-Tec? Might want to wait until September!

Ten-Tec is moving their headquarters. As a result, they are saying that they are going to have a big sale in September. Here is the announcement from their website:

Dear Ten-Tec customers and friends,

Hamfest at Ten-Tec has been cancelled this year due to our plans to relocate in early fall.

After enjoying 46 years in our headquarters on Dolly Parton Parkway, we are actively seeking a new location in Sevierville that will offer more modern and energy-efficient facilities, a new showroom, and a much-needed upgrade in working environment for staff.

Our current facility and property are already under contract, and, as a result, they will not be available for our annual Hamfest open house and flea market. And, chances are, in September we’ll be neck-high in boxes and crates preparing for our move.

So, in lieu of our weekend Hamfest, we’re planning to celebrate the entire month of September with a moving sale, offering not-to-be-beat discounts and incomparable specials on

Stay tuned for more details about the moving sale. And, in the meantime, come see what’s new at Ten-Tec at Booths 548-550 at Dayton Hamvention, May 16-18.

Jim Wharton, NO4A


So my advice if you are thinking of buying one of their radios at the Dayton Hamvention or sometime during the Summer, try and hold off until September and get a discount. Sounds like you’ll get a much better price if you can wait until September.

A Hamvention Blessing

This was posted by Bill Cahill (AD8BC) on Facebook. Not sure if he wrote it (now verified that yes, Bill actually wrote this) or if Bill reposted something written by someone else. But this “blessing” pretty accurately sums up the Dayton Hamvention. For those of us who attend each year, each line should bring a smile to your face.

A Hamvention Blessing:

Bless the Hamvention, oh Lord we pray,
Heal my feet after walking three days.
Bless the HARA Exhibit Halls,
And the cobwebs that hold up its walls.
Protect me from the lead in its peeling paint,
The McCormick Place it surely ain't.
Bless the old radar detectors that Mendelson’s sells,
Oh my God, what is that smell?
Bless the custom hats in various hues,
And tubes of knockoff Krazy Glue.
Bless the guy with the antenna hat,
And the other guy in the Hat of the Cat.
Bless Gordo giving us exam study tips,
And we pray this year there is no Poopocalypse.
Bless our old friends with whom we chat,
And why are there no Yeasu hats?
Bless the scooters in the lot that roll,
And get caught in the big potholes.
Bless the barbecue sandwiches on which we dine,
Oh God - Remind me to get another PL-259.
Bless the forums about the F.C.Commission,
And Bob Bruninga telling us “it’s Packet, not Position.”
Bless the time I spent with my radio club,
And the beer I drank at the HARA Pub.
With memories of vacuum tubes aglow,
As I drive away down Needmore Road,
Oh Lord I can truly say,
Thank you for these three days in May.

Dayton Hamvention 2013 Recap

Another Dayton Hamvention has come and gone.

The weather was pretty nice most of the time, though there was a quick shower on Saturday morning. Attendance seemed on par with last year. Noticed that a large number of people taking the amateur license exams were passing.

There were a number of vendors missing this year. AES, Ham Station, Scanner Master were the vendors I noticed. But some of the indoor display areas had isles completely empty. Not a lot, but very noticeable to those of us who go to Dayton annually.

Again, as last year, there were a large number of empty flea market spaces. Also, as usual, most of the stuff being sold in the flea market is junk that no one would even put on eBay. It seems to be a recurring theme that the good stuff that will bring increasing bids goes to eBay, while the junk that no one really wants is brought to the flea market. Prices for the junk in many cases is too high and unrealistic. Why would I buy a beat-up and scratched radio with questionable history for $100 less than I can buy one new? But people don't seem to mind bringing that same junk back to hamfest after hamfest. Seems to me, you take what you can get quickly and move on.

As far as the big-five at the Hamvention.

Icom's exhibit was packed as usual. DStar is still hot and growing rapidly. At the DStar forum they indicated that world-wide, there are now over 2,000 DStar repeaters and 50,000+ DStar registered users. The reports that you see on dstarinfo are only for U.S. Gateway 2 registrations and do not include the other gateway infrastructures. So clearly, DStar is even bigger than many of us thought. Icom as usual had a separate DStar display that was packed with people all the time. The ID-51A dual-band DStar radio was flying off the shelves with most vendors sold out by Friday night. HRO some how got another 50 for Saturday and they blew out. This radio has all the world-wide DStar repeaters already loaded. It can program the nearest repeater using its built-in GPS. As usual there was much interest in all the Icom HF offerings.

Kenwood's display seemed lightly attended. The only "new" thing they had was a $7,000 HF rig so since that is way out of the budget of most hams, it was not creating much excitement. Fact is, I have never witnessed such a dismal crowd at the Kenwood display. Probably because there was nothing new.

Yaesu was not giving out their traditional hat. They were giving out mouse pads instead. Yawn. Their display was also lightly attended, though not as bad as Kenwood. Hardly any interest in their new digital VHF/UHF handheld which is finally for sale. The woman who was manning the position could not say much about it. Still no repeater offering from Yaesu. Frankly, Yaesu's entrance into the digital voice world has been a disaster. Yaesu, wake up and go with DStar as that is where the momentum is in the worldwide market.

The DMR Mototrbo folks are trying to make everyone think DMR is overtaking DStar, but their booth was no where to be found. Someone told me yesterday it was located in the ARRL area. I was in the ARRL area at least four times, and did not see them at all. Frankly DMR has so many issues that DStar is continuing to rule and outgrow them. The DMR radios are a nightmare to program. Each radio has to be registered and not the more simple method of registering the ham call sign only. TDMA is reported to having problems when the distance is more than 45 miles. It does not seem to do integrated data and voice as some say it is "capable" of doing. It's not the right technology for ham radio. It's a commercial standard for a commercial market. But some people continue to push a square peg into a round hole.

TenTec was fairly busy all the time. They had a new computer controlled CW QRP radio. Boring. Yet another CW QRP rig for the market (I have a picture of it on the Hamvention 2013 Photo page on this website). Does anyone have any ingenuity? Their new QRP radio the Argonaut VI was not creating a lot of excitement. Many hams have shied away since it is a crippled radio missing 6, 12 and 60 meters. In this day and age given the technology, how can you create an HF radio with missing bands?

Elecraft was packed as usual. Their influence in the U.S. ham market is obviously growing. The fact that they continue to create new products and rapidly bring them to market is why they create excitement at the Dayton Hamvention year after year. TenTec needs to take a lesson from them. They created an all-band QRP rig in a smaller package than TenTec that can also include an antenna tuner, battery and 2 meter module. Why TenTec cannot do the same is beyond me. Elecraft was also not offering any discounts because the demand for their products is so high.

As for other vendors.

Flexradio had a lot of visitors to their booths as usual. Still showing the 6000 series of radios and software, but still no deliveries. Mel K0PFX told me that he has had his order into Flex now for a year and still no radio. The Flex1500 and Flex3000 are still the most economical way to get into an SDR transceiver.

Ham Radio Deluxe is doing well and has a growing following since the new owners have taken over. Great full-featured product for rig control, digital modes, logbook and satellite tracking.

LNR Precision was showing a dual-band CW QRP radio - again yawn - BUT the real exciting thing was a quad-band SSB and CW QRP radio that they will be offering around the Q3/Q4 timeframe. 5 watts and very small. This was really neat and supposed to be less than $500 when offered for sale. Watch for an announcement at

Silent System is a tiny Japanese company who is offering a very small QRP PSK transceiver with built-in display. Connect a keyboard, antenna and power supply, and you have a fully-functional PSK station. The only issue I saw was the power output was only 100 milliwatts. The price was under $300 as I recall and you can get more information or order it at

The FreeDV/Codec2 folks had a nice display in the main arena. They even showed a concept of an open source digital voice handheld.

Palstar was showing their new TR-30 5-Band SSB/CW (full QSK) touch screen transceiver. Great idea, but not yet available, but it should be later this year. My only concern is the price as they quoted it would be around $1,600. Maybe a little high if it were all band, but for only 5 bands I think it is a bit overpriced.

GRE America was there and yet not there. They used to have two booths in the past. One for scanners and the other booth showcasing Alinco. This year it was a combined single booth and none of the usual GRE America folks were there as it looked like all Alinco staff manning the booth. GRE made some of the best scanners in the past. But the parent shut down the scanner line and it looks like GRE America is trying to become independent and restart scanner manufacturing. Not sure where they are in that process.

The ARRL had a lot of visitors to their usual large display. Again, there was a great focus on youth in ham radio.

I expected to see more SDR (software defined radios) this year. WinRadio's booth was scaled down. Bonito had their integrated SDR/Control application on display and it looked very interesting, but I expected to see a few more vendors.

Summary - In general the Hamvention is THE hamfest of the year. But clearly the continued poor economy is keeping away vendors and some hams. Another thing that might be keeping away hams is that there just wasn't anything really new to generate the interest in going. Prices on radios and the like were not as good as they have been in the past. Even the cheap Chinese radios were not discounted as much this year. In fact, some of the radios offered could be purchase for less money on Amazon.

I would also suggest that the Hamvention start giving new and smaller ham radio vendors the chance to come for the first year for a very discounted price ($100?) on a first-come-first-served basis for the open slots on the inside. It's a shame to see those precious spaces sitting their empty. I know new upstarts that would love to come to Dayton, but find the cost too much for their budgets. Come on Hamvention committee, let's give them some assistance while growing the Hamvention with new products.


It's Hamvention Week!

Not only is it Mother's Day today, but it is also the start of Hamvention Week!

Can't wait to head up to the greatest ham radio show on Earth.

Rod, WI0T will be coming up from St. Louis, Missouri to join me for this annual expedition to Hamvention.

I'll post a report on the Hamvention early next week so stayed tuned.

Dayton Hamvention 2012 Recap

Another Dayton Hamvention has come and gone. I spent Thursday night thru Saturday afternoon with Rod WI0T and Russ WB8ZCC at the Hamvention. Thursday evening was the usual pre-Dayton drinking festivities. WB8ZCC suffered with a headache on Friday.

The good news is that the weather was great. It was the first Dayton Hamvention in recent memory where is did not rain at some point during the weekend. In fact, the skies were blue and beautiful and temperature in the 80s.

The crowd seemed about the same as last year to me, but then on Monday I was listening to the Dayton DStar repeater and the hams there said that the attendance was up this year to around 25,000 people. That means growth again. Great news for the Hamvention going forward.

Flea market vendors were down again. That's OK since most of the vendors who did come had nothing but junk at premium prices. I suspect a number of them toted the stuff home since they apparently think their junk is worth just a little less than buying something new with a warranty. I just don't understand what people are thinking with these asking prices. Some say it is because of eBay, but I don't believe it. Most of this stuff was junk and most of the stuff on eBay is of decent quality, or at least that is my experience.

In any case I anticipated that there would be a big crowd at the Yaesu booth looking at their new digital handheld radio the FT-1DR/E. To my surprise, there was very little interest and no crowd whatsoever. Just the usual people stopping by to get their free Yaesa hat (by the way, someone told me that in Japanese, Yaesu means "free hat." In any case, when I tried discussing the new digital offering with the Yaesu people, about all they could tell me was that "it is not P25 and not DStar."

From what I can tell the bandwidth is twice as wide as DStar, hence faster data speeds, it has a built-in GPS, and that it is capable of taking and sending very low resolution pictures. Since the handheld cannot display the picture I am not sure what the full benefit is with that function. Furthermore, even if sending it to a base unit allowing them to view it on a PC, the picture is so low in resolution it would not be worth much to me. The radio does attach the position of the radio to the picture so you can return to the place where it was taken. In marketing we would call it flash and trash.

It does allow for a micro SD card to back-up data and store GPS positions just like the current DStar handheld radio the ID-31. It also has digital ARTS, but I have never seen or known anyone to use ARTS on their analog radios.

There is no mention of call-sign routing or being able to use the GPS function to transfer position to the APRS network as there is today with DStar.

You can apparently send Group Short Messages and we all know it is not easy to send messages with the keyboards on anyone's handheld….at least not fast.

It appears that this Yaesu digital radio is really just trying to migrate a commercial technology into ham radio. We all know that DStar from the ground up was designed specifically for amateur radio. So now you have a choice between a technology designed for amateur radio and one designed for commercial users and shoe horned for you. An easy selection in my opinion.

So Yaesu was not selling any of the radios, with little excitement from amateurs, with no one to talk to because of zero Yaesu digital capable repeaters, why would you buy it? Again, I think Yaesu made a big mistake with this direction since DStar is already an established digital standard that works extremely well in spite of Yaesu's attempt to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) by saying it is old technology. Don't believe it folks.

Well I had to have some fun with Yaesu and mock their poor decision to go in another digital direction. WI0T, WB8ZCC and I did wear some yellow T-Shirts I had produced prior to the Hamvention that said "DStar, THE Digital Standard for Amateur Radio" on the front and "DStar Accept No Substitutes" on the back. We wore them the entire day on Saturday. People loved it for the most part. A few made negative comments, probably the old hate to change CW forever crowd. We also wore them at the Yaesu booth and stood around talking. Yaesu folks didn't seem to care and since most people passed on taking a look at their new FT-1DR/E, the average ham didn't even get the meaning.

In summary, it looks to me that the Yaesu digital offering is DOA.

On the other hand, DStar is alive and well with tremendous and growing interest at the Hamvention. The DStar gatherings on Thursday and Friday nights were packed with hams. Icom gave a presentation on the history of DStar that was very interesting. It outlined why they selected the Codec and GMSK for the base of DStar. Once you listen to that presentation, it all makes sense.

The DStar education forum was also packed with hams eager to learn about the DStar technology and all that it can offer.

Many of the vendors of DStar equipment had sold most of the on-site DStar inventory by Saturday morning. The ID-31 handhelds were the first to sell-out as that is the latest and greatest easy to use DStar handheld complete with GPS and the entire DStar repeater database. With the GPS, the ID-31 can automatically find and program the radio for the closest repeater. Of course since it has the built-in GPS, it can also send your position to the APRS network. So DStar is growing very rapidly now and just exploding in growth. With close to a thousand world-wide DStar repeaters now and all 50 states covered, it is no wonder the digital excitement is with DStar and not Yaesu.

TenTec showed off the new QRP transceiver and the new QRP amplifier. The amp looks very interesting. The QRP transceiver is missing 12 meters. TenTec said it would not fit. Huh? So Elecraft can bring out a 10 watt QRP radio with 160 meters up to 6 meters in a smaller box and TenTec cannot even get all the HF bands to fit into a larger box. Very puzzling to me.

Alinco showed off their new SDR transceiver. Frankly, it looks like their regular HF transceiver without the panel and with a computer to control it. No comparison to the Flexradio SDR radios.

Flexradio showed off their new and coming new SDR radio. This is aimed towards the money crowd with a price to be around $7,000. Out of my league, but I am sure it is going to be great.

Kenwood showed their new 990 HF radio. Wow, this thing is a monster and rumored to be around $10K list price. Again, for the money crowd, but the radio looked great.

Go to my Dayton Hamvention 2012 Photo Album for pictures of all the new offerings.

The ARRL booth was crazy with activity and helps to create a lot of excitement around ham radio.

W4PC and the Ham Radio Deluxe gang were there to show off what is coming in the new 6.0 release. They had a line of people waiting to pay $60 for support and the next HRD version 6.0 which of course will start the paid subscription model of HRD. HRD is by far the best radio control, multimode and logging program out there supporting all the major radios with one license. I know hams are use to mostly free software. But if we want people to continue to support and develop their software, we're going to have to start paying them to do so. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to use and like a program, only to have the author drop support because it takes up too much of his free time. These guys and gals need to get compensated for their time. Let's support HRD folks.

There were also many vendors selling all those new cheap China radios. Many people were buying the Wouxun, Baofeng, TYT and some other weird name radios. Hey, they're pretty much cheap throw-a-ways. I mean were else can you get a dual band four or five watt handheld with rapid charger for $65 bucks?

So we had a great time and there is so much more to talk about. After all there are hundreds of vendors and I would wear my fingers out typing comments about all of them so I just tried to hit the highlights.

I know gas prices are up, but the trip to Dayton each year is well worth it.

Looking forward to Dayton Hamvention 2012!

The Dayton Hamvention is just a couple of weeks away. The excitement is building. Seems manufacturers have been holding off on announcing new products instead preferring to make the new stuff public at the Hamvention!

The product pricing is great at Dayton. Anything you could possible want can be bought at the Hamvention.

Plenty of friends to meet, food to eat and alcohol to drink! Three days of fun!

I'll let you know what I saw, bought and saw at Dayton. So visit after the Dayton Hamvention to read my comments and see the pictures.

Made it to Dayton after all!

As it turned out, I was able to go to Dayton this year on Friday. Just had to cut it short in order to get back to Cincinnati in time to pack up and head to Atlanta for the weekend. So here are some quick observations.

Vendors in the flea market were down substantially from last year. Still good, but a lot of open spaces. My personal opinion is that the fee for a space is too high for a casual seller. DARA should open those spaces each day of the flea market on a first-come-first-served basis for $20. A small seller cannot make a profit for what DARA currently charges.

I missed the explosion of the sanitary sewer on Saturday. What a mess it must have been. I am sure the smell was not any worse than normal. Hams really need to change their diets!

OK, now for the good stuff. Flexradio was hot and hard to get into their booth to look at their stuff. So I really could not get in to see if there was anything new. Whatever they had was creating a lot of excitement.

Yaesu did not have any hats this year. Something about them getting stuck in customs....yeah, right. Well no hats meant that traffic in their booth was down quite a bit.

TenTec was showing the new Eagle transceiver. Looked nice. Price is too high especially compared to the new Kenwood TS-590S which seems to be very similar in performance.

Icom and Kenwood had their new radios there. Icom booth was crazy as usual and Kenwood picked up on activity.

D-Star was still creating a lot of new excitement. The dedicated D-Star booth was always busy. D-Star is really picking up in popularity. Once you get on it, you don’t want to get off it. D-Star and digital is the future of ham radio.

ARRL was also busy as usual. They have an excellent presence at Dayton.

Byonics had a lot of new items for APRS and continues to generate a lot of excitement. Peak had a lot of reconditioned weather stations to go with the home APRS stations at an excellent price.

Wouxun radios were being snapped up quickly. At $85 to $105 depending on model and vendor, people were buying them like crazy. I heard many vendors sold-out of the Wouxun radios quickly. If you got one, find the KG-UV Commander Software as it is much easier to use than the crappy software from Wouxun.

GRE/Alinco had large booth. The exciting thing there was that they will be bringing out a new 900Mhz/1.2Ghz dual-band handheld. That is great and could help 900 Mhz take off. I noticed a growth in repeaters on that band, I just don’t know what radios people are using to access those repeaters. Well it appear Alinco is coming to the rescue.

Looking forward to next year and being able to spend more time there in 2012.

APRS and Hamvention

I always love this time of year. When all the hams start coming into Dayton, my APRS station map becomes absolutely cluttered with the icons of stations using APRS. It is so cool to see all the hams traveling to Dayton.

Many hams don’t get APRS, but I find it to be a lot of fun and it is always interesting to see who is traveling through the area. Fun stuff with the hobby.

Looks like I will be going to Dayton

Looks like I will be going to Dayton this year after all...if but for a few hours on Friday.

Russ, WB8ZCC and I will be heading up early Friday and coming back mid-afternoon. So it looks like my record of attending Dayton will not be broken.

I will try to post some Dayton pictures on the website for those who may have to miss it this year.

No Dayton Hamvention for me this year...Bummer!

Well it had to happen eventually. My string of going to the Dayton Hamvention was destined to be broken eventually.

I think I have not missed a Hamvention in close to 20 years. Ever since I moved back to Cincinnati from St. Louis I believe I have made every Hamvention. This year though I will be unable to go.

It appears my darling daughter scheduled our grandson’s first birthday party the same day as I usually attend Dayton. Of course I have to make my grandson’s first birthday party.

So no Hamvention for me. No spending a bunch of money on more toys I could do without. No collecting the annual ARRL Hamvention button. No smelling restrooms. No fun with the ham radio friends.

I will miss going this year. See you there next year!

Dayton Hamvention 2011 Possibly a Bust?

It's no secret that most of our radio and associated equipment comes from Japan. With the recent terrible disasters in Japan, I cannot help but wonder what effects it will have on the annual Dayton Hamvention. Usually Dayton pricing is the best pricing of the year, but if radios are now going to be in short supply, why discount them heavily?

Many manufacturers have been without production capabilities for a number of weeks and who knows how long it will take for the country to recover. However, I believe that Kenwood may be immune somewhat from the effects since they do most of their manufacturing in Malaysia and not in Japan.

In any case, amateurs all across the world are praying for our fellow hams and non-hams in Japan for a speedy recovery.