Hello everybody and welcome back to my blog. This post we are going to talk about Ham-Com. Ham-Com is one of the major ham radio conventions and it based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. It is always on the second weekend of June, on Friday and Saturday. When I first got my license it was on Sunday to which was good because you could get those last night, don’t want to take this stuff home with me type deals at the swap meet part of it. Unfortunately, they no longer have it on Sundays. Ham-com started way back in 1977 when a small group of hams decided to reinvent an amateur radio gathering that had been held in the Dallas area. The first ham-com was held in 1978 and had an attendance of about 800 people. In 1986, Ham-Com was moved to the Arlington Convention Center where it grew with the convention center until the City of Arlington decided that it needed the ACC for high school graduation for the second weekend in June, which forced the organizers to either change the date or the venue. Unfortunately, with Ham-Com being such a big event and so many manufactures coming to it every year, it was very hard to change the date, so they decided to move to the Plano Centre in Plano, TX. The venue was smaller and personally, I think, it hurt the convention to move there because it seemed to be about half the size and vendors and a very small swap meet area.
I went to the first ham-com that was in Plano and never returned. For me it was nearly two-hour drive, it took an hour, maybe an hour and a half, to walk through it and then another two-hour drive home. I was told that it got a little better the next few years, but I had my doubts. This year, Ham-Com has been moved to the Irving Convention Center. From the look of the brochure and the layout of the convention center, I think it is going to be nice. Unfortunately for me, my work schedule doesn’t coincide with the times that the convention is open, so it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to go this year, maybe next year.
So what all is at Ham-Com? First off, there are three main areas of Ham-Com. The first two are the “selling” areas and the last is the “meeting” area. There is an indoor swap meet style tables setup throughout the area that are manned by an individual. The flip side of the selling area is the commercial vendors. Anything from Kenwood and Yaseu to MJF to a guy that makes hats and name plates. When it was in Arlington, pretty much anything that you wanted, you could find at Ham-Com and normally can get them at a discounted price. I bought all but one of my mobile radios from ham-com sellers and all but two(maybe) of my hand-held radios.
On the meeting side of the convention, there have so much stuff there is no way that you couldn’t find you something that interests you. There are meetings about D-STAR, a Boy scout Merit badge program, VE Testing both days, Broadband Hamnet(See my post about this), Skywarn training, and a whole lot more. Here is a link to the flyer for the convention this year. The ARRL West Gulf Division Convention will also be at Ham-Com again this year, on Saturday from 2:00-2:50pm in room 6.
The price of admission is $10 at the door and $5 for parking. I hope that this years Ham-Com is a great one. There are a lot of people who work very hard to put this on and to run it. I would like to say thank you to all of them that help out and for putting this on every year! For more information about Ham-Com, here is a link to their website.
As usual, thanks always for reading my blog and please share it with your friends and fellow hams. Please like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Links to each of them can be found on the right column of my blog. Next post will start a short series about Field Day since it is coming up in the next few weeks.
73 de Curtis, K5CLM