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Amateur Electronic Supply Closing after 59 Years in Business
Amateur Electronic Supply (AES) will close its doors at the end of July after 59 years in business. No reason has been given for the decision to close the business. AES has been a premier player among Amateur Radio equipment retailers for decades, as well as a major presence at Dayton Hamvention® and other events. Various media outlets were informed of the closing in a brief e-mail message on July 6, but word of the closing has not yet appeared on the retailers website or Facebook page.
Its with great sadness that I have to tell you that Amateur Electronic Supply (AES) will cease operations at the end of this month, AES National Sales Manager Tom Pachner, W9TJP, said in an e-mail. An employee at the Milwaukee headquarters store, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed that the message was legitimate. Its believed that the AES staff was notified before the July 4th holiday weekend. In addition to the Milwaukee store, AES operates outlets in Cleveland (Wickliffe), Las Vegas, and Orlando.
Fond-du-Lac, Wisconsin, native Terry Sterman, W9DIA (SK), founded AES in 1957 when he was just 18, after getting into the radio-TV business by working in his fathers TV and electronics parts store. On January 1, 1998, ownership of AES shifted to Amateur Electronic Supply LLC, headed by Phil Majerus, a prominent Wisconsin businessman. Sterman died the following year at the age of 60, after a period of ill health.
For many years, the public face of AES was its Executive Vice President Ray Grenier, K9KHW, who oversaw marketing and advertising for the retailer from 1964 until his retirement in 2013. Grenier nearly singlehandedly produced the famous AES catalog, as well as magazine ads. For about 20 years, he also organized the well-received AES Superfest, a promotional effort begun in 1995 that grew into a hamfest. In April, the AES Superfest hosted the 2016 ARRL Wisconsin Section Convention.
Many radio amateurs reacted
to the news on various online forums, expressing surprise, sadness,
and dismay, and saying they would miss AES. A few reminisced about having
bought their first radios from AES.
Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) has announced plans to hire an unspecified number of Amateur Electronic Supply (AES) employees when AES shuts down its four locations in late July. In addition, the current AES Headquarters store in Milwaukee will become HROs newest location later this summer, following renovation. On July 1, AES announced that it was going out of business and ending retail operations at its Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Cleveland, and Orlando locations. With the approval of AES management, HRO senior managers visited each AES location to interview staffers in hopes of acquiring some of the Amateur Radio retail employee talent in each of the current AES locations, an HRO news release said.
Together with this interview process, HRO examined what it would take to perhaps acquire one or more of the AES store locations. At the time of these interviews, many opportunities were explored with current AES senior management, the release continued. We are very excited to announce that HRO was successful in providing offers of employment to a number of soon-to-be-former AES employees, and that to some, we have offered positions that involve HRO-sponsored and funded relocation.
HRO announced that once AES shutters its Milwaukee location at 5710 W Good Hope Road on July 28, Ham Radio Outlet will undertake an extensive remodeling project to create a new HRO Milwaukee store at the same site, which will open at the end of August.
It is with great pleasure that we are able to continue Terry Stermans and Phil Majerus legacy of providing a fantastic Amateur Radio store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said HRO President Robert Ferrero, W6KR. It is our immediate goal to have the largest, most well-stocked Amateur Radio retail store in North America and perhaps even the world.
After AES closes on July 28, all former AES locations direct and toll-free telephone numbers will be redirected to the closest HRO location, and the AES website will be directed to HROs website.
A family-owned business,
HRO is the worlds largest Amateur Radio dealership, with locations
from New England to the West Coast
Attendance at Dayton Hamvention® Tops 25,000 for Second Year in a Row
Given the level of enthusiasm at the 2016 running of Dayton Hamvention® in mid-May, attendance may have seemed up, but for all intents and purposes, it held steady at 25,364 visitors. That figure was down only slightly from the 25,621 attendees reported for 2015, but above the 25,000 mark for the second year in a row. For those keeping track, in 2014 the official count was 24,873 visitors, and attendance in 2013 was 24,542.
Hamvention attendance peaked in 1993 at 33,669, before the 1996 change in date from April to May. While attendance has fluctuated over the years, Hamvention has grown to international proportions, attracting members of the worldwide Amateur Radio community each spring.
The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) has sponsored Hamvention since 1952. Originally called the Southwestern Ohio Ham-vention, the inaugural event, held in March in downtown Dayton, attracted 600 attendees twice as many as had been predicted. Today it is the worlds largest Amateur Radio gathering.
DARA now is counting down the days to the next Hamvention on May 19-21, 2017. Hamventions new General Chairman is Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, who succeeded Jim Tiderman, N8IDS. Tiderman reported an overall good mood and a positive attitude at this years event and said the Hamvention staff received many upbeat comments.
Satisfaction Survey is soliciting comments and observations from those
who attended this years big show.
Something interesting is happening on the sun. Last month, the sunspot
number dropped to 0, and the solar disk has been blank intermittently
for the last several weeks since. Images from NASA's Solar Dynamics
Observatory reveal no significant dark cores:
The spotless state of today's sun is just temporary. Underneath the visible surface of the sun, the solar dynamo is still churning out knots of magnetism that will soon bob to the surface to make new sunspots. The current solar cycle is not finished. It is, however, rapidly waning.
Forecasters expect the next Solar Minimum to arrive in 2019-2020. Between now and then, there will be lots of spotless suns. At first, the blank stretches will be measured in days; later in weeks and months. Don't expect space weather to grow quiet, however. Solar Minimum brings many interesting changes. For instance, as the extreme ultraviolet output of the sun decreases, the upper atmosphere of Earth cools and collapses. This allows space junk to accumulate around our planet. Also, the heliosphere shrinks, bringing interstellar space closer to Earth. Galactic cosmic rays penetrate the inner solar system with relative ease. Indeed, a cosmic ray surge is already underway. Goodbye sunspots, hello deep-space radiation!
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