By Tim, AB4B- ACG President
The Alabama Contest Group (ACG) was formed in September 2006 after a happenstance meeting between Jim Johnson, KC4HW and Tim Wininger, KY5R (now AB4B) at the Huntsville Hamfest. Jim, KC4HW was involved with revitalizing the Alabama QSO Party at the time and Tim had been attempting to organize amateur radio operators interested in contesting (radio sport) the past couple of years in the Alabama section.
After many discussions the two decided it would be a perfect fit if the Alabama QSO Party and the Alabama contest community would work with one another. Hence the formation of the Alabama Contest Group in support of the revitalized Alabama QSO Party. A website and email reflector were created and sponsored by Robin Gist, K4VU giving the Alabama Contest Group some view to the larger contesting community.
The ACG was off to a flying start. We quickly picked up a group of hardcore contesters within the Alabama Section. Word started to spread from our new members and membership started to grow. By December of 2006 the ACG was 26 members strong, we had acquired ARRL Club Affiliation and secured a club call sign. The call sign was then changed via the FCC Vanity Call Sign system to K4ACG. Ted Pounders, W4RJ became the trustee of the club call sign at this time. Also the ACG sponsored the 2007 Alabama QSO Party plus several 1st place plaques for the CQ and ARRL major contest .
Four years latter in 2011 the ACG has grown to over 90 members. The membership now spans not only Alabama but Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida. Our membership typically resides within the ARRL 175 mile and the CQ 275 kilometer circle of influence. You will most always here ACG members on all the major contest weekends as well as many QSO Parties. With the participation of our membership the ACG continues to place high in the club score competition and you will most definitely find a few ACG types in the Top 10 of one category or another.
The ACG has also taken on an active role in the annual Huntsville Hamfest since the 2007 ARRL National Convention. The ACG provides a Contest Hospitality Suite,the Contest Forum (5 to 6 hours of presentations) plus an informal Contest Dinner all within the weekend of the Huntsville Hamfest. This event continues to draw contester's from the whole of the Southeast region.
The ACG future is looking very bright as we continue to grow. Our main goal is to have fun, improve our operating skills and station effectiveness and compete. If this is something you might be interested in please look for contact information on this website and get involved.