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The Noise Blankers Radio Group

Our Mission:

Do radio stuff.
Have fun doing it.
Tell others how much fun it is.

Do radio stuff. Have fun doing it.
Tell others how much fun it is.


Wednesday
May212014

Dayton Hamvention: SUCCESS

Kevin K5KVN and Andy K5PO can now check "Dayton" off of their ham radio bucket list. This was the first trip to Hamvention for both, and it was a memorable one.

Along the way, the guys were on 146.520 using the club callsign WR5P. Several simplex contacts were made while on I-70 in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, including many hams that were also heading to Dayton. WR5P-1 was beaconing on APRS, too. The drive from Northwest Arkansas took about 12 hours.

The Crowne Plaza hotel was base camp for the Noise Blankers. Many DX clubs were also there, holding forums and events like Contest University and the RTTY dinner.

Getting to Hara Arena wasn't as difficult as one might imagine. There are bus passes and taxis, but there also appeared to be plenty of parking at businesses and residences near the arena. Every car dealership, church, strip mall and house driveway near the arena was offered up as a parking lot, for a fee (see pic to the right). Andy and Kevin parked the Tahoe in a yard directly across from the flea market.

And since the flea market was right there, that's the first thing they visited. It's massive. So much so, that there were rows of stuff that they never saw. Despite on-and-off rain showers and at least two bouts of hail, the flea market was heavily visited.

Being the media hounds that they are, Kevin and Andy were interviewed by Dayton's Fox45, HamRadioNow.tv and QSO Radio Show. In the interviews, they talked about HamHijinks.com, emergency communications and general ham radio topics.

The best part of Hamvention? The people. The Friday and Saturday tweetups and Reddit meeting was fantastic. It's really cool to meet folks in person that you talk to on the air or on social media.

And what did they buy while there? A jumper cable and some powerpole connectors.

After leaving Hamvention on Saturday, Kevin and Andy visited the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton. Judging by the antennae in the museum parking lot, there were many other hams there, too.

Photos and videos:


Kevin and Andy were interviewed by Fox 45:

 

Our Dayton slideshow: (see full gallery at this link)

 

And this is how it ended at 2:39 a.m. Sunday, after driving straight to Northwest Arkansas from Dayton:

 

Monday
May122014

The Noise Blankers Go To Dayton!

The Noise Blankers have packed their bags and loaded up the Tahoe.

Be on the lookout for the Noise Blankers at Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio, this weekend! Kevin K5KVN and Andy K5PO are representing the group, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the world's greatest gathering of ham radio operators.

Dayton is a 13-hour road trip from Northwest Arkansas, so the guys have stocked up on Slim Jims, astronaut diapers and extra gas cans. There is a gentleman's agreement that the Tahoe will not stop until it gets to Hara Arena.

Will they purchase the new Duck Dynasty transceiver? Will they finally purchase a flashing LED callsign badge? Will Andy strap 10 sections of Rohn tower to the roof of Kevin's Tahoe? Follow them on Twitter to see what happens: @WR5P, @K5KVN and @K5PO. Use the hashtag #Hamvention.

UPDATE: There will be a tweet-up at 11 a.m. local time Friday and Saturday at the loading dock area of Hara Arena. See you there!

Got any tips for taking it all in at Hamvention? Let us know in the comments...

Thursday
Jan162014

Happy Birthday, Baby

What do you get a ham radio humor website that has everything?

A cake with a Baofeng candle!

A year has gone by since we started HamHijinks.com. In that first year, we:

  • Published 93 HILARIOUS stories.
  • Deleted 3,538 spam comments.
  • Received 91 "Is this real?" inquires.
  • Got syndicated around the world.
  • Redesigned the site 1 time.
  • Crashed the server 2 times (see bullet point above)
  • Made $0.

Thank you for reading our site and putting up with our silliness. We sure have fun with it.

73 de The Noise Blankers Radio Group

Thursday
Dec192013

Wreaths, Radios and Road Cones

The Noise Blankers decided it was high time to do some more public service. So, for the second year in-a-row, we volunteered to coordinate parking at the Fayetteville, Arkansas, Wreaths Across America event on December 14, 2013.

It was much colder than last year with snow still on the ground, but who are we to complain? It's humbling to participate in a ceremony where more than 7,000 wreaths are placed on gravesites in the Fayetteville National Cemetery. Thanks to support from Walmart, every grave in the cemetery gets a wreath.

Our job was to greet incoming vehicles and direct them to park at Baum Stadium and ride a shuttle bus back to the cemetery. We also coordinated parking for news media and disabled participants and controlled vehicle traffic moving through the cemetery. This resulted in a few confused looks, some mildly annoyed responses, and two traffic cones being run over.

 We really stepped up our game this year by ordering custom vests with the words "RADIO COMMUNICATIONS" on the back. We know they were effective because one gentleman asked if we were doing a live radio broadcast of the event. And in a nod to our outstanding forthought and planning, the vests were a last-minute addition. Because, as we always say, "SAFETY THIRD." Just kidding, kids.

Last year, simplex communications proved to be difficult at times because a new apartment complex had been constructed next to the cemetery. The buildings like to block RF in certain spots. In addition, the Baum Stadium parking lot was on the other side of a small hill, sometimes leaving Jeff K3DEI in static. Our trick was to use K5KVN's Kenwood D700 crossband repeat functionality, transmitting 2m in and 70cm out. This worked perfectly and properly covered the cemetery and parking lot down the hill with RF.

And to top it off - because we are complete overachievers - this was the first test of new Beofeng HTs for WBØRUR, K5PO and K5KVN. The Beofengs worked great and continuosly for the 5-hour event. Thanks to Gary WB0RUR, Andy K5PO, Kevin K5KVN and Jeff K3DEI for doing this public service event.