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What is Field Day?
For years I’ve tried to define Field Day, not in an absolute, definitive or comprehensive way but rather, in a personal one. What does it mean to me? I have narrowed it down to two key added values, again, for me.

First of all it is the camaraderie. I spend Field Day in a group setting. I do not operate alone. Secondly, more than the ‘contest’ aspect, even though it is technically not considered one, I find that Field Day is an exercise in ‘aggregation.’ Individuals, with different radios, different feedlines, antennas and power supplies, show up on the Friday or Saturday and are expected to magically make it all work together. Except for the most avid contesting clubs, there is little to no real preparation. Sure, so and so will bring the CW station, and so and so will bring the SSB station, but is there really any real pre-matching? Not really, and yet, it works.

I’m sitting here at this year’s Field Day, with a group that has been together for 51 years, and yet, it’s as disparate as I describe above. Multiples of each needed item show up, and maybe because they’ve done it for years, everything somehow connects and they get on the air.

If you think about it, this aggregation characteristic provides a foundation for many aspects of amateur radio. Of course, emergency responses are made possible by this quasi-instantaneous aggregation. So too do the more mundane public service interventions. Every year I participate in the Marine Corps Marathon. Over the past few years I’ve been attached to Net Control. Here again, ‘stuff’ shows up, and like magic, we have a net control station able to transmit to and coordinate with over one hundred portable and mobile operators.

That’s it for now, I guess I should get ready for my own Field Day. And yes, I better remember what I ‘brought’ so that I take home what’s mine and not what’s everyone else’s.
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Interview with Maritime Radio Officer
A fascinating interview with a Maritime Radio Officer who worked for the Marconi company (and subsequent companies) for 41 years.
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Bye bye Xenia
Another show done. This was our first Hamvention as exhibitors, and it was wonderful. Thank you to all who came by the booth, especially all the Ham community members who came by to just say hello. Thank you also to all those who are supporting Ham community by purchasing our desk pads and mouse pads. We were also very lucky to meet some great potential partners for Ham Volunteers, which we are getting ready to launch June 1.

What's next? We will definitely be back to Hamvention 2023 and this time even bigger. And yes, we will try to make it to Hamcation. As for the smaller hamfests around the country, if you run a hamfest, let us know about it, we will try to come!!
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Ham Radio 2.0
WHAT IS NEW IN AMATEUR RADIO? Hi, my name is Jason, callsign KC5HWB, and I've created this channel to talk about everything that is new in Ham Radio. I review new radios, new products and new modes for the modern ham operator. I like audience engagement and viewer feedback, so please subscribe and check out my new videos. My most popular videos are my tech and general classes, and then after that, radio reviews. New radio broadcasts, tests, review, programming, etc, that's what this channel is mainly about. Amateur Radio Reviews, DMR Radio Reviews, Yaesu System Fusion, WIRESx, DSTAR, Flex Radio, Icom, Elecraft, Hamfests (Dayton Hamvention, Huntsville Hamfest and Orlando Hamcation) Love it all. 73 and thanks for watching.
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HC+ @ Hamvention 2022
Hamvention is back! And yes, Ham Community will be there, but not alone, so to speak. Two new projects and some fun stuff will be unveiled.

The projects present are:
Ham Community
Ham Volunteers - NEW!
Ham Census

We are in booth 5103! That is in building 5, as per the attached plan.

And, as with every show we attend, expect some freebies! This year we have a fun surprise (remember last Hamcation we had the door hangers...). We also have a few 2021 band plans left to give away.

We also have a new line of products... mouse pads, but not just any mousepads, ours go up to XXXL in size. They're really shack pads. Plush, high quality pads, only available ad the discounted price during Hamvention and one week after. (Special additional 10% discount when you come to the booth and get the code!).

That's it for now. We hope you'll join us this coming 20 to 22 May 2022.
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Hamvention 2022
Hamvention will be held May 20, 21 and 22, 2022 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. For more information, please select the tabs below or use the navigation menu above to visit pages of interest. If you have a specific question that isn’t answered on the site, please contact us.

Ham Community | Ham Volunteers | Ham Census will be exhibiting. Come see us at booth 5103 in the Hertz Building.

The entire staff of Hamvention volunteers is working hard behind the scenes to make our fourth year at  Hamvention’s new home at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center even better. Details will be posted when they become available, so check back often. In the meantime, enjoy this photo tour of Hamvention’s new home: 

Where it all started…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, .....
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Manassas Hamfest 2022
Their 48th Year!
Manassas Hamfest Basic Information
Manassas Park Community Center
99 Adams Street, Manassas Park,  Virginia
An ARRL-Approved HAMFEST Presented by:
The “OLE VIRGINIA HAMS” Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
(A non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of Amateur Radio)
VE Exams given 08:00 to 12:00 PM ($15 fee per Examinee)
4th Call Area QSL Bureau Representatives will be present
DXCC QSL Card Checking will be available
Forums / Presentations at the Hamfest to be announced
Plenty of free parking!  Click here to see the assigned parking areas.
Major Prizes are
Yaesu FT-891 HF/50MHZ All Mode Transceiver
Yaesu FT-2980 2M – 80 Watts
Diamond NR770HB Dual Band Mobile Antenna.
Click For A Picture Of The Prizes
You need NOT  be present during drawings to win.
Other Prizes and times still to be determined – check back often!!
The Hamfest Sponsor: The Ole Virginia Hams
Email for information: chairman@manassashamfest.org
Club: The Ole Virginia Hams Amateur Radio Club, Inc.

On site testing?: Yes
Conferences / Workshops?: Yes
Flea market: Yes
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor,Outdoor
Cost: $10 at gate
Ham Community attending?: We will be attending as visitors
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Winterfest 2022
The 46th WINTERFEST will bring hams and equipment vendors together on Sunday, March 27th for a traditional hamfest (indoors and outdoors/ tailgating) and ARRL VA Section Convention for 2022. WINTERFEST is an ARRL approved hamfest.

Location: WINTERFEST 2022 will again be held at the Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus. Enter the Campus off Wakefield-Chapel Rd, at the large Parking Lot B.  Click here for more detailed directions and a campus map.

Attendance Ticket:  Tickets are required for entrance to the Market Fair and the Convention Auditorium.   $10 attendance tickets may be purchased online here.   (with a $0.97 surcharge per ticket and a an additional $.30 charge per order). Be sure to print off your ticket and bring it with you.  Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $15.  The price of the ticket includes one door prize ticket.

Schedule for March 27th: Outdoor/Tailgating Parking Lot B3– Opens at 6:00 am.  Indoor hamfest (Gym) — Opens at 8:00 am.  ARRL VA Section Convention Forum (Auditorium)– Starts at 9:00 am.  License Exams (Bldg CN) — Starts at 10:00 am.  Door prize drawings — hourly 9:00 – 2:00 pm   All indoor events in Building CE, Ernst Community Cultural Center and Bldg CN (License Exams).

Tailgating:  WINTERFEST 2022 will feature an outdoor tailgate area with 150 paved tailgate spaces. Tailgate space selection will be available on a first-come first-served basis. We have never run out of tailgate space.  Tailgating begins at 6:00 am, Sunday, March 27.  The college does not permit overnight parking prior to the event.  The first parking space is $20 and any additional spaces are $10 each.  One attendance ticket is included.

Website: https://viennawireless.net/wp/events/winterfest/
Club: Vienna Wireless Society
On site testing?: No
Conferences / Workshops?: No
Flea market: Yes
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor,Outdoor
Cost: $15 at the door
Ham Community attending?: We will be exhibiting,We will exhibit indoors
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37th Annual Charleston Area HAMFEST and ARRL WV SECTION CONVENTION
Saturday, March 19, 2022 from 9 AM to 2 PM
Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center
200 Civic Center Drive
Charleston, WV 25301
Easy access off the interstates!

Admission:  $8

Tables:  $12 (electric $10 if you need it)

For table reservations, contact Russ Dean
ke8dmb@gmail.com   304-362-5888


First:  $500 CASH!
Second:  Alinco DR135 Two Meter Mobile
Third:    Jetstream 25 Amp Power Supply

Plus—Portable World Band Radios given away and other great prizes!

Forums : ARRL 10AM;  POTA 10AM;   ARES 11AM
VE Testing at 12 Noon
DXCC, CQDX, WAS, VUCC Card Checkers

For more info: w8gk.org 
E mail n8tmw@arrl.net

Email for information: n8tmw@arrl.net

On site testing?: Yes

Conferences / Workshops?: Yes

Flea market: Yes

Cost: $8.00

Ham Community attending?: We will be attending as visitors

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Hamfests 2022 - Going?
Curious to know what people's hamfest plans are this year. As I write this, it seems like many events are indeed taking place. In my region there is Vienna Wireless' Winterfest, I know Hamcation just finished, and Hamvention is a mere few weeks away...
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ISO 8601 Time duration standard
I'm guessing that few of us use the ISO 8601 duration format. For those who might find use for it, here is some info.

ISO 8601 Durations are expressed using the following format, where (n) is replaced by the value for each of the date and time elements that follow the (n):


P is the duration designator (referred to as "period"), and is always placed at the beginning of the duration.

Y is the year designator that follows the value for the number of years.

M is the month designator that follows the value for the number of months.

W is the week designator that follows the value for the number of weeks.

D is the day designator that follows the value for the number of days.

T is the time designator that precedes the time components.

H is the hour designator that follows the value for the number of hours.

M is the minute designator that follows the value for the number of minutes.

S is the second designator that follows the value for the number of seconds.

For example:

Represents a duration of three years, six months, four days, twelve hours, thirty minutes, and five seconds.

If you'd like to check out the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601
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Who is behind VarAC?
My name is Irad Deutsch, 4Z1AC.
I'm an amateur radio operator since the age of 13 (30 years now). I was always fascinated by digital modes such as PACKET RADIO, AMTOR, PACTOR, GTOR, CLOVER, FT8/4, PSK and others... and love chatting using those modes rather then just exchanging reports. 
When VARA emerged into our lives I adopted it as in my opinion it provides the protocol robustness of PACTOR coupled with the ability to handle challenging SNR levels like FT8. So I have decided to create a chat application with lots of cool features to chat with my fellow hams.
But I am not alone. There is a great team of supporters and testers that play a major role in this project. You can read more about them here.
I am in touch with VARA creator (EA5HVK) about feature requests and bug fixes, but I have NO business relations with him. I am doing this purely for fun.
What operating systems are supported by VarAC?
VarAC is written in C# which means it can only run on windows for now. You can try use some C# emulators for Linux and if it works - I'll be happy to know and provide the community with a cookbook.
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TMS Lightning arrestor tester
A unique tester for the Shack:
Can test any lightning protection device or component to ensure its proper functioning and capability to protect RF equipment
Completely portable (ideal for field use)
Two terminals (N male and N female)
Can test surge protectors with any other interfaces by using commonly available RF adaptors
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Shortwave listening - recently?
Does anyone still listen to shortwave broadcasts? When was the last time you actually sat and listened to a transmission by a national broadcaster, a private one, a faith-based one, or other? I am guilty as charged. Last time I actually sat and listened to a broadcast was about ten years ago.
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Best regards.
All right.  I'm a purist. I admit it.  I'm one of those obnoxious people who becomes annoyed when a ham signs off with "best regardses."

The complaint goes something like this:  "73" means best regards so when you use "73's" you are making a plural into a double plural.  Regards becomes regardses.  The same is true for 88.  Adding an "s" to 88 turns "love and kisses" into "love and kisseses."  This is the kind of thing which rancors fussbudgets like me. 

At least it used to.  Now, I'm a reformed nit-picker.  You see, one day I ran into a ham who happened to know a little more than I did and he educated me on the subject.  The fellow pointed out that The Old Man, the discoverer of the rettysnitch, one of the great amateur radio pioneers, the founder of the ARRL, Hiram Percy Maxim W1AW himself used "73's" on his QSL cards.  Who am I to fault the remarkable Hiram Percy Maxim?

So it no longer bothers me when I hear "seven threes" on a sign-off.  If truth be told, it's a gentle reminder of the legacy the early hams left us with, and that makes me smile.

73 es 88
MaryAnn NS7X
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CARA's annual Junk in the Trunk ham swap meet & sales will take place October 9th at 08:00 at the Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises on Rt 29 in Culpeper. We expect vendors as well as a bunch of hams with equipment to sell, swap, or buy. Come on out and enjoy the day. Bring your radio "junk" to sell / swap - admission is still just $5 per car. Hope to see you there!
Website: https://W4CUL.org
Email for information: k4mvm@arrl.net
Club: Culpeper Amateur Radio Assn (CARA)
On site testing?: No
Conferences / Workshops?: No
Flea market: Yes
Indoor / Outdoor: Outdoor
Cost: $5.00 per car
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Is it time to rename the hobby?
It used to be that an "Amateur" was someone who was not paid for something they did. The Olympics were Amateur Sports.  The best of the best but no one got paid to train and compete.  The definition of amateur was:"noun 1. a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid rather than a professional basis."  Then somewhere along the line a second definition was added: "2. a person who is incompetent or inept at a particular activity."  this seems to be the more accepted definition.  

Should we be renaming ourselves to "Volunteer Radio Operators" to shake that definition of incompetence from our hobbies name?  
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Feedback please: Homebrew grounding system
After having spoke with several seasoned hams about my setup, I've come to the conclusion that I need a grounding system for my rigs and antennas for safety purposes. For the past few days I've been doing some research and I've come up with a system that I think will work and will last, but I have some questions and I would like some feedback. Thanks in advance!
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Do you operate in the heat? Want a hat or cap that will keep you cool? Want breathable masks and gaiters? Check out Mission.
From their website:
Mission® was created to help you lead an active lifestyle so that you could do more and enjoy more in the heat. With thoughtful design and state of the art technology, we’ve developed a broad portfolio of instant cooling gear which includes hats, neck gaiters, towels and more. They cool instantly and keep you cool for hours so you can do more of whatever it is you love.

We take pride in creating products that support your passions and enhance your experiences from going on a run to doing work in the yard. That is why all of our cooling gear is made from lightweight, ultrasoft, proprietary fabrics with cooling technology that enhance the natural process of evaporation. Additionally, they are always chemical free and will never wash out. 

When the heat challenges you to do less...

Cool More. Do More.™
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K3MRI at QSO Today 2021
Hi Ham Community. This coming weekend I'll be giving a presentation on 'Shaping the Future of Ham Radio' on QSO Today. My presentation is on Saturday August 14 from 2200 to 2300 UTC 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Eastern. If you'd like to attend, here is the link to register at QSO Today.
If you'd like to discuss anything I say or have any further questions, feel free to do so here.
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Horizontal V - AKA Vee Beam
@KW4TO and I have been discussing the horizontal V. It's a really interesting antenna. Thinking of building one and trying it out. Needs quite a bit of space but, in theory, if well set up could do very well. Here is an article by Andrew Roos ZS1AM from 2004.

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Civility on the air
As many of you know, Ham Census has been gathering impressions from operators... what do we think about various aspects of the hobby. More importantly, being solutions-oriented, Ham Census asks them to send a message to various constituencies, among them, other hams.

One operator said this:

I would therefore like to both start a mini poll here and a discussion around civility in amateur radio. Also, if you believe there is a lack of civility, how do we improve things?
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