THE VERMONT HAM RADIO CONVENTION
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017

Holiday Inn Convention Center
Williston Road at I-89 Exit 14
South Burlington, Vermont

THANKS EVERYONE
FOR ANOTHER TREMENDOUS SHOW!

Everyone reports having a wonderful time!

Please let us know what you thought: w1sj@arrl.net

See You All Next Year: February 24, 2018!




HAM-CON is sponsored by the
Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont.

We are in a super location which is convenient for everyone and has all the facilities to make this a first class show.

HAM-CON proudly carries on the Milton Hamfest tradition:

35 Years (1/3 Century) of Great Hamfests in the North Country!

"and still the best little hamfest in the world!"



Pictures of Previous Hamfests!

HAM-CON 2014
HAM-CON 2013
HAM-CON 2012
HAM-CON 2011
HAM-CON 2010
HAM-CON 2009
Milton 2008
Milton 2004



The Details

Getting There

Show Admission

Hamfest Events

Forums Schedule

Vendor Information

Lodging Information

Restaurant Information

History of the Hamfest




THE DETAILS!

Date: Saturday, February 25th 2017

Times: 8am until 2pm. General admission opens promptly at 8am.

Location: Holiday Inn Convention Center, 1068 Williston Road at I-89 Exit 14, South Burlington.

Admission: General admission $8. See below for early entry and advance sales.

Information: Phone: (802)879-6589, afternoons and evenings, BEFORE hamfest day. Or, via Email. Talk in on the WB1GQR repeater on 145.15 MHz(-600). This repeater is monitored all the time.



GETTING THERE

Holiday Inn is located at Williston Road and Dorset Street, right at the I-89 Exit 14 Interchange. From the South, I-89, Exit 14 East. Immediately move to the left lane and make a left at the light into the Holiday Inn. From the North, I-89, Exit 14 East. Immediately move to the left lane and make a left at the light into the Holiday Inn.

FROM THE SOUTH

From NH and Boston: I-93 North, I-89 North through New Hampshire and Vermont to Vermont Exit 14.

From WMa and CT: I-91 North, I-89 North to Exit 14.

From NY: New York State Thruway or Taconic Parkway to Albany. Adirondack Northway (I-87) to Exit 20 - Fort Ann. Route 149 12 miles to Route 4. Route 4 north 18 miles to Vermont Route 22A. Route 22A north 43 miles to Route 7. Route 7 22 miles north to I-189. I-189 to I-89 to Exit 14.

FROM THE NORTH

From Montreal: Autoroute 15 to border, I-87 Exit 42 to Rt 11 to Rouses Point Bridge to Vermont. Route 2 South to Route 78 East to Swanton. I-89 South to Exit 14.
Alternate route: Autoroute 10, Autoroute 35 to Route 133 South to Border. Then I-89 to Exit 14.



FROM THE WEST

Lake Champlain Bridge Crossings:
Lake Champlain Winter Ferry crossings:

Ferry CrossingOperates
Plattsburgh, NY to Grand Isle, VT24/7
Essex, NY to Charlotte, VT7 AM - 5 PM


The ferry crossings schedules are subject to adverse ice conditions. Always check their web sites prior to crossing.

The Ticonderoga, NY to Bridport, VT Ferry is CLOSED for the season!

From Rouses Point area: Northway I-87 Exit 42, Route 11 to Rouses Point. Look for signs for U.S. Route 2 and Rouses Point Bridge to Vermont. Go 2 miles past Alburgh and go left on Vermont Route 78. Continue on Route 78 through Swanton and look for I-89 South. Continue on I-89 to Exit 14.

From Plattsburgh area: Northway I-87 Exit 39, Rt 314 to Ferry. (Runs every 15 min, $10 each direction). On Vermont side, right on Rt 314 to end at Route 2, right on Route 2 South, 20 miles to I-89. Go south one exit to Exit 14.

From Crown Point area: Northway I-87 Exit 28, New York Route 74. Go North on New York Route 9N. (DO NOT go into Ticonderoga or follow signs for Ticonderoga Ferry, as this is closed for the season). Continue on 9N for 11 miles and turn onto New York Route 17. This crosses the new brige into Vermont. Continue on Vermont Route 17 East to Vermont Route 22A. Go left and take Route 22A North. At Route 7, go left and continue North on Route 7. Take I-189 to I-89 North to Exit 14.

PARKING

We have free parking on site. Sometimes the parking area fills up due to other events going on. Come EARLY! That way you get a good parking spot AND you don't miss the morning activities.



SHOW ADMISSION

Admission at the door


Advanced Sales Admission

Advanced sales are closed at this time. Admission is available at the door.





HAMFEST EVENTS



VENDOR ROOM
The Vendor Room will run from 8:00 until 2:00. There are scores of tables chock filled with goodies. The offerings range from new to boatanchors and we can never know what jewels will show up.


FORUMS
Forums will run from 8:30 until 1:00. Details are in the Forums section.


DEMONSTRATIONS AND MINI-FORUMS
The Activities Room will be home to several demonstrations and mini-forums including:




HAM-CON CLOSING CEREMONIES!
This is the place to gather after the goodies have been bought or sold, after the forums and after lunch. Starting at the conclusion of the last forum (12:55), the closing will be a brief activity featuring entertainment, announcements, acknowledegements and the (ta-da) the announcement of door prize winners. The closing ceremonies will take place in Forum Room 2-3. Make sure you set aside time for this event!


DOOR PRIZES
Our grand prize is a 1080 pixel 40" LED High Definition Smart TV, courtesy of WCAX-TV. Other prizes include gift certficates for ARRL Publications, Receiver Kit, Battery Pack and a whole bunch of goodies. Door prizes will be drawn at the Closing Ceremonies at 12:55 in Forum Room 2-3. And you must be present to witness our outlandish closing ceremonies and to win stuff! If you leave, you don't get da goodies!



QSL CARD CHECKING
We will be able to check your QSL cards for DXCC, WAS and VUCC right on site!
Please contact the people below and arrange a time and location at the Convention.
Note: you MUST have the proper paperwork filled out and ready to be submitted to the ARRL. You must also have the appropriate form of payment ready to be sent. We cannot check cards unless the paperwork is in order!
For WAS, contact Linda W1MP
For DXCC or VUCC contact Mitch W1SJ .


VE SESSION
The Volunteer Exam Session will be at 1:15 in Forum Room 1. All exams (Element 2, 3 and 4) will be offered. All VE applicants must bring TWO forms of ID, copy of license and CSCE, if needed, pen, pencil. There will be no charge for amateur radio exams this year.



FCC COMMERCIAL LICENSE EXAMS
Exams for FCC Commercial Licenses (GROL, MROP, etc) will be at 1:15 in Forum Room 1. Please bring ID, proof of citizenship, FRN Number, pen, pencil and $50 exam fee. Contact examiner at (802) 879-6589 for details.


SPECIALTY TABLES

WHERE IS EVERYTHING LOCATED?


There are two main areas at HAM-CON:
  1. Forum Area
    Just as you enter the facility, just after admission, turn right and you will head down the Forums Hallway. In this hallway you will find Forum Rooms 1 & 2 and the Activities Room, along with the RANV Table.

  2. Vendor Area
    Continue walking into the facility and go right at the Hotel Main Desk, then left. Here you will find the entrance to the Vendor Area.




HAM-CON FORUMS AND ACTIVITIES



HAM-CON will have the finest collection of Amateur Radio Informational Forums found at any small convention! There is something which interests every amateur operator. Stop in on a forum or two and learn a whole bunch of new stuff. The forum times are tight, so plan your schedule in advance for best results! No PA announcement will be made at the start of forums, so use your phone or watch alarm to alert you to get to forum room on time.

The forums will run in two different rooms. Forums will run from 8:30 AM until 1:00 PM. The Forum Room lobby is just to the right of the main entrance. Forums in Room 1 will generally start around the top of the hour and Forums in Room 2 will start on the half hour. Forums will conclude in time for attendees to attend the Closing Ceremonies.
Make sure you get to the forums on time. They will not wait!


FORUM ROOM 1

9:00
HAM RADIO AND THE LAW: GETTING IT UP AND KEEPING IT UP
Fred Hopengarten, Esq., K1VR

A short talk, followed by a long question period, on avoiding restrictive covenants, what to do if you made that mistake, and a controversial update on the ARRL's "parity bill" - proposed legislation to protect hams living under Homeowner Association authorities. We will learn how to present your case for a tower permit from the town, and how to understand Vermont's PRB-1 Law.



10:00
ARRL FORUM

Join with our ARRL Director and Vice Director as they detail the state of amateur radio and the ARRL. The ARRL recently held its semiannual meeting in January. There will be all sorts of things to report on. Hosted by Tom Frenaye K1KI and Mike Raisbeck K1TWF.



11:00
TECHNIQUES TO SET UP A VHF/UHF STATION
Mike Seguin N1JEZ

The VHF and UHF spectrum has its own brand of excitement. Well designed stations can regularly work over hundreds of miles. When conditions warrent, contacts are made over thousands of miles on VHF. Even microwave frequencies can provide contacts over considerable distances. Mike will detail how he built his super VHF/UHF station in the Northeast Kingdom - from antennas and equipment, right down to type of generator used to provide power for his off-grid location. You may not want to build a super station, but you will learn all the tricks to do it right and make many contacts in this exciting spectrum.



12:00
APRS AND ITS USES
Harrison Kyle VE2HKW

APRS is the Automatic Packet Reporting System - a method to track movement via amateur radio. In this talk, Harrison will be talking about what APRS is, some high level details on how it works, when to use it, and when to not use it in the RF domain. The focus will be on what APRS is and how it can be useful in various situations. The talk will conclude with some discussion of equipment used in APRS.



1:15
EXAM SESSION
Forum Room 1

Testing for amateur and commercial FCC licenses. Amateur exam is free, commercial exam is $50 cash only. Bring two forms of identification, any CSCE’s, pens and pencils. Don’t forget to study!




FORUM ROOM 2

8:30
THE "MAGNIFICENT-3" WIRE ANTENNAS
John Grow VE2EQL

John will discuss 3 simple wire antennas which have served him very well over the years. These cover popular bands from 160 to 6 meters in various configurations from flat-top, inverted V, sloper, and vertical orientations. These antennas are ideal for fixed station or portable use. Details on desiIgn factors, radiation lobes and take off angles will be shown. Anyone with basic hand tools can build this antenna and get on the air. As an added bonus, a special raffle will be taking place where alucky attendee will have the chance to win a “Magnificent 3” antenna.



9:30
BEYOND NPOTA: RIDING THE PORTABLE OPERATING WAVE
Sean Kutzko KX9X

ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X is the creator and co-administrator of ARRL's National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) program, which helped the National Park Service celebrate their 100th Anniversary in 2016. He will discuss the success of NPOTA, then will lead a roundtable on applying the lessons and skills learned from NPOTA to other portable operating events and programs. Learn how to keep the fun of NPOTA going in 2017 and beyond.



10:30
SET UP A HAM STATION ANYWHERE
Mitch Stern W1SJ

Set up a ham station. It is what we do! Mitch will show you how easy it is to set up a ham station anywhere - at National Parks, at Hamfests, at Picnics, at Field Day and even at home! You will be given the skills and techniques to size up a location and set up very effective antenas and a great station - one which will get those pileups going! Learn what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do. Many examples of station setup from various activations will be shown and discussed.



11:30
SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE HF ANTENNAS
Tim Duffy K3LR

Having a great HF Antenna is the key to many long fun hours of HF operating. But many of us do not have the resources to put up multiple yagis on large towers. World renouned contester Tim Duffy K3LR joins us from his shack in Western PA to show us some tricks and techniques to put up simple and effective antennas - systems that work well but will not cost you thousands of dollars. Tim has a great station with many antenas, has moderated the Antenna Forum at Dayton for countless years, and is also General Manager of DX Engineering - he knows his antennas and how to make them work!



12:55
HAM-CON CLOSING CEREMONIES
Forum Rooms 2 and 3

We will all get together for a brief 20 minute gathering to meet and say goodbye until next year. We will be treated to a show depicting the humorous moments of the year past, prize giveaways, acknowledgements and the (ta-da!) door prize drawing! Afterwards feel free to stay and shop in the Vendor Area and chat with friends!



Forums At A Glance

TIME
ROOM 1
ROOM 2
8:30   The Magnificent 3 Antennas (8:30)
9:00 Ham Radio and the Law (9:00)
9:30 Beyond NPOTA (9:30)
10:00 ARRL Forum (10:00)
10:30 Set Up a Ham Station Anywhere (10:30)
11:00 Technques To Set UP A VHF Station (11:00)
11:30 Simple and Effective Antennas(11:30)
12:00 APRS and Its Uses(12:00)
12:55 Closing Ceremonies (12:55)
1:00 VE Session (1:15)  
1:30




ACTIVITIES ROOM VIDEOS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND MINI-FORUMS

Warning: Not finalized - subject to CHANGE!
These will be held in the ACTIVITES ROOM.
The mini-forums only run 10-15 MINUTES, so be sure to arrive on time or you will miss the show!

9:00-9:15Satellite Communications Join Sean KX9X as he makes QSO's via amateur satellite
9:30-9:45Dr. Jeff Presents Jeff will present another thought inspiring technical demonstration.
10:10-10:25Digital Voice Demonstration of communications using DMR
10:40-10:55Satellite Communications Join Sean KX9X as he makes QSO's via amateur satellite
11:45-11:55Dr. Jeff Presents Jeff will present another thought inspiring technical demonstration.
12:15-12:25Digital Voice Demonstration of communications using DMR




VENDOR INFORMATION

VENDOR INFORMATION

We require that vendors and flea market sellers arrive EARLY to set up tables. The room gets too crowded to start carrying in sales items after 8:00. If you are selling, please buy an early ticket and have your table set up by 8AM.

1. Early entry opens at 6:00 AM.

2. Admission: $15 at door, $12 in advance. We highly recommend buying the admission in advance!

3. Tables are FREE. They are available on a first come, first served - No guarantees made on space or table availability. We usually have tables available, but on occasion we do run out.

4. Tables are reserved in specific locations for large vendors (more than 4 tables).

5. Tables can be reserved at a package price of $25, which includes 1 early admission. This will guarantee your table until 8:30. There are no refunds for tables reserved and not used!

Get a sneak preview of the Vendor Area by downloading the Vendor Area MAP in Adobe PDF format. The location of all tables and services are approximate. Not all tables will be available.

We ask that vendors take all unsold merchandise away at the end of the day.

HAM-COM makes every effort to help our vendors do well at the show. Please let us know how we can help you!



LODGING



The Holiday Inn is our Headquarters for HAM-CON.
They have reserved a block of rooms at a special convention rate of $95.
Why not stay the night and spend a leisurely weekend at HAM-CON?

The Room Block deadline is Saturday, February 11. Reservations made after that time are at the normal room rate.


Book Special Rate Directly Online with Holiday Inn
Or else, call them at: 802-863-6363


Here are local phone numbers of other motels in the Burlington area. This list is information from the phone book. It does not imply any recommendation, although it's probably a safe bet that the roof doesn't leak at any of these lodgings.

 
I-89 exit 14 - Williston Rd
Anchorage Inn      863-7000
Best Western       863-1125
Comfort Inn        863-5541
Doubletree         658-0250
Ethan Allen Inn    863-4573
Hawthorne Suites   860-1212
Ho-Hum Motel       863-4551
LaQuinta Inn       864-4638
Sheraton Inn       865-6600
Swiss Host         862-5734
 
Rt 15 Colchester (1mi)
Days Inn           655-0900
Handy's Suites     655-6000
 
I-89 exit 16 Colchester (2mi)
Hampton Inn        655-6177
Quality Inn        655-1400
Motel 6            654-6860
 
Downtown Burlington (2mi)
Hilton             658-6500
Marriot Courtyard  864-4700

FOOD!



Harper's Restaurant, located on-site will be open until 11 AM only for breakfast items.

There are many, many food locations nearby, within 1/2 mile!

Williston Rd:
Westbound (same side) Eastbound (across street)
Moe's Southwest Grill
Chicken Charlies
Leonardo's Pizza
Burger King
Silver Palace
Quiznos
Zachery's
McDonald's
Al's French Frys
Marco's Pizza

Dorset St - University Mall:
Applebee's
IHOP
Mall Food Court
Dunkin Donuts
Fortune Cookie
McDonalds
Subway
Tokyo


OTHER ACTIVITIES





HISTORY OF THE HAMFEST

The Milton Hamfest started in 1983 as the "Northern Vermont Electronics Show." It was conceived by WB1BWV, WB2JSJ and others as a way to get Vermont hams together for swapping equipment and socializing during the long winter. The admission back then was $2. The philosophy of the Milton Hamfest has always been to bring hams and experimenters together for learning new things and having fun. The hamfest has always been organized and run by a tiny group of volunteers, who, like everyone else, pay admission!

The hamfest started with humble beginnings and an attendance around 150. Today, the hamfest draws around 300 people, which is a sizable number considering the small size of Vermont. Attendees come from Vermont, Northern New York, Quebec and New Hampshire. A few come from Southern New England as well.

Over the years, some changes were made which we hope will keep the hamfest a great one. After many years of being an independent show, Milton is now sponsored by the Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont (RANV), and is the ARRL Vermont State Convention. And in 2009, we moved it to a Convention facility. We have worked hard to bring in more Forum Speakers and live demonstrations. The Forum program at HAM-COM is the best you find at a small show.

It is the goal of the HAM-CON to keep attendance levels stable and even show some growth even though hamfests all over the country have been declining in attendance over the last couple of years. We cannot do this without YOU! Please make every effort to join us!

Read the article about the 2001 Hamfest in the Burlington Free Pree




What Else??

Keep checking back here for new information.



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HAM-CON

FEBRUARY 25, 2017

Last updated: February 20, 2017