THE VERMONT HAM RADIO CONVENTION
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2018

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




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:

36 Years (over 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 24th 2018

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 $9. 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 sale tickets are no longer available. Please purchase tickets 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
THE ARRL LAB: TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS & TALL TALES
ED HARE W1RFI

ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare has promised to give us the real "inside" information about what goes on in the ARRL Lab. He has a presentation that is chock full of information about the day-to-day things that happen in Lab when nobody is looking. Ed claims that every word is true, even the tall tales, but some of them involve fishing, so we suspect that a few of them may be a bit, um... well... exaggerated. Ed tells us, however, that will tell a few tales that you will never read about in the pages of QST! Hosted by ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare W1RFI.



10:00
ANTENNA MODELING AND PROPAGATION PREDICTION
ED HARE W1RFI

Ed returns to show you how to do antenna modeling using EZNEC, how to model propagation using ICEPAC and how to analyze your feed line using TLA. Computer modeling is all the rage to increase the performance of our antenna systems. Using these tools he will answer the age-old question: "Which is better, a 40 meter half wave dipole up 40 feet or a 40 meter vertical with 16 radials? The answer will surprise you! Hosted by ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare W1RFI.



11:00
HAM RADIO AID FOR DOMINICA
Brian Machesney K1LI/J75Y

Dominica (J7) is known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean It is a place where Brian visits each year to operate and relax. In the days and weeks following the most devastating hurricane to hit Dominica in 40 years, amateur radio provided life-saving communications despite devastating losses suffered by hams across the country. Brian will describe the events that culminated in the delivery of a $30,000 strategic package of equipment to rebuild and reinforce ham radio capability on Dominica. Hosted by Brian Machesney K1LI/J75Y.



12:00
ARRL FORUM
Tom Frenaye K1KI

The ARRL has been in the news a lot these days with stories of Director behavior rules, Director candidate disqualification, new board proposals, and the stepping down of the current ARRL CEO. Fresh on the heels of the ARRL Board meeting in January, Tom will explain all what is going on and how the ARRL will move forward. Beyond this topic, he will look ahead to see where the ARRL and amateur radio is going in future years. You won't want to miss it. Hosted by ARRL New England Division Director Tom Frenaye K1KI.



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
MINIMIZING BUREAUCRATIC QRM FOR YOUR ANTENNA
Trevor Lewis KD1YT

ARRL Volunteer Council Trevor Lewis will present an overview of federal, Vermont, and local law and land use restrictions that affect antennas and towers. These regulations can often vary dramatically by location so you have a lot to consider. You will learn how you can try to best support your own freedom to radiate a signal. Hosted by Trevor Lewis KD1YT.



9:30
FT8: THE MODE TAKING HAM RADIO BY STORM
Mitch Stern W1SJ

Learn about ham radio's newest digital mode, FT8. Hundreds of people get on FT8 hourly. We'll start out with an introduction to this new digital mode for those unfamiliar with it. Later, we'll offer hints and tricks to be a more effective FT8 operator. But is this REALLY ham radio? You decide. But the QSL Cards are very real. Hosted by SSB/CW operator Mitch Stern W1SJ.



10:30
BALUNS - THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
John Grow VE2EQL

No single balun (or type of balun) will work for all applications. What kinds of baluns we should use for different antennas such as Verticals, End feds etc? What kinds of baluns we should AVOID using? How YOU can build your own balun for a fraction of the cost of most commercial baluns? We will show off materials, explain where to buy components, and describe how to build a balun. If you don't wish to home brew, then you will learn what to look for when choosing a commercial balun. Hosted by John Grow VE2EQL.



11:30
UNDERSTANDING MARCONI'S TRANSATLANTIC WIRELESS FEAT
Jeff Briggs K1ZM/VY2ZM

Marconi is generally recognized as being the father of modern radio from his claimed reception of the letter "S" in Newfoundland from a station in England, over 2100 miles away. Due to the fact that this was supposedly achieved in broad daylight on a frequency around 800 KHz, some have come to dispute this claim. Jeff, from his super station VY2RM in Prince Edward Island not only works Europe on 160 meters during the day, but has actually heard European broadcast stations in the daytime hours. Jeff will join us from his PEI shack during a break in the CQ 160 meter contest and detail the story and science behind Marconi's Wireless Feat. Hosted by Jeff Briggs, K1ZM/VY2ZM.



1:00
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   Minimizing Bureaucratic QRM (8:30)
9:00 The ARRL Lab (9:00)
9:30 FT8: Taking the World By Storm (9:30)
10:00 Modeling Antennas(10:00)
10:30 Baluns: Good, Bad, Ugly (10:30)
11:00 Dominica Aid (11:00)
11:30 Marconi's Transatlantic Feat(11:30)
12:00 ARRL Forum(12:00)
1:00 Closing Ceremonies (1:00)
1:00 VE Session (1:20)  
1:30







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 10. 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
Homewood Suites    652-4400
Trader Duke's      658-0250
Ethan Allen Inn    863-4573
Hawthorne Suites   860-1212
Ho-Hum Motel       863-4551
LaQuinta Inn       864-4638
Doubletree         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
Hilton Garden Inn  951-0099
Hotel Vermont      651-0080
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
Roman Delight
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 24, 2018

Last updated: February 17, 2018