I hope that many of you, if not all, got on the air for Field Day this year. It is always a highlight of my year. In general, I love contesting and field day is especially challenging as I usually guest operate from various field day locations all over the US. Over the years I have experienced Field Day with callsigns like N1FD, W4IY, W3AO, N7OS, KC7KEY, W0BM, W5NEM, and even did Locomotive mobile as N5R. One thing that all these callsigns have in common was the passion for this incredible hobby, and not afraid to flaunt our skills in front of non-hams! This year, I was invited to participate with the Mercer County Amateur Radio Club, W3LIF.
There are currently over 750 D-STAR repeaters in the US. During the 2014 D-STAR QSO Party (held in September each year) over 1,000 hams were on the air from 36 countries. The ten winners received an ID-51 50th Anniversary Edition HT.
This gives you a flavor for the broad reach of D-STAR here in the US and around the world. What I like about it is being able to talk with anyone throughout the world without being at the mercy of the latest sunspot count.
For example, when I was on a DX-pedition to Mozambique a few years ago I was also able to use D-STAR to talk with many Scouts who were on that weekend for Jamboree on the Air. We had reliable clear communication without the pileups and QSB/QRM etc. And, what a blast to talk with Scouts about amateur radio, their current campout, local weather, etc.
Hmmm, now that I’ve typed that headline, I’m wondering about some potential earlier digital modes. Things like smoke-signals and drum messages have some of the same characteristics. Even so, I’ll restrict this discussion to radio frequencies and to amateur radio.
One of the things that I like most about our hobby is the extremely wide array of activities available. Plus, you can get involved at whatever level best suits your interest, your available time, or your pocketbook. That includes CW, or Morse Code operation, from low-speed straight-key conversations to high-speed telegraphy competitions. CW has something for everyone.
As I noted in my last post, I had back-to-back events planned for the Big Show at the Dayton Hamvention®. I’m delighted to say that every single activity came out just great.
LIVE STREAM OR IN PERSON
I sure hope you had a chance to see it in person or via the Live Stream video. One of my many favorites was Tommy and George and their AmateurLogic.tv episode direct from our booth. You can see their “studio” in the photo gallery.
Another favorite was time spent at Carole Perry’s Youth Forum. You can also see me with Carole in a nearby photo. Now, the reason I was standing so close to Carole was because she was wearing the Live Stream microphone. Honest!
In amateur radio it doesn’t get any bigger, or any busier, than the Dayton Hamvention®. I like to call it The Big Show – it easily compares with a three-ring circus. For me, however, it’s far more than three rings!
The Hamvention® started in 1952 as the Southwest Ohio Ham-vention. There were seven exhibitors and 200 flea market spaces. Over 600 visitors turned up that first year. In 2014 the official attendance was nearly 25,000 with over 2,000 flea market spaces and hundreds of exhibitors. Operated by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, it truly is the premier gathering in amateur radio. You can find anything to do with amateur radio under the big top of the Dayton Hamvention®