Doug Hendricks, KI6DS describes the Fun!
Boy has our niche of the hobby ever
changed in the last 10 years!! Just think about it. Ten years ago,
there were only two QRP gatherings in the US that were held on a regular basis.
Dayton and Hamcom. Dayton was held in April, and Hamcom in June.
The rest of the year, nothing. Only 3 regularly published QRP Journals, QQ,
Sprat, and the Michigan QRP Club 5 Watter.
Dayton was just a bunch of guys that got together and talked during the evenings. There were a couple of forums at the Hamvention, but it was certainly not on the order of what we have today at qrp forums.
Atlanticon and Arkiecon were not even thought of. Yet today, these are two of the Major QRP events of the year. George Heron and the boys at the NJQRP Club out do themselves every year and always have the very best speakers. One reason is that the NJ QRP Club does such a good job is that they pour the excess funds derived from their kit sales back into QRP. They pay the airfare and hotel expenses of the speakers, and thus it is simple to explain why they can get the very best speakers in the QRP world to come. The winners in this are the QRPers, they get great projects at great prices, and then they get the opportunity to go to a world class QRP event, all because of the efforts of the guys in the NJ QRP Club. That is a true win-win situation.
This year Atlanticon returns to the Timonium Hamfest. Wonder how long it will be before they change the name to Atlanticon? I can guarantee you one thing, qrpers all know what Atlanticon means. George tells me that they are again in the same hotel as the first year, and that it is going to be another great event. I was invited to come and speak, but had to decline, as I had already accepted another invitation from Jay Bromley to be the Master of Ceromonies at Arkiecon, and my principal would not give me the time off for two weeks in a row. I understand. But darn it, sure wish that I could have made it to the event. You guys will just have to give me the full report.
Dave Benson, Joe
Everhart, Rich Arland, Jim Kortge, Chuck Adams, Tony Fishpool, Graham Firth and Steve Ford
all on the speaker list!! Wow!
Take my advice, this is one that you don't want to miss if you are anywhere near the area. Drive all day and all night if you have to, but get there. I personally like the regional qrp forums better than Dayton now. I guess it is because the focus is on QRP at these events, and you aren't distracted by the huge crowds and the go, go go of Dayton. Just seems so impersonal. Atlanticon, Arkiecon, Hamcom, Ft. Tuthill, and Pacifcon all have an esprit de corps that is evident when you attend. By its nature, Dayton isn't like that, because it is the largest ham event in the world. You must see it once if you are a ham, but be prepared to be overwhelmed. The neat thing about Atlanticon and Arkiecon will be the fact that QRP is the main interest, the main raison d'etre, and the focus is there. It is like going home and visiting family. Everyone knows everyone else or soon will because of the size of the event. It is just a neat experience that you don't want to miss if you are a QRPer. I won't get to see you at Atlanticon this year, but Joe E. Dave M. Tony Gummer, Dave Benson, George Heron and all the rest of the NJ QRP gang will make you more than welcome and glad that you came. Say hello to them for me.
PS. This is not a detraction or attack on any other event, it is my opinion and the way that I truly feel. I have been to Dayton many times, and was glad that I went every time, but I have a much better time at the regional forums, because of their size.