With the Dayton Hamvention just a few weeks away, the old ARRL has crafted another one of those articles which intertwines the 3 day event with their publications and other “wares”. The ARRL has become so adept at “pushing their wares” at these types of events I wonder if they realize how they may come off to some of us Hams. I am sure that all Amateur Ops don’t share my opinion and I realize that the ARRL is our voice in the mine fields of Capitol Hill, but come on guys, you have to admit some things can be very difficult to swallow as the years pass. Some of these “wares” are the annual Repeater Directory and the old VHF & HF Digital Handbooks. I can buy into that to a degree, technical info is always a help, but read on.

Ward Silver N0AX is the “Hamvention Amateur of Year”. I am not sure who Ward Silver is but the ARRL states that you can have him autograph a book which you buy from the ARRL. How convenient indeed! In addition to usual publications, the ARRL is hawking mugs and clothing items this year.

According to the ARRL, you will “demonstrate your pride as a radio amateur” if you purchase these items. Does this suggest that; “We” who do not purchase ARRL wares are not proud? I wonder if ARRL has its own group of Roadys to pre-stage their events and also hire a team of Madison Avenue marketers.

Wait, there’s more, if you purchase $10 or more of their “junk”, you will receive an eco-friendly bag which you may use for grocery shopping. I kid you not! Hey, I’d purposely leave it in the back window on drive home and watch the Sun evaporate the eco-friendly little bag and the ARRL logo before I made it up the driveway!

ARRL experts “The Doctor Is In” will be there to tell you about radio and ignition noise. Hey what ever happened to toroids? I guess I am just too old-fashioned for this state-of-the-art world we live in. I am just an “Analog Guy in a Digital World”.

Wow! And to top it all off, the ARRL is going to host a Movie Room where they are going to show “40 years of Worked All Europe Contests”. Remember to pack extra No-Doze for this one folks! A Tech class license holder I know is a s cynical about the ARRL as I am. One time while were were tuning around 40 meters, I remember him blurting out. “Hey, I am surprised that ARRL doesn’t sell the “Top 100 Greatest CW Contacts” on DVD!

In any event, don’t forget to buy your “wares” and support the ARRL on May 16th-18th. For more detailed information and a far more unbiased opinion, visit the Dayton Hamvention Web Site. It’s a slow loader so take a favorite beverage break. it’ll be in your browser window when you return.