• Date: 2024-05-16--19

After all of the fun at the 2023 Dayton Hamvention, Haocheng and I made a pact to attend in 2024 - this time with our 2 month old daughter, Carol Ann.  It was a fun and memorable trip, and we were even able to visit with several friends along the way.

We drove to our short term rental in Dayton on Thursday, and we drove back home on Sunday.


On the drive up US-441 I stopped at a gas station for a bathroom break, and Woody W2BBQ spotted me.  I did not know that this was where Woody worked, so it was a happy surprise.  We took some photos and told him about our upcoming trip to Dayton.




Continuing the drive we stopped at David's (N4TS) house in Lakemont to drop off a computer I repaired for Heath (N4TWT).  We visited for 20-25 minutes, and then continued the drive.




The display cluster in Haocheng's Toyota RAV-4.  I have been dabbling in computer coding, and even I can't figure it out.


Haywood County, North Carolina rest area.  Lots of stickers on a sign.






We finally made it to the rental.  It was a very comfortable accommodation, and we enjoyed our time there.


Friday morning at the Hamvention.  We arrived at around 8:00am, and the gates opened at 9:00am.  It's good to arrive early to assure that we are able to park at the site of the hamfest rather than in a remote lot several miles away that would have required a school bus shuttle.  We did that last year, but this year with a baby that definitely would have been less than ideal.  Fortunately our parking worked out both days that we attended.


The rain started for the largest hamfest in the world.  Rather than waiting in the rain we took shelter under a covered awning.  It was just as well because once the gates opened the line moved very quickly.




I spent nearly all of my two days in the boneyard - tailgate vendors with used equipment.  I love finding good deals on lightly used gear.  In fact, the whole time I was there I only went in the buildings for a very brief time.  If only this hamfest were 4 or 5 days!  It is not possible to see even a fraction of what the hamfest has to offer in the finite time frame.


Another look at the boneyard in the center of a horse racing track.


A well-behaved dog.


This vendor jumped out to photobomb a photo I was taking of his booth.  I spoke with him for a few minutes and asked him about several of the Yaesu C4FM System Fusion VHF/UHF mobile radios that he was selling.  I made an offer on the FTM-3207D pictured, but I ended up walking away since I figured this obscure digital mode would not be worth the money.  Throughout the day I walked by a few more times.

It wasn't until I met up with Mark (KE8NMZ), Alex (KE8YBX), and Zach (KE8NMY), that I reconsidered the C4FM radio purchase since they were using it on site.

I stopped by this booth and bought the radio mentioned above for $100.  It was definitely a scrutinized purchase.


Spotted a guy who reminded me of Antenna Hair Girl - another Hamvention guest who I remember from last year, but did not see this year.


Haocheng, Carol Ann, and I breaking for lunch.  We decided to bring our own food both days after the overpriced and less-than-clean food we consumed last year from the food vendors.


During the very brief time I went inside I made a point of stopping by the AM broadcast booth.  AM1620 covers the hamfest and adjacent area.  The rack is slightly different from last year.

I spoke with several broadcast engineering and management personnel during Hamvention 2024.  We traded stories.  I love my fellow radio broadcasters.




Mark's crew and my crew met up for dinner on Friday evening.  After eating, we fumbled around with the Yaesu C4FM System Fusion radios for awhile.  I need to read the manual for my new mobile radio!


Carol Ann sleeping at the short term rental.


Haocheng cooking.


A view of the school across the street from our rental.




The house we stayed in for three nights.  We were in a basement apartment.  It was very comfortable.


Jennifer, one of the volunteer shuttle drivers, transporting my family from the car back into Hamvention.  It's a big facility, and the shuttles help folks with mobility issues as well as folks who are carrying newly purchased equipment.  We made a point of thanking all of these drivers for their volunteer work.


Carol Ann and me at lunch on Saturday.


I spotted a Panasonic Model RF-444 pocket radio from a distance and bought it for $1.  This 1980's pocket radio is significant to me because my parents owned one that I used extensively as a child.  This one might need a bit of cleaning, but I hope I can restore it to normal operating condition.


We were supposed to stop by Jim and Anna Trapani's booth at the hamfest, but during the excitement we ran out of time.  Fortunately, they graciously drove to our AirBNB on Saturday night and gave us a cute onesie for Carol Ann.  We enjoyed visiting and catching up with them for a couple of hours.






The AirBNB host, Fred, lived in the upstairs of the house we stayed in.  He definitely has a sense of humor.


Early Sunday morning at around 5:45am started driving back home.  While I wanted to drive to the hamfest for the Sunday half-day open hours, it was best that we started driving early.  We arrived back home in the late afternoon.


At a rest stop on the return trip


An inventory of the things I bought at Hamvention 2024.  I am looking forward to commissioning the Aphex 320A Compellor on one of my radio station's audio streams.  The Motorola radio is an XTS1500 UHF1 band handheld.  I promptly programmed the local 70cm repeaters and simplex frequencies into Zone 1.