By Bob Lear, W4ZST
For our 14th annual conference we ventured to a new Fourth call area state and a new type of venue. The trip to Kentucky and Morehead State University was another great success for SVHFS. Thanks so much to our hosts Jeff Kruth WA3ZKR and the Morehead State Space Science Center for making us feel welcome and supplying such a great facility.
The conference kicked off Thursday afternoon with an open house get-together at Jeff and Denise’s home in Morehead. Everyone greatly enjoyed seeing what has to be one of the greatest collections of ‘Good Stuff’ ever assembled by one man. It was an in-house surplus tour. There were some sales going on, many radio stories being told, the 10GHz guys were set up in the yard testing their gear and making Q’s, along with inspecting and listening to the N4NW beacon that Dave brought along. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Choice Cold Beverages and more tales swapped into the evening on the deck. Thanks again to Denise and Jeff for putting on a great time for all. Jeff estimates there were at least 50 hams there for the afternoon and evening.
Friday morning saw rain upsetting the outdoor antenna range, but Jeff has a large unfinished room in the Space Science Center that will become a clean room, but big enough for a basketball court and was successfully used for the indoor antenna range. Al Tirevold WA0HQQ ran the range with several volunteers. Twenty Three antennas were tested and the results are posted on the SVHFS web page. The morning NF testing went well and was set up in one of the nice student labs in the SSC building. Charles K4CSO, Pete WA2ODO and Gary W2ZV made the measurements on 63 pre-amps with two instruments, finishing before lunch. The NF results are also posted on the web page. The Antenna Range and NF equipment was supplied by Agilent. Thanks to Agilent, Jeff Seely and Mike Stipick for the great gear they arranged for us to use.
We had all 60 pre-registrants show up and 14 more at the door for an excellent turn-out. There were tours of the SSC building and facilities and a tour of the 21m RadioTelescope on campus during the day Friday. The control room is on the second floor of the SSC and looks up to the dish on top of the hill which is remote controlled. I was envious of the control room, having just remodeled my own shack and finding out I have fallen short of one that Captain Picard would feel at home in! Very impressive facilities for the Space Sciences program there.
The presentations started at 1PM Friday in the Star Theater/Planetarium in the SSC. A nice facility for the conference with excellent comfy seats and IMAX like A/V equipment. A program schedule and table of contents of the proceedings are on the web page. This years proceedings were on CD-ROM rather than printed. At the annual meeting after the presentations, several items were discussed by the group and the BOD election was held. Most were re-elected and the list is on the web page. Vendors were set up in the large ‘clean room’ area on both Friday and Saturday. Thanks to them for showing and selling their wares during the conference. A list of vendors present is also on the web page.
The Friday night flea market was held at the Hampton Inn, our HQ hotel for the conference. Many items changed hands and the room doubled as our hospitality suite for both Friday and Saturday nights. A good time was had by all with one highlight of the flea market being a dead mouse found in the W8ULC offerings. That provoked much conversation and the mouse went home with another attendee! Just goes to show that pretty much anything can change hands at a ham flea market!
The annual BOD meeting was held Friday night with officers elected. Our new President is Charles Osborne K4CSO and our new VP is Tom Wright N4HN. The Secretary Chuck Hoover K0VXM and Treasurer Brian McCarthy NX9O continue. Several conference related items were discussed in the BOD meeting and all committee positions for next years conference were filled. Steve Kostro N2CEI and Robin Midgett K4IDC will be next year’s Technical Program co-Chairmen. The complete committee list will be posted on the web page. SVHFS will make monetary donations to the the ARRL Frequency Defense Fund and AMSAT as well as continue to help with funding for beacons in the SE area.
The Saturday sessions went off without a hitch and were enjoyed by all attending. Thank you to all our program presenters who came forward with papers for the conference. I know they were enjoyed by all attending and much knowledge was transferred. A Planetarium show about the space race from Sputnik to the Moon landings was given after the presentations ended. Thanks to Jeff’s volunteers and students for their help in the SSC. A few items were auctioned off with proceeds going to the SVHFS treasury.
The banquet was Saturday night with 76 folks enjoying Roast Beef, Chicken, Pork loin, salad, vegetables and dessert. Thanks to the campus caterers, ARAMark for putting on a great meal for us. The blessing was given by Joe Lynch N4CL, we had our excellent meal and later had announcements about future conferences, NF and PreAmp competition winners and winners of the Fall Sprints Our banquet speaker was MSU Professor Ben Malphrus KJ4HVE. He talked about the development of the SSC and the great commitment that the state of Kentucky is making in Space Sciences and Satellites like the cubesats and others. Ben’s vision is responsible for the new SSC building and programs. He is the head of the Space Sciences department and director of the SSC. Thanks to Ben, MSU and the SSC for the conference facilities. We had plenty of door prizes, enough for all attending to go to the table to pick one. Bob W4ZST and Janis K4ATS drew the tickets and announced the numbers. Thanks to all the prize donors and especially DEMI for their usual great donations and Yaesu for an FT-857 transceiver. A list of donors will be posted on the web page.
We retired to the Hampton Inn in a rainstorm for the Saturday night hospitality suite. Thanks to all who donated for the hospitality suite where we had the traditional SVHFS Texas Margaritas and plenty of other refreshments. A very good turnout and good time. Thanks to Tom N4HN our hospitality suite chairman for handling things.
Thanks to all who attended and all the volunteers that make a conference happen. We had a lot of first time attendees this year from the Midwest states and we thank them for coming and hope that they will continue to join us in the future. I think the 8 and 9 calls outnumbered the 4 calls this year.
Make plans to join us next year in Huntsville AL for a repeat visit. We had a fine conference there in 2004 and our hosts for the April 29-30, 2011 conference, Ben Lowe K4QF, Jimmy Long W4ZRZ, Craig Compton K4XR, and their friends in Alabama promise another good one. All details about the conference will be posted on www.svhfs.org The 2012 conference will be held in Charlotte NC.