Did you see my recent column about Creating a Vetinari Clock Using Antique Analog Meters? As part of my blog, I mentioned that I’d visited the Hamfest in Huntsville, Ala., which is where I acquired the antique analog meters in question.
While I was at the Huntsville Hamfest, several of the stall holders mentioned Hamvention in Dayton Ohio. From what I hear, this is the biggest Hamfest in America (possibly the world).
As you will see if you read the comments to the Vetinari Clock column, my chum Duane Benson mentioned that he had some analog meters, but not enough for this project. I replied that maybe we should take a road trip to Hamvention, and -- before you could say "Max really is a clever sausage" -- this had swelled into a "Happening."
EETimes community member Mark Rackin (a.k.a. mhrackin) tells me that his friend Joe and his wife (that's Joe's wife, not Mark's) have been attending Hamvention for years, and that they say it's absolutely amazing.
Mark says that Hamvention 2015 will take place Friday through Sunday May 15-17. I'm thinking that it would be great for a bunch of us to drive up there on Wednesday May 13, spend Thursday during the day visiting one or two interesting museums in the area, spend Friday and Saturday wandering around the Hamfest, and then return home on the Sunday.
We can spend the evenings munching food, quaffing beer, and regaling each other with tall stories of "embedded systems that got away." Unlike regular technical conferences -- when we're all running around in ever-decreasing circles shouting "Don’t Panic!" and trying to do more than is humanly possible -- this will be a much more relaxed affair, so wives, husbands, and significant others are more than welcome.
Aubrey Kagan (a.k.a. Antedeluvian) is something of an expert when it comes to visiting exotic locals and museums (see his blog, Touring as an Engineer). So, I'm hoping we can persuade Aubrey to plan the museum tour portion of the proceedings.
From what I hear, there's a bunch of hotels and restaurants near the airport and convention center, but Hamvention is a humongous affair and rooms in the area fill up fast, so it's best to book as early as possible. I've already booked a room for myself and my wife (Gina The Gorgeous) in the same place as Mark Rackin and his wife at the Quality Inn Suites, Maxton Road.
So, what do you say? Are you in? Visiting the museums and hanging out together will be a load of fun in their own right, and the cream on the cake will be attending the biggest Hamfest in the known universe.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting