I did not attend Dayton last year, and I regret it. My XYL even says so. So this year, I’m in.
One of the highlights of my Dayton experience is Contest University, which is held the Thursday before the official Harrah Arena Hamvention event at the Crowne Plaza downtown. This is where I am also staying…expensive but this is the center of the action. Each night there is a no-host bar at Contest Super Suites where contesters young and old meet up, many for the first time in person. Pizza and wings show up around 10PM each evening. I am typically the first one there and the last ones to leave the place.
I have tickets this year to both the Contest and the Top Band dinner, also at the Crowne Plaza. The food is OK, but the programs are inspiring. Not to mention you might win a radio or accessory (I did! Both!)
I will drag my butt to the Hamvention for the Antenna and Contesting forums, hoping this year to actually get there with enough time to crawl through the booths. I am typically a late-riser on vacation, but I guess this really isn’t vacation. I will run through the displays as well, mostly stopping the chat with some of the vendors I might know, or if something catches my eye.
This year, I am interested in V/UHF operations. In particular, I would like to put up a weather station. I have been looking at the Argent Data Systems offering, and hope to discuss more and maybe even pick one up if the price is right. I am also interested in satellite operations, and frankly there is no reason for me NOT to have an receive station up and running already: I have a FunCube Dongle Pro+ sitting for me to make up some time to get a suitable antenna out there pointing into the sky. Of course, I will be looking around at various things related to LEO satellite operation.