California Dreamin…TAKE TWO

Interestingly enough, only one reader remarked about the music. But several others noted I did not “discuss” the DX Convention in detail. For those of you looking or wishing this writer would serve as a “roving reporter” & provide details
on who said what in the break out sessions, or summarize the DX-pedition presentations, all I can offer is an apology.

I am afraid I’m jaded. The DX-pedition stories all sound alike, the pictures are often amateurish & the narrative simply leaves way too much to be desired. However, perhaps these observations will provide enough local color to satisfy those readers who question my sanity…

1) The Venue
The Visalia Convention Center is a perfect locale for this Convention. After years in the Holiday Inn, EVERYone agreed that the new location works wonderfully.
2) The new Flex 6700 was set up w/a SteppIR DB-18 outside on a nifty US Tower trailer tower. Whenever I passed by, the line was long. A review of someone willing to wait for his turn at the new radio posed on eham this morning. Interesting in that this writer already has a Flex 5000, & pre-ordered the 6700. I’m still running OMNI VIs so this is all wayyyyy out of my league!
3) I ate lunch on Saturday with Mike Mertel of SteppIR. He queries about every single client & antenna of theirs I’ve put up the past two years. He remembered everyone except K2QWD, who is the ONLY client with a problem This may or may not be indicative of something…
4) I spoke with Mike at the Forec 12 booth & resolved the bad-out-of-the-box BALUN issue for client K0COP. Mike
promised to send me a new balun right after the show.
5) GD & I spent a fair amount of time with Tom, N6BT, discussing his new antenna line. They look very promising & are certainly competitively priced.
6) I bought a RadioSport headset, I like them so much….
7) The line at the InnoVation antenna booth was always long. I’m still a tad suspect of their ad claims.
8) As everywhere else one goes, the Elecraft booth was mobbed.
9) I got to stand in the courtyard Saturday afternoon & chat with Joe Taylor, K1JT, for an hour. You’d never know you were speaking to a Nobel Laureate; he’s perfectly down-to-earth & clearly credits ham radio for much of his career path & success. I know it’s maybe maudlin & cliched, but, neat!
10) There were over $50,000 worth of prizes given away. I won nothing.
11) The poster for the event was very nice. I asked the hotel if I could have it on Sunday & they said yet. When I turned back to get it, some guy ripped it off the wall in front of me & ran out the door. “Some souvenir, huh?” he asked.
12) Yes, I would definitely go back. Likely not yearly, but it is more focused than Dayton, & therefore more interesting.
It’s shameful to express it like this, but everyone there is interesting in DXing or contesting. No shack-on-the-belt folks or boat anchor hoarders or scooters to dodge.

Everyone is gray, however. I would have loved to glean a median age from this crowd. The hobby is definitely in need of new, younger folks following behind us!

stay tuned….

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