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Friday Pacificon Snapshot


By Ward Silver, N0AX

QST Contributing Editor

The first day of the ARRL National Convention at Pacificon in Santa Clara, California is a wrap!

Much or the morning was consumed with getting everything "just so" in the ARRL EXPO area as Bob Inderbitzen NQ1R, and the rest of the EXPO staff made final preparations. ARRL Membership Manager, Diane Petrilli, KB1RNF and Customer Service Manager, Amy Hurtado, KB1NXO and others set up lots of books and other goodies before the crowds came flooding in.

Nearby, Janet Margelli, KL7MF, and the Ham Radio Outlet folks were setting up right across the aisle from Ray Novak, N9JA, at ICOM America. Gordon "Gordo" West, WB6NOA, was there, too -- working hard to create more hams at every hamfest and convention. When all was said and done, the crew headed out for lunch, leaving only the balloons and signs for the afternoon's opening bell.

One of the main attractions on Friday was the Antenna Forum with a number of nationally-known speakers. The room holds hundreds and it was packed! Former ARRL Antenna Book Editor, Dean Straw, N6BV, Steve Stearns, K6OIK, and Tom Schiller, N6BT, were just a few of the speakers. The printed book of slides and papers from the presentations is an inch thick and crammed full of good information. Down the hall and around the corner, the SATERN team had an all-day seminar on their valuable relief operations in support of disaster response.

Pacificon is a great opportunity to put faces with calls. I ran into Ward Harriman, AE6TY, the author of SimSmith, a free and powerful circuit-design program based on the Smith chart. One fan of SimSmith is Jim Brown, K9YC, who uses it to design impedance matching circuits and transmission line networks. Although they have communicated frequently about the program, they had never met – until Pacificon!

The hamfest part of the show started in the afternoon. The vendors were ready with all their products on display. Tonight there was a special presentation -- "Night of the New Media Elmers" -- as K7EGA, N7ICE and WB6NOA put on a show about podcasting as an effective tool for Amateur Radio to reach out to the population at large.  You can watch the video about the show by clicking on the link to it at the bottom of the webpage.

See you tomorrow. It will be a great day at Pacificon!





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