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GatorCon 09

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GatorCon ’09 definitely a success!

Thanks to everyone that showed up and participated in the first annual GatorCon event. Although it was hastily planned and promoted at the last minute, 17 ham radio operators brought a variety of rigs and antennas to Moss Park in southeast Orlando, Florida for a day of QRP fun. At one point we had 9 rigs on the air at once, all on battery power and despite terrible band conditions, we made a few contacts and had a great day.

The day started with two armadillo spies running around our park pavilion to figure out what the GatorCon crowd was doing! After watching them for a few minutes and laughing as they bumped into one another and ran at pretty amazing speed, Matt Green, W1MDG and I started getting our antennas in the air. We had a zillion possibilities in this park full of tall oak and pine trees.

Click here for a link to a photo gallery of excellent shots by KB2CUX.

Let's see... how about over there?

Let's see... how about over there?

Let's get outta here before they get out the homebrew antenna launcher!

Let's get outta here before they get out the homebrew antenna launcher!

Soon the rest of the gang started showing up and unloading gear. Before long we had several tables full of goodies and a bunch of antennas in the trees, on the tripods and short mounts and the cq’s started going out.  We took a break for pizza lunch and had a show and tell time led by Jim Diggs K4AHO. It was so good that the Sand Hill Cranes came back and took front row seats!

Not everybody works CW only, don't ya' know?

Not everybody works CW only, don't ya' know?

How I broke that elusive 40 wpm barrier!

How I broke that elusive 40 wpm barrier!

Nobody here but us hams?

Nobody here but us hams?

Ok, who has a funny story to tell?

Ok, who has a funny story to tell?

Good thing we brought the fan along! Whew!

Good thing we brought the fan along! Whew!

Sand Hill Cranes taking a front row seat for Jim's talk!

Sand Hill Cranes taking a front row seat for Jim's talk!

Would somebody get that pizza eating bird outta here please!

Would somebody get that pizza eating bird outta here please!

Yes, that is a 2 x 4 his rear legs are resting on! YIKES... let's go home!

Yes, that is a 2 x 4 his rear legs are resting on! YIKES... let's go home!

Gators Are Lining UP… GatorCon 09 is almost here!

When are the rest of the QRP gang showing up?

When are the rest of the QRP gang showing up?

WHAT: The Central Florida QRP Group is hosting the First GatorCon gathering of QRP operators. This is an opportunity to meet others that share our interests in low power ham radio, portable operation, battery and alternative power for emergency communications, homebrew equipment, being in the great outdoors, and fun! Bring your rig for show and tell times and to operate (no electric mains available, so bring your own battery) We will have drawing for a “outdoor” prize and some special antennas for you to try.  SMOKETESTING starts at 1000 EDT, come watch the fun!  HISTORY and new CON ACTIVITY pages posted!

WHEN: July 11, 2009 is the date! We’ll start setup at 0830 EDT and operating should begin by 1000 EDT. We’ll officially end at 1800 EDT but you are welcome to stay if you desire. Park closes at 2000 EDT.

WHERE: PAVILLION #5,  at Moss Park, 12901 Moss Park Road, Orlando, FL. This is in SE Orlando area just off SR 417 and Narcoosee Road.  The park is an Animal Preserve and Bird Sanctuary and is full of great options for the whole family. PDF MAP of MOSS PARK FACILITY or   Click here for a link to PDF info on the park and camping options.

DIRECTIONS: Click here for Google Map to the Park. Take a look at the Satellite view too!

Printed Directions Click here!

SPECIAL NOTES: *** Parking fee payable in cash only at park entrance. $3.00 for up to 2 people; $5.00 for up to 8 people per vehicle. ***

***  PLEASE NO ALCOHOL, PETS, OR WEAPONS PERMITTED IN THE PARK. ***

*** Please let us know you plan to attend by emailing us. *** gatorcon09@k4upg.com

WHY: Because we love QRP, ham radio and operating outdoors! We also want to give out special event QSL cards and contact the other “CON” events that are going on in the NE, NW, Omaha, N TX group hangouts. Come join us!