Dayton Hamvention May 2013


Have been going to the Hamvention for a while now, started keeping this web thing as kind of a blog thing about the trip. At one time the Hamvention or ham fest or what ever you want to call it was the only and primary reason for going but over the years being a annual event a lot of other events have become part of the pilgrimage. Nowdays its a event that includes Fair Radio, the Air Force Museum and lots of other things.


Fair Radio (Thurasday)

My favorite, the back warehouse


Every night at the hamvention I try to put together something to post to Millist, this is a copy of the Thursday night post:



Friday the 17th of May, the first official day of Dayton, I say that knowing that I stopped by the hamvention site yesterday and saw that many of the usual military radio people were there and set up, an entire encampment around Dennis location. Have been told that many deals take place on Thursday but not being there I have no idea. I did make the trip up I-75 to Fair radio and always a pleasure to visit there. If you have never been there whatís not apparent from the web site or catalog is the fact that there is a ton of stuff in the front showroom, saw more stuff at reasonable prices this year in the showroom, things like TCS receivers and transmitters under $100 each, several R-1051 receivers and a HT-4 (not BC-610) for $995

Now about Friday and the Hamvention, weather was threatening but there was no rain. Lots of rain this evening after seven or so but the fest was dry and hot with temperatures in the eighties and occasional sunshine. Selling was good; I sold almost everything that I brought.  Lots of military radios and equipment are at the show. Saw BC-221 in numbers too numerous to count, several ARC-5 sets including some that were not modified. At least five or six BC-348 receivers in prices from $100 to $300 for clean unmodified sets, two ARR-15 receivers in good shape sold for $60 each, ARN-6 and 7 receivers only for $75, BC-342 receivers for $200 each and Collins R-388 receivers in the $500 range( at least three) R-390 receives were everywhere in the prices range from $500 to $750 with several part sets from $100 to $300 and crazy things like beat 51S1 receivers for well over $1,300 only saw one R-392 and that was $250. Interesting things like two complete PRC-47 transceivers with the big case including antennas, keys and all the cables for $400, a Collins 618S1 for $200 and someone selling lots of Harris RF-350 sets and accessories with sets selling for $200 each, they have dropped in price, they were non-working. I bought a APR-4Y for $40, and turned down couple other APR-4 in the same price range, one space had a huge collection of old intercept gear, APR-4, APR-5, APR-7 APR-8 along with the APA-10 and BC-1036 pan adapters all in the $100 to $300 price range along with one of those hideous RDO systems with matching pan adapter and couple SRR-13 receivers for $175 and $300

All the usual sellers were there that are there every year with one exception that the Murphyís from Murphy surplus was there and selling this year, good to see them and their high end radios. And before I forget to mention did see one complete TCS set, receiver, transmitter, mounts and remote control head for $500. Will be posting more tomorrow.

couple of pictures from Saturday morning.

Today, Saturday was overcast in the morning and there was about a solid hour of rain with clearing before noon. Attendance was down today over yesterday because of the weather. There were fewer sellers in the tailgating section being that may stay closed because of the threat of rain. Did notice several more R-388 or 51J receivers today, almost as many as there were R-390 receivers in the $400 price range including a clean R-388 with matching case for $450 Saw a couple CV-591 SSB adapters but they were expensive being around $400 or so. Also saw a TMC GRP-90 with case for $500 and the matching SSB adapter for $600 and saw several ARC-5 sets with one complete for $25 to $75 I gave real thought to trying to buy a Harris RF-590 but it was out of my price range being $1,700 so ended up collecting up a bunch of APR1 and 4 tuning units along with another APR-4 for $40

The 3885 AM net control was a beautiful TBX-8 with battery box, and external HV motor generator for the transmitter with a total of 29 stations checking in using Pogo Sticks, MAB, DAV and several BC-611 although not as many BC-611 sets as in past years. The 51.0 Cold War net had a total of 56 stations check in with Dales net control progressing thru three different radios due to failures, many PRR/PRT sets, lots of PRC-126,68 and European sets and one person who had just bought a PRC-25, found someone selling the batteries and got it on the air this afternoon.

As usual donít plan on being there tomorrow although did notice several of the regularĒ hard coreĒ military radios group will be there. I think this has been a great year for selling, at least for me and have noticed a new trend in sellers. You have the usual dealers and individuals who know what they are selling and ask a fair or at least what would think is a reasonable price and then you had at least five or six sellers who were selling out estates and selling at bottom prices. The guy that sells the big custom tube amplifiers had a truck full of what must have been an estate and everything he sold was at a good price, thatís where the ARR-15, PRC-47, TU tuning units and lots of other stuff got sold. He sold a SCR-506 HF receiver transmitter sets that were used in armored service and sold the transmitter for $80 and the receiver for $40, wish I had seen it first being thatís the radio that in the CQ Surplus conversion manual listed it as a 400 Lbs. of nothing. What a great radio that would be to use there next year or at Gilbert!


 This year the 3885 AM net control station was a TBX-8 set up.


3885 Kc AM Net



51.0 FM Net Cold War Net


Some final thoughts:

Not quite back home yet, stopped at WV two spend a day or two at a large sporting goods store, spent more money buying the sniper variant of a Mosin Nagant rifle and other odds and ends. Want to apologize for anyone who tried to get up with me at Dayton being that only just now getting to reading all the emails. Some final thought s about the Hamvention, first no complaints this year about the venue. Yes itís a dump but no worse than itís been in years past. The Hara Arena is maybe a metaphor for whatís happened to Dayton in general and looking at downtown Wheeling there appears to be a lot of that about. Prices are what they are and it appears there are two or three sets of prices, one set of high prices by the people who know what they are selling and want what they perceive a fair market value, a second set of prices that has to do with being connected to the word Collins and a third set of low to sometimes crazy high prices by people who are selling something they came across as part of a estate, trade, yard sale or whatever. But at the end of the day thatís maybe how itís always been, well except for the Collins stuff. All the WW2 stuff is approaching if not already the realm of antique radio equipment so that has added to the perceived value. The days of the $20 BC-348 or $5 ARC-5 in clean unmodified condition are over. You can find modified or parts sets, but today the good stuff is snapped up fast by people who know what they have and want what they want. There are what I would consider bargains out there. PRC-47 radios and sets are selling at low prices, $200 for the radios and complete field kits for $400 and the R-388 that are out there can be haggled down to reasonable numbers and thatís not a bad radio for $300  The best thing about sales like Dayton thereís always something that you never thought of thatís there. I had been looking for an APR-4Y for years, not a constant search and have seen them on EBay at stupid high prices and now ended up with a couple receivers and a flock of TU for them with less than $100 and the other thing I picked up just as an impulse buy was an old sonabouy, with the transit case and everything for just $25, where else are you going to find stuff like this? And as already has been mentioned it is one of the biggest event for mill radio people for the real use of field equipment on AM and FM and one of the best opportunities to get together and talk to or just see people who you may only know from the keyboard or on air operations. Perhaps in the future we can think about having a forum there?



Return to " Rays Web Page"


June 13