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June 2015

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DELARA News is published on the web as the monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association in Delaware, Ohio. 
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delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 34  NUMBER 5
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DAYTON! Another year in the books

...And the sewer system made it through! It’s in the books- and everyone who joined the pilgrimage to the Mecca of hamdom along with 15 thousand of our closest friends came away with, well, “That’s another year in the books.”  While many who’ve been going since the days of the Biltmore Hotel others enjoyed their first experience. I didn’t hear any complaints. I have a slightly different view of Dayton, since it was my first time back since around 1982.  I didn’t have anything against it, work, family and several years out of the hobby completely just didn’t keep Dayton at the top of my list. But I do fondly remember the days of listening to all the ‘foreign’ mobiles who’d diverted through Columbus in order to hear the “announcements” on the 76 repeater. I even remember someone from out east getting into a polite argument with W8RRJ, trying to accuse John of ‘stealing’ the Repeaterisms...those recorded in John’s studios by Bill Hamilton that had, in reality, been dutifully recorded and placed on the eastern machine. Well, this year as SEC I got to pull duty at the expansive ARRL booth on Friday, and then along with the talented Matt Curtin, KD8TTE, host an ARES session Sunday morning. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it all came flooding back (and didn’t really look that different, except we were all much older).  I made my purchase 30 minutes inside the grounds - two MESH bullets from the SWG booth - so I was ready to meet and greet. I enjoyed meeting Mrs Cragie again, and meeting several ARRL staff with whom I’d carried on email conversations. Steve Ewald was one, absolutely top notch guy!  Scott’s army at the Field Service booth included John, W8RXX and several other notables from the Ohio Cabinet. A very cool deal was Scott’s world map. By the end of the exercise, we had pins in at least 64 countries. I’d have been smart to grab some of them and pitched a QSO on their return home. We were across the aisle from the ARRL store- and the lines were instantly long and stayed that way. I enjoyed seeing lots of people, and especially enjoyed sitting down with SEC’s from Michigan, Indiana, and Western PA sections. With little formal structure coming from the League, we immediately hit it off, and agreed to help each other in any way we could and to have a more formal meeting to continue sharing our ‘wins’ in this part of the country. I had read in his earlier columns that Dan, KB6NU, was going to be stealthing around Dayton with a pocket of “CW Geek” buttons to give away. Son-of-a-gun, there he went!  I stopped Dan, and we had a nice conversation about his weekend, how much we enjoyed his prolific writing in the DELARA News, and yes, I did get a CW Geek button! There was lots of walking, lots of rain, but after all, much like the Muirfield Tournament weekend, this is Ohio.  

CW Geek’s Dayton

A couple of weeks ago, I made my annual pilgrimmage to Dayton for the 2015 Hamvention. This year, I had even more fun than in the past, and that's saying a lot. I started Dayton 2015 on Thursday by attending the QRP-ARCI's Four Days in May (http://www.qrparci.org/fdim/) seminar. George Dobbs, G3RJV, gave a very nice talk that not only talked about circuits, but also the people he’s met over the years and the places he’s been. Paul, M0XPD, gave an interesting talk on crystal filters and using an Arduino to control a QRP rig. The final talk, by Glen, KW5GP, was also about using an Arduino to control a QRP rig. Other talks covered transmission lines and SWR and adventures in PCB making. I learned something in every single one. That evening, I participated in Vendor's Night. I sold quite a few copies of my CW Geek's Guide to Having Fun with Morse Code and gave out quite a few "I'm a CW Geek" buttons and "Hams Obey Ohm's Law" stickers. Friday and Saturday were all about the Hamvention. As far as new products go, there were a couple of interesting announcements. Elecraft introduced the K3S, an updated and upgraded K3 HF Transceiver, and  FlexRadio introduced the Maestro, a "front end" with knobs, dials, and LCD screen for their software-driven radios. Apparently, hams like knobs and dials after all. It seemed to me that there were more people at this year's Hamvention. There were certainly more sellers out in the flea market. And deals were to be had. I picked up a Bencher BY-1 for only $50. I also found a Hallicrafters HA-1 T.O. Keyer (http://www.ai4fr.com/main/page_ham_radio_hallicraf ters_ha1.html), which I believe to be the first commercially-available electronic keyer. Produced in the 1960s, it uses tubes to generate dots and dashes. Dayton usually has a great lineup of forums, but aside from perhaps the TAPR forum, the Antennas forum, and maybe the ATV forum, none of them really called to me. Also, I was really busy talking to people I know, meeting readers, and trying to get the dealers to carry my books, so I didn't get to a single one. Being the CW geek that I am, I'm hoping to hold a CW forum at next year's Hamvention. I've already contacted the forum people, and while they haven't committed to giving me time, I did get a very positive response. C U THR? Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH
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