2016 NRC/IRCA/WTFDA/Decalomania Convention
The 2016 gathering of Radio/TV/FM and radio survey collectors hosted by DALE HAMM, ERNIE WESOLOWSKI, CARL MANN and STEVE FRANCIS, met at the Hyatt Place Airport Hotel near Exit 10 on I-29 on September 9 – 11, 2016. Forty-five radio hobbyists enjoyed meeting old and new friends. Some of the early arrivals Thursday evening were off visiting nearby transmitter sites of WHB-810 and KCMO-710.
On Friday morning, thirty-one attendees car pooled for the tours. Passing through downtown Kansas City, the first stop was the studios of WDAF-TV, Fox Channel 4, where News Director Mark Alford, weekend anchor Rob Collins, and Community Affairs Director Carrie Hibbeler led a most interesting tour of the studios and station facilities. Next, it was on to the studios of KMBZ-980 and KCSP-610 in Mission, Kansas for a tour led by Chief Engineer John Morris.
Following the morning tours, the group took a lunch break, selecting from among several of the fast food establishments in the area. Some were introduced to the Runza sandwich, a Nebraska tradition for over 60 years that has spread to Kansas City. (A Runza is a German-inspired baked pocket sandwich filled with seasoned beef, pork, cabbage or sauerkraut and onions.) After lunch, the group visited the nearby studios of KCMO-710 that also housed several other affiliated broadcasters owned by Cumulus Media, and the Kansas City Chiefs Football Network. That tour was led by Chief Engineer Dennis Eversoll.
A team led by Neil Kazaross and Mark Durenberger erected a Double-KAZ antenna next to the hotel parking lot
After the tours, it was back to the hotel, where veteran DXer, shortwave and increasingly medium wave, Glen Hauser conducted a Q&A session on DXing in the main meeting room. The decline of shortwave and medium wave DX was discussed, noting the irony that today’s technology could make DXing so much more rewarding. When asked what keeps him interested in listening, Mr. Hauser replied (paraphrasing), you just have to follow what’s fun to you. . Also, in the meeting room, the podium was decorated with small flags from the US and Canada.
The Friday evening dinner party was at Minsky’s Pizzeria, just a few miles away. After partaking in the delicious variety of pizzas, it was back to the hotel for the Annual IRCA Business Meeting with Nick Hall-Patch presiding. The rest of the evening was filled with a multitude of radio chatter until midnight, when we had to vacate the meeting room.
Saturday morning following a delicious complimentary breakfast at the hotel, the Tech Session led my Mark Durenberger began with his presentation on the Square Kilometer Array. Kansas City ham radio operator Randy Schultze, KDØHKD followed with a presentation on the FCC Monitoring Station that was located near Grand Island, Nebraska. Mr. Durenberger noted that long time Chief Engineer of that station, the late John McKinney, WØAP, was the subject of an extensive interview on the DX Audio Service several years ago. Other speakers included Nick Hall-Patch explaining various BCB DXing antenna alternatives, Neil Kazaross describing various FM DXing antenna options, and former long-time NRC member and technical article writer Dave Fischer, W7FB, describing Beverage Antennas with particular emphasis on Project NeBe, a 3,200’ antenna erected near Mead, Nebraska in 1972. Mike Lantz concluded the Tech Session with a presentation on the Miami Radio Dial.
After Saturday lunch, several attendees visited the Harry Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, while others observed operation of the Double Kaz antenna in the Hotel parking lot.
In the general meeting room on Saturday afternoon the Survey Collectors took over. It began with a presentation on the history of Top 40 music surveys that radio stations issued since the 1950s, presented by Gregg Ottinger. The rest of the afternoon was filled with a buy, sell, and trade opportunity.. Frank Merrill, Jack Levin, and George Greene brought the most boxes of trader radio station surveys.
Late Saturday afternoon, group photos were taken outside in the hotel entryway. One picture each of all attendees by club affiliation was taken, followed by a shot of the entire group.
The annual Convention Banquet that evening began with a moment of silence for deceased members David Jones of Nashville, Tennessee and Brad Wall of South Lake Tahoe, California. The featured speaker was Dan Verbeck, former newsman with area stations KFEQ, KMBZ, and KCUR-FM. The banquet concluded with Skip Dabelstein drawing names and distributing door prizes donated by DX Engineering, C. Crane Radio, Fred Osterman at Universal Radio, and local Kansas City radio stations.
The banquet was followed by the annual business meeting of the National Radio Club conducted by Paul Swearingen.
Saturday evening concluded with the world famous convention auction led by Rick Dau and Todd Skaine. After all of the rare collectibles and other radio memorabilia were sold, the total proceeds amounted to a whopping $222.75.
After another wonderful complimentary breakfast on Sunday, the last official day of the Convention, the Annual Convention Quiz, comprised of 20 mostly multiple-choice questions, was conducted. The result was a tie between perpetual winner Frank Merrill and Tennessee Volunteer Steve Francis. Each won a one-year E-DXN subscription. See the Kansas City Quiz Here.
This concluded the 2016 gathering of DXers and radio hobbyists, and all indications are that all those in attendance had a great time. It should be noted that at no time did any DXer visit the FCC Complaint Office located on an island in the center of the Missouri River.