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Dayton 2012 – Thinking and Thinking Hard…. 14 - January - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Contest University, Dayton Hamvention, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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Have had some rough Dayton plans on the boards for month or so.

As usual I am a bit torn. I’d really like to see the people and spend some time at the various functions. I’ve relatives in the area I’d like to see as well.

Then I keep coming back to Hara, the rough side of Dayton with its problems, the investment in time (and money) to do the Dayton run, the likelihood of$4.00+/gallon fuel, with Chicago DOUBLING their tolls for 2012 to circumnavigate the windy city, and then the risks of playing the odds on personal safety.

Having a second cousin robbed at gunpoint at the Dayton Greyhound Station at Christmas puts me even more on edge,

Hearing that Dayton is averaging a murder a night or more.

I hear from Dayton area hams that they won’t go out and about without their conceal carry pistols.

I’ve couple friends who say they would like to go as a group, so perhaps in the end I’ll get past my objections, but it sure is tempting to pick another event to attend.

It doesn’t have to be this way. I attend several tradeshows each year, including some that are either modest fee like Dayton or fully subsidized for the attendees, and none are as seedy & unsafe as a show at the Hara in Dayton.

With a whole lot of use-or-lose air-miles to use in 2012 would I be better off to run the TSA Security-Gauntlet and do one of the other events?

What are your thoughts?

73

Steve
K9ZW

(No)Dayton Plans for 2010 10 - April - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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A combination of reasons, but I’m passing on the Dayton Hamvention this year.

No bones about it, I find the Hara a dump, but I do like meeting the people!

With a finite number of vacation days (I’ve used all my carry-overs) and the expenses to attend the Hamvention (travel and a place to stay), and the lack of either a pressing shopping list or a “Dayton Buddy” to travel with, I’ve decided to plan something else this year.

That I can speed-read/listen/watch my way through so much of the Dayton content via various webinars, podcasts and streaming efforts, makes the 480 miles each way seem like an undue penalty. Given that a solid third of the route for me is under construction this year…. well it makes a long drive into a big project.

When reasons not to do something seem to be mounting, they often pile-on – of the few tentative Dayton 2010 ideas I had, one had been to visit UltraCell, a Fuel Cell manufacturer who did seminars at Dayton 2009.  Turns out they are deep “do do” having made public their need for lots of cash, and just put everyone on short hours and started terminating their Government Compliance team.  The ham who presented last year is gone too. Seems it is as likely to find them sold or shuttered by the time Dayton rolls around.

Then found that a customer I had hoped to catch on the way will be out of country for several weeks, including Hamvention weekend.

My Contest University sequence is really completed – I recognized that last year when I attended for the their third year, and I think they recognized it this year when they didn’t even email out details to past attendees.  Realistically last year was for the benefit of my son Tom KC9JGD and the present concept of a two-year program is a good idea.  I’m not very keen on Webinar informational presentations though – I didn’t even watch the one on their site – as you can’t “speed watch” a webinar which means they are big timewaster compared to material I can read at my pace.

Enough K9ZW – the cup is not half empty!!  Now it is time for me to plan out what I will do in leu of Dayton.  Do I attend the NRA show the same weekend (with my membership level I get into all the “good stuff”) or just do an Island Activation?

Hmmm….  more soon!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Hamvention Sunday – Home Again – Dayton 2009 post 9 17 - May - 2009

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio.
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Home again, without incident!

When one plans travels one simply must allow extra time for roads. After speaking with several folk our route reverted to through Chicago again, but on the old Tollway & Skyway. We had been promised that construction was brief, perhaps 10 miles.

That was true, but what was unforeseen was the Express Lanes being closed forcing traffic to crawl for an extra hour.

In the end it was about the same at the Tri-State which goes around, and other than a change of scenery the same chaos.

Did give us plenty of time to discuss the great people we met, the classes we attended, the things we saw and the few things I bought.

I’m going to mull on our discussions and post a follow up or two this week (that is code for “I am tired from driving and worry I won’t make sense when I write!”)

Already unpacked, dealt with the mail (a nice packet of QSLs from NIDXA #9 Bureau with at least two new countries confirmed – yeah!) and sent my Hamvention stuff off to the side to look at later this week.

Best regards and Thank You to those who made Contest University, the two Dinners, the Hamvention and who spent time with us as we tried to learn a bit more about the hobby!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Hamvention Sunday -The Long Road Home – Dayton 2009 post 8 17 - May - 2009

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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Finishing packing up and reading for the trip home.

Spent some time on Google Map and the wide swing around Chicago idea looks to add more miles than we can possibly make up on just trading better roads for shorter miles. Thinking we will do it anyway, as hours of looking at 10 ft high roadside soundwalls lacks a lot of traveler’s appeal.

Staying at the Crown Plaza where our three functions were (Contest University, SWODXA DX Dinner and Contest Dinner) certainly has improved my experience, but at a cost.

The Hara Arena is a disaster. I saw one ham down in a serious trip & fall due, and during a forum say a ham drop from the lack of ventilation. Ceiling tiles so stained that they have turned shades of blackish-green with the mold that has taken hold abound. The remote Salem Mall parking lot will need a forester to clear the trees overgrowing parts of the lot if it is to be kept in use.

Sorry Ohio, but if the Hara was in my home state it is doubtful it could open to the public without being brought up to code. One wonders how they are able to insure it fir public use as it is, or maybe one should wonder what sort of insurance they do have?

Having basically completed my Contest University cycle of getting educated enough to get up to speed, I will be reflecting on if Dayton 2010 is in my personal cards, or if I will do something else. It may be time to do a Winter Escape to a warm weather show or perhaps catch one of the overseas shows.

In the Internet World an investment of 1/4 the time I’ve spent traveling for Dayton 2009 alone could get me up to speed on new products and offers. Most of the major vendors extend their “Dayton Special Offers” to their Internet sales for the duration of the show.

Perhaps if I was an avid Flea-Market person, or had a presentation to make, or had a product to promote.

Of course if any of my son’s want to experience a future Dayton I’ll be on it, as what father wouldn’t be!

Maybe it is the melancholy of hitting the road knowing that with the next morning I will be back in a busy work schedule is hitting me, but I can’t keep from wondering if my eldest son Tom KC9JGD wasn’t along if I would have pulled out after Friday touring the show floor?

More Dayton thoughts – more thoughts….

73

Steve
K9ZW

Hamvention Saturday Contest Dinner – Dayton 2009 post 7 16 - May - 2009

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Contest University, Dayton Hamvention, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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Well with the end of this evening’s Contest Dinner my 2009 Dayton planned functions are completed.

Tim K3LR spoke in place of John Kanzius, K3TUP who unfortunately became an SK back in February. Would have very much liked to have heard K3TUP speak about his Cancer research, but it was not to be.

It was a privilege to see Rev Paul Bittner, W0AIH from Eau Claire Wisconsin be inducted to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame, and more so to hear Paul speak! Paul W0AIH really was being recognized for being an “Elmer of Elmers” having tirelessly used Amateur Radio as part of his faith lead life to inspire others!

Like last night I again won something (at the DX Dinner I won a Year’s Subscription to the Daily DX, which I hope Bernie W3UR will let me use to extend my present subscription) being a $100 certificate at DX Engineering – where I have to admit having been eyeing several pieces of gear.

We’re basically packed for the ride to Wisconsin, and will set off early, this time taking a more western route around Chicago to basically “give it a try” and to compare if we can make either good time, or “Good Time” (as in less stress & more enjoyable miles) avoiding the conurbanization of the Chicago metroplex.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Contest University Day – Dayton 2009 post 3 14 - May - 2009

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Contest University, Dayton Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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Well my Third Contest University at Dayton has completed and for a great part it was another excellent experience!

As mentioned in my prior post, I feel very up-to-speed with ideas on how to get involved with RTTY Contesting.

The 1/2 hour mini Q&A sessions were slightly mixed in reward for time spent. Enjoyable freeform sessions and I did find myself taking notes.

Still rather confused about the late morning History of Log Checking anomaly, as the other sessions gave a person so many ideas & tools, pointed out references & resources, and we so very high on “actionable material.” Something I just didn’t get on the time invested in that one hour. Perhaps after Dayton a review of the slides will set me right.

Had a nice meal out at the Spaghetti Factory with a group largely made up of NEWDXA (North East Wisconsin DX Association) members.

Will take a walk around the Hospitality Suites before an early night in.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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