Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve updated anything! Like, almost 9 months. Oh well – so now, I’m in the front passenger seat in Derek ve4hay’s truck with my son ve4rlk and walter ve4vb in the back of the truck. Currently heading back from Dayton approaching Indianapolis. So, with a good data plan and lots of power I can try to type in a few things.
This was my second venture to Dayton – and the second in a row. I was able to visit Dayton last year with my XYL. This year, the 4 of us were doing it.
Drive out Wed morning – left the city around 630ish and arrived in Peoria, IL mid evening. The usual spot was booked solid, so we ended up finding a standard hotel to spend the night. The travel to Dayton from Peoria was short enough – only 5 or so hours.
Arriving in Dayton we check into our accommodation and set out to visit the area. Checking it out, it’s a short enough trip to the new location Xenia.
Early in the morning we take off and get on the road to get our vendor parking spot. Well, we and a bazillion other hams have the same idea. Seems there are some roadway issues leading into the facility – ie: not enough of them. We were over an hour ahead of time and spent an hour in the truck waiting to get in close enough. One mile did not go by fast enough!
Once in, we immediately went around looking at the flea market. Goods were bought etc and found some odd items (yes, there is a story there). Derek found something like in 1 minute.
Walter always finds interesting things to work on. A radio or two and a few parts for some guys back home. Robert was a bit eclectic on his shopping, so there are a few odd non-ham items HI HI. We did find some really nice and big 5GHz panels that are brand new, so will be good to put them into use. We also found a bunch of outdoor enclosures which will come in handy. We did find pig-tails for what we need, but they were on the pricey side, but Derek made a deal and picked them up.
A new handheld was in the mix when I found out I could get the same import radio I have but with a different band on it! I now have a 144/220 hand held radio 🙂 Walter was impressed and we picked one up for him as well. So, with at least 2 guys with 220 radios, we will have to have Walter put up his 220 radio at some point.
The next day we arrive much earlier – still have a bit of a parking issue getting guys in, but it was much shorter. Hint – arrive 2 hours early! We again venture out looking for more goods. The one problem is that with the rain in the fair-grounds turned the grass into MUDDY WATER. That is a big thing compared to the prior arena. Oh well – it made it so I didn’t really want to venture too far into the one area too much – needed rubber boots – one of the vendors could have made a killing.
There were a couple of digital discussions that I attended. One was the AREDN mesh guys discussion. Was more of an update on that as I knew what they were doing, but I learned one thing – they do recommend establishing a core network for connectivity and then have the remote nodes do the mesh in the area they serve. Interesting. We, at VA4WAN, are setting up default networking with subnets for each site – will see what we do WRT mesh options – may want to relook at that 🙂
The other session I was going to was the update on digital modes. Before heading in, I ventured over to the TAPR booth to see what’s news with them. And I am glad I did! I was able to pick up a new SDR v3! I was surprised to find that the HF option is now available on the SDR – rather nice to see as well as the proper antenna connection. A good discussion was held on a number of items including a great overview on rtl-sdr.com. The DV4 guys gave a great little presentation on their state of the art. I do have their dv4-mini I picked up after last year’s Dayton visit – a great little device and they are moving into interworking the various protocols that exist into transcoder systems etc, so will have to put that back on the air to see how the new software works out.
Another discussion was on the status of FreeDV – that is the codec2 implementation for HF digital audio communications. Now there are options to use VHF and up, so will be interesting to see how these work out – just need to try it out again for the first time.
So, after heading back to the truck to meet up, I showed the guys the RTL-SDR dongle from TAPR and Walter had to have one, so I scoot over to the site and get in line and pick up the second to the last one! What timing!
Walter was also able to find rotator cabling at a reasonable price from one of the vendors – what luck as it was a great price.
We did see a few other local hams there. Fred ve4tro was walking past the truck as we were resting, so chatted a little bit. Then later, on Dick ve4hk was walking by, so he hopped in and chatted for a bit. Robert indicated he ran into Cary ve4ea, but no-one else did. I was venturing through the flea market and who do I see? Rod KE0A was there – Rod attends our radiosport manitoba meetings at times, so was cool to see him out here. We did venture over and talked to the RAC guys a bit – funny though – they were in some odd-ball tent instead of being in the main area! Someone messed up big time on that, so later on they were transferred over to the main area where all the national groups are. I did not find much I needed from the actual vendors.. Did stop and chat with a few to understand what they were doing.
The one thing I did notice is that there is an increased interest in things digital – nice to see development in that area.
I didn’t find as many decent deals on the flea market front – but that’s fine – more another time. You can only work on so many projects at once – gets confusing after a while.
Some pics of our arrival and the area:
Now that I managed to type that in on what turned out to be a very bumpy road – uncharacteristic of this area, but oh well — we are into Illinois already.
Time to play with new toys and see how they work. I do know the 220 radio works as we were able to work a repeater in the area.
73, Dan ve4drk