Sitting in our hotel room at the end of the 2015 W9DXCC in Schaumburg, Il. An excellent experience all around.
The generosity of ones fellows in the hobby cannot be overstated. I really enjoy these events as the expertise of those with time and resources are shared so willingly!
Keynote speaker was ex-FCC General Counsel, Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH, who as always spoke well and to the point. Main take away were two somewhat unexpected things, one about shared humanity and another larger on why the world needs hams even more with the Internet of Things.
On humanity Riley reminded us that those few hams who are awful on the air are largely troubled souls that the system isn’t or can’t help. Not a few are veterans dealing with those issues. While not specifically asking for anything from the audience, he brought home that these folk are people too. Kind of a reminder that we can do better.
The bigger statement was in many ways a vision of a post apocalyptic mission that hams can fill. As the Internet transitions to the Internet of Things, the risk of systemic failure increases, but worse the risk of system denial (cyber terrorism) has profound consequences that the ham services may help mitigate.
The TEOTWAWKI scenario wasn’t expected, and I have to admit I agree with Riley, including the decentralized ideas he expressed which are the same as those behind the FREECOM supplement/replacement for EMCOM.
I will return to the FREECOM theme in a future article.
The other huge takeaway for me is again an admiration for the technical excellence and elegance of the FlexRadio Systems Flex-6000 series.
Gerald K5SDR the founder of FlexRadio Systems and Craig K9CT as a member of their advisory team, shared much time showing off upcoming features intended for SmartSDR v1.5, a prototype Maestro unit, and an unreleased hardware accessory.
The intergration and smoothness of the massively expanded capabilities impressed me as much as the feature set. The feature set had been slowly leaked by FRS so for 80% of the upgrade there is nothing unexpected.
What amazed was how the improvements flowed as if they were always there all along.
I also loved my quick touch and feel chance to play with the Maestro. Somehow I can imagine a ham not wanting one. The touchscreen really appealed.
Another fine event- congratulations to NIDXA for putting on such a fine ham gathering.