Crew 73 Canton visits 2010 Dayton Hamvention
- BSA Venturing Crew 73 from Canton OH visited the 2010 Hamvention in Dayton. Two adults and two youth were present from Friday afternoon through the closing on Sunday. We were able to visit nearly all sale areas and still have time to staff the ARRL's Scouting booth much of Saturday.
The highlight of the Scout's visit was successful upgrade to general class license for one, and passing the technician class license exam for the other. Our two Scouts were number 001 and 002 in line Saturday morning at the exam session. They were also guests at the Contester's dinner downtown on Saturday, and greatly enjoyed meeting some of their fellow amateurs.
While working the ARRL booth, we learned there were several BSA Venturing units whose unit number was also 73 (surprise!). It was a pleasure chatting with Scouts and leaders from other units.
One centerpiece of our booth was a reproduction wireless telegraphy set built using plans from a century-old BSA handbook. Mr. Robert Hobday N2EVG did an outstanding job constructing the set. He used authentic period components where they were available.
We did not use the spark-set at the Hamvention due to safety concerns and RFI possibilities. I have temporary custody of the set until it's transport to 2010 Jamboree in July. Upon return home, I located a suitable pair of HI-Z headphones to replace the non-functioning set that was on hand when N2EVG built the device. After connecting a 6 VDC supply, the set was activated (without an antenna!). The Model-T ignition coil drew about 900 milliamps. Signals from the QRP set were audible in the crystal receiver when it was placed within a couple feet of the transmitter. I estimate the radiated signal (without antenna) was about as strong as you'd get by running a small electric drill with a universal wound motor.
Until it is shipped to Jambo, this set will be used as often as possible to demonstrate antique radio principles to Scout groups and local ARC's. It has already appeared at Canton ARC and will appear tomorrow at a Troop 127 meeting. I will place a quality video of the device in action on that other service's site as soon as it is shot and edited.