By all accounts, Dayton Hamvention® 2022, which also served as the 70th meeting, was a great success. Thousands of ham radio operators, their families and friends, and other enthusiasts walked through the door during its 3-day run, May 20-22, at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Local reports estimate the event brings over $30 million to the Dayton metro area economy. Official figures and estimates will be available later.
ARRL’s large exhibit area, ARRL EXPO, featured a steady stream of visitors who were treated to a variety of exhibits representing popular membership programs and services. More than a dozen booths were manned by a team of more than 80 program representatives and volunteers, including staff from the ARRL, Board of Directors, and field organization.
Using the “Be Radio Active” theme, the ARRL also hosted numerous Hamvention Forums to encourage attendees to become more active and involved in amateur radio.
On Friday, an ARRL Youth Outreach forum highlighted resources and ideas for attracting and developing young hams. ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, led the crowd of attendees through a highly interactive session on strategies, tools and reasons for involving young people. Centered around the theme “How and why to engage young people in amateur radio”, forum participants participated in discussion groups and shared their findings throughout the forum. The entire presentation was recorded by Josh Nass, KI6NAZ, and can be viewed on his YouTube channel, Ham Radio Crash Course, at https://youtu.be/QZco6tElKBc.
Goodgame’s participation also included exhibitions for the ARRL’s education and learning programs and the Teachers’ Institute. “Both booths were very busy throughout the convention,” he said. “We have made a concerted effort to attract not only amateur radio instructors and others interested in our educational programs, but also young people themselves.” Young hams and potential hams were interviewed by volunteer Cyndi Goodgame, K5CYN, about their experiences and interests with amateur radio, with the aim of obtaining relevant data to help drive future programming and outreach for the ‘ARRL. “Participants who were unlicensed or seeking upgrades received tools and techniques to help them prepare for their amateur radio license exam,” Goodgame said. “Some even returned to the stand after passing their exams!”
ARRL Teachers Institute instructors Larry Kendall, K6NDL, and Wayne Greene, KB4DSF, demonstrated some of the activities that teachers who participate in the professional development program are taught and brought back to their classrooms. Adults and young people received information about the program to take back to their schools, with the aim of continuing to develop the Teachers’ Institute. An October 2022 session of the teachers institute is planned.
Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, Head of ARRL Radiosport and Regulatory Information, described the bustling Radiosport booth where attendees could have their QSL cards checked by volunteers for popular ARRL reward programs, including DXCC. Nearly a thousand cards were checked. He also brought nearly 60 pounds of cards back to ARRL headquarters, destined for the outgoing QSL office.
Jahnke also launched the ARRL Field Day forum on Friday, which included advice for anyone considering attending the popular annual event. Field Day 2022 will take place June 25-26, 2022. Joined by his co-presenters, Jahnke focused on the new Field Day rules. ARRL Operations Manager Bob Naumann, W5OV, offered operating tips including how to secure your Field Day site by addressing generator safety, cord management, lighting area and lightning protection. ARRL Public Relations Committee Member Scott Roberts, KK4ECR, covered ways to promote ARRL Field Day to maximize community and local media attention.
At the booth next to the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC), VEC manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said the traffic was heavy. Visitors provided positive feedback and comments about the program and the new Youth Licensing Grant Program. “We’ve answered hundreds of questions about our programs, FCC application fees and rules, and license filings,” Somma said. Over 90 potential VE packages have been distributed. The team also accepted license renewal and amendment requests, and re-registered EVs with expired accreditations. “Attendees appreciated our support and presence at the booth for licensing issues,” she added.
The VEC booth shared its space with the ARRL Volunteer Monitor (VM) program. A highlight for visitors was the attendance of ARRL VM Program Consultant Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, and FCC District 3 Law Enforcement Bureau Director Lark Hadley, KA4A. Jahnke, Hollingsworth and Hadley presented a VM Forum on Saturday, summarizing the program’s positive impact over the past two years, its cooperative and productive partnership with the FCC on enforcement issues, and emphasizing the encouragement good operating practices.
ARRL Director of Emergency Management, Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, coordinated and operated the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) booth. His team included section emergency coordinators, public information coordinators and vice directors. “It was great to interact with hams from across the country at the booth and get their feedback,” Johnston said. He also led the ARES Forum on Friday, where Johnston shared opportunities for radio amateurs to train and volunteer to serve their communities. He also covered the importance of building relationships with local emergency management agencies and building a strong team. It included panelists from across the country who discussed their experiences and successes within their local ARES community as well as ways to encourage new involvement at the grassroots level. Johnston also visited an EmComm vehicle display hosted by Hamvention. “The time, money and care EmComm groups and individuals have given to these vehicles is remarkable and a valuable asset to their communities in preparing for any emergency,” he said.
A large membership and sales area invited attendees to join the ARRL and renew their membership. Team members were on hand to answer questions about accessing member benefits and services. A variety of ARRL publications and products have been stored for viewing and purchase. Favorites included an end-fed half-wave antenna kit, ARRL license manuals, and ARRL Field Day 2022 gear.
Several ARRL authors and editors were hosted, engaging attendees with their contributions to ARRL magazines, books, and online content. Included were QST Columnist Dave Casler, KE0OG, QST Pascal Villeneuve, VA2PV, Product Review Editor, and John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, ARRL News Editor. National Contest Journal (NYC) Editor Lee Finkel, KY7M, added to the celebration of the journal’s 50 years of publication. Author Glen Popiel, KW5GP, discussed and signed copies of his latest ARRL book, More Arduino for Ham Radio.
Other ARRL exhibits at the EXPO included ARRL Affiliate Club Benefits and Resources for Radio Clubs, the Collegiate Amateur Radio Program, Portable Radio Testing by the ARRL Laboratory, and the ARRL Great Lakes Division (Kentucky , Michigan and Ohio). Attendees could also meet and greet ARRL officers.
An ARRL Members’ Forum was held on Saturday afternoon and was moderated by Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK. The forum included presentations on behalf of the ARRL Historical Committee presented by Vice Midwest Director David Propper, K2DP and the Legislative Advocacy Committee presented by Gulf West Division Director John Robert Stratton. N5AUS. The forum concluded with remarks from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA.
Addressing the Members Forum, President Roderick acknowledged the significant contributions of the nearly 7,000 ARRL Field Organization volunteers across the country who help strengthen the ARRL and amateur radio and serve their communities. . Roderick also urged members to help develop our next generation of radio amateurs by recruiting and developing young radio amateurs.
A video of the forum is available on the ARRL YouTube channel.
Read the full story on the ARRL website and see more photos on the Facebook page.