By K5KAC, on the scene
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif; May 22, 2013 -- Instagram, a social media site that allows users to add filters to uploaded photos, has noticed a recent trend in images being uploaded to their site: images related to amateur radio.
"We can't really explain the trend and are as baffled as anyone else, but I guess no one is immune to sepia tones," said Abe Goldman, director of Trend Management from his loft office in San Francisco's South Park District.
Kendall Sherwood, a retired Michigan Ham, shed some light on the trend. "I stumbled on Instagram after creating an account to follow my granddaughter Emily over there at Albion College. It wasn't long until I was posting my own pictures of sunlight landing on my daily cup of Metamucil, my Drake 2B glowing in the dark, and my shack cat, Harriet, batting at my IC-SM5 mic. Outside of QSL cards, there isn't a lot of room for creativity in ham radio. This is very freeing."
As for Emily, she is proud of her grandfather’s efforts, “He is really good at it! I always thought his radio stuff was boring, but now I see how vintage and authentic granddad really is," she said.
The new service is being called "Hamstagram" in preliminary trials but is expected to change as, according to Goldman, "it has been noted that Hamster Fanciers are a rising trend as well."
Currently, Hamstagram has a series of five filters in development: "Patina" for blue tones, "Solar Cycle" for light saturation, "Tube Glow" for orange tones, "Smoke Test" for black and white, and "Up Five" for that slightly out-of-focus look.
Users will also be able to rate submissions. "A really attractive picture would score a 5x9, and a dull picture might score a 3x3," Goldman said. "Our research & development department is very proud of that feature," he added, smiling from behind a local, organic, gluten-free beer.
Instagram introduced the new service at the Dayton Hamvention on May 17th. "Hipsters have their music festivals; hams have their hamfests," noted Goldman, "We really aren't that different."
- Completely made up, satirical, hilarious, fake ham radio news.
- Follow us on Twitter: @HamHijinks
- Use our stories in your club newsletter, website or forums for free! Please let us know via email at email@example.com so we can link back to you.
- Read this to see where Ham Hijinks has been syndicated!
By K5KAC, on the scene
By K5KVN, on the scene
DAYTON, Ohio; May 18, 2013 -- The words on his hat proclaim him a “weather nerd.” But after attending 11 storm spotter forums back-to-back yesterday at the Dayton Hamvention, his friends call him “a hero” and “an example for us all.”
Barlinghouse says he arrived at Hara Arena at 6:45 a.m., just in time to get a good seat in the first storm spotter class of the day. “I like to sit in the front row because the tornado in the video looks like it’s coming right at you!” he said.
“After the first class ended, I guess I was so mesmerized that I didn’t get out of my seat. A few minutes later, the room filled up again and the second class started,” said Barlinghouse.
His friends began to worry when he didn’t show up for the famous “Gravy Boat Anchor” breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in room 104. “Derrick never misses this thing. The sausage links are his favorite!” said Robert Rangleton. “After we finished our hash brown casserole, we went to the forum room to look for him.”
As the next class shuffled in, Rangleton said they found him in his front row seat, fixated on the “What To Report” section of the official spotter’s manual. “He said he was learning a whole lot and he’d catch up with us later at the Icom table.”
But, Barlinghouse didn’t meet them at the Icom table. He says he didn’t leave the room at all that day, skipping meals and bathroom breaks.
As the 11th and final spotter class of the day was getting underway at 6:00 p.m., Barlinghouse was noticeably shaking and weak. At one point, it looked as though he was headed for the door. Despite pleas from onlookers that he leave the room, he slowly turned back toward his seat, waving off offers of food, drink and a chamber pot.
Medical personnel confirm he was carried out of the room at 7:00 p.m., dehydrated and incoherently muttering the words “wall cloud,” “nickle-sized hail,” and “rear flank downdraft.”
“To me, what he did was a commitment that should be an inspiration for all of us here,” says Rangleton. "I mean, those classes are always the same. So to have the endurance do it 11 times in one day... that's a big deal."
Crowds outside the arena apparently agreed, cheering as Barlinghouse was loaded into an ambulance.
When asked why he did it, Barlinghouse says, “What can I say? When I’m out there and all hail breaks loose, I need to know that stuff!” he said.
He is in a Dayton hospital and expected to make a full recovery.
By WBØRUR, on the scene
DAYTON, Ohio; May 17 – In what's being called confusing and totally unexpected, about a dozen protestors showed up this morning at the Dayton Hamfest.
People Advancing The Humane Treatment of Animals (PATHTA) protested in front of Dayton’s Hara Arena, advocating against alleged unsafe hog farming, growing and butchering practices.
"We will make these mad men stop!" exclaimed group leader Paula Smith-Taylor of Westchester, Vermont. "The unstoppable slaughter of hogs for food and profit must end!"
A group of ham radio operators headed to the "Peanut Whistle Transmitters" exhibit took a moment to visit with Smith-Taylor.
"She seemed genuinely surprised at what 'ham radio' actually meant," says octogenarian Vince Bascoe of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
"After I explained it to her, she told the group to get back into her VW microbus for their next assignment.
"We're headed to Arkansas!" Smith-Taylor exclaimed as the van left the ham fest parking lot.
"We hear there’s fighting hogs there! We must stop the insanity!"
Editor's Note: The Ohio Pork Producers are offering a fantastic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich for $7.99 with drink. They are located at Pavilion 1B at Hara Arena. The funds raised go to assist with the FCC's "one kilohertz at a time" project.
By WB0RUR, on the scene
DAYTON, Ohio; May 14, 2013 – Little-known HF radio manufacturer Spurlock Technologies will unveil what the company calls "the ultimate HF transceiver" this month at the Dayton Hamfest.
"The device is customizable in every way," says corporate VP of Marketing Reginald Van Stank Hoeven. "And we do mean in EVERY WAY."
Spurlock Technologies – which is known in the northwest U.S. for innovative developments in potato thrashing farm implements – is venturing into the ham radio market with the XK-1001 transceiver.
The modular units (sold separately) can be assembled in any number of configurations – vertical, horizontal, diagonal or "daisy-chained" with patch cables (sold separately) – depending on operator pleasure and practices. Transmit power varies from .05 watts to 2000 watts with the twist of a knob (sold separately) on the power amplifier module (sold separately). The radio will operate on frequencies from 1.8 MHz through 550 GHz depending on the activated operating modules (sold separately).
Van Stank Hoeven says even cosmetic features are customizable.
"The unit comes with the lower half of a very nice wooden case (top half of case sold separately) made of finely-oiled burlwood. In it, you may place a rainbow of spray paints (sold separately) for customizing the radio chassis. There are also 15 sets of decals (sold separately) in varying fonts and sizes and 6 sets of interchangeable knobs (sold separately). All are designed to provide the amateur with the most enjoyable operating experience available."
Additionally available from Spurlock Technologies is a wide-range of LEDs which will illuminate the multiple radio readouts (sold separately) and provide backlighting for the front panels (sold separately).
Ham radio operators looking for an entry level rig may want to start with the base unit, which sells for $499 and consists of a large knob.
“The more seasoned 'expert' hams will enjoy purchasing our upgrades and actually being able to get on the air,” says Van Stank Hoeven.
Mark your convention calendar now and plan on attending the XK-1001 debut at the Dayton Hamfest.
It is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., May 18 at Hara Arena, Pavilion 1B. Finger sandwiches and drinks (sold separately) will be available.
By K5PO, on the scene
Guys and gals, please enjoy the humorous and fake news story below, crafted by the crack news team at Ham Hijinks. It's a joke. Toilet humor, even. Yes, in fact, there *will* be full restroom facilities at Hamvention. So, please stop calling and emailing the fine folks in Dayton with concerns. Now, back to the hijinks...
DAYTON, Ohio; May 9, 2013 -- Dayton Hamvention Site Director Mikey Stapp sent an email to all registered Dayton attendees yesterday notifying them of a new "No Restroom" policy at this year's Hamvention.
Much was made about an infamous event at the 2011 Dayton Hamvention where human waste erupted into the flea market area outside, sending a foul stench through the warm summer air. Stapp said they had to take dire measures to prevent a reoccurrence.
"Everyone regrets the sewage 'incident' of 2011," said Stapp. "We couldn't believe it when we smelled it! Phew, buddy!" said Stapp. He said a discussion at the recent Dayton Hamvention Onsite Services Subcommittee concluded with only one viable option. "We're just not going to have any toilets onsite."
Stapp continued, "The problem from 2011 was that the raw potty-output of the collective attendees simply exceeded the sewer infrastructure of this part of Dayton. At first, we considered using only porta-potties for 2013 to avoid the existing infrastructure concerns, but that would require so much porta-potty real estate we’d have to cancel the outdoor flea market altogether. Ultimately, we determined that if we kept all sewage offsite, we'd just be so much 'fresher' and wouldn't have to worry at all about foul smells or explosive sewage disasters."
"I sent the email yesterday because I wanted to suggest everyone 'go before they get here.' If they all go at their respective hotels, motels, rest stops, and gas stations before they arrive, we'll spread the crap-load around the town," said Stapp.
Already, there has been a backlash to the new policy. Local hotels are citing they are concerned about toilet paper shortages and sewage explosions at their own establishments. "I think they're just trying to make us buy all the toilet paper for them! In this economy!" said Wally Mesa, owner of the local Days Inn.
The Bald Ones Ham Radio Club from Rockford Falls, Minn., planned to make the trip to Dayton this year and also expressed concern. "This policy may be fine for Bill Folden since he has that catheter, but I don't go in a bag, and my bladder just ain't what it used to be!" said an angry Club President Johnson Nesmith, who also acknowledged some recent prostate problems. "Well, sure I’ll go before I get there, but I have to 'go' about once every thirty minutes these days!"
By K5PO, on the scene
BOSOKIN, Maine; May 6, 2013 -- The Ham-EQ company announced today a new game- and gender-changing product.
Ham EQ, long known for their popular line of microphone equalization products allowing amateurs to fine-tune their voice sounds from razor sharp "DX" audio all the way to robust "broadcast" audio popular with rag chewers, has ventured into a new territory with their latest product.
The YL-A-Nator EQ is designed to make husky-voiced male amateur radio ops sound eerily similar to their fairer YL counterparts. Ham-EQ Chief of Engineering Robert Bonk said that he got the idea when he heard a YL in the WPX SSB contest running a frequency with a consistent stream of callers. "She didn't have a rare prefix," said Bonk. "She didn't even have that great of a signal, but she held that frequency for hours, with nary a break of callers! I realized the contest ops calling were predominantly male. They didn’t care about the prefix; they just wanted to work that lovely sounding YL!"
Bonk set out to design a custom EQ processor to create that lovely YL sound for even the most bassy-voiced ops. "We started with some of the technology used in popular music to perform the 'Auto-tune' popularized by Cher and T-Pain. This processor proved to be the key," said Bonk. "We then designed a proprietary post-processor to smooth and 'naturalize' the tones toward common feminine speech patterns."
Ham-EQ Director of Sales Mark Moody said that Bonk has designed a winner. "We sold out of our beta units in three days!" said Moody. "The hams are loving these things!"
Beta tester Wilson Qinto said that he wouldn’t give up his unit at any price. "Before the YL-A-Nator, I could call CQ for hours and no one would answer my tiny signal. Now I flip the YL-A-Nator switch, turn the "Southern Belle" potentiometer to 10 and I can work DX all day!" tells Qinto.
Qinto says that the ops on the other end are none the wiser to his vocal ploy. "They are all so courteous and considerate," he says. "I've even had a few ops ask me out over the air! I usually chuckle and tell them I'm already in a relationship. No one would ever know I actually had a rich baritone voice and a long grey beard by hearing me on the air!" said Qinto. "But I’ve sure confused some folks when they pull up my photo on QRZ!"