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Vicarious Dayton Hamvention 2011

***in progress, last update 2011/06/03, 09:00am local***

Just as soon as the pollen clears, it is time for another swat at Dayton Hamvention.  Spending time at the house with the pressure washer is a lot less fun than going to Hamvention, but that’s the way it is again in 2011.  [Those silly kids of mine BOTH want to go to college – cha-ching!]

No contest University – again.  No FDIM visit.  No chit-chat with the vendors.  But it is possible to tour the 2011 Hamvention after the fact. On a vicarious 2011 Hamvention tour…………….

…and thanks to the astute reporting over at The Fi-Ni Report, we were certain Hamvention was still going to be taking place despite the onset of Zombie Armageddon. So if there HAD been any travel plans, there would have been no need to cancel them to instead hoard the shotgun shells needed for those hard to eradicate zombies that always pop up when the world ends.

New Stuff and various video:

NEW STUFF IS ALWAYS FUN- The Elecraft KX3 video tease! by the QRPARCI group. Actual KX3 data sheet.   Fun facts being teased out on the Elecraft mail list.  Actual genuine Elecraft KX3 webpage.   O’course, the ubiquitous yahoo group for the kx3 is formed.

Another KX3 video by WB8CXO

Other takes and other New Stuff#1, LazydogSDR [new to me anyway].  This KE9V photo caught my eye…..A speaker/mike with a display.  Really?  LOL. Really?  Thanks to Jeff for catching that one.

Video of ring-rotor that incorporates a motorized adaptation of a PVRC mount.

New Alinco DJ-G29T 220/900 Mhz HT Announced at Dayton 2011

Who shows up at Hamvention?  ARRL video of chat by KF5BOC.

Contest University Webinars[warehoused by PVRC]:

K3LR’s vault of 2011 Antenna forum programs:

  • #1 goes here
  • #2 goes here
  • #3 goes here
  • #4 goes here

You never know what you will find in the flea market#1, fleamarket experience#2, fleamarket experience#3, fleamarket experience#4, fleamarket experience #5 [willing to wager this was NOT KF5BOC] {in hindsight, maybe useful around the sewerage spill}

RadioGuy was busy with the video camera: MFJ on the main floor,  Yaesu, ICOM, Steppir,  and more on RadioGuy76’s youtube channel.

Shaky Fleamarket tour part#1 and tour part#2 by KA1SUN

Video montage by TofuHasenpfeffer

Video Montage by joehusker.

Hamcity MONEYGRAB! video by ArkAngelz.  Fun for kids of any age!  Way cool.

VE7HHS video demo by Flex radio, VE7HHS finds what happened to the Geiger counters, and the inner workings of a Steppir.

And o’course, FD is not a contest.  Although that’s a state of mind issue, aina?

The local “professional” coverage, and WHIOTV.

W5KUB Vendor Setup Tour [choppy stream??] .

Hamvention-too much fun to sleep! recap on Contest University, hara flyby, and “holy crap cow !” recaps by “sterwing’s”

Old School Morse – REALLY old school

What does one do at Dayton? a Hamtwits hamvention meetup.

There really is all sorts of “stuff” in the hamvention fleamarket!  Yowza!  O’course, you always need to watch your step in a fleamarket area anyway…..but….Yowza!

Bloggers Do Dayton:  Missed a chance for a meetup with some of these folks.
Some  2011 Hamvention photo albums, in no particular order:

Despite a larger number of Twits Tweeting the Hamvention in 2011, the ephemeral nature of the stream-of-consciousness twitter style is too much like mental cotton candy for my own tastes, and thus twittishness of all sorts shall hereby be firmly relegated to remain forevermore in the bit bucket.  [Except maybe a few photos].

2010 Dayton Hamvention Collection

Looking for ==> 2011 Hamvention links <==?

(This post to be amended as more links turn up, de w4kaz, last update 2010-06-09)

Well, sure, Dayton 2010 was probably very much like 2009, or 1995, or 1970.  But its more fun to go than to stay home.

But congratulations to my friend Nathan, N4YDU.  This year Nate placed 6th the in the annual pile-up competition sponsored by the Kansas City DX Club.  (If you want to see what the competition is like, the club has sample audio files posted, as well as a custom logging program provided by VE3NEA.

For those of us unable to experience the  2010 Dayton Hamvention in corpus, here is a round up of the easy to find “stuff”.  Send me a link and I’ll add it to the list if it seems suitable.

KC8X “Portrait Gallery”

THE Fi-Ni-Report

WHIOTV Report on Hamvention

Antenna Presentations [via K3LR]

ARRL, N0AX blog


K3PG, K3PG Photos

K8CX “mug-shot” photo gallery , see previous years photos too, plus other stuff

Photos: N2ZN, N3QO, N6PSE, “rbatina”, J Peric, KCDXCLUB, HF Pack QSO Rally, QSY Hamradio, “William”, “Keith”(not this one!)

More Photos: OZ3RIN, “davidjmessing”, N2YTF, “Dave”(Kenwood stuff)

KB6NU, Friday is Forums

KB2BSL [Friday], K2BSL[Saturday], K2BSL[Sunday]

WB8CXO videos, KB3MJ(flea video), N8MDH(TS-590 video), “erayboul”(Elecraft panadapter video), Drake Forum, CubeSat

KE9V, Photos on Flickr

NT7S – FDIM Day 1, NT7S -FDIM Day 2&3

More randomly chosen Youtube video, here, here, here, here

And if you want a professionally done video, perfect for a club meeting program, for $15USD you can get the 2009 mooo-veee from central NC  local Gary, KN4AQ. [I’m not affiliated with Gary, nor any pecuniary interest in ARVN.  Gary has been doing a great service by documenting recent amateur activities.  I’ve seen his work, so $15 is  a bargain with the forum material included.]  [2010 release??? see KN4AQ’s comment.]

May 2010 – Dayton Or Bust

Well, its a bust for 2010.

Kinda wanted to go, since it would be a 10 year anniversary.    A meaningless thing, but ten is such a pleasing number in base 10 arithmetic.  Since I am not going, I’ll just think of it in hex. This is really anniversary number ‘0A’, and there are six more to go before we get to ‘hex10’.  That may be about when I get back anyway.

A  second personal grievance about missing 2010 is knowing that there will be no meeting with Macho Cuesew and  Leche Dinero in person.  This is a possible once-in-a-lifetime chance that will slip by.  I have it on good authority that Dr. DX will also be at Dayton this year, as well as Bigg Gunn and the entire staff of the Fi-ni-report.

Also gonna miss buying a beer at 10:00am from the high school band booster club.  That availability seemed amusing/perplexing to an NC raised companion, but seemed like a breath of fresh air from the ‘good ole days’ for a south Louisiana native.  Breakfast of Champions…. ahhh, the good ole days, before political correctness ran amok through the feckless sheep!

Unfortunately it may be hard to even get a vicarious Dayton experience this year. Since circa 2009 current hamblog chic is to belittle the Hamvention recaps posted by bloggers who enjoy their Dayton experiences.  A fascinating glimpse into human nature.

Yeah, I can see where it might be repetitious and tedious to some folks.   Sure, you may live only a hundred miles away and hamvention is getting old for you after having been for 30 consecutive years.  I get it.    I’ve always enjoyed seeing after action reports.  For me, there’s usually something of interest to be seen, or a worthwhile anecdote to relate. Who can resist snapping a few photos of well preserved boat anchors?

I’m not sure why there’s so much intolerance out among the more self important bloggers.   Whatever floats their boat is fine.  But I’d expect that for every self superior grumpy Old Fart  there are ten or more casual drive by readers who will enjoy a first hand Hamvention account of every bit of seediness, geekiness, and OF’s foibles to be found on parade at Hamvention.

So if you blog, don’t be put off by the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity – post a hamvention review.  Sure, some OF is sure to whine again about the boring and repetitious nature of all your hamvention comments.  Is the opprobrium of politically correct-ified OF blog police really a valid reason to place restrictions upon yourself?  After all, they are not obligated to read every bit of flotsam and jetsam to turn up in their feeds or email.  What about the folks who might actually enjoy the recap?

Better yet.  Just to further annoy the Nattering Nabobs make it into multiple posts.  Maybe even include some photos of some dorks in full geek regalia, or a photo of the remote Hamvention parking lot that looks like Dresden after the firebombing.  It is all part of the ambiance of the Dayton hamvention experience.  Or for 2010, lack thereof.

This year the offsite QRP’r seminars sound interesting, in particular I’d like a chance to chat with NE1RD about field operations.  In 2008 we discovered that the “Four Days In May” QRP sub-convention was worth hitting.  The home brew contest entries were worth the trip.

Any sitings of Macho Cuesew and Leche Dinero should  be documented thoroughly!  😮

Shelby 2008

Well, the new site for the Shelby hamfest has possibilities, but it seems many of the normal indoor vendorsabandonedthe fest this year. I don’t know if it was due to limited indoor area, or just a convenient time for them to hit the exits, but that’s how it appeared to me.

The outdoor flea market was still well attended, and that was after a several day period of heavy rains. The rain must have given some folks pause, because the flea was spread out over a lot of area, mostly grassy fields. But I was happy to see so many had come out anyway. Hopefully the larger vendors will come back too – even in a reduced form after a forced relocation, it is still one of the better ham fests locally. It will be nice if it can build back up to its previous level. Perhaps they will better luck with the weather next year.

Et tu, Charlotte?

Scott, W4PA, has posted a couple of hints that the Charlotte hamfest will also be relocating to new digs for their next show in 2009. Scott indicates the Carrabus Arena will be their new home. First Shelby, now Charlotte.

This will be good news for those of us driving in to their ‘fest from the RTP/Raleigh/Durham area, and maybe for the Triad folks too. A Carrabus arena location will cut almost an hour off the drive from this area. The Carabus facility is almost brand new – another small bonus.

The Charlotte move is being caused by the sale of the Charlotte Merchandise Mart to a church. The club has little recourse. I hope they are able to make the shift to the new location smoothly. I’d recommend that they update their website to get the word out ASAP. It still has 2008 info with the old location. Perhaps its all still being finalized, and I’m jumping the gun.

I’d bet that W4PA has the straight word, since he’s a rep for one of their better customers, TenTec.

Hamvention Goodies-CW Touch Keyer

I almost forgot to mention one of the more interesting “goodies” I picked up at this year’s Hamvention.

If anyone has fond memories of the Heathkit 5010 uMatic keyer, here’s the ticket. Its the CW Touch Keyer. The touch keyer is a set of capacitive paddles mated to a keyer.

I came very close to missing this entirely. Their booth was in plain sight on the floor of the arena, but I didn’t spend much time there. On a last minute walk through, we noticed their display, and began playing with the samples. Hooked! Sold! Cha-CHING!

They also sell the capacitive paddles board as aseparateitem, and that is the option I chose. I plunked down the cash for the P3 kit, because I’m not sure yet how I’d like the paddles configured. I’ve never liked using paddles. Iambic paddlesaggravatethe arthritic/carpal tunnel in my hand, even more than a straight key. My paddle “fist” really sucks. I don’t know that this will help any, but for only $20 USD, it is sure worth trying. Heck, it was worth the twenty just for the novelty factor – many folks won’t remember the heathkit keyer. I didn’t at first, but after a memory jog by NT4D, I remember seeing a set of these back in the days of my yoot’. I’d never actually used a set, but remembered seeing them.

The P3 kit went together in a few minutes of solder smoke. After initial testing, I now need to decide how to construct the contacts/paddles, and decide what sort of enclosure to use. The board itself is small and will fit into an altoids tin, leaving the tin mostly empty. There is also a P3SMD version, if you want an inexpensive gizmo for practicing surface mount soldering.

The light touch required on the display models is encouraging. The “complete” wired paddles have gold plated paddles, so I would expect pretty good life from them. They sure were fun to play with. But it leaves open the question of how to construct my own set. Thepossibilitiesare varied and numerous.

Inspiration will come. It always does.

Hamvention 2008 – Here and Gone

Well, the 2008 Hamvention and Dayton Ohio have both passed into the rear view mirror. Here’s my gray matter dump.

I had the great pleasure to meet and speak briefly with John Hendricks, KI6DS the owner of Hendricks QRP kits. John introduced and had available for sale the new PFR3 XCVR kit. This kit is a very good value for a QRP rig, having three bands(40m, 30m, 20m) and including a built in tuner for convenient field use. It appears to be a really fun and relatively simple construction project, and the kit includes all of the parts required including a very well done enclosure. The highlight was actually speaking with John, who I would dare say really enjoys meeting people. John is a teacher and basketball coach, and I expect that his students don’t yet realize how lucky they are to have a guy like that pass through their lives.

Continue reading Hamvention 2008 – Here and Gone

Hamvention Day 3

Saturday was a good flea market sweep day. We made up for lost time in the flea market area, and got past most of the rows of tailgators. (There is actually a pub out in Miamisburg called “tailgators”). I mostly picked up some small parts, but I also found some PC board in the Far Circuits tent.

I’m not sure I understand the appeal of all of the rows upon rows of old Motorola HT’s, but they seem to have become the permanent fixture of the flea market, so I guess either someone is actually buying them or someone has a tractor trailer load to get rid of.

Today is chill day, and a quick run to any remaining parts vendors for a few last minute small parts buys. We will get there a bit later, and leave after the prize drawings.

So far the best buy was a roll of 10 conductor 22ga beldin control cable for $20. Had to hop the bus to drop that off in the vehicle!

The bus service is much better this year than the first time I tried it out. The closer parking lot looked to be too much a mud pit on day one, so we parked at the old Shiloh Springs Mall and hopped the RTA bus. Hamvention has contracted the bus service from the pro’s, and its been working great for me.

Hamvention Day 2

Getting set to head out. Yesterday started with a drizzle and ended up clear and sunny.

We got an up-close look at a few gizmo’s. The Tokyo amps look like a really nice set of boxes. We saw into the guts of the K3. Everybody getting off the bus stopped to gawk at the SteppIr with the three trombone elements. Cool. We chatted up Carl about his really cool N4PY rig control software, which I’m thinking about buying for the K2. The FlexRadio folks gave us a run-down on the flex radio.

We social climbed with a stroll through “EGO Alley”, where all of the big gunz shop. Huge Tic ring rotors, etc.

Our all radio geek day ended with a visit to the FDIM QRP groups’s Vendor night. Good stuff there too.

More today!

Rain, Rain Go Away

Looking a little gray in Dayton. Bleh.

I sure hope there are some clear spots, at least enough to allow the flea market to exist temporarily. Not too sure parking in the mud pit is a good idea either!