QRP showing at hamfest


From: Mike Czuhajewski (Mike.Czuhajewski@bbs.abs.net)
Date: Sun Sep 10 1995 - 20:12:12 EDT

The FARFEST (Foundation for Amateur Radio) hamfest at Gaithersburg,
MD is one of the biggies in this area, and this year it looked like
the tailgating area had one of its largest turnouts. Bruce Muscolino,
W6TOY (bruce3900@delphi.com) shelled out the bucks for an inside
table and I brought along one of the QRP ARCI banners and a small
stack of the July issue of the QRP Quarterly (about a dozen, which
turned out to be far too few). We had a good time, taking turns
manning the table (which was changed to #221 at the last
minute--Bruce sends his apologies to anyone who looked for #318).

We didn't have any rigs hooked up, but Bruce did have two MXM's to
show off, along with an NE4040 and I brought along my Tiny Weekender
as well as the QRP Key, my DB-25 transmitter and one of the DB-25
transceivers. We talked to a number of QRPers, including a few who
appear on QRP-L, and gave away all 14 copies of the QRP Quarterly
that I had. Mistake #1--don't go to a big hamfest with just a dozen
copies of the Quarterly (or whatever your QRP publication). Take
more, and also take along other handouts, like brochures and
application sheets.

Fortunately S&S Engineering was on the lower floor below us, and I
had made arrangements for the printer to send them a
box-o-Quarterlies. I talked Kathy into giving me the stack of 14
that she had left, and those didn't take too long to disappear,
either. We didn't just put a pile of them on the table--we just left
one out, with the rest out of sight and gave them to only those who
were interested in a copy, but even that was a lot of people! We
went through 28 copies in a few hours, so we'll either have to make
up some cheap giveaway samples, sort of a compilation, or start
charging a nominal fee for them. (It does cost the club a fair
amount to have these things printed!)

BTW, Dick and Kathy now have operational models of the 40 meter
version of the TAC-1, their knob tuned, synthesized rig. Or, as the
classified ads department of QST insists on calling it, month after
month, despite repeated attempts by S&S to have the spelling
corrected, "know tuned" :-)

Bruce had to leave about noon, and I left after the last of the
Quarterlys was gone, about 1 PM. It was a good learning experience
for someone wanting to promote a QRP organization (or any
organization!) at a hamfest. It was a lot of fun talking to people
about QRP and "showing the flag". Some suggestions for handouts, in
addition to copies of your QRP publication--brochures about the
organization, application forms AND RECEIPTS TO GIVE FOR ANY MONEY
TAKEN IN, perhaps additional brochures or sheets listing some of the
QRP nets, other QRP organizations, QRP manufacturers and parts
suppliers. And a lot more QRP rigs to show off.

In the case of the QRP ARCI, the fee for the table, booth, tailgating
slot, whatever, will be reimbursed. I don't have any word from the
Pres on other things like copying expenses for those brochures and
lists, but would presume that they may be covered as well. Sorry, we
won't pay for your lunch, admission ticket, mileage to get there,
etc--you would have gone to the hamfest anyhow, right? :-) Before
you make any significant expenditures, you might want to check with
Buck first to make sure it will be reimbursable. There is a limit to
what the club will pay for; something like a QRP hospitality suite
with free drinks and food would probably be stepping over the line

Having one of the QRP ARCI banners taped to the wall really helps
draw a lot of QRPers. As the July issue of the QRP Quarterly said,
the Club has several scattered around the country, available for
loan; I have the East Coast loaner. (And if you get one shipped to
you, keep the receipt when you ship it back or to the next person, so
you can get reimbursed for the cost. And when it comes in, keep the
box it comes in; they are heavy duty boxes and will be reused until
they fall apart.)

Not sure who else from this area is going up with me, but the York,
PA hamfest is on 23 and 24 Sept, and I'll be there, along with the
banner, on the 23rd. Rich Arland, K7YHA, has already put out the
word on QRP-L for the Central PA QRP folks to meet him there on Sat,
and some of the Maryland Milliwatts will join them. Unfortunately,
Dick and Kathy of S&S will be at another hamfest on that weekend, so
you won't have a chance to see their TAC-1 rigs.

73 and Queue Our Pea DE WA8MCQ

Mike Czuhajewski, user of the UniBoard System @ abs.net
E-Mail: Mike.Czuhajewski@bbs.abs.net
The WB3FFV Amateur Radio BBS - Located in Baltimore, Maryland USA
Supporting the Amateur Radio Hobby, and TCP/IP InterNetworking

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