This post covers my trip to Dayton Hamvention 2010 (www.hamvention.org), FDIM, and 4 summit activations on the way back home.
It was a great adventure. My XYL and I started out for the Four Days In May event http://www.fdim.qrparci.org on Wednesday. It was a long, 660 mile drive from my home in Tarrytown, NY, but I knew it would be worth it. I had already searched for all of the high point value, low effort hills on the route in the hopes of making a few quick activations along the way to Hamvention. Unfortunately we left Tarrytown a bit too late to do anything extra on the 10 hour drive to FDIM, so we decided to activate summits on the way back home.
We checked in late to the hotel that was hosting FDIM. This is the first time I have actually stayed in the hotel that was hosting one of the events, and that’s a great convenience. At the FDIM conferences on Thursday I learned a great deal about antennas and dxpeditions. Late Thursday night the conference hall hosted an array of QRP companies including Hendricks and others. Someone even set up a “ham radio vending machine” http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4626577837/in/set-72157624107367404/ which sold various mini ham radio kits.
The next day at Hamvention in the Hara Arena(separate location, about 30 min. away, one of my first things to do on my list was to take a look at the new Kenwood APRS HT http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627197184/ I also managed to take a most interesting picture of a “Yaesu Spy” inspecting and photographing the new Kenwood HT very carefully at the Kenwood booth…check out the picture carefully and you can just see his official Yaesu exhibitor ticket http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4626599873/
That night at the FDIM events I bumped into SOTA W3 Manager Ed, WA3WSJ http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627218410/
The next day at Hamvention (Saturday), we witnessed the launch of an APRS carrying ballon http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4626709019/in/photostream/ and my friend and celebrity ham Diana, KC2UHB spoke http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627319508/ at one of the presentations and did a little book signing http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627318148/ .
Latter that day at the HF pack gathering outside Hara Arena, I watched PY1AHD demonstrate his great Alexloop http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4626727623/ , and I decided to buy one. I had been eyeing his loop since last Hamvention.
That night back at the FDIM hotel, we enjoyed a nice QRP awards dinner and I spotted this great hand-embroidered ham radio T-shirt on K5YCM http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4626738501/ . Later that night Dave, W2VV and I enjoyed working with the loop outside our FDIM hotel, the Holiday Inn http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4626733325/in/photostream/
Sunday at Hamvention was rushed as always with last minute purchases and meetings. I had a long chat with the new SOTA W0 Manager, Steve WG0AT http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627353610/ I also bumped into the QRO backpacking king, with his 500w HF backpack, this time Bicycle Mobile due to a knee injury http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627362884/in/photostream/
All good things must come to an end and Hamvention was no exception, so Sunday afternoon after the 2+ hour Hamvention prize giveaway http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4626757605/ (carried on as the main exhibitors pack up) we made our way to our next stop, Somerset, PA.
Sunday night we slept in Somerset, PA so that Monday we could activate some nearby nearly drive-up summits with high point values. The XYL had specificed that we would not be doing any hikes on this vacation that required tick checks.
First off on Monday was the never before activated http://www.sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W3/WE-001 Conditions were pretty nasty with blowing rain and 45F degrees weather. Conditions were fierce enough that my XYL would not leave the car, and this picture was taken at mid afternoon NOT at night or dusk http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627393332/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEKNzfxmJwU
Once I had my 4 contacts, (three on the 2m beam and one on the 20m end fed wire), we got off of the hill and had a nice dinner at a local resturant before heading to http://www.sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W3/PT-001 for a sunset first time activation of PA’s tallest peak, Mt. Davis. Conditions were slightly improved but were still pretty nasty. With an end fed wire for 20m off of the side of the Mt. Davis firetower I started with HA7UG and had plenty of stations calling. I don’t have a good picture from the summit as conditions were tough, here is a view from the entry to the park http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627410098/
Tuesday I activated another nearby 10 point easy summit,
This was the most enjoyable summit as it was great to be shrouded in mist. I worked HF with an an end fed wire
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627426518/ , SO-50 with an arrow
with my new magnetic loop (alexloop)
Tuesday night we drove to York PA, the self proclaimed “Factory Tour Capital of the World,” and Wednesday we toured the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Factory http://www.flickr.com/photos/32042031@N07/4627443782/ and a nearby commercial cave, Indian Echo Caverns http://www.indianechocaverns.com/
At dinner on Wednesday, I couldn’t resist looking through my GPS files for a nearby easy hill to hit as an after dinner snack, and I came across http://www.sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W3/SV-043 and decided I could have a go at it. Although SV-043 was not as easy as I had thought, I did manage my 4 20m contacts using the end fed wire only about 3 feet off the ground.
We continued home Wednesday night and finally arrived, 34 points richer, at about 2am.
73 to all,