ELMERS & friends who help QRPme & W1REX bring you good stuff!
I would like to give credit and many thanks to those who have helped W1REX & QRPme bring you GREAT stuff! I received my amateur radio license in 1995 so I have NOT been a lifelong ham. I was 'into' ham radio back in the 60s while in high school as one of my best friends was an Extra. I became one of the first computer geek teenagers when Dartmouth College received an NSF grant to test the newly invented computer language BASIC out on high school students. I 'discovered' that computers, computer programming and I were a perfect match and have been a computer geek ever since....I spent 40 years in the computer field primarily in product development or R & D. Most noteworthy to hams and QRPers was my 10+ years developing electronic toys and games. I have plenty of experience developing LOW COST electronic items that have plenty of 'PLAY VALUE'. I try to apply that experience to every QRPme kit I produce. So with 47 years messing around with computers and microprocessors and only 18 years of hamming, I have picked up a few Elmers along the way that help me develop QRPworthy products.
Kathleen (Kayti) Harper, my daughter, was my ace kitting helper. When she was around 5, I introduced her to 'assembly line' where she helped me kit QRPme parts kits. We would set up an assembly line, usually on the dining room table, and kit up parts bags, She got real good at the process and eventually could do it all by herself. I kept a shelf full of things that I knew she wanted and she traded kitting time for prizes...but sometimes for hard currency. She is 14 now and in high school with lots of things going on so it is rather lonely on the 'assembly line' these days. She still helps me out once in a while when I am in a crunch and need kitting but have too much other stuff in the way.
Debbi Hardy, my wife, is a musician at heart and doesn't have much interest in amateur radio, electronics and such. When the chips are down though, she kits... but her big contribution to QRPme is financial. When funds are LOW and I need money to buy parts and such, she has loaned it to me!! AND she loaned me a couple of thousand dollars to buy my 1st canning machine! So if you think those kits sealed up in tuna cans are really COOL, thank Debbi!
My sister Marita did the artwork on many of my tuna can labels. Take a close look, if the label is a thing of beauty, then she probably designed it. If it looks kinda schlocky, then I'm most likely the culprit. Hey, I gotta work out the circuit, add some fun, layout the board, round up the parts, kit 'em pack'em address'em and ship'em. When I'm working on a label design, I'm probably behind the 8 ball on packing and shipping orders so I have a tendancy to be less artistic.
W5USJ, Chuck Carpenter, has been an Elmer of the Finest Kind! That's 'Mainer Talk' for someone or something that you just can't say enough good things about. Chuck has advised me on MOST of my QRPme projects and his input has been invaluable. Most of the time I listen and follow his advice.... but sometimes (when I get that CRAZY bug in my cranium) I am beyond advice! You will notice W5USJ on MOST of my schematics and assundry documentation. His documents are beautiful and are a benefit to everyone who builds a QRPme kit! He has also been a beta builder and troubleshooter extraordinaire on many a QRPme kit. Chuck has also offered up several quality kit ideas that are presently in my kit lineup.
G3MFJ, Graham Firth, has also been an Elmer of the Finest Kind! I consider Graham not only a Elmer but also a good friend and seek his advise on many of my creations. Like Chuck, he has been a lifelong ham and I value his experience and advice.
G3RJV, George Dobbs, what can I say about George that you all don't already know! George has been an inspiration to me and undoubtedly thousands of other QRPers! Hanging around and helping out at the GQRP booth at Dayton has allowed me to soak up plenty of QRP sage knowledge and formulate my personal philosophy about QRP and the 'true' meaning of PELF!
NT1R, Bill Legge, has been one of the key ingredients to the success of Lobstercon! There are only two, COUNT THEM... TWO people alive who can say they have attended every Lobstercon.... Me, the creator and host of Lobstercon, and Bill who is the man who brings and is 'in charge' of cooking all those tasty crustaceans! Lobstercon would be a plain old BBQ-con without the man who beings the lobsters. Bill was also one of the club members of the first ham radio club I joined after becomming a ham: PAWA, the Portland Amateur Wireless Association. He was one of the PAWA club members who introduced me to QRP!!
Lobsterconners! The QRpers and their XYLs, notably the LLAS&DC (Lobstercon Ladies Auxiliary Society & Drinking Club) who have attended Lobstercons in the past have been a critical part in the success of Lobstercon! Many Lobsterconners have assisted in the set up and errands associated in providing a wonderful weekend for ALL those who attend. In these last few years, the LLAS&DC have provided shopping and preparation services for great side dishes and desserts that have really ratcheted up the Saturday meals at Lobstercon!
Charley Armentrout is not a ham or a QRPer. He was my freshman physics professor some 45 years ago whom I now consider a close friend and mentor. You can see him in Lobstercon pictures.... he is the one hanging around the BBQ grill wearing all the tinfoil! Charley comes in every year to help out at the BBQ. He has flipped many a burger, dog and brat over the years AND enjoyed the QRP shenanigans.
KF9GX, Fred Reimers, of FAR Circuits helped me get my start in selling tuna can kits. FAR Circuits produced the circuit boards for several of my first kits. Fred was very helpful when I wanted to create new versions of the kits and I didn't have much for resources and any circuit board layout software. He provided the layout artwork and circuit boards when I was just starting out...Good guy and good company especially when you are looking for a circuit board for that project you saw in a magazine and just have to build it.
Doug Hendricks, KI6DS, of Norcal fame. He was the instrumental person in revitalizing some of the old QRP classics with the 'Back to the Future' series in the Norcal QRP Journal. It was a fateful day at the FDIM hotel when I was waiting to talk to him and Jay Bromley, K5JAY, told Doug that he was pretty much burned out kitting and selling the TT2 and wanted to quit. I asked Doug if I could kit it and use the funds generated for Lobstercon. He agreed and my fate was sealed! After a while, I wanted to update the design to meet current FCC regs and add some more features and the Two Tinned Tunas was born. Then I started my quest to create an entire QRP station kit lineup in tuna cans. I'm almost THERE....