and story of the Dayton Hamfest 2001 and the Knightlites display taken by
The Dayton hamfest was, again, a very pleasant time. Oh, for
sure the weather was awful and the parking lot a sea of mud,
and the flea market was washing away on Friday.... but a good
time anyway due the company I kept while there.
QRPers are a good bunch. I got to have an eyeball QSO with KO4WX
one of the NOGA's whom I chatted with one evening recently. Its great
to put a face with a call and a fist! Also, I got to spend quality time
with Bob and Ellen and you can't do much better than that for company!
Friday nights' Vendor Night at the FDIM hotel (Ramada) was a blast.
We sold 4 or 5 (I lost count - Bob would know) KeyLites in the course
of the evening. When folks see the KeyLite run, they just gotta have
one! I also heard comments that there's nothing with its features on the
market in that price range. I think we "done good" guys.
Steve and Todd are
quite talented and it was a pleasure to sort of represent them at Dayton.
One guy built his KeyLite that night in his hotel room! (That's a
Gary was well represented by Bob. I'll let Bob tell that story...
I spent way too much money. I owned two FT-817's in the space of an
...a good story in person, too much to type right now...
...Found some great stuff at the flea market on Saturday, which is
good 'cause you can mark it off the list, but bad 'cause you have to carry it
day (or wade the acre of mud to drop it off... ) I caused Bob to pay
for an antenna part. Sorry, Bob! But who knew you'd find one in the
flea market for
$3 instead of $4.50? I still think the one you have is better than the $3
;-) it must be, it was more expensive...
I'm very proud to report that Knightlite Gary O'Neil, N3GO, captured
the school project honors at Dayton!
Gary worked with 26 students at a Clayton, NC middle school to build
Regenerative receivers. It was a great success, with all 26 receivers
working at the end. The project was funded by IBM.
The schematic for the project, the "Vegetarian Ginny", was designed by
another Knightlite, Ray Ring, W4KIA. The name comes from the fact
that it will run from "potato power". (two potatoes with zinc
copper electrodes in series) Gary massaged the circuit a little, and
developed an interesting technique for building the kits.
There was a lot of interest in the project at Dayton. It seems that
many QRPers are willing to work with kids and are looking for viable
ways to do it.
I promised everyone that the full details of the project will appear
on the Knightlites Web Site, www.knightlites.org. It may take a while
for all of the information to appear there, since most of the involved
Knightlites are very busy with several other projects right now, but
it *will* be there as soon as we can assemble the information.
Speaking of Kids, one evening there was a young man about 10 or 11
years old that started playing with our displayed Keylite. He was
obviously computer literate, and got a big charge out of typing, then
watching his words appear on the LCD and disappear as their Morse code
equivalent sounded through the speaker. He kept coming back and
fooling with it. He was our best advertisement for a while!
BTW, after arriving from Dayton this evening I discovered that in
spite of my best intentions, I didn't take enough pictures of the
activities at the Ramada Inn. Does anyone have a picture of the
Knightlites table that they can send for our Web Page?
Bob Kellogg, AE4IC, Greensboro, NC
Prolobly, not nececelery. - Benny Hill
Another report from Bob AE4IC
I have to report that one of the speakers at FDIM did not stick to
technical topics. It was Peter Zenker, DL2FI, the aptly named "Bad
Boy", who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
Peter gave us an excellent talk, challenging the nearly two hundred
attendees in several ways. He suggested that QRP should mean much
more than operating with low power. He suggested that QRPers have,
within our grasp, the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in
the world as we know it.
Our ranks are growing rapidly because we tend to do some good things.
We tend to welcome others without worrying whether or not they have
"paid their dues". We accept that there can be life in addition
CW, such as SSB, ATV, Digital modes, etc., etc. Furthermore, we've
found that the internet is not our enemy, but can help us exchange
ideas and useful information. Generally, we like to build and like to
exchange ideas, being helpful to one another. (The above is just a
few of the things Pete mentioned)
OTOH, some of us old guys tend to talk about the old days when Hams
were doing most of the leading edge electronic development work.
Maybe that isn't happening as much now because the leading edge has
changed directions slightly, but we haven't.
But, suppose that instead of doing the good things casually, and part
time, we made a concerted effort to be open and helpful all the time,
all of us? Suppose we sought out and embraced new technology, and
found exciting ways to use it? New people, with only the slightest
interest in our hobby, would be drawn to us like bears to honey!
Peter's talk was very provocative and I'm sorry I can't put the power
to it that he did. The German club has over 2000 members now, and
it's largely because they are trying to take the approach Peter
Let's each of us make it a personal goal to keep our minds
open and do
more of those good things that we know how to do.
click on the thumbnails
Pic 1 is showing the KnightLite table, just inside the
door of the Banquet Room. Business was brisk!
Pic 2 shows the left and center of the Banquet Room.
Pic 3 shows the center and right side of the BR
Pic 4 shows the KL table during quieter moment from
the other side.