THE VERMONT HAM RADIO CONVENTION
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014

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



THANKS EVERYONE
FOR A TREMENDOUS SHOW!

Turnout was roughly similar to last year.
Everyone reports having a wonderful time!

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

See You All Next Year: February 28, 2015!




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:

32 Years of Great Hamfests in the North Country!

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



Pictures of Previous Hamfests!

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 22nd, 2014

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. On Hamfest day, look for prerecorded hamfest information and announcements on 146.67 MHz.



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 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. The new equipment dealers who tentatively plan to be there:

Webster Associates A variety of ham radio equipment and supplies, new and used.
K2AUO Pete has lots of electronic goodies, LED Flashlights and stuff you didn't know you needed until now!
The Shoppe at Wulfden Ham radio kits, Microprocessor parts and kits, LCD displays and kits.



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 Phillips Series 5000 32" High Definition Television, courtesy of WCAX-TV! Other prizes include $50 and $25 gift certficates for ARRL Publications, and a whole bunch of goodies. Door prizes will be drawn at the Closing Ceremonies at 12:55 in Forum Room 2-3 No more worrying about missing the drawing while attending a forum. BUT..... you must be physically present to win! And you must be present to witness our outlandish closing ceremonies!



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.




2014 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 W1AW/1 OPERATION FROM VERMONT
Mitch Stern W1SJ

For a week starting March 26th, hams in Vermont have the task of putting W1AW/1 on the air for all to work! That amounts to 168 hours, 9 HF bands times 3 modes! Are we having fun yet? You betcha! Mitch will go into some of details on how we plan to pull off this huge undertaking. In addition he will go over some of the details of the ARRL Centennial Celebration and how to use Logbook of the World to get credit for all your Centennial QSO's. Hosted by Mitch Stern W1SJ.



10:00
AN INTRODUCTION To PSK-31 and JT-65
Steve Ford WB8IMY

PSK31 and JT65 are of the two most popular HF digital modes today. The “secret” of their popularity is the fact that they make it possible for hams with poor antennas and low power to work the world! All you need is a computer, an interface, an SSB transceiver and some free software. Learn how to use these modes and discover what they can do for you. Hosted by Steve Ford WB8IMY.



11:00
QST: A LOOK INSIDE
Steve Ford WB8IMY

QST is the largest circulation Amateur Radio magazine in the world. Come hear from the Editor-in-Chief of QST and discover how this complex publication comes together each month – from the time an article is accepted to the moment the issues roll off the press. There is much more to the process than you may think! Hosted by QST Editor Steve Ford WB8IMY.



12:00
ARRL FORUM

Join with our ARRL Director and Section Manager as they detail the state of amateur radio in 2014. The ARRL held its semiannual meeting in January, so there will be all sorts of things to report on. This week, the Vermont Senate is working on a bill to ban use of portable electronic devices while driving in Vermont. As written, this bill includes hand held transceivers. Find out what has been already done to combat this and how to communicate your concerns to your legislators. 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
HOW TO GET THE RADIO YOU ALWAYS WANTED
John Grow VE2EQL

It does not matter if you are a long time ham or a newbie, you CAN get that special radio that you lust after. Presented in a deadpan serious and comedic delivery, John lays out the steps on acquiring your new addition without taking on added debt. Details include: how to do an inventory of existing station equipment; finding unused funds that are just sitting around not doing anything; and how to get the family on your side before the new arrival adorns your shack. Many more serious and funny tips will be offered. Hosted by John Grow VE2EQL.



9:30
REMOTE OPERATION OF AN ELECRAFT K3 STATION
John Grow VE2EQL

Join us for a hands-on talk on how an HF station can be remotely controlled. John's station, 2 hours north of Montreal, features a very quiet noise floor and a large wire antenna 85 feet in the air. What is unique about this remote station is that no host computer is required, and that full control and monitoring of AC & DC circuits, RF power & SWR, and antenna switching is provided. Using either a laptop or an Ipad or Iphone, contacts through this station can be made from anywhere - even from HAM-CON! John has experimented with many remote station products and ideas and this is the latest system he is using. Hosted by John Grow VE2EQL.



10:30
THE DOCTOR IS IN!
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. Today, Joel joins us live from his shack in Connecticut via Skype. Bring your questions — technical ones are best.



11:30
HAMS IN HOLLYWOOD: "LAST MAN STANDING"
John Amodeo NN6JA

"Last Man Standing" is a comedy seen on ABC on Friday nights. It features Tim Allen playing the part of Mike Baxter, who uses the callsign KA0XTT on the show. A couple of shows have already shown Mike and family having QSO's from the well apppointed ham shack on the set. But did you know that that ham shack is a real working ham radio station and is often used for special events? Over the years, some 20 people on crew have obtained their ham license. John, the producer of the show, will be joining us from sunny Southern California via Skype to tell us how he created the ham radio team and eventually sold the idea of using ham radio operation on the show. This will be a real special event - don't miss it and come early to get a good seat! Hosted by John Amodeo NN6JA.



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!



2014 Forums At A Glance

TIME
ROOM 1
ROOM 2
8:30   Get the Radio You Always Wanted (8:30)
9:00 W1AW/1 Operation From Vermont (9:00)
9:30 Remote Operation of an HF Station (9:30)
10:00 Intro to PSK-31 and JT-65 (10:00)
10:30 The Doctor Is In! (10:30)
11:00 QST: A Look Inside(11:00)
11:30 Hams In Hollywood: "Last Man Standing" (11:30)
12:00 ARRL Forum (12:00)
12:30 Closing Ceremonies (12:55)
1:00 VE Session (1:15)
1:30




ACTIVITIES ROOM VIDEOS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND MINI-FORUMS

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!

8:30-9:25 Video: "HK0NA Malpelo Island DXpedition" Tired of all the cold snowy weather? Join us on a DXpedition to tropical Malpelo, off the coast of Colombia, where it is warm year around and the pileups are spectacular!
9:30-9:30JT-65 A demonstration of JT-65, a digital mode which specializes in digging weak signals out of the noise.
9:50-10:00MARSFind out about opportunities with the Military Auxiliary Radio Service.
10:10-10:35 Video: "100 Years of the ARRL" A video journey celebrating the ARRL Centennial.
10:40-10:50Dr. Jeff Presents Our resident Mr. Wizard N1YD will present another exciting electrical demonstration!
11:00-11:10MARS MARS - Find out about opportunities with the Military Auxiliary Radio Service.
11:20-11:30Elecraft KX3Check out some of the features and abilities of Elecraft's latest mini-transceiver.
11:40-12:05 Video: "100 Years of the ARRL" A video journey celebrating the ARRL Centennial.




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.



Book Special Rate Directly Online with Holiday Inn or
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
Quiznos
Samosaman
Sbarro
Subway
Taco Bell


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.



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HAM-CON

FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Last updated: February 16, 2014