A site of endless curiosity

Posts Tagged ‘hamfests

The Amateur Radio Lifestyle

leave a comment »

Looking for some vintage radio equipment on eBay, reading one of  the descriptions, the seller included the reason for selling a collection of radios – “My father passed away and I am selling his collection of radios.  I do not want to be part of the ham radio lifestyle.” 

Ham radio has been traditionally defined as a “Hobby” and as a “Service”.  This non-Ham described his father’s relationship with Ham Radio as a “Lifestyle”.  That’s an interesting perspective on Amateur Radio.

What’s a life-style?

life·style also life-style or life style

A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group: “It was a millionaire’s lifestyle on the pocketbook of a hairdresser” (People).

Usage Note: When lifestyle became popular a generation ago, a number of critics objected to it as voguish and superficial, perhaps because it appeared to elevate habits of consumption, dress, and recreation to categories in a system of social classification. Nonetheless, the word has proved durable and useful, if only because such categories do in fact figure importantly in the schemes that Americans commonly invoke when explaining social values and behavior…

“habits of consumption”, “habits of dress”, “habits of recreation” – linked to social classification.  Interesting.

For some folks their “hobby” does define their life.  In groups and organizations some do  find significance, recognition, and meaning for their life where, perhaps, other avenues may not be possible or available to them.  Maybe this is what the eBay seller was referring to when he described his father’s relation to the Amateur Radio hobby as a “life-style”.  Habits of consumption, dress, and recreation.

“Life-style” in Action

So, what does this look like?

Burt Fisher (K1OIK)  is a retired high school teacher and long time Amateur Radio operator.  Burt regularly makes videos related to Amateur Radio including hamfests; hamfests are a sort of flea market for radio equipment – and all sorts of things.  And maybe, hamfests can provide a view of Life-style demonstrated.

Take a look at Burt Fisher’s video of NearFEST 2010.  Of note is the interview with WBCQ radio.  This is a 50,000 Watt broadcast radio station on which you (literally anyone)  can buy airtime.   Fifteen (15) minutes of air time costs about $30.  “The more you buy, the more you save.”  An hour of air time on this shortwave broadcast station ia about $60.  WBCQ radio can be heard on 9.330, 5.110, 15.420, and 7.415 MHz.

Check out NearFEST 2010

Additional Resources

Part I of Burt Fisher’s NearFEST 2010 video –

Selected links from the WBCQ web site

Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio
Lumpy Gravy Radio Show
Monitoring Times
New England Amateur Radio Festival
Popular Communications
QSO Radio Show
TennesseeBill’s OTR Library
This Week In Amateur Radio
WBCQ Audio Archives

‘ON THE AIR’ 1937 – How Radio Works –

Written by frrl

May 30, 2010 at 3:29 am

NearFEST VI Part III October 2009 Hamfest Deerfield, NH

leave a comment »

Another video by Burt Fisher K1OIK.
An interview with a contester and radio remembered

While watching the latter part of the video one might get the idea that ham radio is at the end of an era.
Check it out for yourself

Written by frrl

October 29, 2009 at 1:32 am

What’s new at Dayton 2009

leave a comment »

Did you miss any of the new ham radio equipment introduced at Dayton 2009?
If so, Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR, put a PDF together for you

What’s new at Dayton 2009

Written by frrl

July 3, 2009 at 3:52 am

Take a video tour of NEAR-Fest

leave a comment »

Burt Fisher, K1OIK, strikes again.

Why do people show up at 3:30am for an 8am hamfest?  See the double lines of people waiting to get into Near-Fest.  See the interviews with the folks that run the fest.  What drives people to be first in line when the hamfest is hrs away?  Do you know about what happens among the sellers before you get in there?

Can you swap an antenna for grilled cheese sandwich at NEAR-Fest?  Watch the videos and find out?

Check out Burt Fishers NEAR-Fest videos.

Written by frrl

June 5, 2009 at 4:02 am

Dayton Hamvention 2009

leave a comment »

Did you miss the 2009 Dayton Hamvention?  Too bad.  Take a video tour

Go to the Dayton Hamvention 2009 virtually compliments of WA5KUB

The Illiad and the Odyssey Dayton Hamvention style

When Paris of Troy stole Helen (the most beautiful of all women) from the king of Sparta a great epic story began to unfold.  It’s too bad the greek writers and historians like Homer did not have a video camera, global wireless network, and the internet.  If Homer had this then high school students would not be tortured reading the Illiad and the Odyssey – they could just watch highlights on YouTube.

But WA5KUB does have a video camera, a global network, and the internet.  So you will be able to watch the great epic journey to the Dayton Hamvention 2009 and the events that will transpire.  Perhaps he will not find Helen – the most beautiful of all women – but maybe he will find some good hamfest buys in the fleamarket.  I once saw a kitchen sink at a hamfest – how about a big wooden horse?

Modern technology to the rescue

How do we do it?

We are using windows media encoder 9 on a laptop with a camera. The camera is mounted under the mirror in the front windshield.  From time to time we will rotate it around to give a view inside the car.  We will also be using a cam mounted on a helmet (called the helmet cam). You can see a picture of it on this page.

The laptop has a wireless network card.  We are using Verizon’s national broadband access. We have added an external 6db antenna outside the car and have also inserted a 2 watt amplifier. The freq is CDMA around 1850-1900 Mhz.  In broadband areas like Dayton and Memphis, you can get 180K bursts upload and about 700K download speeds.  On the road outside the broadband cities, we will have slower speeds like 50k upload and 100k download.

While traveling between cities, the connection speed may drop low and we may be transmitting video as low as 30Kbps but it is possible to transmit in some areas much higher (100Kbps)  The signal strength will determine what speed and quality we transmit at.  Since the laptop is going to have limited bandwidth, we send that video stream back to a Media Server.  This server is connected to the internet with a very high capacity uplink.  When you access the web page, you will be watching video directly from our media server.  If we are able to get a 100K stream connection from the laptop to the server, then all of you will be able to watch video at the 100K rate.

You can see the importance of the server now.  Say if we have 300 viewers on at the same time, each would be using 100K of uplink bandwidth.  so 300x100K = the need for a 30 Mbit uplink connection to the internet.   Hopefully while in Dayton at hamvention, we will have high speed connection and can up the video speed to 100k or better.

Check out these links for all the details

Written by frrl

May 11, 2009 at 4:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

Dayton Hamvention 2009 – May 15-17

leave a comment »

It’s almsot time for the 2009 Dayton Hamvention.  If you an amateur radio operator and you have never been to a Hamvention, then do you know what you are missing?  If you are one of those folks that read this blog and have no clue as to what Amateur Radio is all about then maybe you should take a peek at the links that you will find on the information mashups page and see what, in popular lingo, could be called a Amateur Radio combination convention and trade show.

Since 1952 Hamvention® has been sponsored by Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA).  For many years it has been the world’s largest amateur radio gathering, attracting hams from throughout the globe.

About 1950, John Willig, W8ACE, had asked the Dayton Amateur Radio Association to sponsor a HAM Convention but was turned down. John wanted to have a quality affair. Speakers and prizes would be a drawing point. John finally found a champion in Frank Schwab, W8YCP (W8OK), the newly elected president of the club. A meeting was held and the DARA Board allocated $100 to get started. The first organizational meeting was held in January 1952.

The Southwestern Ohio Ham-vention was born. The first committee consisted of: John Willig, W8ACE, General Chairman Al Dinsmore, W8AUN, Arrangements Bob Siff, W8QDI (K4AMG), Prizes and Exhibits Frank Schwab, W8YCP (W8OK), Publicity Bob Montgomery, W8CUJ, Finance Clem Wolford, W8ENH, Program Ellie Haburton, W8GJP (W4ZVW), Women’s Committee The next year the name became “Dayton Hamvention®” and was registered as a trademark.

April was determined to be the best time but the Biltmore Hotel, in downtown Dayton was booked. March 22 was the chosen date, causing a short lead time. How far did $100 go? Not far! A 12’ TV was raffled off to help raise funds. The FCC agreed to give license exams and Phil Rand, W1BDM, a pioneer in TVI elimination was on the program. First prize, a Collins 75A2, was purchased locally.

Hoping for 300 visitors, the committee was amazed that over 600 showed up! There were 7 exhibitors and 6 forums. The ladies program was successful with a luncheon at the Biltmore and a trip to a local TV station.  In 1955 the Awards Program began with the “Amateur of the Year.” The Flea Market has grown from 200 to more than 2000 spaces. In 1964 the Hamvention® moved to Hara Arena. Shuttle buses and handicapped parking were added in 1969. In 1973 it became a 2 day event with Sundays added in 1974. The program has grown to a “Souvenir Program” and in 1976 the dimensions changed from 6″x 9″ to the current 8-1/2″x11″.

The growth of the Dayton Hamvention® can be attributed to caring, energetic people who enjoy being on a winning team.

No matter who you are,get a cup of coffee, sit back and take a 20 minute tour of the 2008 Dayton Hamvention complements of Randy K7AGE.

Basic info on the Dayton 2009 Hamvention

List of events

Written by frrl

May 3, 2009 at 4:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

%d bloggers like this: