ARRL Midwest Division Convention

Sorry about the infrequency of posts this summer from me. Summers are a bad time for the amateur radio hobby for me every year and this one is particularly bad.

It’s been complicated by a storm that came through 5:15 AM CDT July 11th, with 70-90+ MPH sustained winds (for, I’m not kidding, 15 minutes) and took down *ALL* of my wire antennas. (Trees fell through their paths, so my designs were still mechanically solid, right?) So I’ve been very QRT and have spent the last several weekends cleaning up the lot and fixing storm damage to my house. At least the tower and aluminum antennas seemed to have survived the ordeal.

Because of all of this the amount of time I’ve had to dedicate to the hobby has been minimal for the last couple of months. I’ll get back to it when I can. I had a bunch of antenna work planned before winter anyway.. now I have twice as much! :O(

However, I am involved in a minor way on the committee that is handing the ARRL Midwest Division Convention and I am specifically handling Kit Building at the event.

Also I’m sort of the publicity guy too.. but I’m getting plenty of help for others for that role!

But, nonetheless.. I should still publicize… So here is a shameless plug for the event.

I’d like to personally invite all of my ‘blog readers to attend our convention in Cedar Rapids. If you are within a 250 mile one way drive.. it will be a no-brainer for a really fun and interesting weekend devoted to ham radio.

The convention will be held at:

Clarion Hotel and Convention Center – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
525 33rd Avenue S.W.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404

Mention the “ARRL Midwest Convention” when booking
Reservations: 877-949-2992 Fax: 319-362-1420

If there are issues at the Clarion, since it’s getting close to the event, don’t worry..the area is “hotel row” and there are plenty of options.

On Friday August 5th, we have an educational, hands-on tutorial on getting stated with the TI OMAP processor based BeagleBoard (Rev C) and BeagleBoard XM for Amateur Radio uses. It’s the intent of a group of mostly Collins ARC guys to eventually evolve this board into a SDR but many other projects (such as D-RATS/APRS gateways, portable HF digital mode units, etc.) have also been contemplated and input on this project will be welcome. The fee is $10 for this if you are registered for the convention also, $20 if not.

On August 6th we have a plethora of interesting speakers in an “operating” and “technical” track. There is also a Youth forum (12 and under is free for the convention). In addition, Ed Hare W1RFI and Kay Craigie N3KN ARRL President will be attending. Kay will be the banquet speaker. Since this is an ARRL convention an official “Wouff Hong” ceremony will also take place. This is a grand opportunity to become a part of this “official” fraternity! The list of speakers is on the schedule page,

I will also personally be the master of the kit building session that includes a cute little PIC based keyer that would work wonderfully in a Rover (AA0ZZ design) and a 40m NM0S (locally designed) HamCan two transistor regenerative 1/2 to 1 W PEP output transceiver.

WA0ITP of 4SQRP fame and K0NEB the “kit building” columnist for CW magazine are scheduled to attend and have stated their intention on assisting me if needed. The kits are suitable for beginners and I will NOT let you fail building one.

Then if you are smart enough to stay the night at the Clarion, you can attend one of the region’s best hamfests on Sunday August 7th (which is an annual event even on non-convention years)… Cedar Valley ARC “Summerfest” near the hotel at:

Teamster’s Hall
5000 J Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Which is about 1 mile from the convention.

Hopefully I will see some of the regular viewers of the ‘blog at the event.

The day of the event is getting close. If you want to come it would be highly appreciated if you mail your registration (from the website .PDF) as soon as possible.

Fred Spinner, WØFMS, is a regular contributor to and writes from Iowa, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: