2013 Forums & Events
For those of you who have never been to a Fest, here’s a thumbnail sketch of how the schedule is arranged.
- Thursday – travelers start to arrive (pm) – hospitality room opens.
- Friday – registration (am) – forums – exhibits – swap meet (pm).
- Saturday – registration (am) – forums – exhibits – silent auction – luncheon – banquet – raffle.
- Sunday – travelers depart.
2013 Winter SWL Fest Forums – Final (He said with more than a little apprehension…)
Here is a description of the forums and other key events on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 at the 2013 Winter SWL Fest. Times are EST and in 24 hour format. All forums, except the traditional Saturday Night Shortwave Shindig, are timed for one hour. Please be advised that, although we expect it will actually go this way, this schedule still remains subject to change. (Our lawyers make us say that.)
Friday, March 1
0830 – Registration and Exhibit Room Open. (Hours of operation to be announced.)
0930 – Economically Enhancing Your Collection thru Auctions and Flea Markets – Ed Mauger
1100 – From the WBCQ Archives – Larry Will. A combination visual, video and audio presentation highlighting the most interesting bits of the history of the now legendary independent shortwave station WBCQ “The Planet”, located in Monticello, Maine, and it’s hundreds of programmers from the presenter’s point of view.
1200 – Lunch on Your Own
1400 – DX’ing With a Dish – Mario Filippi. Beginning with the basics of Free to Air (FTA) Satellite radio and television, this illustrated session will cover station setup, programs to be heard, satellites that are out there for FTA, data on which satellites are best for international reception, areas of the world that can be accessed via FTA, etc., etc., etc.
1530 – Antennas, Batteries and Computers, Oh My! – Tom Swisher. Annually, one of our most popular forums, the inestimable (?!) Scanner Scum will continue Scanner Basics from last year by delving into effective portable antennas, better batteries and interesting ways to use your computer with your scanner.
1630 – Drinks and Dinner (Maybe Dancing? Gosh, We Hope Not!) on Your Own
1900 – Swap Meet
2000 - QRP: How Low Can You Go? – Thomas “Uncle Skip” Arey. International shortwave broadcasters use thousands of watts and gigantic high gain antennas to move their signals around the world. Hams like Uncle Skip do the same thing with 5 watts (or often less) and a random length of wire. Learn about this low power (and low cost) way to experiment with HF radio.
2100 – The Friday Night Shortwave Shindig 10th Anniversary – David Goren. Our popular, oh-so-relaxed evening-long live listening event, conceived, developed and presented by David with a little help from his friends, that features archival shortwave sound, live monitoring, and live performance of shortwave radio related arts and culture. If you’ve missed out on this in the past, don’t lose out this year!
Saturday, March 2
0830 – Registration and Exhibit Room Open
0915 – Sounds from Space: Monitoring and Tracking Satellites Using HF – Dave Marthouse. How to monitor the various orbiting satellites that can be found throughout the frequency spectrum from hf through the microwaves. These birds include weather, navigation, amateur radio, military and more. Monitoring these satellites can be done for the most part with simple equipment (even hand-held receivers and antennas)!
1015 – Silent Auction Opens
1045 – Digital Text via Shortwave Broadcast - Kim Andrew Elliott/Thomas Witherspoon. Unless you’ve been more tightly closeted than usual, you will have heard of the weekend tests being conducted on The Mighty KBC demonstrating that the digital text modes used by radio amateurs (e.g. PSK31) can also be transmitted on analog amplitude-modulated shortwave broadcasts. And they can received by an inexpensive shortwave radio, then patched to a basic PC for decoding, using free software. Often when shortwave reception conditions result in difficult comprehension of voice broadcasts, digital text can be received 100%, or nearly so. Digital text via shortwave broadcast can fill in when the internet is disrupted by disasters and dictators. Digital text might also be effective against jamming. This session will feature recorded examples of digital text via shortwave, but the decoding will be done live on the PC in the room. (Obviously, plenty can go wrong here!)
1215 – Luncheon (including In Memoriam and progress updates from Prometheus, Ears to Our World and perhaps others.)
1345 – Loop Antennas Reprised and Continued – Jef Eichner. A partial recap of last year’s hugely popular program, including some new information and experiments, then moving on to broadband loops, relatives of the magnetic loop, loop sticks, etc..
1500 – The Annual Pirate Forum – George Zeller leads this merry (or not) band of extra-legal radio enthusiasts in a discussion about pertinent (or not) events and developments in the past year.
1615 – Silent Auction ends.
1630 – Movie Matinee at Plymouth Meeting.
1830 – Cocktail (Half) Hour
1930 – Banquet (Keynote Speaker: Kim Andrew Elliott of the Voice Of America)
2100 – Raffle