Dayton 2014: First Impressions

I got back from Dayton last night, and was just too tired to do much of a writeup. Today, I’m kind of short on time, but I’ll jot down a few first impressions. If you were there, please feel free to add your own in the comments section.

  1. I had more fun this year than in the past couple of years. I’m not exactly sure why, but maybe part of it was that I talked to more people.
  2. There wasn’t much in the way of exciting new products—at least I didn’t see any. Please feel free to comment on any that you saw there.
  3. Attendance seemed to be down. Rarely were any of the aisles crowded, and then only when it was raining outside. Perhaps the cool, rainy weather kept people from coming.
  4. There were LOTS of open spaces in the flea market. Again, maybe that was due to the lousy weather.
  5. Even so, there were some good things to be had out there.
  6. In addition to all the old farts, there did seem to be a contingent of young guys. I found that encouraging.
  7. There is a lot of interest in the new technology. The antenna modeling forum was packed, and the Linux&Microcontrollers forum was even more packed. I got to the latter a little bit late, and guys were standing out in the hall peering in.

More later!


  1. I agree. This was my first Hamvention, but I think all your points are valid, even though I don’t have past events to compare it to. I am in the process of writing a review on my blog now.

  2. Wes - AC8JF says:

    Agree with most of your observations. To me, the flea market seemed to have less junk and more interesting items than in the last couple of years. Lots of 1980s-vintage equipment was for sale.

    Like you, I attended both the Antenna Modeling and Linux & Microcontrollers forum. The former was more like Antennas 101: “you squeeze the balloon here and it pops out farther over there.” After last year’s Antenna Modeling forum, which started off directly into modeling how-to, but had no space left in the room, this year was a disappointment.

    The Linux forum left me confused. The speaker, who is responsible for some nifty station control products, seems to use Linux computers like Raspberry Pi mostly for their “big computer” features, like built-in networking. I had hoped to hear more about embedded applications, up to and including SDR.

    All in all, though, a fun Hamvention.

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