Well, I really don’t know because I’ve never had the privilege of going inside of Heil Sound in Fairview Heights, IL. But I’m going to … and so can you!
In the past couple of weeks, Bob and I have been corresponding about some configurations for his PRAS system to manage the audio from my friend’s ham station. During this time, and in the commiseration over the Covid-19 shutdown, we acknowledged that the cancellation of Hamvention is a real kink in the usual rhythm of events in the ham radio world. But, Bob told me, he’s going to step out and do something very new: holding Heil Ham Day! It will be live at on May 9, 2020 at 1:00 PM CDT. There’s a special website for it at https://heilhamradio.com/amateur-radio-post/heil-ham-radio-day/.
Donna, wizard of the workbench at Heil Sound, is scheduled to discuss the inner workings of the factory in Fairview Heights. She fielded some arcane questions I had about using the powered speaker that my friend bought with his PRAS filter box at a hamfest. Got the questions answered! Jerry, one of the great customer service folks that I’ve had the pleasure of talking to at Heil, has been out on paternity leave. He was kind enough to respond to my email to explain why he was tardy in doing so: he was not at the factory! You don’t get that kind of service everywhere, that’s for sure. I shared with Jerry my preference for the two-finger diaper change method, getting each little ankle into a slot among the middle three fingers of one hand to control their bottom ends for “product replacement,” so to speak. Heil Sound seems like a great place to work, especially if you’re a ham operator and love electronics.
Even down to how to EASILY put coax connectors on…Bob Heil K9EID on Heil Ham Day program contents
Bob Heil has been a great advocate and educator for amateur radio for many decades now. He’s planning stuff beyond the factory workings, too. Bob said in an e-mail yesterday, “I continue on with making up the demos I plan for Saturday…. Even down to how to EASILY put coax connectors on… it is strange way but has worked for 60+ years for me. It will include a great live demo about phasing and antenna arrays. A bit on grounding, etc. Different things that I usually am called up on to do….Oh, I will touch on a bit of audio but mainly how to make your station work better!” If you’ve ever seen a live presentation by Bob, you know it’s going to be well worth your time.
Here’s one ham who plans to watch this Heil Ham Day presentation on May 9, 2020 at 1:00 PM CDT. It’s not Hamvention but it’s easily equal to one Forum and vendor booth there.