Sunday, the third and final day of the 2017 Hamvention, was overcast and cool, with an easy ride into the fairgrounds.
As is often the case on the final day, the crowd was smaller. It was clear that the people who were there, were happy to be there.
One of the things that pleased attendees was Hamvention food. Over the course of the weekend, many Hamvention attendees commented on the variety of food choices that had been available, from “walking tacos” and corn dogs, to pork chop sandwiches and local sausage.
The Sunday forums included a talk about Receiving Antennas, by Eric Nichols, KL7AJ, who outlined the different types of antennas and how they function. Nichols is the author of the ARRL books “Radio Science for the Radio Amateur” and “Propagation and Radio Science.”
Tommy Gober’s, N5DUX, forum entitled “Learning, Discovery, and Fun,” touched upon microcontrollers, APRS, and programming Boe-Bots. Gober is an instructor for ARRL’s Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology.
ARRL Radiosport Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, and ARRL Media & PR Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, moderated the National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) Recap forum for a group of about 50 enthusiastic and responsive hams. Kutzko began by sharing statistics about the event, then took a mic into the crowd so attendees could tell their NPOTA stories, as well as offer suggestions for further improvement.
At the Tower Safety forum, ROHN Tower Vice President Mark Allen, W6PC, showed slides with photos of various types of tower damage — the towers themselves, guy wire fatigue, rotator damage, poor do-it-yourself repair jobs. Allen also offered tips for what to do to be as safe as possible before you even leave the ground to climb a tower.
ARRL’s social media offerings from Hamvention Sunday included a Facebook Live broadcast of an SO-50 satellite pass at AMSAT’s demonstration booth. John Brier, KG4AKV, worked into the satellite using an Arrow antenna, while Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, used a modified Arrow known as an “Alaskan Arrow,” which includes additional elements on 2 meters and 70 centimeters. Satellite operating guru John Papay, K8YSE, was on hand for the pass as well. At one point, much to everyone’s amusement, Brier and Stoetzer contacted each other through the satellite, while standing about 20 feet from each other.
After the satellite pass had ended, ARRL’s Facebook Live coverage continued, with ARRL Media & PR Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, conducting a live interview with Stoetzer, about how a satellite pass works, and what a ham needs in order to work through the satellites. Video is available on ARRL’s Facebook page.
Products making their debut at the 2017 Hamvention included the FLEX-6400/6400M and FLEX-6600/6600M from FlexRadio Systems; the KPA1500 1,500 W amplifier from Elecraft; the IC-7610 HF/50 MHz transceiver from Icom; a line of microphones from INRAD, and new antennas from MFJ, Momobeam, and SteppIR. (Watch for the Hamvention new product roundup in the August issue of QST.)
By 1:00 PM, the 2017 Hamvention was history. Thanks to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) for all the hard work they put in to make the show a success. See you in 2018! – Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, QST Managing Editor