Saturday, May 19, 2018

Dayton Hamvention 2018

     Friday, I went to the Dayton Hamvention.  I overslept, having gone to bed around 11:00 p.m., in part due to a series of silly time-wasters that consumed my packing time Thursday morning: late departure, late arrival, overslept.

     Perhaps it was just as well.  But I'll get back to that.

    The second year in the new Hamvention venue finds the parking area is still a swamp.  If you don't have 4WD or at least high ground clearance, consider one of the off-site parking and shuttle bus options.

     The flea market remains good.  The food choices are widely varied -- I had a BLT for lunch as good as any I've ever had!  The big halls for the various vendors are pretty nice, though I almost missed the Vibroplex booth, and Begali keys had a nice large, working display of all their keys.  Pietro Begali has perfected the "sideswiper" key and I am longing for one -- alas, the price is high (as befits so lovely and wonderful an example of design and construction) and it is massively heavy, or I would already have one.

     I never did find where they have located the smaller organizations.  (It was on the program but I never found a place to sit down and open it up.) ARRL and RSGB were very much in evidence and AMSAT practically had their own wing, as befits amateur radio's own space program.

     The drive from Richmond to Xenia was terrifying: I kept encountering bands of extremely heavy rain, rain so hard traffic speed would drop and drop and drop; we'd all be down to 40 mph and I would still be unhappy with how draw ahead I couldn't see.  About a third of the semi-trailer rigs opted to pull to the side for the worst downpours.  It didn't start to clear up until I reached and mostly passed Dayton, and took a long, meandering arc down a U. S. high and through part of Xenia, Onion near Antioch College.  It almost out-Bohemians Broad Ripple, complete to an eatery named "The Smoking Octopus," with a very octopodean brick wall along the sidewalk. Just what it might be smoking, I'm not sure -- possibly itself.   So I was kind of wobbly and post-white-knuckly when I parked at the fairgrounds, not much helped by a breakfast that had consisted of a couple of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (love 'em!) and a cup of coffee.

     The drive back was better and I'm actually writing this Friday evening, after a drive-through dinner on my way back to the hotel.  I plan to go to bed early, and hope to get a nice breakfast tomorrow morning.  The charger for this Surface RT was left behind when I packed, so I decided to get the next blog post done while I could.

    The Hamvention was okay this year.  I didn't buy anything big, though I was tempted -- I want a Globe King transmitter, or one of the big old desktop Collins AM transmitters.  There were several of the latter in the flea market, at attractive prices -- but I cannot lift them, I have no place to keep one at home right now, and most of them had been rained on.  It's like the grapes said in the old Greek fable, "The fox was probably toothless anyway."

     That fractured fable is a pretty good indication of my level of exhaustion -- I walked and walked and walked, most of it on muddy gravel.  Off to bed now.


Anonymous said...

Nice reference to the sour grapes.

Old NFO said...

Thanks for the report, and maybe next year...

RandyGC said...

Went Saturday, picked up a few accessories for the HT I bought at Ft. Wayne last year, but could only put in about 4 hours before the legs and feet said No Mas!

The road grindings they laid down in the portion of the flea market in the race track infield helped navigation quite a bit. As a bonus, the loose, uneven asphalt surface gave the place a touch of the old school Hara flea market1 ;-)

Mostly I got to see and talk with folks I only see at Hamvention or Ft Wayne and see some folks I usually only talk to on the air. So overall a success.

Maybe next year our schedules will mesh for that eye ball QSO (or Ft Wayne this fall)


pigpen51 said...

I had an old Globe King that I used as a transmitter with a Heathkit receiver that I built way back in the day ( 1983-84). I ended giving most of my equipment to a missionary headed to Togo, Africa. And I also gave him my automatic keyer from Heathkit, built by another Ham. I made a sideswiper key that I used for awhile, as a novice, on cw. I had a 25 watt rig made with a 6L6 tube and a 600 volt, center tap transformer. It used plug in coils and xtals, and was fun to use, built by myself and a friend. I also had a Heathkit HW7, that was also great, and I made a lot of contacts on that rig.
I have my General license now, after getting my Tech license, now that there is no code requirement, it seems like it is somehow not the same, but it is still meaningful to me. I am not on HF right now, I just can't afford to get a decent rig at the moment, the prices for the things I used to have are so expensive, it is unreal.