Sunday, May 20, 2018

Blogging From The NerdFest

An overwhelmingly male crowd, although welcoming and encouraging to the attending women. I've made some friends (YL's), and am looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

The YL group is women in radio. The official site is (Young Ladies Radio League). No matter what your age, all women are YLs. They're an interesting group. There was a NASA employee talking about amateurs and classrooms communicating with the ISS. Another speaker was the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Ham of the Year. She and her daughter took their first qualifying test (Technician license) together, and Valerie continued her interest from there. One of her most recent exploits was to offer her expertise in Puerto Rico after the recent hurricane. (Valerie is the one in the Middle).

She told of how there was NO long-distance communication on the island, except for the Hams. Without their assistance, hospitals, police, and fire departments would have been helpless. They were essential for the deployment of equipment and supplies.

About 1/3 of the attendees are wearing hats, mostly showing their call sign. I've ordered one, although. It may not be ready till nearly the end of the convention. Fortunately, I brought a Field Day hat, which I'll be using to control my high-humidity hair.

The weather is overcast, and periodically showering the fairgrounds. Fortunately, I'm not concerned about how I look.

I've selected my sessions for today. I'm satisfied with the choices, although, as always, there is at least one conflict with two desired sessions meeting at the same time. Part of my eventual picks took into consideration the location - I'm not up to an extended walk today.

Hein is presenting on what makes a good speaker system. If a speaker moves, it tells you that the speaker is not tuned to the cabinet. It is out of phase.

Dr. Fletcher and Dr. Munson - investigated how people hear. Their work drove development of equalizers.
The equalizer is a filter - the frequency that it's set at is critical.
Parametric equalization - 2-3K is the sweet spot for the human ear.

The Heil speaker and equalizer will be available soon, for around $450.

I just left a fascinating session on UHF/VHF/Microwave. I can see it would be worth it to spend some time in that portion of the spectrum. I won't put it at the top of my list, as my first goal is to become proficient with my new radio.

I wandered around in between sessions, mostly doing people-watching.

As you can see, it's a diverse group.

I'm in the DX Forum now. I will have to be leaving early to pick up my hat.

I kind of overdid on spending. I bought two books I'd wanted for some time, on the weak modes and on building portable antennas. There is an interesting plan for a simple line extended out of a window, using a tent pole to provide a horizontal component.

On the other hand, I resisted buying a lot of gadgets. I'll get a picture of myself in my new HamHat in a few hours (scratch that - on Monday, after I recover). Amazingly, I was too busy to get on my radio while I was here.

1 comment:

ÆtherCzar said...

Hope you'll consider attending the Huntsville Hamfest, too!