Annual Tailgate Meeting September 19

Come one, come all, to SLQS’ annual “Tailgate Meeting” on Wednesday, September 19. There’s no charge and it’s open to anyone. Bring that radio “stuff” that’s looking for a new home; also be sure to slip a few extra bucks in the wallet before you leave home. You never know what you’ll find!

Aside from the browsing of other hams’ junk treasures, there will be plenty of time to talk radio, and to play radio. There’s at least one picnic table that becomes a “micro Field day” site for the evening. Got a portable rig or antenna you care to show? Bring it and let’s get it on the air!

There will be grilled bratwurst and chips available for a nominal fee while supply lasts (and they go fast!). Please bring your own beverages.

If you’re curious about our hobby… if you are interested in learning more about electronics, learning how to build and solder kits, discovering how we can have so much fun using low power and (gasp!) Morse code… stop by and introduce yourself.

We will meet once again in Creve Coeur Lake Park, in a parking lot that is perfect for this event. Here’s a pair of URLs, both of which will take you to a Google Maps page pointing to the meeting location:

QR Code link to Google Maps

QR Code link to Google Maps

 

https://bit.ly/slqsTailgate

https://goo.gl/maps/svoHbHTZYH62

 

 

 

Here’s a PDF flyer that you can save and share:

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August Meeting

Tonight’s meeting is a “regular” meeting, in that we begin things at Denny’s at I-270 and McDonnell Blvd. at 6:00pm. This is optional, but everyone’s welcome. It’s a good time for extended discussion prior to the meeting.

Then we’ll move along to the meeting proper, which begins at 7:30pm and takes place on the campus of Florissant Valley Community College. Details and a map are always available under the “Meeting Info” tab above.

Our meetings are open, and you’re welcome to join us. What do we do at meetings? Generally the format is an open roundtable, with show-and-tell. Folks pass around projects they’ve completed (or are working on). It’s a good time for Q&A — if you’re looking for opinions, a group of hams is never lacking for those 🙂

Tonight I’m going to bring my first QRP kit: a Backpacker II from Tejas RF. And I’ll also bring my St. Louis Tuner. Plus (and most importantly) I’m bringing the assembly/operation manuals for both. Turns out I have an old friend who’s getting radio-active once again, and he has mis-placed his manuals. I had to do some serious digging, but I managed to find ’em. It all caused a great wave of nostalgia here. Lots of fun.

There will be lots of other things to see and discuss tonight. Please join us if you can!

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Another Great FD for SLQS

Another SLQS Field Day is a wrap — and in my opinion, it was once again a great event. Everything from the pre-planning, the antenna “dry runs,” setup, operation, the food, the weather, and the wrap-up… it was great!

We were active on 6, 10, 15, 20, 40, and 80 meters at various times throughout the event. Saturday conditions were lackluster on the higher bands; 15 in particular was awfully quiet. But Sunday morning was another story; we worked quite a few stations on 10m after the sun came up.

This year we tried something new for a 20m antenna — a 2-element single-mast wire beam that Larry N0SA had found. It had a pretty big footprint, but it worked well. It was neat to turn the control switch and hear stations get stronger.

Due to the antenna’s size, we’d located the operating position tent away from the main gazebo. A nice side-effect of this was that the ops at this position were more comfortable using speakers rather than headphones, which in turn let visitors and guests listen in. We had groups of guys operating, dupe checking and logging, and watching the action. I think this could become a regular feature of our FD setup.

Once again we had a lot of fun, enjoyed great weather, we tried some new things, and we turned in a respectable score. Heck, we beat last year’s score!

QSOs + 1,150 bonus points claimed

Take a look at the photos we captured of the event. Next year please plan to join us!

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Field Day 2018 this weekend!

Once again the St. Louis QRP Society will have its Field Day events at O’Connor Park in Bridgeton, MO. You can find us via the ARRL Field Day Station Locator.

We will be using Larry N0SA’s call this year.

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Missouri QSO Party April 7 & 8

Passing along notice of the upcoming Missouri QSO Party… right around the corner!

Greeting from the Missouri QSO Party Contest Coordinators,
The 2018 Missouri QSO Party is just around the corner, scheduled to occur on April 7 and 8, 2018.
Details about the contest are found on the Missouri QSO Party website: http://w0ma.org/index.php/missouri-qso-party
And there is a flier that may be distributed at club meetings here: http://w0ma.org/images/MOQP2018/flyer.pdf
We hope to hear you on the air for the QSO Party!

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The St. Louis QRP Society Celebrates 30 Years: 1987-2017

The St. Louis QRP Society (SLQS) celebrated its 30th anniversary on November 15, 2017. The club was organized on November 9, 1987 by Dave Gauding, NF0R and Keith Arns, KC0PP by a gathering of local Hams with an interest in operating QRP and Homebrewing.

Twenty-five members attended the anniversary dinner. Each member received a new 30 year ID badge to commemorate the anniversary. Over the years several members have been honored for exceptional work by receiving a member of the year award. This year to celebrate 30 years, the club honored Dave Gauding for his many years of dedication to the club. Dave was presented a certificate of appreciation. Dave also received a custom built magnetic loop antenna from the clubs recent magnetic loop antenna project.

Dave Gauding, NF0R, Receiving Certificate of Appreciation at the SLQS 30th Anniversary Dinner

When the club was organized, it was decided that the SLQS would remain a local club and would not compete with the larger national or international QRP Clubs. The intent of the club is for local Hams to discuss QRP and technical amateur radio subjects. There are no officers or a constitution. We keep it simple, and we believe this has led to its success.

The club has put together many kits over the years ranging from transmitters, receivers, transceivers, keys, antennas, antenna tuners and various station accessories. The kits are for members only to keep it manageable and again not to compete with the larger clubs and kit suppliers.

The SLQS has many activities throughout the year. Field Day is number one. We also have the annual picnic, swap night, an occasional fall outing and anniversary dinner. The club has produced a monthly newsletter for the past 30 years called The Peanut Whistle. We meet the third Wednesday of each month at the Florissant Valley Community College in the 1st floor conference room of the Engineering Building. Everyone is welcome to join us. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

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2017 ARRL Field Day Results

At last! The December QST is out, and that means Field Day results are finally available.

Guess what?

With everyone’s help, the club earned the top spot in category 4A Battery this year!

How about that! Top spot in our category… I’m grinning from ear to ear!

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We Made The Paper!

Our Field Day event made the paper! Both the St. Louis and the St. Charles Community News featured an article about Field Day on the front page of their June 21 issue… and our own Rod WA9GQT made the cover! You can read the article by clicking the thumbnail below:

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Field Day 2017 Recap

By all accounts, the club’s Field Day effort for 2017 was a big hit! Although solar conditions were less than spectacular, we made plenty of contacts and had a great time. Weather couldn’t be beat, too!

I wrote up my memories of Field Day for the club newsletter. Our venerable editor Keith KC0PP also submitted it to the ARRL Midwest District coordinator, and so it appeared in that newsletter as well. Take a look:

ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter August 2017

If this sounds like fun… it was. And it is! We’re always looking for hams, young and old, newcomers or veterans, to join us. Why not visit a meeting soon?

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Field Day 2017

ARRL Field Day is less than a week away, and everything is coming together…

Publicity

We’ve been working to let the public know about our participation in Field Day:

Special thanks to Janelle Haible, N0MTI, who’s the Public Information Officer for the St. Louis Metro ARES organization. Janelle got in touch with local news organizations, well in advance, to explain why news and feature desks would be getting multiple submissions from area ham clubs. This was a great idea — thanks Janelle!

 

Emergency Power

We will be operating 100% emergency power again this year. That means batteries alone will power all our operating gear (radios, tuners, keyers, etc.). We will also use solar power to make many of our contacts, so we will qualify for the Alternate Power bonus.

Weather

The Old Farmers Almanac says “Jun 17-24: Scattered t-storms, turning hot.” No surprise there! If you’re more interested in the modern approach, AccuWeather says “Saturday: Cloudy with thunderstorms possible–high 84 (RealFeel 85); Sunday: Mostly sunny–high 90 (RealFeel 91)”

Antennas

We’ll have a mix of antennas we’ve used before, along with some newcomers:

  • 10M – Rotatable dipole
  • 15M – Bisquare
  • 20M – Mosley TA-33 Jr
  • 40M – Half-square
  • 80M – the venerable dipole
  • 10-40 – Magnetic loop

Radios

This is always somewhat fluid, with changes right up until the start. But so far I think we will see these radios:

Operating Modes

We will be operating CW (Morse code) as we always do… but not exclusively. This year as in years past we will also be using SSB (voice). This year we will be spreading out our operations a bit — in the past we’ve had interference problems when two stations on the same band got in each other’s receivers. By separating our stations (and antennas) we hope to avoid that this year. Our location in O’Connor Park has plenty of space, and the official Field Day Rules allow for stations to be as much as 1,000 feet apart. We’ll take advantage of that this year!

Special Event – Landline Telegraphy

Speaking of operating modes… we’re looking forward to having Derek Cohn, WB0TUA, join us. He’s a landline telegraphy enthusiast, and will be bringing his setup to the park so he won’t miss the regular telegraphy “net”, which will take place from 1:00-2:00pm Saturday.

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