QRP Pacificon 2015

I just got back from Pacificon. What a great weekend. Attendance was up, it was crowded and everyone was in a good mood. Lots of vendors at the show and lots of new toys to look at.

Friday we got there about 3 o'clock, checked into the hotel, and immediately started to see old friends. Friday night at the QRP open house we had a bit of a building contest, With a twist. Two person teams built a Doug Hendricks designed NE602/LM386 receiver (stolen from Dave Richards, AA7EE and Wes Hayward, W7ZOI). After successfully building it they used the receiver to copy a secret code word transmitted on my brand-new PFR 3B with the rotary tuning dial. All teams were successful in building a working receiver, and the winning team was Paula and Mike Herr from Ridgecrest. I first met Mike over 20 years ago at Zuni Loop. Everyone had a great time building the receivers. Lots of QRPers in the room watching it and visiting.

Then Chuck Adams did his demo on how to build a muppet board. It was well attended and lots of interest shown. Great job Chuck. If you want to see a video of his method go to YouTube and look under K7QO.

Saturday we got up and had breakfast and then took a tour of the vendors. Pacific Antenna/QRP Kits had a nice booth and lots of new products. I bought an E-Z receiver kit which is new product and also a vfo kit. I also bought odds and ends including a combo volt/amp digital meter and several other small toys. I attended three excellent forums. They were satellite operations by Mike Herr, History of the enigma machine by Ralph Sampson, and Chuck Adams did a presentation on building with muppet boards. They were all great and all forums that I was in were standing room only. Saturday afternoon, my good friend from Oroville, Lee Hutchins,showed me his new product. It is an exact working replica of a J36 bug that was used in World War II. I got serial number two. Several other QRPers bought them. Lee will have a webpage up soon and you will be able to see pictures and you will be able to purchase that the bug. It sells for $185. Lee worked on it for six years.

Saturday night we had the QRP auction and everyone there had a lot of fun plus a couple people got bargains. The hottest item was an unbuilt 38 special kit that Ori autographed. After the auction we had a building event for first time builders. They built a Colpitts oscillator on a Muppet board. Everyone got their kits to work and they were also given three extra crystals so that they had crystals on 80 m, 40 m, 30 m, and 20 m,. The oscillator can be used as a signal generator to align a receiver. A four band signal generator on the QRP frequencies, with the total cost for board and parts being $.50, not counting the crystals. But the great part was seeing the faces of people being successful building something for the first time. Several QRPers provided tools and Elmering help. It was fun to see. Everyone had a good time or seemed to and it was great to see a lot of the old friends that I have met through the years. We had a vendor night on Saturday night and Lee Hutchins described his new bug and James Bennett and Kathy Long described their new products with Pacific Antenna and QRP Kits. People seem to like the opportunity to hear about the new products. We think will keep it as an activity for next year. And I am already thinking about the fun activities for next year. If you get the opportunity to go to a QRP event don't pass it up. It was a blast.

Thanks to Dean Davis, James Bennett, Kathy Long, Darrell and Joanne Swenson, Kathy White, Dan and Vicky Tayloe, Chuck Adams, Darryl Jones, Mike and Paula Herr, Kit Blanke,and the Pacificon staff for a great time. I never stopped smiling all weekend.

72, Doug, KI6DS

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Journal of the Northern California QRP Club

The current board of directors consist of:

James Bennett, KA5DVS
Darrel Swenson, K0AWB
Dean Davis, N7XG
Dick Palmer, WB6JDH

We are pleased to announce that we are all working hard to get Norcal operational once again. Darrell and James are working on planning for Pacificon 2014 and everything is looking good. More details will be announced later in the year.


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