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Gilbert Lodge
Since 2004



                 Gilbert Lodge Blog
         The life and times of Mark and Paula Persons

Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18, 2013:   Mark attended the annual Dayton Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio.  Hamvention is the contraction of Ham, as in amateur radio, and convention.  This is the largest of its kind in the world and drew many international visitors.  It is sometimes described as the "Mecca of amateur radio."
About 450 commercial display booths were located indoors.

The flea market area had at least 1700 spots to visit for used gear.

The flea market alone can easily take five hours to go through.

Many hams were of the age where they had about the same haircut!

Yes, there were a lot of happy shoppers picking up new and used gear.

Some bring it back the next year to sell and then buy more "priceless treasures."

The cycle goes on year after year!

Mark enjoyed visiting a van where AM broadcast transmitters were on display.  He remembers working on transmitters like them not long ago.

The one on the left is a Collins 20V3 from the 1960's and the red one in the back is a direct competitor.  It is a Gates BC-1F from the 1950's.  Both were built to run 1000 watts on the 540 to 1600 KHz AM broadcast band.  They have been converted to amateur radio use in the 160 meter (1850 to 2000 KHz), 80 meter (3600 to 4000 KHz), and 40 meter (7125 to 7300 KHz) bands.  You may hear one on the air on 3885 KHz some night.

Amateur radio is a federally licensed hobby.  Learn more at:  http://www.arrl.org


Mark especially liked the forums on electronic kit building and antenna design using computer modeling.

There was also one on the history of amateur radio in Great Britain.  Very interesting.

Most sessions were sanding room only.

Some 400 volunteers are used to make the event a success each year.

Now here is an HT (handi-talkie) with a HUGE antenna. 

It should talk a loooooonnng ways!


Some vehicles sported an awesome array of antennas.

Many hams say, "You can NEVER have too many antennas."


Then there was the latest. 

Flex Radio Systems was showing their software defined radios.

These transceivers are basic hardware with software to make them a receiver and transmitter.

Hard to believe, but true!

Gordon West WB6NOA was handing out certificates of achievement for obtaining an amateur radio license from his radio school

You can't buy a license.  Instead, you must earn one through FCC examination.

In this case, the certificate was for Paula Persons W0HA, who studied for exams with CD and book instruction from Gordon about ten years ago.

Gordon also participates in Hamnation on Internet television.  See: TWiT.tv/hn

Mark met with ARRL President, Kay Craigie N3KN. 

Who says women can't run things?

Plenty of surplus military radios were on display and worn.  Hams convert them to amateur radio frequencies and have a great time doing it.

Quote of the day:  Every ham needs to visit the Hamvention at least once in his or her lifetime.   Mark    < Back to previous story Ahead to next story >

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page last edited 06/03/2013