Dayton Hamvention, the king of hamfests

Overhead shot of the Dayton HamventionThis weekend marks the open of the 2012 Dayton Hamvention. The Hamvention is the world’s largest amateur radio exposition and flea market covering hundreds of acres in and around the six buildings of the Hara Arena in Dayton Ohio. This year’s Hamvention is scheduled for May 18-20, 2012.

At the Hamvention, the big name amateur radio manufacturers often announce new equipment and transceivers. Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu are expected to make large product announcement along with the smaller radio manufacturers. As a general trend in the industry, the technologies to look for this year include digital operating modes and software defined radio.

Yet the meat of the Hamvention is the outdoor flea market space. This is where the deals can be found. Both new and used equipment dealers can be found along with scores of individuals who cleaned out their shacks and are hoping to unload it at the expo.

It’s about a 10 hour drive for me to attend Dayton. I haven’t made the trip yet, but one of the things on my bucket list is to set up a booth in the flea market and build and sell my 2 meter J-Pole antennas. Who knows, maybe next year I’ll get out there.