History of the Tennessee Contest Group
In August 1993, Jim Emery K4AMC and Ric Painter WA6KUI (now WO4O) took it upon themselves to assemble a team of skilled ham radio operators to compete in the National Contest Journal CW North American QSO Party. K4AMC suggested the name “Tennessee Contest Group.” The original team members were Jim K4AMC, Ric WA6KUI, Don N4ZZ, and Gary AA4DO. Much to their surprise, this first TCG team actually won the team competition in that event. The success of that effort prompted these Radio Operators to try again to form local teams for future NAQP contests.
Thanks to the efforts of these early TCG operators, several other active hams were contacted across Tennessee and invited to participate. TCG began to have “eyeball QSO” meetings at a local breakfast joint. The number of participants grew, along with our scores. The regulars at the early meetings included Jim K4AMC, Ric WA6KUI (now WO4O), Mark K0EJ, Doug W9WI, Don N4ZZ, Kirk WR3O (now K4RO), Jeff KQ4HC (now K4JNY) Clarence KO4EW (now N4CM) and Tommy WD4K. K0EJ, W9WI, and WO4O provided most of the leadership and recruitment effort. K4RO lead the group into the Internet age with an email reflector and a web site. This rag-tag group of radio enthusiasts continued to do well in the NAQP and Sprint contests, and interest began to grow in competing as a club in the ARRL-sponsored contests.
In late 1996 the Tennessee Contest Group decided to pursue becoming an ARRL-affiliated club. The motivation was to compete in ARRL Affiliated Club Competition events such as the November Sweepstakes, ARRL DX, 160 Meter and 10 Meter contests. In order to qualify as an ARRL-affiliated club, we had to meet certain requirements. Before long, we had a constitution, a roster, regularly scheduled meetings, and some growing pains. Since those early beginnings, the TCG has become a well-recognized and active contest club. The TCG membership spans beyond the great state of Tennessee. We invite you to consider joining us in the fun and excitement of amateur radio contesting.