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Get Ready for the 2012 ARRL EXPO at the Dayton Hamvention


The ARRL has finalized its planning to bring its large exhibition -- ARRL EXPO -- to Dayton Hamvention, May 18-20. The ARRL EXPO has been a mainstay at Hamvention since 2005, serving as the centerpiece for most of the League’s activities at the country’s largest Amateur Radio convention. “Our goal is help represent the fullness of the ARRL membership programs and services at the convention,” said ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. “ARRL EXPO is as much about creating an experience for convention goers as it is about having a place for members to interact with other members. The ARRL EXPO team includes more than 100 ARRL volunteers, officials and staff members. If you are an active Amateur Radio operator or want to renew your interest in ham radio, the ARRL EXPO is the place to be at Dayton.”

ARRL EXPO -- located in the Ballarena Hall of the large Hara Arena -- includes more than 20 exhibits staffed by ARRL program representatives. Among the new booths planned for this year is an exhibit introducing the new digital edition of QST, ARRL’s membership journal. “We’ll have laptops, tablets and iPads on hand at the booth so you can explore the online edition of QST, which all ARRL members will have access to beginning in late May,” Inderbitzen said.

Another new feature this year will be the ARRL “DIY” Stage where presenters will offer a variety of short programs and demonstrations of a do-it-yourself flavor. “The inspiration for hosting these presentations came out of the positive reaction to the ARRL’s newest ham radio recruitment campaign that represents the contribution of today’s Amateur Radio innovators,” Inderbitzen explained. “We’ve assembled a great line-up of ham radio ‘makers’ and ‘hackers’ who will describe and demonstrate microcontroller technology and software defined radio, as well as opportunities to support educational outreach through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.” A complete schedule of presentations on the ARRL “DIY” Stage is now available (see below for a link to the schedule).

At the nearby ARRL Project Building Booth, visitors can have a real-time DIY experience building one of four kits being offered. This year, the ARRL has added a computer-to-radio interface for operating the popular digital modes, including PSK-31, RTTY and SSTV. Engineers from the ARRL Lab will be among the team of instructors guiding guests through the project building activity.

ARRL representatives are also scheduled to contribute presentations and programs on the popular Hamvention forums slate. Presenters include QST Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, in his role as “The Doctor.” Hallas will answer technical questions from the audience--doing his best to answer them on the spot. ARRL Technical Advisor Martin Ewing, AA6E, will present a low-math approach to understanding Software Defined Radio and the evolution of radio designs throughout the years to the present day. ARRL Volunteer Counsel Jim O’Connell, W9WU, together with a team of attorneys will share information about legal issues of interest to hams, including how to avoid restrictive covenants, how to present your case for a tower permit and summaries from court rulings. As part of the annual RTTY Forum, ARRL News Editor Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA -- an avid RTTY operator -- will share stories about the lighter side of RTTY contesting. A complete schedule of ARRL-sponsored forums is included the ARRL EXPO Program and Activities Guide (see below for a link to the Activities Guide).

The ARRL will also have a special guest at Hamvention: television producer John Amodeo, NN6JA. Amodeo is most known among the Amateur Radio community for his current ABC television production, Last Man Standing, starring comedian Tim Allen as main character Mike Baxter. Allen’s character was introduced as ham radio operator KA0XTT during episodes that aired in January. Amodeo has used Facebook and other social media outlets to give the Amateur Radio community an insider’s look at the planning of the show. His Saturday morning presentation -- Ham Radio in Hollywood -- will offer convention goers some personal perspective about the media’s portrayal of Amateur Radio.

“There’s something for everyone at Hamvention and ARRL EXPO,” Inderbitzen added. “Young hams, and all young people attending Hamvention, should be sure to visit the ARRL Youth Lounge. There are loads of fun activities planned including scavenger and fox hunts, games, crafts and other ways to experience ham radio. The Youth Lounge is also the place to meet and connect with other young hams.” Other youth-oriented and education exhibits are planned, including a scouting booth organized by active Boy Scouts and scout leaders, as well as an exhibit featuring kits, projects and displays for the ARRL Education and Technology Program.

For a complete list of ARRL EXPO programs, activities and presentations, including a floor plan of all the exhibits, click here.

Can’t make Dayton? ARRL EXPO makes its West Coast debut, October 12-14 in Santa Clara, California at the ARRL National Convention hosted by Pacificon.



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