Sunday, 29 May 2016 15:54

Show & Tell

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of diversity is: “the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.” The Show and Tell club meeting that we had on May 27th appeared to show the diverse interests of amateur radio operators. We had over 40 radio operators show up to attend this meeting. The range of ages went from early teens to over 90. Our varying interests included what food was going to be served at Field Day, to the purchase and assembly of the new tower-trailer for the club. It was exciting to see the majority of the group take part in the discussions that were going on. The meeting was based on the traditional “after Dayton picnic.” People who had gone to Dayton Hamvention would return to show off their purchases and treasures. This morphed into a "show and tell" from individuals in the club. We did have one presentation that was based solely on the Dayton Hamvention. 

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We had two Amateurs that presented their versions of Go-Boxes. Cliff, KCØSDV, and George, KDØPMW, both showed variations of a Go-Box that could, and have been used out in the public service arena. There was an in-depth presentation, all within ten minutes, of digital ATV. This PowerPoint video showed the depth of ATV and the clarity that the picture could have. All of it being broadcasted by an amateur. In this case the presentation was by Armand, KDØPXF. It is amazing to me that we have come from using a telegraph to get messages heard, to actually sending amateur television across our little piece of the radio bandwidth. 

Antenna projects won the night with three amateur radio operators presenting. Cliff, KCØSDV, showed us the “killer quad” while Bob, WØSVS, enlightened us on the use of an aluminum j-pole and a j-pole that mounted to a handheld radio. One of our own elected officers of the club, Joe, WØFY, gave us plenty to look at with his VHF antenna projects. While I did not fully understand the details of their presentations, I was thrilled that my own copper j-pole would have been right at home with their fancy rabbit ears. Both Felix, KDØLMR, and Kevin, KØKEV, were able to show us the power of the computer in their presentations. The Rasberry Pi presentation by Felix, KDØLMR, was robust in construction and flexible in design as he continues to look for improvements and innovations to apply to his kit. Kevin, KØKEV, managed to take a short stay of seeing a net control at a bike event, and determined he wanted to work on building the better mousetrap. He has designed software that while using APRS can give real time information about tracked vehicles during charity bicycle rides. It even gives alerts for going out of bounds, or having a prolonged period of inactivity. Roland, WØRL, showed us a nearly antique crystal radio from his youth that he and friends made when they were just getting into the hobby. 

Finally, we had the true Dayton Hamvention "show and tell" by Kyle, NØKTK, that did not even show us what he purchased. He told us the steps he used to maximize the productivity of attending the Mecca of all hamfests, Dayton. He showed us lists and spreadsheets, maps and projections of how to get the best bang for your dollar at Dayton. This presentation seemed to get the most interaction from our attendees to the meeting with questions to clarify his points, and new thoughts of wisdom to add to his pearls of enlightenment. 

I enjoyed the range of interests that were presented at our club meeting, and I love that our diversity within the club gives us the ability to always learn and experience new things about our hobby. While with age comes experience, we are also seeing our “senior” hams start to learn new tricks of the hobby as the technology continues to expand. Who would of thought that the makings of a spark gap transmitter would eventually lead to seeing images relayed from an orbiting space station to our little ham shacks. 

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