Category Archives: In the News

In The News: Hara Arena to close it’s doors, Hamvention moving to undisclosed location

The other day WDTN News in Dayton, Ohio reported that the Dayton Demolition hockey team would be taking a year off, cancelling their 2016-2017 season “due to arena availability and lack of lead up time.”  This caused the collective ears to perk up in the ham radio community, being that our annual convention is held at the same location, the Hara Arena.  We were hoping that it may have been due to a failure of the ice equipment at the arena, maybe something like a catastrophic Zamboni incident.  Alas, the other shoe dropped today, as the following announcement was made on the Hamvention website:

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) regrets to inform our many vendors, visitors and stakeholders that, unfortunately, HARA has announced the closing of their facility.  We have begun execution of our contingency plan to move Hamvention® 2017 to a new home.

DARA and Hamvention® have enjoyed many successful years working together with HARA Arena and we wish the Wampler family the best.

DARA and Hamvention® have been working on a contingency plan in the event HARA would become unavailable. We have spent many hours over the last few years evaluating possible locations and have found one in the area we believe will be a great new home! Due to logistics and timing issues, we will make a formal announcement introducing our new partner. This information will be coming soon. We all believe this new venue will be a spectacular place to hold our beloved event. Please rest assured we will have the event on the same weekend and, since it will be in the region, the current accommodations and outside events already planned for Hamvention® 2017 should not be affected.

We look forward to your continued support as we move to a new future with The Dayton Hamvention®.


Ron Cramer
General Chairman
Dayton Hamvention 2017

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In the News: Celebrating the “normalization” of relations with Cuba with Ham Radio

Although the Cuban political system leaves a lot to be desired, the Cuban government has allowed (and in come cases, even encouraged) amateur radio within it’s borders, despite it’s oppressive regime.

Today, the US flag has been raised at the US Embassy in Havana, the first time it has flown there since President Eisenhower (yes, most people think it was JFK bit it was really Ike) ceased diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961, after good ol’ Castro kicked out most of the US diplomats.

Yet, somehow, Cuba still allowed ham radio operators to continue their hobby, even allowing them to contact other stations overseas.

Anyway, even though their government pretty much sucks, their citzens are still good people, and it’s nice to see that this October, US and Cuban hams will come together for a joint US-Cuba DX operation to be operated under the callsign T42US.

From the ARRL:

“The combined group will be operating under the call sign T42US between October 21 and October 28, including during the CQ WW DX SSB Contest,” the announcement from The 7163 DX Group and the Federacion de Radioaficionados de Cuba (FRC) said. “There will be nine operators from the USA and approximately the same number from Cuba. The T42US group will operate 160-10 meters, SSB and CW.”

The US Team leader is Jim Millner, WB2REM, and the Cuban Team Leader is Bob Ibarra, CM2KL. Millner said the T42US operation will be among the first of its kind in Cuba and will involve a joint effort between the US and Cuban teams.

Other operators who are expected to join the operation include Jorge Novoa, CO2II; Nancy Yoshida, K9DIG; Mark Wohlschlegel, WC3W; Amed Santana, CO2AME; John Sweigart, KK4SHF; Ruthie Sweigart, KC4BAB; Gordon Blumenfeld, WB0TKL; Rolf Seichter, KE1Y, and Stephanie Koles, WX3K

Published (fittingly) from Miami, FL.

In the News: 11 Year Old joins the DX Century Club

Ahhh, HF. It’s been a long time since I called CQ on 20 meters. When I lived in Grand Rapids, our local club (The Grand Rapids Amateur Radio Association) opened up our radio room at the Red Cross on Wednesday nights, and I loved playing on 20 and 40 meters. Even some 10 meter contacts when the sunspots were just right.

Brandon Byrd KF5NYQ proudly displays his DX Century Club award from the ARRL (Photo Credit: WLOX)

Since I moved to Texas, I haven’t had the time or opportunity to set up on HF. But this kid in the news is much luckier. WLOX TV in Biloxi Mississippi reports that Brandon Byrd KF5NYQ, an 11 year old General class ham operator (which is impressive enough) has earned his DX Century Club (DXCC) certificate–for those not familiar with this prestigious Amateur Radio award, this means he managed to contact 100 different countries.  Which is about 90 more than I have managed to do in my 25+ years in ham radio.

Congratulations, Brandon!  Great achievement.


(Published from DFW, Texas)


In the News: Trouble in Mecca? Dayton Hamvention Venue Hara Arena in Financial Trouble

My my my.  What a surprise!  WDTN TV-2 News in Dayton says that the crumbling Hara Arena (home of the Dayton Hamvention for over 50 years) is finally facing financial problems.

I’m not being fair here.  Yes the place is a dump.  There is not a white ceiling tile in the place.  The parking lot asphalt has not been resurfaced since the Roman empire.  But they have some good excuses.  Mainly, since it is a privately owned facility, it is difficult to compete with other venues that receive tax subsidies.

Hara’s Director of Marketing says it is tough for Hara to compete with venues like the Nutter Center, but they’re keeping a positive attitude.

Hara generated $34-million into the community through 239 events last year.

“As taxpayers, we’re competing against facilities that are subsidized by tax dollars and because of that we are struggling to compete. The primary challenges are that we need renovation dollars and the ownership model needs to be changed,” said Karen Wampler, Director of Marketing at Hara Arena.

Wampler told 2 NEWS they are working with a company called Venuworks that specializes in restoring event venues.

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