It’s time for our personal favorite special event on the Ham Radio calendar: The 13 Original Colonies Special Event.
13 Colonies is an annual Special Event held during the week of Independence Day (that’s the 4th of July, for those of you in Rio Linda). Participants endeavor to make contact with special event stations in all 13 Colony Stations. In addition to stations in the original 13 colonies, there are also two Bonus Stations.
Aside from the stations in NY, VA, RI, CT, DE, MD, GA, MA, NJ, NC, NH, SC, and PA (call signs K2A through K2M, respectively), the two bonus stations are the WM3PEN station from Philadelphia, PA, where independence was declared, and GB13COL from Durham, England.
Participants do not need to make contact will all 13 to get a certificate, but doing so does get you the “Clean Sweep” endorsement on your certificate. Likewise, participants do not need the 2 bonus stations for a clean sweep. Making contact with WM3PEN will get you a “Liberty Bell” endorsement and GB13COL will get you a “British Standard” endorsement. Additional special endorsements are added for all CW operations, all QRP operations, SWL, as well as membership in the National Rifle Association (NRA), American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and active or former military service (thank you for your service!).
We always have great fun participating in this special event and celebrating our independence. Our family usually ends up with at least a couple of certificates, usually clean sweeps plus WM3PEN and a few extra endorsements on them, I don’t think any of us have ever made GB13COL. Maybe this is our year.
Let us know if you’ll be participating, how you are doing, and your final results in the comments below.
The 2017 ARRL Field Day has come and gone and reports of how stations and clubs did during the event are starting to circulate. As usual, this year’s Field Day fell on the fourth full weekend of June and went from 18:00 UTC on Saturday June 24 to 21:00 UTC on Sunday June 25. We participated in a little bit of class 1D operations but did not have a lot of spare time to make contacts within that window.
For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the ARRL describes Field Day as “ham radio’s open house.” Tens of thousands of hams throughout North America set up temporary stations in public places to demonstrate the science behind, skills involved with, and service provided by Amateur Radio operation. The ARRL says that the event “combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event” and calls that event, which has been going on since 1933, the most popular event in ham radio.
Many local hams and several local clubs participated in this year’s Field Day event. Speaking on KY4KY B.A.R.S. club performance, club president Buddy Sohl shared that, despite some early equipment issues, their stations, which were in operation for 95% of the total Field Day time, concluded with more than 1700 contacts made between CW and SSB. W4CN A.R.T.S. club secretary Glen Gawron Sr. shared that their operation included more than 650 contacts, mostly in phone mode, but also in CW and PSK31 modes.
More than just an excuse to hang out with fellow hams or a fun exercise, the annual Field Day operations are just that – an exercise of amateur radio operating abilities. As with any other perishable skill, this one must be exercised to keep it in shape. Portable, field-expedient stations set up for this event somewhat simulate the types of stations that might be set up in times of disaster, during which traditional forms of communication are often overburdened to the point of being unusable or knocked out completely. During such situations, the skills, resourcefulness, and resiliency of these radio operators and their equipment provide a vital lifeline of communication between emergency operation centers, and between those affected by the situation and their loved ones or responders outside of the affected area.
If you worked Field Day 2017, let us know how you did in the comments below.
The 2017 Dayton Hamvention is all wrapped up and the attendance for the show hit nearly 30,000 people. Hamvention char Ron Cramer’s announcement is posted below. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2018 Hamvention, May 18-20, and the 2019 show May 17-19.
It took a while to collect all the information but the numbers are in and it has been a most successful year. This is quite an increase over last year’s attendance.
We knew this would be a big year but this was even beyond our expectations. The challenge was great to reinvent Hamvention at a new venue, The Greene County Expo Center and Fairgrounds in a very short time period. From all the emails, letters, and calls I have received over the last few weeks, we have accomplished it successfully. Thanks to all who provided constructive criticism, each idea is being evaluated. Please thank all our 657 volunteers from around the world for their over the top dedication to make Hamvention the success you wanted it to be.
We all recognize the traffic, rain, mud and parking issues, but part of those issues were corrected even before show weekend was over. Other issues are being worked on already for next year’s show. We are working with Greene County, Xenia Township, City of Xenia officials and the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center Advisory Board. We can’t control the rain but we promise there will not be some of the other issues next year. There may even be some new surprises in store for you. We have three extra months and a successful plan to start with.
We thank all who came to the show this first year in Greene County and hope to see you again next year. For those that thought they would wait and see how we did, sorry you missed the show but look forward to seeing you next year. Our rough edges will be smoothed out for you by then.
Thank You, and Hope to see all next year at our New Home,
Hamvention General Chair
The 2017 Dayton Hamvention will be held May 19-21, 2017 – just two short weeks away. Don’t forget that the show is no longer at Hara Arena! The Hamvention is now hosted at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center.
According to the Hamvention website, their entire staff of volunteers is working hard behind the scenes to make 2017 a year to remember as they transition from the old Hara Arena location to Hamvention’s new home. Tickets for this year’s show area available online here.
Don’t forget that the W4CN A.R.T.S Club will be having their annual bus trip to Hamvention on Saturday, May 20. The rented 55-passenger motor coach will take you directly to the fairgrounds and park nearby for you to stow items or take a break. The bus departs from the Northwest corner of the UPS Main Entrance Parking Lot on Grade Lane at Midfield Access Road at 6:00 AM to arrive in time for the opening of the gates at Dayton, and will depart back to Louisville at 5:00 pm. Tickets are $35-37 and can be purchased at the link above. These tickets are separate from your Hamvention admission tickets.
It’s almost that time again. The Greater Louisville Hamfest is coming soon. Below is GLHA chairman Bob Myers’s email regarding the upcoming event:
Hi Fellow Hams!
It’s predicted the weekend will be hot and muggy. The great outdoors might be on hold unless it’s at the local pool or water park. Of course, you can always take in a movie or spend a day with your XYL at the air-conditioned mall. On the other hand, you could also just stay at home and relax… but what to do at home?
Well, maybe this weekend would be a good time to prepare for Greater Louisville Hamfest coming your way on Saturday, September 12 at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre in Shepherdsville. Do you have old rigs and things just sitting around your ham shack gathering dust? Why not clean up the shack, gather up those things you don’t use anymore and sell them at the show to share with other hams? A table at the show is $12 and the Admission Ticket is $7 if you order by mail. And did I mention that if you get your ticket by mail it will come with a free Extra Prize Ticket?
So, how to get that order in? Well just go to LouisvilleHamfest.com and download a copy of the Space and Ticket Form, Flyer or Mailing. Print it, fill in your order and send us a check and a SASE. Don’t wait long – the deadline for registration is August 29 – less than a month and a half away. If you don’t want to include a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, you can pick up your tickets at the show.
Oh, did I mention mailing? It’s not sent out yet (it will be mailed out later this month), but it is on the website at this link:http://louisvillehamfest.com/
So enjoy your weekend! Keep cool. Be sure to stay hydrated if you’re outdoors and wear plenty of sunscreen. And be sure to sit down at your computer for a spell and surf to LouisvilleHamfest.com to see what’s happening. And there’s a link to our Facebook page there too, if you want to give us a shout.
See you at the show!
Bob Myers K4RVM
P.S. Here’s the info on the hamfest:
Greater Louisville Hamfest 2015
Saturday, September 12, 2015
8:00am – 2:00pm
Each year at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, amateur radio enthusiasts gather to talk ham, snack on some hors d’oeuvres, enjoy a beverage and socialize. Bob Heil is there, along with some vendor and manufacturer reps, there are door prizes and it is generally a good time. I have gone in past years and plan to go again this year and it should be as good a time as ever.
Plans for this year’s event have been set and are below. If you are going to the NAB Show (April 13-16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center) or will otherwise be in Fabulous Las Vegas and enjoy amateur radio, make plans to stop by. Be sure to get there early, there is always a line!
The reception will be:
Wednesday, April 15th
6 – 8pm
Westgate Hotel (Formerly LVH, formerly Las Vegas Hilton)
Per the ARTS Club Louisville Facebook page, the club will be offering motorcoach bus service to-and-from the Dayton Hamvention on Saturday May 16th 2015. Area hams interested in attending the Hamvention can avoid the traffic and hassle of driving (and parking!) for $30 per seat for the round trip.
It looks like they need to sell about 20 more tickets by 1 April 2015 in order to secure the chartered bus for the trip. For more details, visit their Facebook page (linked above) or check out the PDF flyer for the trip.
The hamfest-on-steroids that is the Dayton Hamvention will be back at Hara Arena May 15-17, 2015. Last year the flea market and inside exhibits drew nearly 25,000 attendees to buy, sell, and trade their goods, take license exams, and meet up with old and new friends in the amateur radio community. As if that wasn’t enough, attendees have the opportunity to win some major prizes just for showing up.
A special event station will be operated from the inside exhibit area on (+/- QRM) 40M at 7.050 / 7.227, 20M at 14.050/ 14.270, and 10M at 28.050/ 28.470.
This year’s Hamvention hours are as follows:
Friday: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Friday: 9;00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Tickets can be purchased online here. For more information, visit the Hamvention website at hamvention.org.
The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show is this week, and what could be more consumer electronic-y than some fresh new ham radio gear?
As in past years, I will be attending a couple days of the show for work and will keep an eye out for new amateur radio gear. Unfortunately, previous attempts to be on the lookout for ham tech have been eminently disappointing. I have found some manufacturers of cheap Chinese HTs and aftermarket batteries, but the Big 3 have been either absent or focusing on other market segments.
Maybe this year will be better with fewer e-cigs and bedazzled cell phone cases and more ham stuff. If not, it’s only a short wait until the big Amateur Radio shindig at the NAB – where we’ll have the chance to win more goodies and rub elbows with the likes of Bob Heil and his tried-and-true “there, that sounds much better” shtick to open the event.
If you know of a CES exhibitor in the ham realm that we should check out, be sure to share it below in the comments.
The date for the 2015 Greater Louisville HamFest has been announced as Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 0800-1400 Eastern time. As usual, the event will be held at Paroquet Springs Conference Centre in Shepherdsville.
The GLH includes both indoor and outdoor vendor spaces, license testing, presentations, prizes and more.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $8 at the door and include entry for the door prizes and main prize drawings. Tickets ordered by mail also include an extra drawing ticket. For ticket purchasing and more information, visit the GLH website.