Dayton 2012

The Dayton Hamvention® has been around for a long time. Hard as it may be to believe, the event has been around longer than most of the radio hams who now attend it year after year. It hasn’t always been conducted at Hara Arena though it has been there since 1964. In earlier days the event took place at a time of the year when the weather is not stable in this part of the country and attendees had to prepare for any contingency.

Moving the event into May certainly has helped.

And that was evident this year – the weather was spectacular. Some might complain that it was a little on the “warm” side as the weekend wore on, but I suspect those would also complain about finding a four-leaf clover!

By now the cat’s out of the bag and you’ve no doubt heard all the big announcements – the new Flex-Radio, the Yaesu FTdx3000, the Kenwood TS990S. Of course many other new items were shown and discussed and all of these will undoubtedly be dissected in painstaking detail in ham radio blogs and magazines over the coming weeks and months.

But the most important story is that another Hamvention® has come and gone and it provided us with yet another opportunity to meet new friends and reconnect with a few old one’s. Most of all, it imprinted a few new memories on the gray matter – memories conjured over one magical weekend.

A stroll through the flea-market is like a trip back in time…

On a more practical level, Hamvention® always provides opportunity. Local news outlets reported that this year’s event was expected to generate $6 million dollars in revenue for local businesses. It’s where enterprising hams share their ideas and new wares and as a result many will go on to market success. Having a great product debut at Dayton often guarantees financial success for these entrepreneurs while a big flop can mean disaster.

But Dayton is about so much more than just the bottom line.

Much of the talk about Dayton over the coming months will focus on the new product offerings, the attendance, speculation on the number of inside exhibits and outside booths, and the inevitable endless debates about why the event should be moved to a more modern facility in an entirely different location.

It would be nice if during these conversations that we not forget that Hamvention® has been around since 1952 and has become yet another in a long line of traditions in our century-old hobby. Like the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch, Morse code, the ARRL and DXing.

Dayton is a permanent marker in the sands of ham radio time and its place in radio history is forever secure.

Jeff Davis, KE9V, is a regular contributor to and writes from Indiana, USA.

One Response to “Dayton 2012”

  • Ron Grant N9XEQ:

    I and some of my friends had a great, but tiring day Saturday for those of us who are over 60. I found some great deals in the flea market and some really good deals inside. I did buy a Kenwood TM-V71A and a Baofeng UV-5r. I jumped on a Kenwood TH-D7A(g) in fleamarket it was such a great deal and couldn’t pass it up. I know that I will probably pass this great deal on to someone else, but for me that’s one of the reasons to go to Dayton.

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