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.


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.

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.