It's very early on the day after Christmas, and while the rest of the house is sleeping, I'm enjoying the total peace and quiet, and pausing to reflect on the past year.
What a year it's been! The Four-State group has been busy! New kits released, new kits in development, the biggest ever Ozarkcon behind us, and a bigger-yet Ozarkcon before us! Gratitude is owed everyone in the 4SQRP group for making this group the success it is. The cohesiveness, camaraderie, and cooperation behind this ever-growing group, scattered across many more than just the original four states, is a testament to the vision of that handful of hams who founded this group years ago.
The success and popularity of the new Bayou Jumper kit has really caught the attention of the QRP community, and is a prime example of what 4SQRP is all about. To pull off a kit of this nature takes a dedicated team of volunteers; to do the electronic design, web design, purchasing, kitting, promotion, and beta testing, all of which is an essential part of kit development. Even the group members whose conversations on this group and the Bayou Jumper Yahoo group have done their part to help promote it. All deserve credit.
There is a new kit that is days from release, a Super Simple Code Practice Oscillator, an ideal first kit for a new hobbyist learning how to solder. This kit was designed to meet part of the Boy Scout Electronics Merit Badge requirement, and available at a bulk discount for school or scout groups. It would be a great kit to build with a special young person in your lives as an introduction to radio. We're just waiting on some parts to arrive on a slow boat before it will be available.
There is a huge list of kit projects in development; a couple direct conversion rigs, a high-end SSB transceiver, a multi-band transceiver, station accessories, a vacuum tube rig, and more. They all take time to get right, and the radio hobby that I love so well takes about 3rd or 4th place in my list of life priorities. But, in the months ahead, I'll be releasing sneak peaks of kits in development to offer hints of good things to come!
In closing, I thank everyone for helping make 4SQRP a success, for making this group the most fun QRP group in the world, for making the drive to Branson every year, and for sharing your love of this hobby. See you in Branson!
73 Dave NM0S