Tag Archives: ARRL

Dayton / Xenia Hamvention 2017

Fred, AB1OC and I recently returned from the Dayton Hamvention, which was held at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, OH for the first time this year.  Here is a summary of our visit.

Dayton Hamvention - Dr. Tamitha Skov teaching us about Space Weather
Dr. Tamitha Skov teaching us about Space Weather

We always arrive 1 day before the Hamvention to attend Contest University.  We get to listen to professors who are experts in contesting, propagation and other aspects of Ham radio and always learn something new.  The presentation that stands out in my mind was on Space Weather by Dr. Tamitha Skov, who is a regular on Ham Nation and has a web site Space Weather Woman.

On Friday it was time to visit the first day of Hamvention.  We spent most of our time visiting the vendors.  The new venue had 5 buildings with vendor booths and 2 more buildings for Forums.  It took us most of Friday and some of Saturday to visit all of them.  Here are some of the highlights.

Icom 7610 at the Dayton Hamvention
Icom 7610

Icom has a new SDR transceiver coming out later this year, the IC-7610.  We got to see it in person at their booth.  The display was impressive.  If the performance is as good as the IC-7300, this will be a great transceiver.

Elecraft KPA-1500 Amp at the Dayton Hamvention
Elecraft KPA-1500 Amp

The Elecraft booth was very busy – we got to see their upcoming 1500 W amplifier, the KPA1500, which will cover 6m – 160m.. this one is going on the wishlist.

Flex Radio's new Transceiver with kbows at the Dayton Hamvention
Flex Radio’s new Transceiver with knobs

Next, we visited the Flex Radio booth and spent some time playing with the Maestro, which will have at Field Day for the GOTA station.  Their newest radios, including the Flex 6600  have buttons and knobs and a display.

Kenwood TH-D74 HT at the Dayton Hamvention
Kenwood TH-D74 HT

At Kenwood’s booth, we got to look at their newest HT, the TH-D74, a tri-bander which does APRS, D-Star and has a great looking color display.

Begali Keys Booth at the Dayton Hamvention
Begali Keys Booth

We then visited the Begali booth where we got a chance to try out a large variety of Begali Keys.

This year's new Toy at the Dayton Hamvention
This year’s new Toy

At the Begali booth, Fred picked out his Hamvention toy for this year – the Sculpture Mono key.

Burns, W2BFJ at the AMSAT booth at the Dayton Hamvention
Burns, W2BFJ at the AMSAT booth

We made several visits to the AMSAT booth and saw Burns, W2BFJ, one of our newest club members.  We also talked to their educational lead about ARISS opportunities to contact astronauts on the space stations and learned the details about how cube sats are built and launched.  We also picked up a copy of their latest satellite book, which is one of the best books on the topic we have read.

Tom Gallagher
Tom Gallagher

We also visited the ARRL booth where we received a warm welcome from Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, ARRL CEO, who spoke at our club meeting last year.  He is very interested in our HAB project.


After the Hamvention closed for the day, we attended many of the dinners and activities at the Crowne Plaza with the contesting community.  At the Top Band dinner, we saw a very interesting presentation from Nodir, EY8MM, about his home country, Tajikistan and his plans for 160m operations during the Bouvet Island DXpedition coming up in 2018.

Overall we had a great time at the Hamvention and are looking forward to attending in 2018.

Anita, AB1QB

Armed Forces Day Crossband Test 2017

This year Armed Forces Day is May 20th. The Armed Forces Day Crossband Test is scheduled for 2017 as announced by ARRL bulletin…


and U.S. Army MARS:  http://www.usarmymars.org/home/announcements

Full announcement here:


I always enjoy this operating event. The stations are very good at sending their QSL cards. The gives one the opportunity to QSO entities such as The Pentagon, The USS Midway, The USS Yorktown, The US Naval Academy, and Schofield Barracks Hawaii where the 1953 Movie, “From Here To Eternity,” winner of 12 Oscars, was filmed.

The PDF listing is quite unwieldy, so I always make my own spreadsheet. I like to program the 50+ frequencies in my transceiver memory banks, so it’s easy to quickly scan them in the receiver. So the spreadsheet is listed by frequency, then operating hours. This makes it fairly easy to snag QSOs. (I notice each year there are fewer and fewer stations operating CW).

24803.513/15z-24zUSBNEPMCA Los Angeles USS Iowa
2478213/12z-14/04zUSB/CWNWVCIN Evansville LST-238
2476013/12z-24zUSB/CWWARDC Pentagon WashingtonDC
22924.513/14z-14/0030zUSBNMC3CA Alameda Coast Guard Island
2099713/13z-14/02zUSBALTTX Camp Mabry
2099713/15z-14/05zUSBNIIWCA San Diego USS Midway
2099713/16z-23zUSBABHHI Schofield Barracks
2099413/13z-14/02zUSB/CWNSSMD Annapolis US Naval Academy
2099413/15z-14/01zUSBADBOkinawa Camp Foster
20973.513/13z-15/02zUSB/CWWUG-5TN Army Corps of Engineers
2094013/12z-14/0030zUSBNWKJSC Charleston USS Yorktown
2092013/13z-14/01zUSBAACKY Barrow Army Reserve Ctr
2074013/12z-24zUSBAIRDC Andrews AFB
19221.613/14z-14/0030zUSBNMNVA Camslant Chesapeake
1829313/13z-15/02zUSB/CWWUG-2TN Army Corps of Engineers
1829313/13z-14/02zUSBALTTX Camp Mabry
1827213/12z-14/0030zUSBNWKJSC Charleston USS Yorktown
1827213/16z-23zUSBABHHI Schofield Barracks
1821113/12z-24zUSB/CWWARDC Pentagon WashingtonDC
1821113/15z-14/05zUSBNIIWCA San Diego USS Midway
18211.013 15z-24zUSBAAZAZ Ft.Huachuca
1754513/13z-14/02zUSB/CWNSSMD Annapolis US Naval Academy
1754513/15z-14/01zUSBADBOkinawa Camp Foster
1580713/12z-24zUSBAIRDC Andrews AFB
15740.513/14z-14/0030zUSBNMC2CA Alameda Coast Guard Island
14663.513/12z-14/0030zUSBNWKJSC Charleston USS Yorktown
14512.513 15z-24zUSBAAZAZ Ft.Huachuca
14512.513/13z-14/02zUSBALTTX Camp Mabry
1448713/13z-14/02zUSB/CWNSSMD Annapolis US Naval Academy
1448713/15z-14/01zUSBADBOkinawa Camp Foster
14463.513/15z-24zUSBNEPMCA Los Angeles USS Iowa
14459.613/14z-14/0030zUSBNMNVA Camslant Chesapeake
14441.513/15z-14/05zUSBNIIWCA San Diego USS Midway
14438.513/16z-23zUSBABHHI Schofield Barracks
1441113/16z-23zUSBAGA9TRCA Travis AFB
1399313/12z-24zUSBAGA2SYNY Hancock Field
1397413/12z-14/04zUSB/CWNWVCIN Evansville LST-237
13963.513/12z-24zUSB/CWWARDC Pentagon WashingtonDC
13963.513/13z-14/01zUSBAACKY Barrow Army Reserve Ctr
13910.513/13z-15/02zUSB/CWWUG-2TN Army Corps of Engineers
11438.513 15z-24zUSBAAZAZ Ft.Huachuca
791513/16z-23zUSBAGA9TRCA Travis AFB
754513/16z-23zUSBAGA5SCIL Scott AFB
754213/14z-14/0030zUSBNMC1CA Alameda Coast Guard Island
754013/12z-24zUSBAGA2SYNY Hancock Field
7533.513/13z-14/02zUSB/CWNSSMD Annapolis US Naval Academy
7528.613/14z-14/0030zUSBNMNVA Camslant Chesapeake
736013/12z-14/0030zUSBNWKJSC Charleston USS Yorktown
736013/13z-14/01zUSBAACKY Barrow Army Reserve Ctr
736013/15z-14/05zUSBNIIWCA San Diego USS Midway
730513/12z-24zUSBAIRDC Andrews AFB
691313/12z-14/04zUSB/CWNWVCIN Evansville LST-236
6903.513/15z-24zUSBNEPMCA Los Angeles USS Iowa
5403.513/13z-15/02zUSBWUG-2TN Army Corps of Engineers
535713/12z-24zUSB/CWWARDC Pentagon WashingtonDC
535713/13z-14/02zUSBALTTX Camp Mabry
535713/16z-23zUSBABHHI Schofield Barracks
5346.513/13z-14/01zUSBAACKY Barrow Army Reserve Ctr
5330.513 15z-24zUSBAAZAZ Ft.Huachuca
487213/16z-23zUSBAGA5SCIL Scott AFB
457513/12z-24zUSBAGA2SYNY Hancock Field
457513/16z-23zUSBAGA9TRCA Travis AFB
451713/12z-24zUSBAIRDC Andrews AFB
4043.513/15z-24zUSBNEPMCA Los Angeles USS Iowa
4038.513/13z-14/02zUSB/CWNSSMD Annapolis US Naval Academy
400713/12z-14/04zUSB/CWNWVCIN Evansville LST-235
4003.513/15z-14/05zUSBNIIWCA San Diego USS Midway
400013/12z-14/0030zUSBNWKJSC Charleston USS Yorktown
330813/16z-23zUSBAGA5SCIL Scott AFB

It might be easier to download and print out the spreadsheet!

Armed Forces Day QSL Cards 2017-05 Armed Forces Day


Layne, AE1N

Heads up: An invasion is coming May 19-21 201

From the Xenia Gazette:



It seems to me that folks hereabouts should be forewarned that in a few weeks we will be subjected to what might be called an “invasion.” Oh, it won’t be by zombies, aliens from outer space, or locusts – nope, it’s going to be by very friendly “Hams”, known more formally as “amateur radio operators.” Yep, thousands of Hams are expected to converge on our county fairgrounds for a three-day event known as the “Hamvention.”

Well, for a number of years the Dayton amateur radio organization (known as DARA) has sponsored the largest assemblage of amateur radio operators in the world. This gathering, which became known as “Hamvention,” was held at the Hara Arena, but that venue has now closed so Hamvention needed a new home. After investigating a number of possibilities and with the cooperation and concurrence of local officials, DARA selected our fairgrounds as the new site for Hamvention. (Note: our county has amateur radio organizations in Bellbrook, Fairborn, and Xenia with a total membership of several hundred Hams, many of whom are also members of DARA. All three local groups work with DARA in making Hamvention a success.)

Dayton Hamvention Location

So how large is Hamvention? Well, in past years attendance has been somewhere in the vicinity of 25,000 – give or take a few thousand. Hamvention has become THE event for Hams to attend, not only from the U S but from all over the world. It’s truly international-level – almost like a pilgrimage for Hams. I can personally attest to meeting fellow Hams from a number of countries at Hamvention – and noting how they were thrilled at being there. As for attendance this year, that’s a bit of a question because of the change in venue, but we can still expect thousands of folks visiting our county, many for the first time.

Hams likely represent one the most remarkable cross sections of folks anywhere – men, women, youngsters, retirees, physicians, office workers, lawyers, truck drivers, stay-at-home housewives, students, farmers, ranchers, engineers, construction workers, big city residents, small town folks, first responders – you name it. Yep, Hams represent diversity in education, race, ethnicity, gender, language, country, religion, marital status, and in just about any other way you can think of. Every Ham must have a license issued by an agency of their country – in our case, it’s the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). (Interestingly enough only two hobbies require a federal license – one to become a Ham and the other to become a private airplane pilot. Both require testing and both have different “classes” of licensing that permit the holder to operate at increasingly higher levels of expertize.) Anyway, every Ham has a license and an individual “call sign” issued along with the license – which brings us to another topic.

If Hams are such ordinary people, is there any way to recognize them? Well, Hams sometimes get vanity vehicle license plates with their call sign (referred to by Hams as simply their “call”) on them. These “calls” are a combination of letters and numbers such as “K8YDP” and so are fairly distinctive. Hams also often wear jackets, shirts, or caps displaying their first name and call while at Hamvention or working on a public service project – such as supporting the Air Force marathon.

How about the impact of the Hamvention other than bringing lotsa dollars into our county? Well, according to what I’ve heard from friends, lodging within a radius of 25-30 miles is sold out. Restaurants and fast food eateries in the entire area will likely be exceptionally busy. The results include using a multitude of volunteer traffic wardens, off-site parking and transportation to the fairgrounds, and using Ham radio to provide visitors with traffic information and directions. Quite an effort in cooperation, huh.

You know, this is a great opportunity for our county – it’s not every day we can host a world-level event such Hamvention.

Bill Taylor, an area resident, and Ham, may be contacted at  solie1@juno.com

Ham Radio is Not Dead Yet

Meet Joel Wilhite, or KD6W as he’s known in the American Radio Relay League. Yes, Joel is a competitive ham radio enthusiast.

Joel admits to using a “store bought” shortwave radio back in the early 80s when he first started this hobby, but his focus ever since has been one of innovation. It started with a few “upgrades” but increasingly Joel has focused on designing his competitive ham radios from the ground up. From tubes to transistors, this is clearly not your father’s ham radio.

The American Radio Relay League dates back to 1914 when an inventor, Hiram Percy Maxim, best known for his firearm silencer, was anything but silent about his ham radio hobby. Frustrated by the inability to communicate directly with other hams, he had the idea of creating a relay system to extend the range of radio communication.

Fast forward to modern times and Joel designs and redesigns his radios as one of the top competitors the ARRL’s 10GHz and Up contest which they hold twice a year. A 10 year veteran of the competition his best result is a second place finish.

The object of the 10GHz & Up contest (http://www.arrl.org/10-ghz-up) is to communicate with as many other radio broadcasters from as many different locations as possible. Joel’s modifications including “locking in the oscillator so that two devices trying to communicate do not drift into a different frequency. He used a Jameco DC to DC converter to accomplish this crucial task, as well as other existing parts. In order to lock the oscillators, he uses phase lock loops. During the contest, the competitors try to get to a broadcast location, get on the air as fast as possible, communicate with others, and repeat this in as many locations as possible. Since the contest requires almost constant movement, a crucial part of the design process is ensuring that the operator has the ability to break down and reassemble the device. This requires a certain amount of durability and flexibility in the design.

Hamr Radio

He will often use a pre-made module but fires up his CAD software for the design process evaluating fit and function. This ownership of the design is both practical and a source of pride for Joel – he enjoys the knowledge that he is the greatest expert when it comes to his own devices.

According to Joel, the innovations in this industry continue to come, and he’s regularly researching what capabilities he might be able to incorporate into his designs.   Joel’s day job in television is nothing like his weekends as KD6W, ARRL competitor. He has been pursuing his radio hobby as much as possible since he first got licensed in 1982 and is a part of a very active hobbyist community.   Together, Joel and his fellow radio enthusiasts work to continue learning, developing, and practicing their skills. According to Joel, “getting a license is easy” – the fun truly starts when people are able to access their own creativity and think of new, innovative projects. While many of us may think of amateur radio as a thing of the past, Joel assures me that it is “not the old tube ham radio stuff anymore.”

FULL ARTICLE HERE  by Danielle Roof: http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/MyStory/ham-radio-is-not-dead-yet.html

Layne, AE1N