Winter Field Day 2024

Preparations for another SLQS Winter Field Day are moving right along. As I look outside at the thermometer… oh, who are we kidding? As I look at the weather app on my phone (grin) I see it’s a bracing 15º, with “Real Feel” of 1º. All I can say is that I hope the weather is warmer two weeks from today!

When does this happen? Where will we be?

Winter Field Day is a 24-hour event happening this year from 1pm Saturday January 27 to 1pm Sunday January 28. We will only be operating on Saturday.

Once again we’ll be setting up our operating position at Cochran Shelter of Babler Memorial State Park. Click that link to get a Google Maps page showing our location.

What we’ll be doing

First of all, we’ll be working to stay warm! The shelter has a fireplace and we’ll be making good use of it.

But it’s all about playing radio! We’ll have three operating positions set up, and we’ll be contacting other WFD participants across North America and around the world.

We will be using one of the special 1×1 call signs for this event. Listen for N0A — that will be one of us!

Visitors welcome!

We’re happy to have visitors, so feel free to stop by.

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Annual “Tailgate Sale” Meeting September 20

Come one, come all, to SLQS’ annual “Tailgate Meeting” on Wednesday, September 20. 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:

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Heat… oh the heat…

Two things you can count on when Field Day rolls around: rain (usually) and heat (almost always).

This year is no different. We hit 96º degrees or so, and the humidity gave us a few degree boost, with the “Feels Like” temperature reaching 99º. Deprived of hitting triple digits. Grr. Felt like 100 — so there!

We have finished a delicious FD dinner: the traditional SLQS meal of pork steaks, cole slaw and potato salad. Big plus: KK9U’s XYL baked an awesome spread of desserts: cookies of several types. But my favorite: little Rice Krispie treats shaped and decorated to look like HTs. Awesome!

Okay. This is cute. A little HT (“walkie-talkie” in hamspeak) for dessert!
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And… we’re OFF!

This year our setup went more smoothly than usual, and we are on the air! Working on 40, 20, and 15 meter CW. And we’ve got the digital station running FT8 on 10m

The club call for Field Day is N0A. Hope to work you this weekend!

Military mast plus custom N0SA gazebo mount goes up to hold our 20m dipole plus a long wire
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SLQS Puts MO on the Map in the MO QSO Party!

Several members of the St. Louis QRP Society dusted off their radios and put MO on the air for the Missouri QSO Party, April 1-2! Folks went Field Day style, operated from parks, tents or operated from home. SLQS members posted some competitive finishes on 3830 Scores, and every score counts!

Tony KB9LLD (K0U) and John AC9XX (N0U) roughing it for breakfast at Arrow Rock State Historic Site.

As of this writing, it looks like SLQS may have won the club competition, and there are almost 300 logs submitted from all over the world. SLQS members operated 1×1 calls (K0U, N0O, W0C, W0H and W0O) to help folks earn the spelling bee certificates. (MISSOURI and SHOW ME)

Activity map of Sean KK9U’s (W0O) operation from Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Check out the Peanut Whistle for details of how he did, and links to this useful website he used!

Two other state QSO parties ran the weekend of 1-2 April, and from the comments among the contesting types, it’s pretty clear that our QSO party was the most popular, due in part to the many 1×1 callsign operators, and folks going to rare counties.

Thanks to all SLQS members who participated, whether you make 1 contact or 1,000! Tom W0MFQ, Fred N9BSO, John AA0VE, Jeff N0MII, Ron KO0Z, Mike N0SO, Dave W0CDX/W0C, Sean KK9U/W0O, Derek WB0TUA/W0H and Tony KB9LLD/K0U. It’s great fun working folks you actually know in a contest.

To find out who did what, where, and most importantly how, see the April Peanut Whistle!

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Winter Field Day 2023

Briefly, Winter Field Day 2023 will go down in club history as a winner! The weather was unseasonably nice — we almost reached 60º! Jim KKØU warned us that we might need to break out the sunscreen at one point 🙂 It was windy and later in the day the temps began a steady down-slide… but overall, we caught a nice break.

The fire in the Cochran Shelter fireplace helped too!

Bands were not quite as hot as hoped, but we did okay. It was a casual affair with lots of participation, both members as well as guests. We had a total of thirteen SLQS members and four guests. Plenty of activity on 10/15/20/40 meters and we managed to stay active most all of the time we were there.

I’m pretty sure I heard the phrase “annual event” more than once yesterday… here’s to next year’s WFD!

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Blast From the Past: Key Night, April 1995

Thanks to Bruce KB0FXC for sharing this video goodie! Bruce took some video of a “Key Night” meeting, back in 1995. (Wow! 27 years ago…)

Derek WB0TUA had kindly brought a (small!) subset of his extensive key collection to the meeting and gave everyone a historical tour.

Who do you see (or hear) that you recognize?

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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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