Dayton Hamvention 2012

My friends and I just got back from spending the weekend at another awesome Dayton Hamvention! This year I spent most of my time out in the flea market area, as I was a vendor with a booth outside. I had a few things to sell, like a Kenwood TM-D700 dual band transceiver, an old Astron 12V power supply, and a few other trinkets.

I did really well and sold just about everything that I came to Dayton with, to add a few bucks back in my pocket. I then turned right around and spent them at the other vendors at Hamvention. 🙂

Accompaning me this year was Craig KB9JDW, Dave KF9IZ, and Jeff N9IZ. We had a blast at Dayton.

Friday evening we setup a small HF station in the parking lot of our hotel and even made a few DX contacts! Jonas LY5A in Lithuania heard us loud and clear from the parking lot, as well as a Brazilian station. Operating outside was fun, we sat around in camp chairs and took turns operating.

The next day, I took a good walk around the flea market area and went inside as well.

There was a whole estate sale not far from where we had our booth setup, this guy had TONS of Collins and Heathkit stuff. I almost walked away with a complete KWM2A station, but resisted the temptation of doing so. I really do not need to buy more HF rigs, I already have too many of them that I rarely use the ones I have. I got a feeling that some of them will have to get sold next Hamvention. 😦

There were several new radios making news at Hamvention this year:

1. FlexRadio SystemsFlex 6000 series. Ooooh how I want one! I think this will be my next major radio purchase!

FlexRadio Systems – Flex 6700

2. Kenwood – Kenwood TS-990S. Very well done by Kenwood. It was only visible thought a plastic clear cube case, I wanted to twist the knobs and push the buttons! Kenwood says that the price is $5000 – $10,000. But I bet it will be right about $6500. That would make it competitive to the Icom IC-7700. It is very close in design to an IC-7700.

3. Yaesu – FT1D. Yaesu’s first foray into digital. Of course it is not D-STAR compatible. Yaesu uses new FDMA C4FM digital protocol. It will be interesting to see what happens with this! No pricing info as of yet.

Yaesu FT-1DR/E Digital H.T.

4. Yaesu – FTDx 3000. Another offering in the mid-range class of HF transceivers. Very comparable to an Icom IC-7600 I would say. Again, no pricing as of yet. This radio was also encased in a big plastic cube, so I did not get to twist knobs or push buttons. 😦

As for me and my homies, we each walked away with a good haul of ham radio goodies:

Craig KB9JDW – Awesome iPortable Pro case. He is building a completely portable HF setup with this case. He also purchased a small LDG IT-100 automatic antenna tuner to put in the case. He plans on installing his Icom IC-706MK2G HF/VHF/UHF transceiver in the case. It will be very cool.

iPortable Pro go-box that Craig and I both bought.

Jeff N9IZ – Purchased a fully portable go-box system. The system had a Yeasu FT-897D HF/VHF/UHF rig installed, plus an LDG auto tuner, a SignaLink USB adapter for digital modes, and a power supply. (I will get some pics of it soon) The case is very well put together and has a good speaker mounted in front as well as lights for operating in low light conditions, and even a 120VAC socket so that you can plug your laptop into it! Very cool!

Jeff N9IZ’s GO-BOX with FT-897D + toys!

Dave KF9IZ – Purchased an Icom IC-880H from a fellow flea market vendor. Dave is wanting to get into D-STAR so that will be an awesome rig for that.

And yours truly – I picked up one of the same iPortable go-boxes like Craig did. I plan on doing the same thing with mine, installing my Icom IC-7000 in it. I also purchased a new mobile rig for my truck, the Yaesu FTM-350AR. This new rig should work well, and I can finally pull out the IC-7000 since I don’t like to operate HF while I am driving anyway. I also purchased a new antenna mount and new NMO antennas for the mount. Oh yeah, and I also bought a new Vibroplex “Know Code” red straight key which is very nice.

My New Yaesu FTM-350AR

On Sunday we all went to the Museum of the United States Air Force at Wight-Patterson AFB just outside of Dayton. It is always cool to see the aircraft and all the history there, and a good way to end the weekend before the long drive back home.

It was in all, a great time, with great friends and I enjoyed it immensely. I will be planning on going back to Dayton Hamvention 2013.

73! de Nick N9SJA

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