After being involved with amateur radio for nearly 30 years, it was hard to imagine that this would be my first pilgrimage to Dayton Ohio. The experience far-exceeded my expectations on all fronts.
Our agenda involved attending the FDIM (Four Days in May) conference, helping Bill @ KangaUS with booth duty, and experiencing anything else that might happen in the process.
We were greeted by a number of very friendly people attending the FDIM conference. Indeed, this wasn't just a bunch of people who were in the planning stages with QRP experiementation. Most of these guys were living and breathing QRP operators & experimenters.
The Wednesday evening FDIM Gathering....
Kanga & Friends Wednesday PM dinner. From left to right: Richard K7XNK, Rick KK7B, Craig AA0ZZ, Mark KI7N, Wes W7ZOI, Mert W0UFO, Bill N0ET
What? A VNA in a small box? I just paid $200K for a VNA at work last month!!! (Granted this one has a few less features....it's all in the software nowadays). Jay K4XLE and Jim K8IKE gave a good talk on scalar network analyzer measurements with 3 different VNA's.
Lyle KK7P revealed what he's been up to for the past few years. For those of you who want to build your own K3 without Elecraft's help, here's the block diagram :) . (I'd suggest you just buy their products--these guys are the real deal).
George Dobbs G3RJV spoke on "The Analogue Experience." George is a delightful speaker, both at the podium and in a small group.
Roy W7EL (left photo) introduced Wes W7ZOI. Wes presented a paper (co-authored by Jeff WA7MLH) on the Hybrid Cascode AGC amplifier. Wes' paper and his attendance was well-received by the crowd.
Taking the tuna-tin 2 to a whole new level....this FDIM vendor has his own canning machine! Various QRP kits are sold in tuna tins. Each package has a very clever product name (Manhattan Chowder contains the little pellets for Manhattan construction), etc. The lower-right photo reveals the "digital display" for 40m QRP rigs.
One product I found at this vendor's table was "Preparation T," a tuna tin full of various sizes of toroids (-2 & -6 material, as well as a bunch of FT-37-43's). I chose to hold on to my cash for whatever presented itself at the flea market.
Rick KK7B and another ham discuss their latest projects.
Ed W1RFI watches over the Toroid winding contest. The contest consisted of winding a blue toroid (about a T75 ?), placing exactly 10 turns on to about half of the toroid with no loose windings and no two turns overlapping, etc. "How hard could that be?"
Roger KA7EXM listens to the rules prior to winding.
Notice how fast his hands were moving in these action photos. KA7EXM beat the leader's time by over 10 seconds......
....until Rick came over and cleaned up (breaking KA7EXM's score by another 10 seconds). (Rick won the contest).
One of the great experiences of FDIM was the numerous opportunities for people to get together and just chat. Here we see (left photo). Jim K8IQY & Wes W7ZOI, discussing various aspects of QRP construction. On the right, we see Jim K8IQY, Bill W7AAZ, Wes W7ZOI, Harold W4ZCB (and a VE who's name & call escape me).
Bluegrass anyone? I wish I wasn't so dead-tired by this time of the evening. A number of the QRP community can make nice music together as well.
Roy W7EL and Rick KK7B catch up with each other briefly.
Eric WA6HHQ lets the crowd get in their "Oooh's" and "Aaaah's" on the K3, before the raffle drawing.
G3RJV and W7ZOI, posing for the camera.
ka7exm at gmail dot com