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ARRL Exhibits for First Time at AirVenture Oshkosh 2018


ARRL has been exhibiting for the first time ever this week at AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 in Wisconsin. The ARRL exhibit complements other ham radio demonstrations at the air show. ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, is working with a team of members who are supporting the exhibit at the weeklong aviation celebration and fly-in. The annual event draws more than 500,000 visitors. Inderbitzen said that by mid-week, the ARRL guest book was filled with call signs from around the world.

Cool! ARRL is here! That’s the sentiment shared by hundreds of ham radio operators who have visited our exhibit at AirVenture this week,” Inderbitzen said. ARRL Life Member and flight instructor TJ Johnson, K9KJ, of Munster, Indiana, was among those stopping by the ARRL booth. He shared his experience of operating aeronautical mobile during ARRL Field Day with his friend Bob Johnson, W9XY. They made hundreds of radio contacts from a Cessna 182 aircraft, 7,000 feet above the Wisconsin countryside. They operated on 20-meter CW using an end-fed wire; they also made many contacts on 2-meter FM simplex.

Two Amateur Radio Special Event Stations are on the air throughout AirVenture. Organized annually by the Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club in Appleton, Wisconsin, W9ZL is set up at KidVenture at the Pioneer Airport airstrip in Oshkosh. The EAA Warbirds of America AirVenture Celebration Special Event Station, W9W, is set up near the display of vintage military aircraft. It celebrates historic aviation achievements, legendary pilots, and groundbreaking aviation innovations.

The ARRL display also includes an APRS beacon, operating as W1AW-9. “Many pilots carry small APRS beacons on their aircraft,” said Inderbitzen. “The beacons are easily tracked by other APRS users, but also by friends and family who can track the beacons and aircraft position in real-time on map-based web services such as”

“Our booth volunteers are also helping direct newcomers to radio clubs and testing locations,” said Inderbitzen. Those committed to getting their first Amateur Radio license are able to become ARRL members at AirVenture and get a free Technician class license manual in the bargain. ARRL’s booth is located in Hangar B, Booth 2152.

Member Dan Vanevenhoven, N9LVS, from Appleton, Wisconsin — a private pilot and one of the organizing chairs who oversee the show’s admission booths — escorted Inderbitzen and ARRL Central Division Director Kermit Carlson, W9XA, around the sprawling grounds and airfields where thousands of aircraft have converged for AirVenture. At least for a week, the fly-in makes Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh the busiest airport in the world. AirVenture continues through Sunday, July 29.