15-17 OCTOBER 2004

At the Harvey Hotel

Dallas Fort Worth Airport


This is the Dallas skyline, made famous in the TV series of the same name, and now the backdrop for a fantastic few days in the company of some of the world's best known microwavers.

Seven "Brits", plus one expatriate now domiciled in the State of Texas, made the pilgrimage to Microwave Update this year. We were not disappointed as it turned out to be one of the best ever meetings of its kind.

G3PYB, G6GXK, G4DDK, G4PBP, G8GTZ, G8UBN, G4FRE(who is also WW2R)and myself, G3PHO, stayed here in the Harvey Hotel, right next to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport. After a very long journey from the UK, all of us except G4FRE, who lived a relatively short drive away, were quite exhausted when we arrived on the Wednesday night. We "hit the sack" before midnight as Thursday morning marked the beginning of the Update programme ... the Grand Surplus Tour!


Rise and shine for an early start! After an excellent buffet style breakfast we assembled in the foyer of the hotel and were sorted into suitably sized groups to take advantage of the cars that many people offered for the day. G8UBN, G3PYB, G6GXK and myself were the lucky ones as we were to ride with Kent Britain, WA5VJB ... possibly the most "clued up" microwaver we could find. He lives in nearby Grand Prairie and knows every inch of every surplus warehouse in the region!

Our 130 mile tour of the Dallas surplus stores first took us to Harbor Freight Tools, a store full of every conceivable type of tool you could wish for. I managed to find a very useful tilt angle indicator which you could attach by its magnet to a,say, an offset dish, and adjust the dish for the correct tilt. G3PYB came out with a laser level indicator ... he just wanted the laser diode module for a future light wave transceiver project!
Then it was back into Kent's car for a check-in with the other vehicles in our convoy to make sure they weren't getting lost as we drove along the freeways across the city.
Next stop was Nortex, an unassuming place from outside but what an "Aladdin's cave" on the inside! Here's Grant, G8UBN (he is GH Engineering in the UK), looking very excited as he crosses the threshold ...

Inside we met Louis, the owner. He's getting on in years now and is making plans to retire. I'll believe that when I see it! I'm sure he still be there if and when I return to Dallas one day. His place is stacked to the ceiling with every conceivable type of electronic surplus you could think of. You could spend all day and more browsing and rummaging through the stuff in the two buildings he has.

Our problem was that we just couldn't buy all we'd like to as we wouldn't have been able to get it home on the plane. So we had to be very selective and buy small items unobtainable in the UK.

Peter (G3PYB) and David (G6GXK) ponder over the test gear manuals that fill the shelves in one corner of Nortex's main room.

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