I didn’t buy a lot at Dayton this year, but I did pick up a couple of cool things:
I’m not sure if this cap will actually help me sell more study guides, but it looks cool.
I bought this Tek Model 3 scope cart from a guy in the far reaches of the flea market. Then, I had to roll it through the crumbling asphalt of of the Hara Arena parking lot to get it to my car. As you can see, it was made for a bigger scope, but my 2225 fits nicely on the top shelf, while my bench DMM fits nicely on the shelf that was made to house the plugins. The drawer down below is plenty big for all the DMM and scope probes and accessories that I have. A bonus is a four-outlet power strip on the back of the cart.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post about Dayton that this year seemed to be more fun than the last couple of years. One of the reasons for this is this meeting of #HamTwits. On Saturday, a group of us met on the loading dock at 11 am.
There are lots of hams on Twitter, and we’ve become quite a community. From my @kb6nu account, I Tweet only about amateur radio topics and only follow other amateur radio operators or people that Tweet about amateur radio-related topics, such as electronics or software. I have more than 2,000 followers at this point.
Take a good look at the picture. I’m the oldest one in the photo! Who says that amateur radio doesn’t appeal to younger people. I saw lots of young people at Dayton this year.
New post: [Balint]‘s GNU Radio Tutorials bit.ly/1i5LYHv
XMEGA-A3BU Xplained | AD9850 DDS controller firmware kd1jv.qrpradio.com/XMEGA/XMEGA.htm
You don’t have to pay a lot for a Buddipole. By making one yourself, you can not only save money, but learn something in the process.
Jeff Davis @ke9v
Dayton Survival Guide ke9v.net/articles/dayto…
The Dayton Hamvention, still the largest gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts in the world, takes place May 16-18, 2014. While I disagree with Jeff’s statement, “There’s simply no way to facilitate that size of a crowd for three days in an ultra modern facility,” the rest is pretty much spot on.
Andre, N4ICK, posted this to the AMRAD mailing list, noting, “I recently acquired a rechargeable flashlight. Attached are the instructions, in … English. I particular enjoyed the -succinct- Schematic Drawings of Functions.”
These guys need to hire me to turn their instructions into readable English. :)
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.
U-M ARC celebrates 100 years. The University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club recently celebrated it’s 100th anniversary. I helped them celebrate by operating during their special event on April 14th, 2013. The event was held on the Central Campus Diag, and recognized the University’s first licensing as station 8XA in June of 1913. It was really cold and rainy that day, and the bands were pretty bad, but they had some hot coffee and donuts, and we had fun anyway.
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.
Mini Maker Faire 2013 a success. This year’s Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire was held about a month ago, and if you ask me, it was a great success. As we have done for the past several years, Dave N8SBE and I anchored the station, and Prem KD8SVR, one of my recent Tech students joined us.
The table they first assigned us was inside, with no clear path for our coax to get outside to the antennas. After some negotiation, we found ourselves relocated outside. Then, once Dave had gotten his K3 gear all set up, they decided to move us again! We finally got settled about 10:45 am.
We got the usual type of visitors:
One thing that I found interesting is how some people seem to naturally take to Morse Code while others do not. For those who have a natural fist, I can easily make out their names when they send it by looking up the characters on the code chart. When I do copy a name, I reach out my hand and say, “Hi, John (or Mary or whomever). Nice to meet you.” They seem to be amused that I was able to figure out their name from their sending.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a natural. If I can’t make out the name, I smile and say, “Good job!”
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.”
Today, on Twitter, some folks decided to see if they could get a ham radio-related hashtag to show up as “trending.” They decided to do ham radio takeoffs of popular movies and tag them #hamradiofilms. There were a lot of good ones. Here are some that I found funny:
I think you get the idea. I contributed a few. I think my best was The Sunspot Cycle Also Rises. My second favorite is Willy Wonka and the Elecraft Factory.
Thanks to my latest donor, Kent, K4AHU!
Kent says, "I, and some of my ham friends, have recommended your fine No Nonsense Guide to many of my friends throughout the Florida Panhandle. To date, almost 100 have obtained that Technician license or used the other guides to attain a higher class license."
Donate $5 and get this cool sticker. Measuring 5-3/4-in. W by 4-1/4-in. H, it's perfect for your car, your shack, or wherever!
A reader just wrote, "I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that the study guide is perfect. I'd been looking for something between studying the question pool (and learning nothing outside the specific questions) and the ARRL guide (which, while a great resource, isn't a great study guide). I found it!"
My No-Nonsense Study Guides are now available as a PDF file or as as an e-book for either the Amazon Kindle or Barnes&Noble Nook. The PDF version of the Tech and General Class study guides are free. There is a small charge for the e-book versions and for all versions of the Extra study guide. See the Study Guide page for more details.