THE VERMONT HAM RADIO CONVENTION
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2015

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



THANKS EVERYONE
FOR ANOTHER TREMENDOUS SHOW!

Turnout was 11% higher than last year.
Everyone reports having a wonderful time!

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

See You All Next Year: February 27, 2016!




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:

33 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 28th 2015

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 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.

PARKING

We have plenty of free parking on site!



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:

Check the Forums section for times.


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 TCL 1080 pixel 40" LED High Definition TV with Roku Streaming, 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. There will be special raffle for QRP Kits and accessories only for attendees of the Kit Builder's Forum at 8:30. You must be physically present to win all prizes. And you must be present to witness our outlandish closing ceremonies!



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 Jim N1BCL .


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 and $14 exam fee. Fee must be exact change in cash. No checks will be accepted.



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, 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
REMOTE CONTROL HAM RADIO
Gerry Hull W1VE

Covenant restricted? Noisy RF location? Apartment Dweller? Learn how easy it is to remotely control your station or any station from anywhere an internet connection is available. Gerry will demo two technologies: The plug-n-play hardware from www.remoterig.com, and the essentially free solution from www.remotehams.com. Gerry will demonstrate remote operation using just a computer (even a tablet!) and also using the Elecraft K3/0 remote front panel with the RemoteRig hardware. The demo will include remote operation of the K2LE Contest Superstation in southern Vermont, the SK3W Contest Superstation in Sweden, and a club station in Northern California. Remote operation is in the main stream of ham radio -- come see how it's done!



10:00
AN INTRODUTION TO THE ARRL LABORATORY
Bob Allison WB1GCM

Most QST readers see the monthly column, Product Review and have an idea of some of the work the ARRL Laboratory does. But did you know the Lab has an answer man, Zack Lau, W1VT, who runs the Lab’s Technical Information Service? He provides the answers that many of our members ask when they call or write to the Lab for help. Did you know the Lab has an RFI expert? Many of our members experience RFI and don’t know what to do about it. Mike Gruber, W1MG can help! Who is the watchdog against spectrum encroachment from consumer devices? It’s none other than Lab manager, Ed Hare, W1RFI. Ed is a prominent board member of many standards committees. He also won the BPL battle for all of us. In this forum, we will explain the work the ARRL Lab does. Hosted by Bob Allison, ARRL Senior Test Engineer.



11:00
QST PRODUCT REVIEW; WHAT DO ALL THOSE NUMBERS MEAN?
Bob Allison WB1GCM

The most frequently asked question the ARRL Lab is asked is, “What radio should I buy?” ARRL staff is not permitted to answer that question, but we can certainly point you in the right direction. Bob will explain the key transmitting and receiving tests that are performed at the Lab and what all those numbers mean that are shown in QST Product Review articles. Terms such as Two-tone Third Order Intermodulation Distortion Dynamic Range, Blocking Gain Compression Dynamic Range and Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range can be intimidating or confusing. Bob will explain them in simple terms, as well as some of the transmitting tests. Why is low Phase Noise Important? Bob will explain and in an entertaining way. Hosted by Bob Allison, ARRL Senior Test Engineer.



12:00
ARRL FORUM

Join with our ARRL Director and Section Manager as they detail the state of amateur radio and the ARRL in its second 100 years. The ARRL held its semiannual meeting in January, so there will be all sorts of things to report on. Hosted by Tom Frenaye K1KI, ARRL New England Division Director, and Paul Gayet AA1SU, Vermont Section Manager.



1:15
EXAM SESSION
Forum Room 1

Testing for amateur and commercial FCC licenses. Bring $14.00 exam fee in cash ($50 commercial), two forms of identification, any CSCE’s, pens and pencils. Don’t forget to study!




FORUM ROOM 2

8:30
KIT BUILDING - RADIOS AND ACCESSORIES
John Grow VE2EQL

John will focus on the most popular amateur radio kits that are available. Also, a short history will be presented of the kits that were offered in the past 20 years. Forum will include a show and tell of his recently built kits and how easy it was to build them and get on the air Kits include units from Henndrick QRP kits, NORCAL, Small Wonder Labs and Tuna Tin Kits. There will be a special raffle for QRP kits and accessories donated by John and QRPme, only available to the attendees at the Kit Building Forum. You must be at this forum to win these. Be sure to be there!



9:30
HIGH PERFORMANCE WIRE ANTENNAS: 160 TO 6 METERS
John Grow VE2EQL

This forum discusses some of wire antennas which have been built and used by John. Every antenna discussed can be built by any beginner or experienced ham. The only items that you need is wire and insulators and ladder line (homebrew or manufactured). Antenna types include Extended Double Zepp, Off-center Feed Dipoles, Broadband Wires and Vertical Antennas. Get unbelievable results without spending lots of money on a tower, beams and rotors.



10:30
DIGITAL VOICE REPEATERS
Paul Anzalone N1PA and Bob DeMattia K1IW

As the digital repeater revolution pushes forward, everyone is asking the same question, which one is the best? In this discussion we will review the 3 most popular digital repeater modes; Icom’s D-STAR, Yaesu’s System Fusion and Digital Mobile Radio otherwise known as DMR. We will discuss functionality, how/if they connect to the Internet, Digital vs. Analog and of course the differences between all three systems. Is there one digital mode better than another? You be the judge!



11:30
ELECRAFT FORUM
David Shoat KG6IRW

Live from the West Coast, David comes to us via Skype to present the Elecraft Story. He is their customer support person so he deals with product questions each and every day. The talk will start out with Elecraft's history and design philosophy, while asking the question, "Why Elecraft?" Next is a tour through the K-Line and KX-line families. Finally, the hints and kinks portion of the show will talk about configuring and expanding your Elecraft station based on your operating preferences. And if you are interested in a future purchase of Elecraft equipment, there is no better place to learn. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask lots of questions!



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   Kit Building (8:30)
9:00 Remote Control Ham Radio (9:00)
9:30 High Performance Wire Antennas (9:30)
10:00 Intro to the ARRL Lab (10:00)
10:30 Digital Voice Repeaters (10:30)
11:00 QST Product Reviews (11:00)
11:30 Elecraft Forum (11:30)
12:00 ARRL Forum (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 MINUTES, so be sure to arrive on time or you will miss the show!

9:15-10:25QRP KitsDemonstration of some of the more popular QRP Transceivers
9:45-9:55Digital Voice Digital Voice Communications demonstration with DSTAR and DMR
10:15-10:25Remote Ham Radio See how contacts can be made remotely from Sweden, California and even Vermont.
10:45-10:55Dr. Jeff Presents Our resident Mr. Wizard N1YD will present another exciting electrical demonstration!
11:15-11:25QRP KitsDemonstration of some of the more popular QRP Transceivers
11:45-11:55Digital Voice Digital Voice Communications demonstration with DSTAR and 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.

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 (normal rate is $129).
Why not stay the night and spend a leisurely weekend at HAM-CON?

The Room Block deadline is Saturday, February 8. Reservations made after that time are at the normal room rate.


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 400 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.



Back to RANV Home

HAM-CON

FEBRUARY 28, 2015

Last updated: February 22, 2015