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



Attendance was the same as last year.
The forum rooms were packed!
Everyone reports having a wonderful time!

Please let us know what you thought:

See You All Next Year: February 25, 2017!

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:

34 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


Date: Saturday, February 27th 2016

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.


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 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 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.


Lake Champlain Bridge Crossings:
Lake Champlain Winter Ferry crossings:

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

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.


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. Should the parking area fill up, there is satellite parking across the street at Homewood Suites in the lot next to where the old Howard Johnson's and Friendlys used to be. Signs will direct you to this area, if it becomes necessary.


Admission at the door

Advanced Sales Admission

Advanced sale tickets are no longer available. Please purchase tickets at the door.


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

The Activities Room will be home to several demonstrations and mini-forums including:

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!

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 Jim N1BCL .

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.

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



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 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!


Bob Henneberger KB1WXM

Did you know about the new ARRL Event for 2016 - National Parks On the Air? Come find out about the program and how to join in on all the fun. Participants can be "activators" or "chasers". To be an activator, you need to know how to choose a park and get your equipment set up there to activate it. Chasers need to know how to find the activity and post the results so that they climb up on the famous Leader Board!

Mitch Stern W1SJ

Many hams who get their license never even buy equipment! Why is that? One reason given is that new hams simply do not know what to do or who to turn to. All your questions will be answered here! Details on how to set up a basic "ham shack" covering either HF or VHF will be covered, including the thorny questions on what types of antennas to use. There will be a brief discussion of types of equipment too! Finally we will get into just how to make contacts, how to confirm them and even some disucssion on logging software. A must attend for all new and recent hams!

Don Price KB5VP

Digital voice radio is sweeping the populated areas of the country and is starting to make inroads in Vermont. Your questions about digital radio will be answered in this introductory talk, including: What is digital radio and why the excitement? What is the difference between FM, Echolink, AllStar, and Digital. What radio do I need to start using digital voice modes? What are the differences and benefits of digital technologies.


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 and in the near future, there will be a major change in leadership and many key people will be retiring and passing the baton. There will be all sorts of things to report on. Hosted by Tom Frenaye K1KI and Mike Raisbeck K1TWF.

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!


Joel Hallas W1ZR

All antenna designs are compromises, and even more of a compromise if the design is of an antenna that will operate on multiple portions of the spectrum. This presentation will explore the operation and performance of many popular types of HF multiband antennas, identifying the applications, tradeoffs and limitations of each. It is easy to make antennas that will accept power on multiple bands, the Heath “Cantenna” is a good example of tha! It is more difficult to make antennas that can emit electromagnetic radiation in useful amounts and directions on more than one band or sometimes band segment.

John Grow VE2EQL

Join us for a hands-on talk on how an HF station can be remotely controlled. From his city location, John has been remotely controlling his ham shack 2 hours north of Montreal for years. He has used virtually every hardware box and piece of software out there and can speak about the pros of cons of each. This year, he will focus on remote operating using Remote Ham Radio, a suscription service which allows you to control super ham stations all over the world. John will be reviewing the system while showing examples of operation as well as also showing a low cost software solution called Remotehams.

Joel Hallas W1ZR

The “Doctor is In” column in each issue of QST is very popular with readers. It accepts Amateur Radio questions from readers and provides short and, hopefully, helpful answers. While the items in the magazine are just a fraction of all that are received, they are selected with the hope that they will be useful to multiple members of the community who hadn’t yet thought to ask them. Bring your questions for the Doctor — technical ones are best.

Joe Rudi NK7U

Live from his winter grounds in Nevada, Joe will talk to us about building his super ham station. He has built several iterations of it over the years, so he is very experienced at it! And more importantly, he has recruited a class team of operators who keep the station on the air and in peak condition. The station is fully remote-control - all the operators log in and operate from home! Whether you are a contester or casual op, you will appreciate the details required for putting together a good ham shack. While many contesters know NK7U, many more of us have heard of Joe Rudi, the first baseman and outfielder for the World Champion Oakland A's in the early 70's. He even spent a year with the Red Sox and can relate some stories about playing balls off the Green Monster! And yes, he did carry an HT with him on road trips! No one else has been a major league ballplayer and active ham. It will be a great and interesting talk, so don't miss it!

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

8:30   Multiband Antennas (8:30)
9:00 National Parks On The Air (9:00)
9:30 Remote Ham Radio (9:30)
10:00 Set Up a Great Ham Shack (10:00)
10:30 The Doctor is IN! (10:30)
11:00 Introduction to Digital Voice Modes (11:00)
11:30 The NK7U Oregon Super Station (11:30)
12:00 ARRL Forum (12:00)
12:55 Closing Ceremonies (12:55)
1:00 VE Session (1:15)  


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

9:15-9:25Remote Ham RadioDemonstration of Remote Ham Radio - control a ham shack from far away
9:45-9:55Digital Voice Demonstration of communications using DMR
10:15-10:25Dr. Jeff Presents Jeff will do a demonstration of Precision Timing, using an Atomic Clock GPS and Scope.
11:15-11:25Remote Ham RadioDemonstration of Remote Ham Radio - control a ham shack from far away
11:45-11:55Dr. Jeff Presents Jeff will do a demonstration of Precision Timing, using an Atomic Clock GPS and Scope.
12:15-12:25Digital Voice Demonstration of communications using DMR



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!


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


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
Al's French Frys
Marco's Pizza

Dorset St - University Mall:
Mall Food Court
Dunkin Donuts
Fortune Cookie



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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FEBRUARY 27, 2016

Last updated: February 22, 2016