We spent the first weekend of May in Branson, Missouri where my alias was, Connie “XYL of K4UPG”. This is where Kelly, alias K4UPG, introduced his “Second Harmonic” to the world of electronics and Amateur Radios. Are you confused yet? Let me explain.
We took our grandson, Killian, with us to Branson to the OzarkCon09, which is a four-state conference for QRP Amateur Radio operators. They use various code words when talking to one another over their radios. For example:
XYL stands for Ex-Young Lady, which is the code word for “wife”.
The code name, “Second Harmonic” stands for “grandson,” which means our son would be Kelly’s “First Harmonic”. I won’t try to explain how the 2nd harmonic of a wave in a signal, is a multiple of the fundamental frequency, because I’m already confused. So, on to the fun stuff.
We picked Killian up from school and headed for Branson.
Photo below: At the hotel Killian checks out the “tools of the trade” that Grandpa has brought…one set for Grandpa and one set, just for Killian.
He can’t wait to try out the soldering iron.
Killian runs a test on his CD player with the voltage meter.
At the conference Kelly & Killian head to the Vendor Fair to check out the various products.
Photo below: Killian is drawn to the LED lights and is eager to buy a LED kit to put together later in the hotel room. Uncle Cy (behind the table) was one of many who were happy to help Killian get involved.
This vendor is known to everyone as, Uncle Cy.
Photo Below: The highlight of the conference was Friday night’s “Hands-on kit building workshop”. The experts, Dar & Darrel, guide everyone through the building of a “signal injector / signal tracer test set” . This tool is used for troubleshooting and testing circuits and amateur radio equipment.
Everyone gets set up for the workshop.
Grandpa gets Killian started with a bag full of parts and a circuit board.
Photo below: Killian got lots of attention from all the guys who wanted to see him succeed and enjoy himself. They were eager to help him.
Dar helps Killian with expert instructions.
Killian concentrates as he begins the soldering process.
Photo Below: Then, Doug Hendricks of QRPKits.com comes to everyone’s rescue with the PCB-Vice for only $30. The red aluminum vice shown in the photo holds the Printed Circuit Board which is then free to rotate 360 degrees for easy maneuvering.
Killian gets a free PCB-Vice.
Doug, who teaches & coaches girl’s basketball, gave this PCB-Vice to Killian at no charge “as an encouragement to the young fellow”.
Soldering can be very tedious but Killian was a quick learner.
Photo Below: Now Killian puts on the headset to test the kit and see if he put it together right. If he hears a tone when he makes contact with the alligator clip…that’s a good sign.
The finished project!
Photo Below: The guys were so great with encouraging Killian. During the drawing of prizes, a couple of the winners weren’t present and Killian became the “default” winner of those prizes.
Killian returns with one of his prizes...a book about radios.
Photo Below: Back in the room Killian puts together the LED light kit he bought earlier from Uncle Cy.
This kit is easier than the first one and comes together in no time.
Flip the switch, and the light comes on.
That smile says it all. We had a great time and wouldn’t trade that weekend for anything. Grandkids really are great!