Fred, AB1OC and I just returned from the 2016 Hamvention in Dayton, OH.
Our first day in Dayton was spent at Contest University – this was our 5th year in attendance but each year we learn more from the contesting experts. This year, we attended two presentations from Frank Donovan, W3LPL on operating techniques for the declining solar cycle and on 80m and 160m antennas. We also heard a talk from Val NV9L from Ham Nation on Log Analysis tools and another session on SO2R (Single Operator 2 Radio) Operating.
Slide from W3LPL Contest University Presentation
Friday was the first day of the Hamvention and we spent most of the day visiting all of the vendor exhibits. We visited the Icom booth, where we looked at the new Icom 7851. It has an incredible display as well as one of the best receivers on the market.
Icom IC-7851 Display on a Large Screen TV
We also saw the new KX2 Transceiver at the Elecraft booth. It is even smaller than the KX3 and is perfect for SOTA and other portable operations. I would expect to hear some NPOTA activations using this radio.
Elecraft Kx2 on Right, next to a KX3
Friday evening was the Top Band dinner where we learned all about “Top Band Disease” from Larry “Tree” Tyree N6TR. Hams with this disease are nocturnal, love the bottom of the sunspot cycle. They are constantly improving their 160m antennas – when you upgrade your receive antenna, then there are people who can’t hear you, so then you need to improve your transmit antenna – and the cycle continues…
Top Band Dinner Presentation by N6TR
After the dinner, we were treated to a concert from the Spurious Emissions Band (N0AX, KX9X, K4RO, W4PA), with hits like “On The Cover of the NCJ” and “Sittin on the Edge of the Band”. They were so funny! You can watch their performances on YouTube http://bit.ly/DaytonSpurs2016.
The Spurious Emissions Band Performs at Dayton 2016
On Saturday, Fred, AB1OC and I presented our Station Building talk to around 250 people as part of the Dayton Contest Forum. It was a great honor to be selected to speak there by Doug Grant K1DG, who has been organizing the Contest Forum for many years.
Fred, AB1OC Speaks at the Contest Forum
We also continued to tour the vendor booths, visiting our fellow Nashua Area Radio Club Member Bill Barber, NE1B, at the DMR-MARC booth.
Bill Barber, NE1B at the DMR-MARC Booth
After that, we stopped by Gordon West’s Ham Instructor booth where we spoke to him about the success of our Club’s License classes. Here is a picture of Gordon, WB6NOA and Fred sharing the secrets of how the Hilbert Transform and the Flux Capacitor make Single Sideband and Time Travel Possible.
Gordon West, WB6NOA with Fred, AB1OC
We also visited the AMSAT booth, where we met Burns Fisher, W2BFJ, who currently lives in Brookline, NH and is moving to Hollis. They had a cube sat on display – you can see how small it is below. It’s amazing that AMSAT builds and arranges to launch them into orbit so that we can make QSOs through them!
Anita, AB1QB Holds a Cube Sat
Fred could not resist a visit to Begali Keys where we purchased a neat travel key. It should be great for operating mobile and for Field Day.
Begali Travel Key
On Sunday, we headed back to New Hampshire, sad that the weekend had come to an end but full of great memories from the trip.