Monthly Archives: May 2014

Other Views of the World’s Largest Ham Radio Convention

We left NC to attend the world’s largest ham radio convention, Hamvention, in Dayton OH. Weather was very very mixed — rain, cold, frozen rain, rain, sunny. Our wardrobes were well tested in the few days of this big show. This is our third year as volunteer shuttle drivers.

driving a shuttle cart at Hamvention 2014

Many hams have big and bigger antennas, and some organizations can afford even larger ones. This one is top of the line, shown here by the well-heeled local amateur radio society. I think this big antenna tower is attached to the top of the white van.

A typical sight at Hamvention -- BIG BEAM

Not everything in Dayton was about amateur radio, though. Our friends invited us to dinner at The Engineer’s Club, a 100 year old Dayton establishment. The tech men and women of Dayton were (and are) just incredibly talented and imaginative. What a great bunch of brains! Those engineering folks did a great job accommodating fine dining and friendships too.


Full-timers can’t pack just anything in their portable home. We shed a lot of furniture and possessions when we sold our house and moved into this 188 sf home. You have priorities, you know what is worth carrying, and when to bring it out. How big is the cellar in that rig?

Party? What party?

Work awhile, play awhile, it’s even better with friends. This fun group of friends gathered in John Bryan State Park a little NE of Dayton, for an early Memorial Day picnic. We enjoyed fantastic weather for several days in this gorgeous state park. Celebrating with our friends is best!

Memorial Day Picnic, a week early

After the partying, we seriously needed exercise. John Bryan State Park is cleverly situated adjacent to Clifton Gorge, a very nifty and sometimes stunning walk in the woods. We donned our backpacks, stuffed full of junk to create training weight for our August backpacking trip, and walked the length of the trail along Clifton Gorge and back. No pictures of how we look afterward!

Narrows at the Clifton Gorge

Next up? Let’s go to greater Indianapolis IN the same weekend another 1/2 million people do, and see how we can stay out of their way.

See you there!

Jim and Debbie
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If You See Our Whip . . .

On our way from Fletcher NC, site of the great 2014 Region 3 Rally, two weeks ago we stopped to torque our wheel nuts. Torqued the trailer’s four wheels and happened to look up. And said, “Oh crap!”

The tall roof-top amateur radio antenna was no longer tall. In fact, over six feet of antenna was missing. Hmm, nine feet from ground to top of trailer, then almost four feet of antenna motorized base column, then 6′ of antenna whip, that’s almost twenty feet total height. So we ALWAYS lower it before towing the engine.

Except the last time. 421 times in the past seven years we lowered the antenna to horizontal position before towing days. This puts the antenna at lower height than the air conditioner, which is only 12.5 feet above ground level. But the last time, the antenna was waving around at over 20′ until the first bridge on I-26 southbound.

Somewhere out there is our 6′ whip, a very nicely machined quick-connect and solid brass mounting disc. This rendered the antenna, normally perfect for worldwide two-way radio communications, completely useless.

There’s a bright side to this though. The whip and hardware, when ripped out by some stupid bridge, cleared the trailer and didn’t strike the trailer or the solar panels. No collateral damage is good. I have a spare whip, the manufacturer (High Sierra, Heath Tech) shipped a spare brass disc to our friends house in Dayton OH, and I was able to reassemble the antenna in a couple of hours.

We're back in touch

We’re back in touch

Today the antenna is back on the roof (in travel position unless I’m using it). And we’ll not soon forget to look UP before hitching up the trailer to the truck on towing days.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™
visit our website
©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr