ArkieCon 2002

April 6, 2002

Once again, the gang at the Ft. Smith QRP Group put on a great show! What a treat for QRP'ers to share a couple of days of fun in one of the best locations in the country.

The ArkieCon program featured world famous speakers from both the USA and Great Britain. Doug Hendricks, KI6DS from the NorCal club was the forum master of ceremonies.

In the photo to the right, Doug is reading an E-Mail from Dave Benson announcing the introduction of the newest Small Wonder Lab kit, the PSK-10, for ten meters.

Doug also announced the latest NorCal club kit to be released very soon, a short wave receiver kit designed by Steve "Melt Solder" Weber, KD1JV.

Also, after the forum presentations, Vern Wright, W6MMA introduced the newest addition to the Super Antenna product line, a back-packable beam for 6 through 20 meters.

The Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV, probably the most famous QRP'er in the world spoke on two excellent topics. The first was "Minimalist Radio" where George presented insights on the philosophy of QRP. In his talk, George explained the meaning of the old English word "pelf" as an accumulated possession that is not really needed for our normal existence. He suggested that everyone take a pad of Post-it notes and stick one on each item of pelf in our homes. I'm sure that there would not be any pelf notes placed on our K2's and FT-817's!

His second presentation was "Keeping Your Soldering Iron Hot" where George discussed several methods of home construction of QRP equipment. George brought examples of each construction technique to show how easy it is to home brew simple rigs.

Roy Lewallen, W7EL, made two very informative presentations about antennas. The first explained some of the mystery of antennas and comparison of various antenna specifications. Roy explained how some antenna manufacturers could manipulate antenna measurements to make their products appear superior to other vendors.

Roy's second talk was about antenna modeling software and how to evaluate computer models of antennas. This looks like a great tool for QRP'ers to use to do "what-if" simulations of various antenna configurations to see what the predicted results will be before antenna construction.

Graham Firth, G3MFJ spoke about construction of interface devices for the popular Yaesu FT-817 transceiver. He presented schematics of several easy to build adapters that will permit the 817 to be used with headsets, PSK-31 mode and computer control. No modifications to the 817 are required to use his adapters.

As a hilarious introduction to his talk, Graham played a recording of the late comic Peter Sellers' spoof of the song "Night and Day" with the lyrics performed in Morse code accompanied by an orchestra.

And the winner is......

Prizes, and more prizes. Thanks to the many vendors and individuals who contributed ArkieCon prizes, there were more prize drawings this year than ever before!

 

The lucky winner of the grand prize, a fully loaded Elecraft K1 kit, was Al Gulseth, WB5JNC.

 

Thanks to W5JAY and the whole Ft. Smith QRP Group for a wonderful fun-filled weekend! You guys sure know how to put on a great show and have fun!

 

72, see you next year.......

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