Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dayton Ham Convention

Every year, in mid-May, the city of Dayton, Ohio becomes the geek capitol of the world.

There is a 20-acre flea-market extraordinaire, with such rarities as a cadaver tank...

...and an F-16 simulator.

But most visitors are there for the world's largest display of amateur radio gear, new and vintage.

This is an original Morse code embosser: the dots and dashes were embossed on the paper tape for reading later.

This is a beautiful homebrew kilowatt linear amplifier. Absolutely impeccable design and construction. A work of art!

Inside AND out! We "ooohed" and "ahhhed" over this for some time.

Analog test equipment was abundant.

Need a vacuum tube? There are millions of them here, mostly unused, in original boxes.

If you have vacuum tubes, you'll need a tube tester. Remember those? Every drugstore had one. This one is pre-WWII.

It's really amazing how well some of this very old equipment has been kept (or restored); it looks brand new.

Over at the Begali booth, a tiny Sterling engine was on display. The base plate is about 4" by 8".

A collector of rare keys was selling his collection. You could probably buy a pretty nice house for the price of these keys. I believe I overheard him selling one key to another collector for over $4,000.

I really wanted to own this Narco Omnigator Mark II.

We arrived at 8:45 AM and finished at 5:45PM, with only a quick break for a cheeseburger. We were tired and dehydrated and sunburned, but we had a wonderful time.

Back at Roseholme Cottage, Tommy and Slinky dozed peacefully. They had seen their mistress disappear like this on the same day each year for nearly two decades, and they took her absence in stride, knowing she would return.


Montie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Montie said...


Excellent pictures, but now you have caused me to develope an urge to climb in my attic and rummage. I have one of those exact same tube testers somewhere in the nether regions up there, and now I know that there is a market...