The QRP group is returning to Ft. Tuthill

Join us for the 1st Annual CactusCon

July 31 - August 1, 2009

Sponsored by AZ ScQRPions

  • Free group camping Friday and Saturday night, at the fairgrounds, area "C" & "D"
  • Free QRP related forums 8AM-3PM, Saturday
  • Free prizes at the forums and Sat. evening picnic
  • Tailgate swap meet at the campground, Fri. & Sat.
  • Informal dinner, Friday night, in town
  • Group picnic, Saturday night, campground, bring your own main course
  • 5 minutes from downtown Flagstaff

  • Here are those details you have been waiting for!

    It's that time of year again for the Arizona ScQRPions QRP campout and forums! CactusCon the First! This year we will be in the mountains around Flagstaff, Arizona at the Fort Tuthill campgrounds. The group camping area will be available for campers beginning on Thursday afternoon, July 30.

    Activities begin on Friday, July 31 at the campground and continue on Saturday, August 1st with the forums at the Holiday Inn Express. Sunday morning will be a leisurely pack up to return home.

    Bring all your tailgate trading material for a swapmeet on Friday. Activities planned for the campground on Friday will be a dummy load QSO party and a race to assemble a station and make the first long distance contact, then continue for a short contest making as many contacts as possible. Other activities include a CW sending/receiving contest and a session with RUFZ. Bring your finest homebrew project for a builder's competition. We will not have the facilities for building anything on site this year. And at the end of the day Friday, enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant.

    Saturday will find us a short 5-10 minutes away at the conference room of the Holiday Inn Express where we will have our forums featuring internationally known speakers --

    Paul Harden (NA5N) with a combination presentation on the quick history of morse code from the railroad telegraphers through the wireless days, followed by an inside look at the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope and their newly designed electronic systems.

    Jim Duffey (KK6MC/5) with a presentation on participating in VHF/UHF contests as a roving station.

    Dan Tayloe (N7VE) will talk a bit about active R/C filter design from his recently finished active audio filter section in next years ARRL Handbook.

    Jerry Haigwood (W5JH) The care and feeding of End Fed Half Wave Antennas.

    Tom Katonak Railroad and wireline communications.

    Chuck Penson (WA7ZZE) is new to the QRP circuit, but no stranger to the guys who have Heathkit radios.

    Chuck has a background in industrial archeology and a passion of the history of science and technology, with a special interest in nuclear weapons. He recently retired from the University of Arizona and now spends his time as the historian for the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley Arizona.

    He is the author of two books: "Heathkit--A Guide to the Amateur Radio Products" and more recenty "The Titan II Handbook: A Civilian's Guide to the Most Powerful ICBM America Ever Built."

    Penson has been a ham radio operator since 1966 and currently holds an advanced class license. His other interests include renewable energy, astronomy, hiking and pizza. He lives with his wife, Kathryn, at their off-the-grid ranch in the desert west of Tucson.

    Internet access to the forums (?) or "Pooh! I can't get way out West this year." We do plan to stream the forums live to the internet this year. The URL for the forums is It also features a chat section you can use to interact with the guys at the forums. Ask questions and harass the speakers.

    Last year's forum videos may be viewed at the following links. Each presentation is approximately one hour in length.

    Clipperton Dxpedition antenna design by Paul, W8AEF

    QRP Contesting! by Dale, KG5U

    Computer Aided Circuit Design by Tom, AC7A

    Genesis of the PFR-3 QRP transceiver by Doug, KI6DS

    PFR-3 in the Field by Dr. Bob Armstrong, N7XJ

    Saturday night finds us back at the campground for a cookout. We provide everything with the exception of your "entree." Portable tables and chairs would be wise choices of things to bring with you. Water is available, but there is NO electricity other than your batteries or generator. There are some permanent picnic tables and plenty of places to contain your cooking fire. There will be a few 10' x 10' canopies, but if you have one, please consider bringing it. Afternoon thundershowers are pretty routine in the mountains (7500'+) and you'll be looking for a place to stay sorta dry if one blows through. The desert is blazing hot (115F this week), but the temperatures at the campground will range from the upper 70's to the mid-80's during the day.

    Prizes will be awarded throughout the weekend for the winners of our events, between forum sessions, and at the cookout. There is no admission charge and no prize tickets to buy. As in the past, we have several terrific sponsors that are very generous. They help provide our prizes and other assistance to put these programs on. Thanks to the Four States QRP group, Hendricks Kits, Pacific Antenna, Uncle Cy the LED Guy, and NorCal. They are top notch! If you are looking to make an amateur radio purchase, please consider these guys FIRST.

    Everyone is welcome whether or not you operate QRP. The forums are usually of general interest, but oriented many times toward outdoor operating, construction projects, new techniques, small portable stations, antennas, and accessories. Don't tell, but we even have some closet QRO operators in the group!

    The Holiday Inn Express at the Butler exit (198) off I-40 is our "official" CactusCon hotel. This is where the forums will be held beginning at 8 something Saturday morning, August 1. Call them direct at 1-928-714-1000 for our group rates of $110.00 if you decide to stay here. It is a nice hotel with internet access.

    There are many accommodations almost within walking distance of the Holiday Inn Express. Here is a link to Google Maps showing about 11 major brand hotels and motels at this exit. Take me to the maps!

    These hotels are less than 10 minutes from the campgrounds at Fort Tuthill. Exit 195, East or West, from I-40 to I-17 South will take you to the campgrounds. Exit 337, North or South, off I-17 will take you to the campgrounds on the West side of I-17. This is also the exit to the Flagstaff airport. Turn West at the Stop Sign (North or South) after exiting the I-17 freeway. This road leads you directly into Ft. Tuthill just as you cross highway 89A that would take you on the scenic route to Sedona. (A wonderfully beautiful 25 mile drive if you haven't done it! Watch out for the elk) Shut up already and just show me the campground! Click here to download an official copy of the Coconino County fairgrounds map (Ft. Tuthill). Our area on this map is on the far left side of the map just below the center where it says "Group camping area." Or something like that. The group campground is adjacent to the small military museum in the back of the fairgrounds.

    Let's try the Mt. Elden 2m repeater frequency 146.98 (-) 162.2 PL if you need assistance finding us. Maybe we'll answer. Sometimes we're having so much fun we forget to listen. You will not be intentionally ignored.

    I hope we will see YOU there! Email questions to: