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…


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.


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)”


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


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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SLQS Field Day 2017 – press release

Members of the “St. Louis QRP Society” will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 24-25 at O’Connor Park (12741 Hemet Dr) in Bridgeton. Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Amateur radio has been described as a “hobby of hobbies,” as there are many different special interest areas to explore. Some hams bounce their signals off the moon; others communicate via satellites orbiting the Earth. Many hams strive to make contact with hams in all fifty states, or in each country around the world.

This club’s specialty is low-power operation; hams that follow self-imposed low power guidelines (“QRP” in ham-speak) limit their power output to five watts or less. That’s less power than a tiny night light bulb. Building radios from kits, or even from scratch, is another popular pastime for these hams.

Why do this? “The challenge, of course!” said club member Jeff Logullo. “It’s always been a thrill to communicate over long distances; but to do it using a tiny radio you build yourself, that’s small enough to fit in your pocket—that’s almost magic.”

These hams frequently use Morse code to communicate—it turns out that using Morse code is very power efficient. But using the code is not strictly necessary, and it’s no longer required to learn Morse code before becoming licensed. The hobby is open to anyone, and there are now over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States. Clubs like the St. Louis QRP Society welcome visitors who’d like to learn first-hand what the excitement is all about.

For more information about Field Day, visit

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Annual Tailgate Sale

Dave NF0R sent out this announcement to several QRP lists… and I figured I’d better get it front and center on our web site:

The St. Louis QRP Society is holding its Annual Tailgate Sale Wednesday, September 21st at Creve Coeur Park.

There will be a KX2 station on the air plus other commercial and homebrew gear. And, homebrew antennas including mag loopsNever a charge to buy & sell. Brats off the grill, chips and sodas while they last.

SLQS is in its 29th year. We look forward to seeing you at the sale again or for the first time.

For more information, please click “Meeting Info” above. See you at the Tailgate!

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Microwave Update 2016

Mel Whitten K0PFX would like to pass along news of an upcoming radio event in St. Louis… the 2016 Microwave Update conference is coming up in October. See the attached flyer for more info (click the image below to open the PDF in a new window):


You can also visit the event’s web site at

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Field Day 2016 Plans

2016 Field Day LogoPlans are well under way for our annual Field Day outing. This year, SLQS will operate from O’Connor Park in Bridgeton, MO. You can find us via the ARRL Field Day Site Locator; search for the callsign we’ll be using this year: NF0R. Naturally we’ll be operating QRP (power output limited to 5 watts or less), and we’ll be using 100% emergency power (batteries).

You might also like a straightforward Google Maps link if you’d like directions:

Field Day is alway the last full weekend in June; this year the dates are June 25-26. We’ll start setting up between 9:00 and 10:00am. The real fun begins at 1:00pm when hams across North America begin contacting each other. We’ll be at it from then until the finish, at 1:00pm Sunday.

Why do we do this? Well, the ARRL states the objective is “to work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands… and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions.” Essentially it’s an emergency preparedness exercise, but we do it in such a way that it’s a fun and friendly competition too.

We welcome visitors — in fact, any group that has posted their Field Day location would welcome a visit. Stop by and see what we’re up to!

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SLQS Annual Picnic

The annual picnic will be held on May 18th at O’Connor Park in Bridgeton. This will also be our Field Day Site. We will gather around 6:00 p.m. You may come earlier if you would like to. We will be there until dark. The club will provide the Brats or Hot Dogs, to be determined by the SLQS Chef. You should bring whatever you would like to drink. You may also bring a snack or chips to share. We will investigate the site for FD antennas.

O’Connor Park is just north of I-270, between I-70 and 370. Here’s a link to Google Maps pointing to the park:

Google Maps: O’Connor Park

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