This was my first time to attend the Dayton Hamvention, so my review won’t include much comparison to other years past. However, perhaps that will mean that my review won’t be influenced by past experiences either, and will deal more with the 2014 Hamvention.
Overall I had lots of fun and enjoyed the Hamvention very much. There were lots of attendees and many vendors to visit and speak with about all kinds of products. I didn’t make any really big purchases; mostly connectors, coax, shack-grounding supplies, and some apparel.
The inside vendor area was very nice; broken up into 4-5 sections. Every vendor you can think of was there, save just a few. I was surprised I didn’t see Gigaparts or Alianza there, especially with Alianza’s new DxB about to be released (supposedly). Other than those 2, I believe that I saw everyone I expected to.
I’m told that the flea market was smaller than normal, and that this reason was probably due to the weather. It rained on us pretty much all weekend, up until Sunday. Sunday was quite nice. But Saturday afternoon we actually had sleet also. I walked through the flex market a couple of times and was fairly under-whelmed. There were lots of vendors selling non-radio junk; like an actual flea market, I suppose. There were some selling used radio gear also, and while I didn’t find anything that was worth writing about, it could be because I didn’t arrive until Friday afternoon. Often times with flea markets, the really good deals go fast, right when the market opens. Since I wasn’t present at this time, I can’t say whether I missed anything or not. Perhaps next year, I can arrive earlier.
If you plan to buy a new radio/antenna/gear/equipment, Dayton is the place to do it. All prices were discounted off of what you can find online or elsewhere at Dayton. HRO had the new Icom ID-5100 for $729. That is the lowest price on that radio that I have seen, to date. I didn’t check everything, but the items I did check were selling at good prices.
Next year, assuming I go, which I plan to, I’ll probably try to arrive Thursday evening so that I can attend the hamfest all day Friday and Saturday, then I will leave Sunday morning to return home. I think this would be a better plan than my schedule this year of Friday midday to Sunday evening.