Dayton Report, Page 2 (Long)

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From: Doug Hendricks (ki6ds@dpol.k12.ca.us)
Date: Tue May 20 1997 - 12:41:56 EDT


I apologize for the truncation of the last message and I didn't really mean
to leave all of you hanging. What I was alluding to with the list of names
was that all of them were there, and it was neat to put a name with a face.

One of the highlights Wednesday night was the "bar" in George and Dick
Pascoe's room. I discovered it and had a wonderful time renewing
acquaintances with George, Dick, Tony Fishpool, and Graham Firth.

I made a promise to myself that I would go to my room every night and be in
bed by midnight, and I made it again on Thursday night. It sure is easier
to get up when you get to bed at a decent hour.

Friday morning we all met in the lobby and headed for the flea market. As
soon as we arrived, we split up and started to hit the aisles. The prices
in Dayton are HIGH. Too many vendors are there who do it professionally
for a living. You can tell the booths with the racks of test equipment,
that these are not hams selling extras to raise money for the next project.
 I am looking for a WaveTek Signal Generator, model 3004 to add to my test
equipment. I found two 3001's but they were terribly beat up, with broken
panels and missing knobs, plus a price tag of $350!! Dave Fifield and I
found a 3004 on Saturday that was in good condition, but the guy wanted
$450 for a piece of equipment that sells for $250 in California, plus I
don't have to carry it across the country. I also noticed that the prices
for used rigs was quite high.

The first booth I went to was Stan's W9WBL who produces the W9WBL paddles.
Chuck Adams told me about these last year, and I didn't go for them, and
have regretted it since. You may remember that I said there were some must
buy things on my list for Dayton? Well the WBL paddles were at the top of
the list. I had called Chuck and asked him to have Stan hold a set of
V22's for me, and am I glad that I did. I found Stan's booth at 10:00, and
he was sold out except for my paddles which he was using as a demo. In
fact, he asked to have me leave my set there so that he would have a set to
demo during the day. Worked for me. Guys, I love my WBL paddles and will
never part with them. He has orders for about 6 weeks or so, so it was a
very successful trip for a good guy.

At noon the doors open for the inside vendors at Hara. If you have never
been to Dayton, the best way to explain it is that it is like a live QST.
Open a copy of a recent QST and probably 95% of the ads in there will be at
Hara Arena during Dayton. Since I was an Exhibitor (NorCal shared the
booth with the G-QRP Club), I had an exhibitor's pass, and was allowed in
the building early. I went to the MFJ booth, said hello to Martin Jue, and
purchased item number two on my list, the MFJ Code Trainer. I got the full
blown model, and it is wonderful. What a great little aid to learning and
upgrading your code speed. Next I went to the G-QRP booth, and picked up
copies of the books by Dick Pascoe and Drew Diamond for D.K. Philbin and
David Yarnes. I also bought 7 binders for Sprat, including 2 for Dave
Meacham.

While at the Kanga booth, I bought 3 new kits from Kanga. They are the
Stockton Watt Meter/SWR Bridge for $25, the Foxx Transceiver for $25, and
the Worlds' Smallest Transceiver for $10, and they are all neat kits. Dick
Pascoe has promised to write an article for QRPp about the Watt Meter/SWR
bridge. It is the same circuit that has appeared in numerous articles
including QRPp, Vol. 1, #1. Dick has put together a great little kit and
the price is right.

Then I went over to the Practical Wireless booth and visited with Rob
Mannion and Kathy who has the best smile that I have ever seen. While
there I renewed my subscription for Practical Wireless. I looked at my
watch and suddenly discovered that the QRP Forum had started. George
Dobbs, G3RJV, was the keynote speaker, and was already started when I
arrived. George founded Sprat and the G-QRP Club 21 years ago, and has
been my mentor and heroe since I started in QRP. Sprat is the model for
QRPp, and my goal is to catch it in quality. I believe that I have
narrowed the gap, but George has looked over his shoulder and stepped it up
another notch. Those of you who do not subscribe to Sprat are missing the
best QRP journal in the world. George gave another excellent presentation
on construction, which is the cornerstone of the popularity of QRP in my
opinion. I was the next speaker and my presentation was on how to form a
local QRP group. Basically I gave the formula that Jim Cates and I used
for NorCal. I also discussed the reasons for having a local group and
types of activities that keep it going. The third speaker was Jim Fitton,
W1FMR, who talked about operating the various QRP events and contests. Jim
is from New England, and is an old, old friend of mine. It was great to
see Jim, and I am always entertained by his stories and presentation. We
were given a 1 PM to 3:30 PM time slot, but all of us felt that was too
long. We finished early, about 2:45, and everyone went back to the flea
market.

After the forum, I saw a familiar call, Larry Wise who was the first
debugger in the the debugging contest stopped by to say hello. It was a
real pleasure to meet Larry, and I hope to see him again in Dallas at
HamCom. Larry said that he was going to get a T-Shirt that said "Debugger
#1". I told him that he should have and everyone on the QRP-L would have
known immediately who he was.

Soon it was 5 and time to leave for the hotel. On the way out we stopped
at a booth and several of us bought the new mini handi-talkie by Alinco.
It was $119!! If you see me in person, ask about the lady who was working
in the booth. I have a great story to tell you, but not on the internet.

We arrived at the hotel and just had time to get ready for the banquet.
Dave Fifield, AD6AY, my roommate had arrived from Florida. We got a key
for him and his baggage in the room. Then we went to the QRP Banquet,
which is arranged every year by Pete Meier, and Pete, you do a great job.
Thank you. Our table consisted of Lee Johnson of St. Louis, Bob Finch of
NBC, CBS, ESPN, ABC and Indiana, Jim Cates, Steve Cates, Ralph Butler, Dave
Fifield and myself. Bob kept us all entertained with his rendition of the
"real inside story" of the second Presidential debate, which he worked on.
The meal was delicious and then we were really well entertained by Richard
Strugg and Martin Jue, who is the President of MFJ. Excellent choice of
speakers and MFJ presented everyone with a 25th anniversary coffee mug plus
they provided a 6 meter radio and beam antenna as a prize!! Thank you to
Martin and MFJ from all of the QRPers.

The next thing was the announcement of the QRP ARCI inductees to the Hall
of Fame. This year's new members are Dick Pascoe, Mike C. (WA8MCQ) and
myself. It was a tremendous honor, and one that I will treasure all of my
life. I still cannot believe that I am a member of a group that contains
my heroes. Thank you to all the members of NorCal who were responsible for
my honor, and especially thank you to Jim Cates, who is my very best friend
in the world.

After the Hall of Fame announcement, Pete gave out the prizes, and prizes,
and prizes. Then we went to the hospitality room where the Vendors had set
up for Vendor's night. Preston Douglas did a wonderful job arranging the
night, and almost every QRP vendor had a representative there. I met
Marshall Em from Milestone Technologies and bought one of the new LC meter
kits that he sells for Almost All Digital Electronics. It comes very
highly recommended by George Dobbs, and when I saw George's I just had to
have it. Marshall did not have any left, but I ordered one and it will
arrive soon.

Every where that I turned Friday night, there were old friends to see and
new friends to meet. Take a look at the pictures on the web pages, just
look at all the conversations going on. This is QRP at its best. Soon,
Chuck Adams and I were talking and sharing a Diet Pepsi. We looked at our
watches and it was time to go to bed. 6:00 AM comes early.

End of Page 2, More to come. 72, Doug, KI6DS


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