Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My first annual pre-post-Dayton writeup

About a week from now, you'll be seeing all the Dayton Hamvention® post-event writeups. Due to work and life schedules, I've never had the opportunity to go there myself, but I've read the reports for each of the nine years that I've been a ham to see what I missed. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I thought I'd get the jump on the writeups and do my own post-event posting before the event even started.

The trip out to Dayton was uneventful/unbelievably exciting as usual. We headed out early so that we we could visit the Air Force Museum, and on the way we passed a giant antenna farm. We got to the hotel and went to our usual restaurant, where we ran into a bunch of other hams.

The next day, we started walking the flea market. We couldn't believe how crowded/empty it was compared to previous years! Of course, it rained continuously/intermittently all afternoon. It was amazing to see the number of out-of-shape hams driving around in carts while eating bags of pork rinds. Using the outdoor "facilities" was an experience that I wouldn't wish on the worst lid.

We headed into the Hara Arena, which was as run-down as ever. We all agreed that they should just tear down the place and move the Hamvention® somewhere else, though of course after hours of arguments nobody could figure out exactly where that might be.
Using the indoor "facilities" was an experience that I wouldn't wish on the worst lid.

The vendor exhibits inside the arena were really crowded/empty compared to last year, and a bunch of major vendors {didn't bother to even show up/surprised everyone with the new goodies on display}. We were disappointed that our favorite manufacturer wasn't willing to sell us their brand-new state-of-the-art rig for 90% off list price. We'll never deal with them again!

We ran into a bunch of DXing/contesting buddies and wound up heading out to dinner with them. After that, we went back to the hotel and visited a few of the suites, where we ran into more DXing/contesting buddies. We ate too much pizza, drank too much beer then headed back to the room.

The next morning, we headed back to the flea market where it rained some more and was really hot/cold. We saw a bunch of guys dressed oddly, and were annoyed at the non-ham stuff that was being sold, although we did pick up some nice potholders. We also saw a bunch of vehicles with enough antennas to make NASA jealous.

We attended a bunch of seminars which were all great, except the rooms were always too small and we had to stand next to a bunch of people who smelled bad. We attended the big dinner and it was great seeing all the famous hams in attendance.

The next day, we made one more pass through the flea market where it was still raining. We picked up 1000' of some kind of feedline really cheap, but wished we'd had one of those electric carts because we had to walk 2 miles, uphill, back to the car.

The trip back home took much longer than expected due to the horrible traffic. If only there was some form of communications that we could have used to communicate with all the other hams on the road!