One week from today the gates will swing open in Xenia and the 2018 Dayton Hamvention will get underway. But before Friday, many other events will have already started as Thursday has become a popular “fourth” day addition for many groups.

I was in Cincinnati this week and stopped by R&L Electronics in Hamilton, Ohio to pick up tickets. You save five bucks purchasing them in advance but in addition to saving a little coin, it means not having to stand in line to purchase tickets at the gate, and it provides an opportunity to pre-fill out the part of the ticket that goes in the barrel for all the prizes.

I live about 100 miles from ground zero and have fallen into the routine of spending four days over there in a hotel one year, then commuting over on just Friday and Saturday the next year. It’s a little more cost effective that way and besides, it’s a bit much to do it all every year.

This happens to be a “commute” year so I will drive over and back on Friday and Saturday and skip the rest this year. I’ve been going to Hamvention since 1976 and have only missed a handful of years over that stretch. I really enjoy Hamvention, especially seeing old friends.

My list of things I want to see and bring home is a very short one. The UPS man has been dropping off enough ham radio stuff here this year that I wouldn’t know where to put any more of it.

Official attendance last year was 29,296 but I expect that to be a little lower this year. Not because of the mud or anything negative about the new venue. I just think last year was a bubble with people interested in attending the first Hamvention in Xenia. My guess for 2018 is about 26,000. We won’t know for sure until about a month after it’s all been said and done but I will be keeping an eye out for that detail.

If this will be your first time attending, good luck!

It’s a really BIG event and if you haven’t properly prepared for it there’s a good chance you won’t appreciate it all. But if you’ve done your homework, you will find that you made an excellent decision to come to Dayton and soak in all that ham radio has to offer over a 32-acre playground that for one weekend a year, is transformed into a radio paradise.

See you in Xenia!

Friday, May 11, 2018