Thursday, January 17, 2019

Dayton 2016

Very LATE post.
K3YV (Woody) and I (W3EDP) made our trek to the Dayton Hamvention 2016.  As usual the trip began with our customary day at the Air Force Museum and a visit to John Silver aka "Stumpy", the legendary war pidgin. With most of the day spent wandering the fist set of hangers with "Real Aircraft".. you know the ones with props!! And a few movies and a quick visit to the modern aircraft. We followed up with a dinner with a few members of the Rooster Net.  It was a good day.
John Silver -War Pidgin

 Friday-Sunday we spent our days looking at interesting junk/treasures in the booths in the parking lot and finding new and interesting items that we never knew we needed in the Hara Arena.

  The goal of this trip was to find a QRP radio that I could use while traveling/hiking/car camping.   Contestants were the Yeasu FT-817ND, The Elecraft KX3,  or something new and small.
The requirements were:
  • Small size (including additional items needed)
  • Weight (my back is heavy enough with medical gear)
  • Operating time. (must use LiPo batteries or something similar for weight)
  • Cover 10-80M   ( I have not used 160m or 6m and don't expect to soon.)
  • SSB and CW. (Not CW operator but plan to, hence the need SSB to start with)
  The Elecraft KX3 had the advantage of a larger screen and built in ATU, but disadvantage of price, and it did not seem to rugged. The Yeasu 817ND had ruggedness that I liked but long in the tooth and the small screen and nested menus with lots of dial spinning turned me off, despite the price and I would need to buy a tuner to go with it.

KX3 beside KX2
  Luck! Elecraft brought out a new radio this year the Elecraft KX2, It fit the bill nearly perfectly. It's almost half the weight of the KX3 and a bit smaller. It does not have 2m option or AM, but  I have no ambitions of doing weak signal FM from PA mountaintops, and if I do want to I can use an HT.  The K2 uses the same screen as the K3 so it's easy for my aging eyes to read.

Elecraft KX2
  I put in an order for the KX2, with ATU and paddles.  Time to learn the code again. Come on brain.. you heard a bunch of it in Augsburg and used to be able to decode a fair amount on the fly. You can do it again!
  So now comes the wait for delivery. Sadly I did not make my choice till later in the weekend and missed out on the 50 they sold at the show. When I first stopped by at 14:30 on Friday there were 2 left.  First impressions to come hopefully shortly.

   I was followed home by a few other trinkets to include:
  • Arrow Antenna J-Pole - for working public service events to be mounted on a tripod for easy use of my Kenwood D710 go box. 
  • Arrow Antenna 146/437 - to try my hand at satellite and ISS.
  • Book on Introduction to Amateur Radio and Satellite. 
  • Heil Cables to connect a Heil HM-10 mic/boom setup, I picked up at an estate sale, to my Icom 756Pro.
  Things that failed to follow me home but maybe should have:
See you next year Dayton!!

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