Hampton Inn Convention Center
Route 2/7 at I-89 Exit 16
Colchester, Vermont


See You All Next Year: February 26, 2011!

HAM-CON was formally known as the Milton Hamfest or the Northern Vermont Winter Hamfest.

It is sponsored by the Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont and is run by the same folks who have brought you many years of fun at the Milton Hamfest.

We are in a super location which is convenient for everyone and has all the facilities to make this a first class show. In addition, we have expanded the Convention to bring in more forums, more dealers and more demonstrations of amateur radio communications.

HAM-CON proudly carries on the Milton Hamfest tradition:

27 Years of Great Hamfests in the North Country!

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

Pictures of Previous Hamfests!

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, 2010

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

Location: Hampton Inn Convention Center, 42 Lower Mountain View Drive at I-89 Exit 16, Colchester.

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

Information: Phone: (802)879-6589, afternoons, 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.


The Hampton Inn is located 1 block North of the I-89 Exit 16 Interchange on Routes 2/7. From the South, I-89, Exit 16. Right at end of ramp, right at next light, right into Hampton Inn. From the North, I-89, Exit 16. Left at end of ramp, right at second light, right into Hampton Inn. Hampton in is on the road leading to Costco. Go to the parking area in the BACK and enter through Entrance "C". Do not enter through the main lobby. Our Grid Square is FN34jm. If you have a GPS or are active on ARPS, our exact location is:
44 30 25 North by 73 10 46 West.

Map of Convention Area
Aerial Shot of Convention Area


From NH and Boston: I-93 North, I-89 North through New Hampshire and Vermont to Vermont Exit 16.

From WMa and CT: I-91 North, I-89 North to Exit 16.

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 16.


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 16.
Alternate route: Autoroute 10, Autoroute 35 to Route 133 South to Border. Then I-89 to Exit 16.



Note: The Crown Point Bridge (Connecting VT Rt 17) is no more! The only fixed vehicle crossings are the Rouses Point Bridge at the U.S. border, or the Route 4 crossing in Whitehall, NY at the southern tip of the lake. Ferry crossings:

Ferry CrossingOperateswebsite info
Plattsburgh, NY to Grand Isle, VT24/7 info
Crown Point, NY to Chimney Point (Rt 17), VT24/7 info

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

The Essex, VT - Charlotte, VT Ferry and the Ticonderoga, NY to Bridport, VT Ferry are both 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 16.

From Plattsburgh area: Northway I-87 Exit 39, Rt 314 to Ferry. (Runs every 15 min, $18 Round trip). 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 16.

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. Take Crown Point Ferry. 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 16.


We have arranged to make sure there is ample parking. Be sure to use the parking area behind the building near Entrance "C", which is to your left as you enter the Hampton Inn.


We have instituted advanced sales to save you money and to make the admission process smoother. We strongly recommend all vendors use advanced sales.

Admission at the door

Advanced Sales Admission

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


The Fleamarket 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 plan to be there:

Ham Radio Outlet Carries all major pieces of equipment from Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, Alinco, MFJ.
Quicksilver Radio "(Almost) Everything But The Rig": including Connectors, Antennas, Coax and Power Supplies.
The Shoppe at Wulfden Ham radio kits, Microprocessor parts and kits, LCD displays and kits.
Webster Associates A variety of ham radio equipment and supplies, new and used.
Dave Schneider Dave is the "Connector Guy" with a seemingly endless assortment of connectors and adapters for every need!
Bob McTeague Bob, a longtime Milton attendee, will have books, electronic parts and Shortwave receivers for sale

Forums will run from 8:15 until 1:30. The forum rooms are located on either side of Flea Market. Details are in the Forums section.

1. Special Event Station W1V. We'll be ON-THE-AIR and broadcasting to the world on 20 meters. We need operators - especially new operators. Sign up for a 15-30 minute slot.

2. Remote Controlled Station. Sit in front of the laptop and be in control of KK1L's Ham Shack located 8 miles away.

3. Software Defined Receiver. Plug a small box into your laptop and it is transformed into a full function receiver complete with filters and ability far beyond that of your average shortwave receiver!

NEW! This is the place to gather after the goodies have been bought or sold, after the forums and after lunch. The closing will be a brief activity featuring entertainment, announcements, acknowledegements and the (ta-da) the announcement of door prize winners. Make sure you set aside time for this new event!

Door prizes will be drawn at the closing ceremonies at 12:30. No more worrying about missing the drawing while attending a forum. BUT..... you must be present to win! And you must be present to witness our outlandish new closing ceremonies!

This year's GRAND PRIZE is a Vizio 23 inch Razor LED/LCD High Definition TV, courtesy of WCAX-TV! Other prizes include $50 and $25 gift certficates for ARRL Publications in addition to other goodies to be announced. But YOU MUST BE AT THE CLOSING CEREMONIES TO WIN!

The Volunteer Exam Session will be at 1:00. 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.

Exams for FCC Commercial Licenses (GROL, MROP, etc) will be at 1:00. Please bring ID, proof of citizenship, pen, pencil and $50 exam fee. This fee has just gone up from $35.) Contact examiner at (802) 879-6589 for details.



These layouts will be changing a lot so keep checking back for the latest information!


HAM-COM continues in the tradition of the Milton Hamfest and will have the finest collection of Amateur Radio Informational Forums in the North Country. There is something which interests every amateur operator. Stop in on the forum and learn a whole bunch of new stuff. The forum times are tight, so plan your schedule in advance for best results!

The forums will run in two different rooms. Forums will run from 8:15 AM until 1:00 PM. Forum Room 1 is just to the left of the Flea Market. Forum Room 2 is 150 feet down the hallway past the pool. Forums in Room 1 will start 30 minutes past the hour and Forums in Room 2 will start on the hour..
Make sure you get to the forums on time. They will not wait!


Ed Hare W1RFI

RFI is a problem that affects hams and their neighbors alike. This forum will start with a presentation to give an overview of politics, personalities and technical issues involved in RFI. Then it will outline the standard causes and cures for interference. The question and answer session that follows the formal slide presentation turns this into a real RFI workshop. Hosted by Ed Hare W1RFI, ARRL Laboratory Supervisor.

Ed Hare W1RFI

This is a question which Hams have asked for over 100 years! And now we have the tools to give you the answer. Using a laptop running EZNEC and other modeling programs, our wizard will give you an answer to your most pressing antenna questions. For example, which is better, a 40 meter halfwave dipole up 40 feet or a 40 meter vertical with 16 radials? The answer will surprise you! Hosted by Ed Hare W1RFI, ARRL Laboratory Supervisor.

Cal Calvitto WA1WOK

D-STAR stands for Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio. It is a digital voice and data protocol specification developed to investigate digital technologies to be used on amateur radio. But what is really and what can one do with it? That is why we are all here! This presentation will outline the uses of DSTAR and what it takes to get set up. Hosted by Cal Calvitto WA1WOK of Ham Radio Outlet.

K5D DESECHEO DXPEDITION 2009 - So Rare, So Near, Yet So Far

This is a recently released movie documenting the 2009 DXPedition to Desecheo Island, off of Puerto Rico. Closed to amateurs for many years, it was one of the rarest DX countries until this visit. The video is full of exciting footage of helicopter trips, the island from the air, camp set-up and takedown, pileups, and an inside look into the logistics of a big DXpedition. And one of our former RANV members, Grant K1KD was there as an operator! Want to know all the details – watch the movie. Also check out http:// This movie will be repeated at the March RANV meeting.


New for 2010! We will all get together for a brief 20-30 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! Plan to stay around because you won’t want to miss our very first Closing Ceremony.


Ron Rossi KK1L

You want to get on 20 meters and work some DX, but you have to be out of town on business and are stuck in a hotel room with no room for an antenna. No problem! Just get on your laptop and use the Internet to remotely operate your home station from anywhere in the world. There will be a short presentation on what equipment is needed and how to set it up. After the forum, visit the live demonstration located next to W1V. Hosted by Ron Rossi KK1L.

Bob Allen KB1FRW

New for 2010! You’ve been to all of the Antenna Forums. Now try your hand at actually constructing a working antenna. Participants will construct a portable 3 element, 2-Meter yagi which can be used as a gain antenna or for Direction Finding. The session is open to everyone and no antenna building skills are necessary. Cost is $10 for materials. Sign up in advance as there are only 10 slots open for antenna builders. Spectators can attend, room permitting. Hosted by Bob Allen KB1FRW. Contact Bob to reserve a spot in the antenna construction session.

John Grow VE2EQL

A Go-Kit is complete ham station, packed up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. In this presentation, we will learn how to build a VHF/UHF Go-Kit Box, which includes the radio, battery, power supply, antenna and other necessary components. The discussion will focus on what works and what doesn’t work. Find out how to build up your Go-Kit and be ready for anything! The forum includes a demonstration and hand-outs. Hosted by John Grow VE2EQL.

Mitch Stern W1SJ

Why do some hams make all the juicy contacts while you end up buried in a sea of QRM? How do hams instinctively know what to say during emergencies? How can contesters talk so darn fast? The answer: they are great operators! A great operator is successful no matter what happens. In this presentation, usually given at Hamvention each year, you will learn some of the tips and techniques the big boys use, followed by a little practice session. How do you get to be a great operator? Go to this forum. And practice a lot! Hosted by Mitch Stern W1SJ.


Grab a bite to eat and join with our ARRL Director, ARRL Vice Director and Vermont Section Manager as they detail the state of amateur radio in 2010. The ARRL holds its semiannual meeting in January, so there will be all sorts of things to report on. The first half of the forum will be informational and the second half will allow ample time for questions and discussion. Hosted by Tom Frenaye K1KI, ARRL New England Division Director, Mike Raisback K1TWF, Vice Director and Paul Gayet AA1SU, ARRL Vermont Section Manager.


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

2010 Forums At A Glance

8:00   Operate Your Station From Anywhere (8:15)
8:30 Radio Frequency Interference
9:00 Antenna Construction Session
9:30 Which Antenna Is Best?
10:00 Emergency Go-Kit
10:30 Demystifying DSTAR
11:00 Techniques of the Best Operators
11:30 K5D Desecheo DXPedition
12:00 Lunch at the ARRL
12:30 HAM-CON 2010 Closing Ceremony
1:00   VE Session



Vendors can elect to take advantage of early entry (6:00) or normal entry (8:00).


  1. Available 6:00-8:00 only
  2. Admission: $15 at door, $12 in advance


  1. Available 8:00 until end of hamfest
  2. Admission: $8 at door, $6 in advance
  3. Tables first come, first served

We will reserve tables only for setups of 4 tables or larger. There is still no charge for tables. Tables are NOT guaranteed. Get a sneak preview of the Flea Market Area by downloading the Flea Market 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 Hampton 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?
Reserve early, as this deal will not be available past mid-February.

Call them directly at: 802-655-6177

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 16 Colchester 
Quality Inn        655-1400
Motel 6            654-6860

Rt 15 Colchester (2mi)
Days Inn           655-0900
Handy's Suites     655-6000

I-89 exit 14 - Williston Rd (2mi)
Anchorage Inn      863-7000
Best Western       863-1125
Comfort Inn        863-5541
Doubletree         658-0250
Ethan Allen Inn    863-4573
Hawthorne Suites   860-1212
Holiday Inn        863-6363
Ho-Hum Motel       863-4551
LaQuinta Inn       864-4638
Sheraton Inn       865-6600
Swiss Host         862-5734

Downtown Burlington (5mi)
Hilton             658-6500
Marriot Courtyard  864-4700



The Hampton has agreed to make a limited selection of munchies and lunches available. The food table will be located in the main lobby, between the Flea Market and Forum Room 1. In the morning, there will be coffee, and an assorment of muffins, danish and fruit available.

Later on, a small selection of packaged lunches will be provided. These must be preordered by 10:30 at the food table, and will be made available at noon. A sample of the lunch order form can be seen here. The lunches will consist of Turkey/Bacon or Ham/Swiss or a large Hot Dog with chips and pickle. Prices range $5-7, tax included. Beats going on into the snow and cold to get eats! Simply fill out the lunch form sometime in the morning, submit it with payment and pick up your lunch at lunchtime. There are no other restaurants located within in the hotel.

But if the above doesn't get it done for you, fortunately, there are other places to eat nearby!

Eatery TypeWhere
Smokey Bones Sit-Downnext door
Costco (members only) Snacksend of Mt View Dr
Friendly's Sit-downacross Route 2/7
Shaws Supermarketacross Route 2/7
Maplefields Sandwichesacross Mt View Dr
Burger King Burgers2/7 South of I-89, left at So Park Dr
McDonalds Burgers2/7 South of I-89, left at So Park Dr
Juniors Italian2/7 South of I-89, left at So Park Dr
Libby's Diner2/7 South of I-89, right at Highpoint Cir


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


FEBRUARY 27, 2010

Last updated: February 27, 2010