Hopefully not a repeat of prior years
Inbound traffic was a complete nightmare. Local law enforcement was on top of it and controlling it to the best of their ability but there's a bottleneck from the north and south. I don't think there's a means for controlling it any better other than to build additional lanes.
Had a chance to see the new 6400/6600 and discuss it with a few of the FRS folks. All staff were knowledgeable about the product . Fit and finish is of the usual high FRS quality.
I can understand the need to integrate the panel with the transceiver - there are so many ops who just cannot wrap their heads around a multi-piece transceiver. That's a shame because they would likely be happier with a Maestro as a detached panel. In the case of the 6600, there's little difference between the price of the 6600M and a 6600/Maestro combination. Why anyone just has to have the panel permantely attached is beyond me.
A bit disappointed though with the large cabinet size of the non-M versions and lack of a dedicated Rx loop. The TrsV port may suffice but that creates a tactical problem when using a transverter and the need for external loop filtering/processing. So, the 6700 may still be more agile in this area. Also, most ops will probably prefer to have mic, headphone, and CW key jacks on the front panel. I routinely change these devices and rear panel access can be a hassle. Of course, one could always use a set of "Y" adapters and bring one end out on a pigtail sufficiently long enough to reach the front.
The 7th order preselector is a welcome addition in the 6600/6600M and hopefully FRS has an upgrade path planned for existing 6700 owners.
Lots of new equipment offerings from other vendors, especially RF amplifiers. Exciting times!
I must admit to being a Hamfest Junkie. I have been going to Dayton most years since 1961. In my youth (1960's 1970's) I attended a Hamfest somewhere in the world nearly every weekend if a project took me close except when I had a project that made travel impossible..../
For the last couple of Decades I have also attended Friedrichshafen, Visalia, Tokyo to name a few.
I go to eyeball friends around the world, see the latest innovations, buys NEW stuff at discounted convention prices and share a lot of Adult Beverages.
OTOH I rarely if ever buy anything in the Flea Market because the stuff I have throw in the garbage is usually newer and better quality that the stuff for sale.
However.. in the last few years, most of the Hamfest's have now moved into Modern Convention Centers with real walls, Air Conditioning, Real Food and Adult Beverages... sort of the norm for the 21st Century...Most are convenient to Airports. Yes the Flea Markets have become a pale shadow of yesteryear everywhere.. but you only had to look at the Mudbath to see that is now true at XENIA as well..
Bottom Line: For the Hamfest that bills itself as the Premier USA Ham Event, the choice of 19th Century Cow Sheds (albeit better than the Sewage Volcano) rather than a Modern 21st Century Convention Center is a real disappointment. I have Ham Friends around the world who after attending Dayton comment how 3rd World Dayton is and how much the USA has deteriorated over the years.
So far, with the exception of Ria.. who sees the bright side of everything....I have been getting consistent negative reports from most of my friends who attended,
Quoted from Pat WA6MHZ- an avid Flea Marketer
" I get an "I TOLD YOU SO!!!!" on the Flea Market!! You cannot have a tailgate on Grass. wait till Sunday when they need to have a ZILLION Tow Trucks to pull the vendors out of the mud!!! The Infield is going to be completely trashed with all the vehicle activity. They need to have the Flea Market on PAVEMENT!!!"
My station located in La Jolla California is one of many stations connected through SmartLink and being demonstrated at the flex booth. It looks like the booth was pretty busy as I see more than a couple of dozen logins or connections to my station from Xenia
The only annoying thing is that I had sound muted here and remoted to Xenia. But occasionally someone would ounmute the sound and routed to my station in La Jolla which wakes up the dogs and causes them to Bark
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