delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 6
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Jay, WB8TKL, has been attending the Dayton Hamvention for nearly 40 years. He’s pretty much seen it all. I’ve asked him if I could post the comments he made about the conditions at this year’s Hamvention on our club mailing list, and he graciously agreed to allow me to do so. Thanks, Jay! Dan, KB6NU

Hamvention, 2018 - as seen by a seasoned veteran

 The paving of roads through the Hamvention flea market area was a HUGE improvement!!!  Vehicles moving in to set up DID NOT create large gouges in the grass, creating pools of mud and water, as they had done last year. In a few places between the road surface and the front of *some* display tables had *some* mud, but nothing any reasonable person wouldn’t expect in any flea market after significant rain and foot traffic.  Doing so would be like complaining that we have RAIN on this planet (grin). [Unfortunately, for me, it rained most of the day on Friday, and because I was teaching on Saturday, that really cut into my flea market time….Dan] The approach into the Raspberry-Pi tent became muddy on Friday, but was quickly covered with wood chips and a rubber mat, and the surrounding area covered with a heavy layer of straw.  DARA took quick action in such conditions. Since we had cooler temperatures in the overcast on Friday and Saturday, the tents remained comfortable.  The tents last year had low ceilings but this year the tents were structurally improved, stronger, and had a ceiling roughly 10 feet higher than last year.  Larry Camp WB8R who spent his entire time inside one of these tents was VERY satisfied with the improvements that had been made. Those that had been attending Hara Arena in the past may have noticed that large sections of the arena did NOT have air conditioning in the last dozen years, yet we lived despite the sometime hot and muggy conditions. I am confident that we will survive similar conditions at Greene County Fairgrounds. We ARE a tough lot… Food options were expanded this year, but sadly, so were the prices. Most everything that cost 4 to 6 dollars last year were now 6 to 10 dollars.  It appeared that ALL vendors increased their prices more aligned with a Fair rather than a Hamfest.  One vendor, serving Poutine, was only charging $4 for a good sized meal, so we frequented them :) [I didn’t notice that so much myself. Maybe I just chose the right food vendors. :) On Saturday, I had a “burger combo,” which include a burger, chips, and a drink for $7…….Dan] Signage was improved both in the Fairgrounds as well on roads outside and many miles away from the fairgrounds.  Informational announcements were being made on 1620 KHz AM, 145.525 FM, and of course the 146.94 Talk-In.  And ALL of the Forums were live streamed to the Internet, and are available on the Hamvention.Org website if you missed them. [I don’t think this is quite right. Tom, W8TAM, gave a talk on Parks on the Air at 9:15 am Friday morning, and I didn’t see anyone there streaming the talk. Also, I couldn’t find the recordings of those forums that were recorded when I went searching for them the other day…Dan] Forum rooms were increased from only four to now five rooms.  So there was much more to choose from.  I only got to 3 forums, but enjoyed each one! The Xenia schools were again closed for Friday classes and their school buses were available as Shuttles from various designated parking lots all around the area.  Mary Anne and I used lot #1A-B which was just 4 miles from our motel. The drivers do get paid, but they had Tip jars if you wanted to bring a big smile to their faces :) The buses no longer drop you off in a back lot leaving you to have to ride in a wagon pulled behind a farm tractor.  That worked for the first day, but quickly churned up the grass soccer field.  So they shifted the bus drop-off/pick-up to the area behind ADA parking.  It’s a short walk on pavement to the main gate, or the golf cart shuttles were in ample supply to drive you over to the gate. We had absolutely NO complaints with how the whole operation was run. And though the rain caused many vendors to cover up their tables (understandable), those that brought canopies continued to sell. And the ARROW flea market space (#7522), thanks to Steve Gladden N8LBV, was equipped with an AREDN node and a 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz Access Point (AP) where nearby members could log on and browse the services offered by the Miami Valley AREDN group.  Always fun to have some techie toys to play with while relaxing at the booth :) On Sunday we had clear skies and sun, and it reached into the EIGHTIES and yet, the tents were comfortable to be in as were the buildings. It was a very satisfying Hamvention.  And before departing our motel, we made reservations for next year. See you at Hamvention 2019!