Hamvention has begun! Clouds loomed all day, and finally gave way to rain in the afternoon.
At the ARRL EXPO, Hamvention visitors had the opportunity to meet and greet ARRL leadership like CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF; CFO Barry Shelley, N1VXY, and ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR. There was also a “Meet the Authors” table, where Glen Popiel, KW5GP – author of High Speed Multimedia for Amateur Radio and Arduino for Ham Radio – and J.K. George, N3BB – author of Contact Sport: A Story of Champions, Airwaves, and a One-Day Race around the World – met and talked with visitors. There was heavy traffic through the ARRL EXPO area, especially in the ARRL store.
Over at the National Parks on the Air exhibit, Sean Kutzko, KX9X, said, “The number of visitors to the NPOTA booth was phenomenal. It was nice to meet so many NPOTA Activators in person after working them on the air from many NPOTA units. Can’t wait for tomorrow!”
At the “Ham Radio and the Law” forum, Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, discussed the Amateur Radio Parity Act. He said, “Right now I’m cautiously optimistic. We think it stands a good chance of getting through.” The bill has 126 cosponsors in the House and five in the Senate. ARRL has been working with the Community Associations Institute for two and a half months trying to negotiate on the bill, and they believe they’ve reached an agreement.
The ARRL EXPO has an Amateur Radio Parity Act booth, where members can sign letters in support of the Amateur Radio Parity Act to be delivered to Congress. ARRL has already delivered over 16,000 letters. During the forum, Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, said, “It makes a difference when politicians see all those letters from their constituents.”
Also at that forum, Kevin Kaufhold, W9GKA; Jim O’Conell, W9WU; Bob Famiglio, K3RF, and Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, spoke about their experiences in real-life legal cases involving ham radio antenna restrictions.
In product news, Elecraft announced their new KX2 portable transceiver. The transceiver is 5.8 by 2.8 by 1.5 inches and weighs 13 ounces. It operates from 80 – 10 meters on nine bands, putting out up to 10 W. The designer of the new KX2, Wayne Burdick, N6KR, explained that it’s half the size of the KX3, extremely lightweight, and very portable.
He said, “This is a radio I’ve wanted since I was about 14…There was a sunspot cycle peak in 1957, and I was born in 1957, and at the time people could stand outside and work Australia with a walkie talkie. I’ve always had that image in my head.”
To cap off the first day of Hamvention 2016, the Spurious Emissions Band played in the Presidential Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the evening. The performance was also available in a live stream online. The band features ham radio-themed covers of popular songs, like “Stand by Your Ham,” and “Climber John” (set to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” aka “Major Tom”).
The Hamvention continues through Sunday.