This is my first trip to the Dayton Hamvention since the late 1970’s. I have no recollection of that earlier visit. This one on the other hand is quickly becoming an extraordinarily memorable event.

Attending Contest University on Thursday was a real highlight. It was very well-organized and efficiently run. With several joint sessions and lots of breakout sessions with only a few minutes between each presenter, they packed a great deal in during the 8 AM to 5 PM run. I took tons of notes and will be making many improvements to my station, my operating, and my contesting strategy. I hope to be back again.

That same evening I attended the Icom America Dealer Dinner. Scouting was the surprise announcement of the evening and the Icom America sponsorship of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree and beginning in 2012 the sponsorship of up to 10 complete stations for use by local Scouting councils. Icom will be the exclusive amateur radio transceiver sponsor at the Jamboree and will be providing three repeaters for full-time installation at the Summit in West Virginia, where the Jamboree is held. This is fantastic news for Radio Scouting. Next step is to determine the application process for the 10 stations. During the introduction it was fun to speak with everyone about their Scouting experiences and to answer their questions around the Jamboree. I spoke with Gordon West and a few other ham radio media players. It was really fun to spend some face time with Ray Novak at Icom, the visionary leader who is most responsible for this sponsorship.

Yesterday, Friday, May 18, the Hamvention opened up. I found my way there and provided some handouts to the Icom America display and to the Scouting display in the ARRL Exhibit. I was able to meet a number of the Scouters that have kept Radio Scouting present at this key event. I was also able to attend the Foxhunting and Balloon Launching Forums. These are two new areas for us at the Jamboree and I need to learn as much as I can to facilitate the best operation at the Summit in 2013. My key duty is running interference with the BSA approval processes, making sure we’re meeting all requirements, and putting on a great event.

I was also able to spend some time in the Radio Scouting Booth. Finally, in wandering around the exhibits, I headed over to the Icom exhibit and wound up spending a lot of time in front of the camera with cameras talking about Radio Scouting. Today, Saturday, May 19, I’m getting ready to head out for another big day. This time I’ll be in uniform and spend more time in the Scouting booth along with giving a presentation at the Icom America booth on Radio Scouting.

Stay tuned for my next report from Dayton and perhaps some links to my video appearances! Now if only I can withstand the temptation of purchasing the new Begali key that I’ve suddenly fallen in love with…


  1. Hi Jim, great report!
    I really like the way you’re writing about Dayton. It’s a little like I was there myself.
    Could you write a post about the tips you wrote down on improvements for your station, operating and contest strategy?
    I know I would love to read more about that since the Contest University is physically a little out of range for me 😉

    73 de PA1JIM, Jim

    • Hi Jim,
      Thanks for your comments. I need to spend some time with my notes from Contest University and build my list. That would make a good blog entry. I’ll note that we have HamCom here in Dallas in just a couple of weeks. I’ll need to have my purchase list done by then, so I can pick up some stuff at the flea market. I’ll note that Contest University is held in Europe at a few places. I really recommend attending, they provide a great deal of information within an action packed agenda. 73, Jim, K5ND.

What do you think?