GCARA Hamfest 2013...CANCELLED

GCARA 2013 Hamfest has been


Please watch this website early next year for information of a big announcement for the 2014 Hamfest.





GCARA Hamfest is located minutes from downtown Cincinnati at the Diamond Oaks Career Developement Center. It offers paved surface for outdoor flea market and parking. The large cafeteria holds exhibits, and tables and chairs for sit-down, eyeball QSOs. VE exams will be in classrooms near the exhibit area. Wooded, grassy surroundings with benches are ideal for relaxing with new or old friends . . . or for bargaining over much-desired goodies.

GCARA Hamfest features:
· Outdoor flea market
· Ham radio equipment & parts, computers and more
· Technical and operating forums and arrl officials
· VHF/UHF hidden transmitter hunts
· VE session on site
· Admission ($6 at the gate)
· Good, modestly-priced food and refreshments
· Prizes, prizes, prizes



The annual Greater Cincinnati Amateur Radio Association Cincinnati Hamfest and Communications Expo began in 1937. Possibly the oldest hamfest in the world, this has become the main amateur radio/communications event of the summer in our region. These Hamfests are unique because of the combination of the family-like setting they provide for the technical aspect of the shows. These Hamfests are considered by many to be the most enjoyable shows they attend.

Hours: Doors open to the public 8 AM to 2 PM on Sunday


Set up begins at 6 AM Sunday.

Admission: $6.00 at the door


Flea Market Spaces: $8 each plus admission ($6.00), 4th space free.. All persons over 12 years of age with a booth must have a ticket.

Fox Hunt

WHERE AND WHEN IS THE HUNT? The Hidden transmitter hunt at Cincinnati Hamfest will begin at approximately 11:00 AM Sunday. At 10:45 AM we will start with last minute directions and transmitter cards provided at the GCARA Headquarters booth. At that time you will be given any instructions concerning the transmitters, their frequencies, special restrictions on frequencies for beginners and additional information. The entire Hidden Transmitter Hunt site is contained on the grounds of the Diamond Oaks Campus (indoors and outdoors).

WHEN CAN I REGISTER FOR THE HUNT? Sign in at the GCARA Booth prior to the start of the Hidden Transmitter Hunt. There will be several transmitters that will be exclusively for the Beginner Hunters so that they have a chance to improve their skills and develop confidence in searching for the transmitters. Frequencies for Beginner or Experienced categories will be provided before the start of the hunt.

WHAT RADIO DIRECTION FINDING GEAR DO I NEED? Anything that you can carry is acceptable, so long as it does not radiate strong RF interference (i.e., no regenerative receivers). Some hunters use only an HT with simple body shielding and a foil tube attenuator. Others use more sophisticated gear like yagis, quads, SuperDFs and other equipment.

Our Hidden Transmitter Hunt is Different!
· The hunt will be entirely on foot
· There will be approximately 10-12 Transmitters on 2 meters
· Two Experience classes provided for the hunts to be fair to all
· Prizes for finding the Hidden Transmitters
· No Ham license Required for Receiving and Tracking
· Contestants must registered before the start of the contest
· There will be indoor and outdoor venues
· Assemble before 10:45 AM at GCARA Booth


The Starting Point will be the GCARA Headquarters Booth. Arrive at the site about 10:45 AM to receive all pre-hunt instructions. If you are late and have not registered you may not be allowed to hunt.

This is an on-foot hunt. You may not use any wheeled conveyances (bicycles, skateboards, etc.) Exceptions and accommodations will be made for persons with physical disabilities, but arrangements must be made in advance.

Two-Meter signals will be transmitted. You will be provided with a listing of the frequencies prior to the start of the Hunt.

When you find a Hidden Transmitter, please do not touch it. Copy the two-number or letter code on the label of the transmitter onto a piece of paper. Take the paper with the transmitter code to the GCARA booth in the main hall to claim your prize. At this time, the transmitter will be deactivated, logged in as being found and an announcement made that its frequency is not longer being transmitted. Failure to leave the transmitter in its place may result in disqualification.

Bring your own: RDF gear, spare batteries, compass, and any additional equipment that you think will be necessary. A sheet of rules and the transmitter frequencies will be provided to you at the time of registration for the Hunt.

If you think that a person is carrying the transmitter, you must be declarative! You must tell the individual that he/she has the transmitter. You are not allowed to ask the person if he or she has it!

The Hidden Transmitter Committee will determine the duration of the race. Decisions of the Committee will be final.

For any additional information, contact Allan Hale, WA9IRS, wa9irs@arrl.net.

Happy Hunting!!!!!

Flea Market / Outdoor Booths

513-531-1011vlv. msg. if no answer.
fax 513- 531-3834

General: Flea market spaces are outdoors and uncovered on a paved parking lot. Space cost: $8/space: fifth space free with purchase of four. Table and admission not included. Each person with the booth must have an admission ticket. Click for advanced sale form.

Cost: $8 each plus admission ($6.00), 4th space free.. All persons over 12 years of age with a booth must have a ticket.

Space size: 1 automobile-size parking space. Overlapping into adjacent spaces will be charged at full-space rate.

Tables: Flea marketers should bring their own. Electricity is not available in the Flea Market.

Set-up times: 6 AM on Sunday, the day of the Hamfest. There is no parking available along Harrison Ave.

Space reservations: Spaces in the flea market are on a first-come availability. No spaces will be reserved.

Security: Individuals, flea marketers and vendors are responsible for the security of their property and themselves.Clean up: Flea marketers are required to dispose of any trash they may generate before they leave. Large trash receptacles will be located throughout the Hamfest area. Your cooperation in helping us be responsible tenants of this fine educational facility is greatly appreciated.Background: The annual Greater Cincinnati Amateur Radio Association Communications Expo (formerly Cincinnati Hamfest) began in 1937. It is the main amateur radio/communications event of the summer in our region. Attendance comes mainly from Kentucky. Illinois. Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and West Virginia. We are aggressively working to increase attendance and invite you to exhibit and enjoy the benefits of our show.

What Can We Do? The Cincinnati Hamfest and Communications Expo Committee wishes to make your visit enjoyable. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We will assist to the extent possible.

Commericial Vendors

Indoor Commericial Vendors $20.00 per 8 ft table or $15.00 per 6 ft table. As available 4th table is free.

Commercial Vendors Contact: Tom Denham, K8VOE, (513)779-3951, tdenham@fuse.net



Diamond Oaks Career Dev. Ctr. of the Great Oaks School District offers a modern building with a large hall for commercial exhibits, a large meeting room for forums and meetings, and classrooms for our VE Session. An outdoor courtyard and surrounding grassy areas with benches and trees are ideal for relaxing, holding eyeball QSOs and bargaining for a coveted "boat anchor." Large, paved parking areas provide adequate space for the flea market, radio control racecars and parking. A large, clear grassy field is useful for a variety of uses.

Food service


Free coffee and donuts while they last. Food and beverages will be available for purchase beginning at about 10 AM until mid-afternoon. It is of very good quality and reasonably priced.



There is plenty of parking on Diamond Oaks campus. Handicap parking is near the entrances to the flea market, exhibit hall and VE Session.



Talk-in will be the W8DZ Repeater operating on 145.270- MHz PL:123.0

This state-of-the-art repeater offers excellent coverage throughout the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Tristate area.

Backup: WB8CRS, Cincinnati FM Club 146.880- MHz PL:123.0

FCC Amateur Radio Exams

FCC examinations for all classes of amateur radio licenses will be given at the Hamfest at 9 AM.The exam session will begin immediately after registrations are completed.

The exams will be held in classrooms off the exhibit hall at The Cincinnati Hamfest.

Walk-ins are accepted; however, pre-registration will be appreciated.

The usual documents and information are needed. These are:
1.Two forms of ID. One of these should bear a photograph of the applicant.
2.Any Certificate of Successful Completion (CSCE) the applicant may have earned from previous examinations that did not result in a license being issued.
3.Original and copy of any current amateur radio license issued to the applicant.

Cost of examination is $14.00

For further information or pre-registration contact Gary Osborne, W8XS, osborne@fuse.net.



Features: Technical and operating skills forums, hidden transmitter hunts, radio controlled model car races and numerous prizes will enhance the technical exhibits and flea market


Diamond Oaks Career Dev. Ctr. is less than one mile from I-74 at Exit 11. Quiet, wooded area provides a relaxed, friendly atmosphere within only minutes from numerous additional attractions being held over the weekend in the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky metropolitan region. The GPS coordinates for Diamond Oaks are latitude: 39.18667 longitude: -84.65722 (N 39° 11.200 W 084° 39.433)

CLICK MAP for printable copy

Hamfest Map




Greater Cincinnati Area Information

The weather: The weather in Greater Cincinnati for September is typically sunny or partly cloudy with high temperatures averaging in the low-to-mid 70s. Rain is typically not a factor in outdoor activities. The humidity is typically fairly low -- nearly perfect weather for an indoor-outdoor show.

Why not make your visit to the GCARA Cincinnati Hamfest a family vacation. There is much to see and much to do in the Greater Cincinnati area for individuals and families. A few of these over the weekend follow:

- Visit the Creation Museum location minutes from downtown, next to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern KY Airport. The Creation Museum presents a “walk through history.” Designed by a former Universal Studios exhibit director, this state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life. www.creationmuseum.org

- Visit The Cincinnati Reds professional baseball team at their new ballpark, The Great American Ballpark, on the river front in Cincinnati. Check CincinnatiReds.com.

- The world-acclaimed Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The Zoo has recently added new and expanded housing for a number of land and aquatic species. Polar bears in Cincinnati? They are here in a bright new facility. Lion cubs, new large animal facility, birds, much more. Check www.cincyzoo.org.

- The Peace Bell, the world's largest cast bell is located just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati. The bell was cast in France by the I. T. Verdin Company. Check worldpeacebell.com

- The Cincinnati Art Museum is located in the former Taft mansion and includes numerous paintings by many of the world's most famous painters. Check out www.cincinnatiartmuseum.com.

- Visit the museum of the first professional fire department in the United States, the Cincinnati Fire Division. The Fire Museum boasts fascinating displays of old-time and not-so-old-time fire fighting protective clothing, equipment and engines. Check out cincyfiremuseum.com.

- The main building of the old Cincinnati Railway Terminal houses the Cincinnati Museum Center. Included in this acclaimed gothic structure are the Cincinnati History Museum, Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Sciences, an Omnimax theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Check out www.cincymuseum.org.

- The Newport Aquarium houses 11,000 of the most beautiful and rare and endangered aquatic species know. It is just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati. For information www.newportaquarium.com.

- Hamilton County's Sharon Woods and Winton Woods parks are conveniently located to the Cincinnati Hamfest Scarlet Oaks location. Winton Woods park offers overnight camping facilities and a pioneer village consisting of actual period buildings brought to the park. Both parks feature lakes for boating and fishing, children's play facilities, horseback riding, hiking, skating and walking/jogging trails, golf and snack counter.

- Three shopping centers are located within a 15-minute drive of Comm Expo. These are the Northgate Shopping Center, the Tri-County Shopping Center and the Cincinnati Mills, which includes a Bass Pro Shop. These centers feature a wide variety of major as well as specialty shops.

- Dining. The Greater Cincinnati Area is the home to scores of outstanding restaurants that feature cuisine from the world over.

- Finally, anyone who enjoys looking at a variety of architecture from 19th Century to modern times will enjoy a marked, driving tour of the area.

- Churches. There are many churches of all major dominations nearby.

- Housing. Hotels/motels within about 15 minutes of Cincinnati Hamfest include:
· Holiday Inn North
· Radisson Hotel
· Comfort Inn
· The Hampshire House
· Quality Inn
· Red Roof Inn