I realized the other day that I haven’t really been reporting on my own amateur radio activities lately. At first, I thought it was because I hadn’t really done much lately, but that’s not really true. So, here’s a report of some recent activity.
In some ways, Dayton was kind of a washout for me. I came down with some kind of stomach flu a couple of days before Dayton, and was even considering not going at all, but since I enjoy FDIM, and I was scheduled to speak at the instructor’s forum on Friday morning, I decided to go.
As usual, FDIM was a blast. There were lots of good ideas being thrown around. I especially enjoyed the talk on receiver design by Rick, KK7B, and the talk on baluns by Rick, W7EL. They were all very good, though. The QRP-ARCI does a very good job lining up speakers.
I even participated in Vendor Night. Between talks, they had asked for volunteers to help set up tables for the vendors. It occurred to me that, if it didn’t cost much, I could show the CD-ROMs that I’d brought with me and pass the word about my free downloads. Well, it turned out that it didn’t cost a thing, so I asked for and they gave me a table.
I didn’t really expect to sell anything, as most of the folks there I’m sure had Extra Class licenses, but I did manage to sell one, and to talk to a lot of people about the study guides. So, overall, it worked out great.
On Friday, the entire morning was taken up, getting my speaker badge and then participating in the instructor’s forum. My talk about conducting one-day Tech classes went pretty well, but the forum didn’t end until noon, leaving me only five hours to peruse the flea market. That’s a fair amount of time, but I still wasn’t 100%, and my heart wasn’t really in it. I ended up buying not a single thing.
Saturday morning, I decided not to go to the Hamvention and just to pack it up and head home. I guess thinking about it, it wasn’t a complete washout, but I certainly didn’t get as much out of Dayton as I have in years past.
I started a teaching a General Class course on Thursday evenings at the Hands-On Museum a couple of weeks ago. It’s a small class, but they’re enthusiastic. I am, of course, using my study guide as the text. Doing this has shown me how I can improve the next edition. I’ll be beefing up the explanations in a few spots and moving some things around.
Ann Arbor Mini MakerFaire
Dave, N8SBE, and I participated in this year’s Ann Arbor Mini MakerFaire. This year, we were joined by Prem, KD8SRV, one of my students. At first, they assigned us a table inside, but I convinced them to move us outside to make setting up the antennas easier. That was fine, but just as Dave got his K3 station all set up, they decided to move us. By the time we got all set up again, it was nearly 11 am. It was fun, though. We had a lot of people come and get demonstrations, and I got lots of kids (and their parents) to send their names in Morse Code.
Many of the visitors already had amateur radio licenses. One of them was Jim, KA8ODD. What a great call! Unfortunately, he didn’t have a QSL card, so I couldn’t add him to my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words.
Yesterday morning, I drove town to Monroe for a hamfest. It’s a small hamfest, but fun. Every time I’ve gone, the weather’s cooperated, and this is important because most of the sellers are outside. Yesterday, the temperature was in the upper 60s, and the sky started out overcast, but as the morning progressed, the sky cleared, and it was just beautiful.
I almost bought a Jones paddle for $75, but since I really don’t need another paddle, I put off the purchase until I was about ready to leave. By the time I got back to that seller, he’d already sold it to someone else. I’m more than OK with this. I saved 75 bucks! I did end up buying some PL-259s and some 3.5mm stereo plugs. As Ralph would say, this was the “requisite handful of connectors.”