Some good planning on Sarah’s part yielded a bridal shower for her sister scheduled on the same weekend as the Hamvention. Huge win.
- Speaking of huge wins, there was no sewer back up this year.
- Like the last time I attended in 2011, I’m pleased to see more younger (than me) hams in attendance. A high-ranking ARRL official noted to me the “energy and enthusiasm” present in this generation of young hams that was not present 15 years ago (this year marks my 20th year as a ham, but I didn’t mention that). Attendance was still thin compared to my first visit in the mid 1990s.
- Deals. I stimulated the economy by purchasing a small CDE rotor for my VHF activities, an HP server power supply for a future solid state amplifier project (>55 amps at 50 volts), a couple of 900-MHz antennas, and some miscellaneous small parts. I sold some junk to partially cover that expense.
- People. Ran into a lot of old friends and made some new ones. This is really why I go to Dayton, well, that and the junk. K8MFO tells me there are Bureau cards coming. W8AV has 930s for me to work on. W2NAF had people for me to meet. AD8P was able to win himself a pizza from an unnamed W5 in the “SB-200 challenge” of correctly differentiating an SB-200 from an SB-220 at a distance of 20 feet—a tribute to the W5′s failure to distinguish the two until after the sale last year.
- W2NAF has written an article about our trip to Adak (NA-039) that was published in the June 2013 issue of CQ. It has a lot more background detail than what I wrote on the blog. Check it out. I picked up a copy of that and the May 2013 issue which has the 2012 CQ WW CW results in it.
- Products. I just don’t care that much about new products. The Ten-Tec Rebel that several people have already discussed is a cool idea. I know that Ten-Tec took some flak for not opening up the Orion SDR core when they produced it. But, let’s be realistic, people. Hams would have bricked those suckers in a heartbeat. A sandbox “open source” radio is a step in the right direction, but I question what a ham can really customize that matters without screwing it up. Maybe I’m just not visionary enough. Almost 10 years ago now, I interned in the R&D lab at a large consumer appliance manufacturer as an undergraduate my supervisor was always saying, “How can we make this attractive to the [hardware] hackers?”
- Guns. The Hamvention web site was very specific that the Trotwood Police Department would be actively enforcing Hara Arena as a non-gun zone. Seriously? It’s a ham radio convention. Bill Goodman is there at least once a month the rest of the year. Do hams bring their go-kits to gun shows? They must. Inquiring minds want to know…
- Suites. I did not do the contester suite thing. Was thinking of going on Friday night but fell asleep in my in-laws’ living room. This is a recurring problem when I visit so no one bothered to awaken me.
Was the trip worthwhile? I think so.