Made it to Dayton after all!

As it turned out, I was able to go to Dayton this year on Friday. Just had to cut it short in order to get back to Cincinnati in time to pack up and head to Atlanta for the weekend. So here are some quick observations.

Vendors in the flea market were down substantially from last year. Still good, but a lot of open spaces. My personal opinion is that the fee for a space is too high for a casual seller. DARA should open those spaces each day of the flea market on a first-come-first-served basis for $20. A small seller cannot make a profit for what DARA currently charges.

I missed the explosion of the sanitary sewer on Saturday. What a mess it must have been. I am sure the smell was not any worse than normal. Hams really need to change their diets!

OK, now for the good stuff. Flexradio was hot and hard to get into their booth to look at their stuff. So I really could not get in to see if there was anything new. Whatever they had was creating a lot of excitement.

Yaesu did not have any hats this year. Something about them getting stuck in customs....yeah, right. Well no hats meant that traffic in their booth was down quite a bit.

TenTec was showing the new Eagle transceiver. Looked nice. Price is too high especially compared to the new Kenwood TS-590S which seems to be very similar in performance.

Icom and Kenwood had their new radios there. Icom booth was crazy as usual and Kenwood picked up on activity.

D-Star was still creating a lot of new excitement. The dedicated D-Star booth was always busy. D-Star is really picking up in popularity. Once you get on it, you don’t want to get off it. D-Star and digital is the future of ham radio.

ARRL was also busy as usual. They have an excellent presence at Dayton.

Byonics had a lot of new items for APRS and continues to generate a lot of excitement. Peak had a lot of reconditioned weather stations to go with the home APRS stations at an excellent price.

Wouxun radios were being snapped up quickly. At $85 to $105 depending on model and vendor, people were buying them like crazy. I heard many vendors sold-out of the Wouxun radios quickly. If you got one, find the KG-UV Commander Software as it is much easier to use than the crappy software from Wouxun.

GRE/Alinco had large booth. The exciting thing there was that they will be bringing out a new 900Mhz/1.2Ghz dual-band handheld. That is great and could help 900 Mhz take off. I noticed a growth in repeaters on that band, I just don’t know what radios people are using to access those repeaters. Well it appear Alinco is coming to the rescue.

Looking forward to next year and being able to spend more time there in 2012.
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