C.A.T.S. Tailgate Party with Flying Pigs attached....

Greetings everyone and we are all glad you stopped by. Doing CW is one of our most fun activities for the Flying Pigs, along with promoting our local radio club. The Clarksville Amateur Transmitting Society does all kinds of things to support our community and this year we held a tailgate party for Camp Rainbow of Clarksville (http://clarksvillecamprainbow.org/). The president of our club happens to be a member of our CW group the Flying Pigs QRP International and this year he requested that we give a CW demonstration during the tail gate party put on by our C.A.T.S. club. Without any hesitation we jumped at the chance to get on the air. 

As it happens several of our Flying Pigs have more than one Elecraft radio. So we decided to put on a Elecraft demo for all the hams who visit our event. Lewis-KF4WK has three of the Elecraft radios and Terry-N5HOT has a K3. Richard-KJ4MXI has a KX1and a K3 (these radios can be seen at www.elecraft.com). Our goal was just to set up a couple of stations and show off the radios. On this outing we used the K3 with the Panadapter from Lewis-KF4WK.

When we started out the clouds were heavy and dark to the south and the early morning before the event was a wet one. The weather forecast was good for the morning and most of the day so we all arrived at the event location off Martin Luther King Blvd. here in Clarksville to help set up. After setting out the tables we started moving our vehicles to get a good location for our antennas. 

Richard-KJ4MXI and I have both made Tripod verticals with ground wires that have worked very well for quick setup operating. Richard set his up for 20 meters and I set mine up for 40 meters. With the radios set up and all the other required equipment we set about checking out the items for sale at the tailgate party. 

Little did we know that the 7QP party was up and running strong (http://www.codxc.com/new/page.asp?content=dryland7s). Right away Richard had his KX1 running and a small speaker on the side let everyone hear the strong CW signals he was picking up. This brought several hams over who started asking questions. Hand outs from Elecraft were supplied by Lewis-KF4WK and we were accosted by people asking about the different types of Elecraft radios. We gave out great for information but we had a hard time working a the CW contest. By the time Richard and I answered some questions Terry-N5HOT had a contact identified on Lewis's K3. Man the stations were everywhere. All calling CQ 7QP.... Now this is a contest. 

Terry started concentrating and soon had K7L-A Cinco De Mayo Celebration Special Event in Yuma AZ. While Terry and the gang were working the contest Lewis and I were handing out information packets on the Elecraft radios. Terry then gave up the K3 to me and I started looking for stations. WC7Q-Sam in Woodenville Washington came back to my call and he was in the log. Moving up the band we found K7IA-Dan in San Lorenzo New Mexico and zap he was in the log. Up a little more we tried to work W7RN-The Comstock Memorial Station in Virginia City Nevada but no luck Several stations were real close and running high power so they covered a large area on the dial. But the K3 was able to cut them apart just like cutting a slice of ham off a ham bone.... Great radio..... We worked with a limited antenna on both radios and used only 5 watts. Now that is fine business at any radio event. While Terry was working the K3, I moved over to Richard's KX1. I was looking for a contact on 40 meters for the event but not many operators were working 40 in the contest. I heard N4QR-Bob in Maiden North Carolina calling CQ so I jumped on him and right away he came back to me. Wow now that is cool stuff...  Bob was running 25 watts and had some QRM on his end but could copy my 5 watts. He was in the mood to rag chew but I had to cut our QSO short so we could work with the K3. When I got back to the K3 I found Doc-NV4T had showed up. Now Doc is our Flying Pig Boss Hog so he had to make at least one contact to remain in office. LOL... In no time he had K7GS-Gary in Spokane Washington. All total we made 19 contacts 18 in the 7QP and one other. That has been one of our best outings in a long time. Also we made lots of personal contacts with other hams that visited our Elecraft operation. We also recruited some want to be Flying Pigs..... Now that is what like to hear.... During our talking about radio and our operating radio the sun came out and it started to get hot. I noticed that most of the people were leaving so we started taking down our antennas and putting away our radios. We helped clean up and put assorted equipment away and in no time we were on our way home. The A/C in the truck sure felt good and another fine radio event was finished but not forgotten.

Thanks for reading our little story and remember QRP rules..... 72 for now from John-KM6NN and the gang.