Club News‎ > ‎

Club Members Report on Hamvention 2017

posted May 23, 2017, 9:24 AM by Gary Gifford, Jr.
Here are the experiences and observations of Hamvention 2017 by Paul Andrews, N8NYI...

     Members Attend 2017 Hamvention

With most of our members back from the Hamvention at its new location at the Greene County Fairgrounds, some coherent observations and comments are in order.  Let’s start with the location itself.  The first reaction is that they have more room in which to set up than the previous location.  To be totally fair, the new location had some serious problems on Friday with opening day traffic and parking.  I give kudos to the DARA team and the local law enforcement folks as those were smoothed out on Saturday.  More of the onsite parking was open on Saturday than was open on Friday.  I think that was done to protect the grass area.

From our experience (Joan, N8YFF, and Paul, N8NYI), we found the park and ride in to be enjoyable from several aspects.  First, we did not have to contend with the close in traffic and parking problems.  Second was the opportunity to talk with other hams during the ride in and out.  We did not have to wait very long to pick up a bus either going to or coming from the fairgrounds.  Admittedly, we parked north of Yellow Spring at Young’s Jersey Dairy (more on them later).  This was the first lot that we came to coming South from Springfield on U.S. Rte 68.  Friday, the talk in station was nuts so we took the first opportunity and did not regret it either day.

Vendor wise, all of the usual suspects were present except for the defunct AES.  There were vendors present from at least 6 countries outside the United States.  Given the international nature of the hobby, five national radio groups beside the ARRL were present, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Qatar. In addition to the national clubs, 10-10 International, the Young Ladies Radio League, and the Quarter Century Wireless Association had booths and were taking memberships.  In the way of new equipment, a big emphasis was on software defined radios with Flexware and a couple of other companies present.  With the exception of the building where the big retractable tower was put right in a main walkway, the aisle ways made in very easy to move around.  Between each of the main building, the fair board positioned sections of portable grandstands for rest and recuperation.

One of the biggest complaints in the last years at Hara was the food choices.  DARA said that they improve that and did so.  There were some 17 different food vendors on site with all types of food.  Joan and I did not sample much on site, but we hit Young’s Jersey Dairy both days at the main location across from the parking that we used. Young’s is working dairy farm with their own creamery and cheese plant. They do great ice cream and sandwiches at their main location and were serving a reduced menu at the fairgrounds.

As for the flea market, the majority was inside of the horse track in front of the grandstand.  Depending on which gate you used to enter the flea market, you had a short steep slope to contend with.  This is the area where you get a break from walking on hard surfaces as this area is grass.  Before the rain late Friday afternoon, you could walk with ease.  There was plenty of radio gear available from all brands with related accessories.  I noticed a lot of our “local” products for sale (Astatic D-104’s).  I did not see any LDG tuners for sale in the flea market.  By Saturday morning, between the rain and all of the motorized traffic, the middle of the flea market aisles were becoming quite muddy and rutted. I think that will be watched in the future

The members who attended were Jack, Jake, and Troy Scufaro, Matt Mitchem, Tim Price, Joan and Paul Andrews.  Joan and Paul took in both Friday and Saturday.  All in all, the Hamvention remains a must do and see event.