Is the famed kit-building company Heathkit finished or not? In August 2011 it announced a return seemingly to rule out amateur radio, but in September that year was again set to make kits for hams.
The change of heart was attributed to an overwhelming flow of emails. Remember the new DIY products like a Garage Parking Assistant and the Wireless Swimming Pool Monitor kit.
The hope was that in 2012 it would work towards a watt meter, tuner, dummy load and accessories more suited to the average radio amateur.
The brand-name got many into the hobby. It started in 1926, then after World War 11 moved into electronics, but closed in 1992 reflecting a dramatic decline in its kits.
To the surprise and delight of many it re-appeared, but the dream was dashed once more with its closure.
Now its webspace presence has been revived. It has a postage stamp of Mark Twain, and a bubble of the well-known quote of “The news of my death has been greatly exaggerated”, after his obituary was published in the New York Journal.
Along with it is a new survey that can be found at http://heathkit.com/survey/index.php/278489?lang=en
At the 'Four Days In May' annual convention of the QRP Amateur Radio Club International, Drew Diamond VK3XU was among three who were inducted into its QRP Hall of Fame.
Author and long-time exponent of homebrew and QRP, Drew VK3XU, was given the honour at a special banquet held on Saturday May 18, in Dayton Ohio. Others inducted for 2013 were Craig Johnson AA0ZZ and Dan Tayloe N7VE.
Among those honoured last year was Kevin Zietz VK5AKZ, Secretary-Treasurer of the VK QRP Club CW Operators' QRP Club. Only two from Australia have been given the honour with others from the USA, Great Britain, Cuba and Germany.
The award by the QRP Amateur Radio Club International recognises those who have made great contributions to the QRP community, and they do not have to be a club member.
It also produces the QRP Quarterly magazine which include further details of the inductees, runs contests and offers kits & components.
More information is available from its website www.qrparci.org/
Australia is on 42 registrations just beating Germany with 41 resulting in the pair having most listings so far in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend fun event held each August.
There are 233 registrations from 30 countries dotted around the globe, with more to be received before the 16th annual weekend that sees radio amateurs go portable from lighthouses, lightship and marine beacons.
Up there also is a strong representation on August the 17th and 18th from the USA, England and Argentina.
For more information or to register online visit the dedicated website at http://illw.net
Drawing about 25,000 radio amateurs with 800 of them from overseas the 62nd annual three-day Hamvention, the world’s largest, has been another success.
The many exhibits of wares and services, multiple topics at forums and a flea market with second-hand and disposal items all at Hara Arena on 17-19 May 2013.
The Advances in Software Defined Radio forum showed an increasing interest. The Hamvention had exhibits of new SDR transceivers. These were the Ten-Tec Model 506 ‘Rebel’ QRP transceiver, and the Zeus-1 15 W SDR transceiver from SSB Electronics.
Also released was the ICOM IC7100 transceiver with a remote control head and touchscreen, antenna analysers and other new items from MFJ, and antenna products from NCG and Comet.
The ARRL had several exhibits and forums, including the W1AW 75th anniversary at which was sung ‘happy birthday’ by the ARRL crew.
There was DXCC card checking, Power Line Interference, and a speech on the ARRL Second Century Campaign presented by its President, Kay Craigie N3KN, who stressed the need for the organisation remain strong.
ARRL Chief Executive Officer Dave Sumner K1ZZ, talked about national and international regulatory issues, and discussed the threat to our allocation at 76 GHz, that needs vigorous defence for future microwave technologies.
The RSGB General Manager, Graham Coomber G0NBI gave a presentation on the ‘100 years of international cooperation’ to mark his IARU member society’s centenary.
AMSAT-NA had a model of the Fox-1 satellite that is due for launch in November 2014.
The Hamvention included training from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications, emcomm vehicle display, amateur licence upgrading, live coverage including social media and a balloon launch.