ARRL once again will be out in force at Hamvention® — May 18 – 20 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. The largest annual Amateur Radio gathering in the US this year has been sanctioned as the 2018 ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention. This is only Hamvention’s second year at its new location in Xenia after decades at the now-shuttered Hara Arena.
ARRL EXPO — a large exhibit area in Building 2 (“Tesla” Building) — will serve as the hub for ARRL activities, booths, and program representatives. More than 90 team members will support ARRL EXPO, including 18 ARRL Headquarters staffers. Recent additions to the ARRL EXPO guide include schedules for the ARRL Stage and “Meet the Authors” table.
Hamvention’s theme this year is “Amateur Radio…Serving the Community.” ARRL will reflect that spirit by sponsoring four forums on Friday and Saturday that will comprise a Public Service Communications track. Convention goers attending three or more ARRL-sponsored Public Service Communications forums will earn an ARRL certificate in recognition of their commitment to ham radio public service training and development.
At the popular ARRL Membership Forum at noon on Saturday in Room 3, Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, will share an update on proposed new guidelines for Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) volunteers. He’ll also discuss plans for a new volunteer management software system, ARES Connect. Willams is leading a team that is seeking to upgrade ARES training and ensure the service continues to be a valuable partner for its served agencies into the future.
Hamvention Increases Information Efforts
Visitors wanting up-to-date information while traveling to or attending Hamvention are encouraged to take advantage of text alerts, made available this year. The alerts will share important weather, traffic, parking, and other information throughout the weekend of the show. To subscribe to the system, users should text “Hamvention18” to 888777. Hamvention has credited Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, KX8GCS, with making the alert system possible.
The alert system is the latest addition to Hamvention’s efforts to disseminate important visitor information. For many years, Hamvention has had a talk-in station on the Dayton Amateur Radio Association repeater (146.94 MHz – 123.0 Hz tone) to give directions and other assistance. A traffic bulletin station has been added on 145.525 MHz to periodically repeat needed information. The text alerts and the talk-in and traffic bulletin stations will all share information about road conditions, accidents or other incidents, detours, parking status, and other news and information. Hamvention General Chairman Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, said that all three efforts should help make arrival and parking more efficient. Talk-in station operators also can provide directions to anyone who might have missed a turn or otherwise need assistance.
During Hamvention this year, hourly prize numbers will be posted on Twitter as soon as possible, as well as displayed on monitors throughout the Fairgrounds. Following Sunday’s Grand Prize drawings, winners will be posted on Twitter and on the Hamvention website’s prizes page.
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