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Check Out This Mobile Rig

Paul McLane is U.S. editor in chief.

An event that many broadcast engineering folks look forward to after the dust settles from the Las Vegas NAB Show is the annual “Hamvention” held in Dayton, Ohio. This year’s event ran from May 20 through 22, attracting 20,000 people and 250 commercial venders. Radio World contributor James O’Neal was there and shared some fun pix.

The show’s theme was “Global Friendship,” with groups from amateur radio clubs in Great Britain, German, China, Japan and Qatar manning information booths.

Another feature was a visit by NASA astronaut Col. Douglas Wheelock, who served a six-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station. In addition to his regular duties there, Wheelock operated its amateur radio equipment and communicated from space with numerous schools and ham operators.

A special attraction was this tube-type Collins 20V-3 AM broadcast transmitter, which had been modified for amateur band frequencies and was operated from a generator, with its owner claiming it to be the first of its kind of mobile rigs.

Heil Sound’s Bob Heil was on hand to greet booth visitors and demonstrate his company’s latest products.
The show is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association and has been around since 1952. It’s the largest event of its kind and brings in attendees from every state, as well as a large contingent of foreign amateur operators.

Dayton’s Hara Arena was crowded with Hamvention attendees crowding the booths of the event’s 258 commercial exhibitors.

Outside the arena, the flea market offered visitors a chance to buy anything from 1920s radio magazines to the latest test gear and radios.
In addition to serving as a “trade” show with commercial equipment manufacturers displaying their products, the event features informational seminars, social events and a very large flea market that offers a broad spectrum of modern and antique radio, television and other techno equipment for purchase.