Fall Outing this Saturday

We’re getting together this Saturday (October 23) to play radio QRP style and have some fun! Location is the park where we’ve held Field Day as well as several club meetings this summer:

Spanish Village Park
12813 Spanish Village Dr, Bridgeton, MO 63044

Things will start at 9:00am and go through 1:00pm or so. Everyone’s welcome to bring radios, antennas, etc. Or just show up!

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Annual Tailgate Meeting September 15

Come one, come all, to SLQS’ annual “Tailgate Meeting” on Wednesday, September 15. There’s no charge and it’s open to anyone. We start gathering around 5:00pm. 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:


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Field Day 2021 Results

We had a fun and successful outing this year, with 373 CW, 188 digital, and 1 (!) SSB contact. Points for contacts were 5,615, plus bonus points of 1,150 for a final claimed club score of 6,765.

Details of the event are in the article Field Day 2021: Getting Back to Normal, which appeared in The Peanut Whistle.

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Field Day Plans

We’re in the final stretch of Field Day planning, and everything is coming together. Setup will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

We’re going to be at a new site this year: Spanish Village Park in Bridgeton (Google Maps link). It’s a bit more tight quarters than we’re used to, but I think we’ve got a workable plan to squeeze everything in. You are welcome — encouraged, in fact — to pay us a visit.

You can also use the ARRL Field Day Locator to find our site, as well as any other planned Field Day operation, anywhere in the country. Currently there are more than 1,000 entries on the map!

We’ll have three primary CW operating stations: 40m, 20m, and 15m/80m (switching bands between day and night). We will also be checking 10m for activity and working there too. We’re also going to give FT8 a go — Vern AE0TT will have a full setup, all QRP and battery-powered.

Another first will be computer logging. We’re going to be using N3FJP’s ARRL Field Day Contest Log software. We had a Zoom meeting last evening to run through the features and it was well-received. I’m pretty excited about this. For years we’ve been using a pretty clever method to log and dupe our contacts on paper… each band position had a 10-page 3-ring binder with a page for each section. For all its functionality it was still pretty cumbersome. So I’m hopeful this will go pretty smoothly. It will certainly speed up the score reporting when Field Day is done!

Weather: hm. We’ve been really lucky for the past few years, with unusually cool and dry FD conditions. Looks like our luck is running out in this category. This year the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s Long Range Forecast has been telling us that Field Day weekend will be “Isolated t-storms, warm.” And that’s essentially what their 5-day forecast is saying. So it will be a little moist and sticky. We’ll have fans to keep the air moving, tarps to deflect rain away from the gazebo… we’re prepared for typical St. Louis summer!

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Been a while…

“Time flies when you’re having pandemic fun”… or something like that. The last update to this blog was about a year ago. Time to knock the dust off and get back to it! (It must be time to start thinking Field Day…)

Even though the blog posts have been on hiatus, the club has maintained a steady pace of meetings, albeit via Zoom rather than in-person. So if you’re an amateur radio operator living in the St. Louis Metro area, and you’re a QRPer (or are interested in QRP), please join us. The sunspot cycle is on the upswing, and that’s nothing but good news!

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No SLQS Club Field Day for 2020

The St. Louis QRP Society will not be hosting a traditional Field Day exercise for 2020. I have been holding out hope that, perhaps, we could make it happen. We’ve been watching and taking cues from state and county regulations and health department guidance. And while we are extremely grateful for the City of Bridgeton for keeping the dialog open, in the end we have decided it’s not prudent to have the traditional club outing.

Like many clubs, we are making plans as individual club members to operate at home (1D), perhaps using emergency power (1E), or even setting up a 1B station — sort of “mini-Field Day” in the back yard. And we’ll aggregate our scores as “St. Louis QRP Society” members.

Anthony Luscre K8ZT has a really comprehensive slide deck titled Field Day in Social Distancing. If you’re got questions about this year’s Field Day, I bet the answer is there (or, in one of the many links contained within). I recommend you check it out.

Hey! How’s this for a silver lining? This is the year we each get to see our own call sign in the results in QST. That’ll be fun!

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Slides from Winterfest 2020: QRP Forum Preso

I had the pleasure of giving a presentation about QRP operation at Winterfest 2020. After my talk, I was asked if I could share my slides. I’m happy to do so. The URL links are all active, which will help you find the resources, companies, and clubs that I mentioned in my talk.

QRP for Winterfest 2020

One thing I want to be clear about: I am sympathetic to strong opinions on different operating modes. I have my preferences, and so do others. Ham Radio is a big tent and there’s room for all. I had nice things to say about SSB QRP as well as FT8.

That said, I did (and do) encourage anyone interested in QRP operation to consider learning CW. Indeed, there seem to be a good number of new hams attracted to the hobby precisely because of the attraction of learning CW.

So take what you see in my slides with a grain of salt. If you find yourself getting a little agitated… you probably wouldn’t feel that way if you’d have heard my talk.

(Unless you’re a Cub fan. Then the above does not apply.)

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SLQS at Winterfest 2020

Kudos to the St. Louis & Suburban Radio Club for hosting an outstanding ham radio event last weekend! Winterfest has always been recognized as a premier hamfest/flea market in the metro St. Louis area. But this year, SLSRC pulled out all the stops, bringing the ARRL Midwest Convention, plus two days of educational forums, plus “Contest College” Saturday… it was an outstanding event!

Our club hosted an information table and we were busy throughout the day, talking with folks about what we do. Hat tip to Keith Arns KC0PP for designing our booth’s sign supports, complete with American flags. We were easy to find!

Several members brought projects for display. Bob Pritchard K0FHG brought his Paraset, as well as a number of other more modern QRP kit radios. Keith displayed three different hand-built dual lever paddles. The center of the table featured a beautiful “hollow state” transmitter, complete with transmitting tube and a copper loading coil. Lots of guys did a double-take and came back to give it a much closer look.

I was pretty distracted in the morning (getting ready to deliver a presentation on QRP for the forums!) and so I really dropped the ball on taking photos. Watch this space for updates as I know there’s more pix to come.

SLQS Booth at Winterfest 2020

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Field Day 2019 results: That’s a Winner!

Well, what do you know? The SLQS came out on top in our Field Day category of 4A Battery!

I know it’s not a contest*, strictly speaking, but let’s not kid ourselves. We count our contacts, work to tally bonus points, and send it all in so that we can see how we did. So it’s fun to see this in the pages of QST:

SLQS FD 2019 Results

The highlighted area shows that we:

  • made 308 contacts
  • using 5W power or less
  • had 20 participants (16 members, 4 visitors)
  • scored a total 0f 4,230 points, including bonus points
  • are from Missouri

Yes, I’m already thinking about the next Field Day — glad you asked!

* In case you missed it, there’s been a pretty good thread debating this topic on the [ARRL-Contesting] email list. It’s been a good read — check it out!


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Field Day 2019

It’s that time once again… Field Day weekend is upon us. The St. Louis QRP Society will be at O’Connor Park in Bridgeton MO. Everyone’s welcome to drop in: members, visitors, licensed amateur radio operator or not. There will always be someone who can explain what we’re doing, give you a chance to listen in, and even make some contacts!

We will begin setup around 10am on Saturday, June 22. The event officially begins at 1pm and goes around the clock for 24 hours (although we usually start winding things up around 10 or 11 or so…).

Rain? Who said rain? Let’s hope for the best — grin!

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