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2024 ARRL National Convention Kicks off at Dayton Hamvention


By: Sam Shaner, KE1SAM

A massive turnout of hams of all ages are flocking to numerous attractions at the 2024 ARRL National Convention, hosted at Dayton Hamvention®. Local scattered showers don’t seem to be raining on this parade; outside Tesla Building 2, seemingly miles-long lines of attendees wait for their orders of pork tenderloin sandwiches, hand-sliced gyros, burgers, and corn dogs. Inside, there is little elbow room to be had at the ARRL exhibit area.

One popular corner is the display of several ARRL publications, some of which are hot off the press. Attendees take turns thumbing through the 19th edition of Hints and Kinks, The POTA Book, and ARRL’s Tech-through-Amateur Extra license manuals. Meanwhile, merch like sweatshirts, mugs, and pins are flying off the shelves.

Back-to-back forums in Forum Room 3 are bustling with activity as well. ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, gathers a sizable crowd to hear his presentation on the partnerships between Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) groups, Auxiliary Communications (AuxComm) groups, SAFECOM®, and CISA, in addition to the continued positive relations with served agencies at state, regional, and federal levels. Forum Room 3 had fewer and fewer empty seats as the day progressed, as Johnston’s talk was followed by ARRL National Instructor Gordon West, WB6NOA’s, engaging overview of instructor technique – how best to teach prospective hams in an accessible and fun way. Gordo’s forum was a sensible segue into ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame’s, K5ATA, deep dive into the many ways amateur radio science is not only making its way into schools but leading to unprecedented youth licensing.

As the afternoon rolled in, skies cleared and many more gathered at the event. Finishing touches are being placed on the ARRL Youth Rally, scheduled for Saturday. Dozens of young people are expected to participate.



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