Been an interesting Hamvention so far.
There are some new products – the IC-7100 successor to the IC-7000 and the TS-990 was being shown.
Interestingly the Kenwood was somehow locked up and the floor team didn’t have a way to reboot it.
My first focus was a visit with Julius at W2IHY where I was having a very serious look at the new line of switch gear. I’ve always admired the quality of his gear and this new range of products doesn’t disappoint. http://w2ihy.com will fill you in on the new gear. I already have a lot of his audio gear and will be adding some of the new line.
A visit at Hilberling found that they fully up and running for the USA market. Never intended to be “everyman’s transceiver” they have delivered over $1million of these new “uber-radios” so far.
Long chat at FlexRadio Systems and one has to admire their willingness to trickle out radios even while the eagerness and requests to ship are so huge. It was hard to get up close with the crowd, but i did get some time on their Flex-6700 simulators. Tim W4TME was kind enough to give me a guided tour of the inside of the visual Flex-6700 – and I obliged by pretending I knew what all that stuff was (actually it is pretty neat and straight forward.) FlexRadio Systems has put the Flex-5000A on end-of-life status with a when stock is sold, they are all sold noted on their website. Flex-5000A critical components have become unavailable and it was fairly easy to see their was a product line overlap (a fully loaded Flex-5000A was within five hundred dollars of the new Flex-6500).
Very nicely the FlexRadio Systems team explained to me that when my radio is ready to ship, it will be ready. Tomorrow is the FlexRadio Systems Dayton Hamvention Dinner where I hope to hear much more.
Over at Alpha the long awaited Alpha-4040 Tuner was being shown in working form. The tuner looks well worth the wait. The touchscreen display is awesome!
I was really taken with the dual port VNA (Vector Network Analyzer) at Array Solutions. This “black box” connects to your PC to create a full test lab doing much more than I can recollect. Jay (Array Solution’s owner) showed me how to do a TDR (Time Division Reflectometry) examination of a feedline and antenna system (including the VNA even measuring a human hand touching an antenna element), how to do a full in depth coil measurement, and a bunch of stuff I am going to have to brush up on. This look like my next test gear addition.
The Japanese LUSO tower people took the time to explain their very cool crank-up towers. Really amazingly serious amateur radio gear.
I was surprised at a couple vendors living the past. Some of the big name rotor/rotor-controller folk have amazing new technology (Green Heron Engineering is a personal favorite, and they sold me one of their new station control modules) and other are promising to catch up to market norms by adding computer control to their rotor-controllers in perhaps a year….
TenTec was showing off their latest and a new Model 506 “Rebel” QRP transceiver I hadn’t seen before. Apparently this new radio has the guts of an Arduino running the show – very cool!