Keys and Bugs and Paddles

Last night’s meeting was all about the “business end” of the QSO… the hardware we use for sending the code. Namely: bugs, straight keys, and paddles.

Our featured speaker was long-time member Derek Cohn, WB0̷TUA. Derek is an avid collector of keying instruments, particularly that of the landline telegraphers of days gone by. He’s not only a collector, but quite the historian.

Derek WB0̷TUA, seated behind a few of the keys he’d brought to show to the membership.

Members were asked to bring their favorite bug, paddle, or straight key, and be ready to tell a little about it. Participation was very good 🙂 Several members enjoyed asking Derek about their prized favorites and hearing a little more about their design and history.

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KC0̷PP Honored at 2018 Holiday Dinner

At this year’s annual Holiday Dinner, SLQS co-founder Keith Arns, KC0̷PP, was recognized for his many years of service to the club. Dave Gauding NF0̷R presented Keith with a certificate of appreciation, thanking him for his 32 years of service to the club. Keith also received a beautiful straight key, mounted on a handsome wooden base, hand-crafted by Larry Naumann N0̷SA.

Dave NF0̷R presenting Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of Tom W0̷MFQ and SLQS club members for 32 years of service excellence

Dave began by reading a message from Tom Brown W0̷MFQ, who was unable to attend, but who had led the recognition project, and had created the framed certificate signed by fellow club members.

The certificate recognized Keith “In appreciation for 32 years of exceptional leadership and editorial excellence to the St. Louis QRP Society.” Tom mentioned in his remarks (read by Dave) that after last year’s award to Dave NF0̷R, he knew that Keith should receive similar thanks, as he was “equally a co-founder of the club.”

Dave went on: “The club is where it is today because of Keith. He has been a leader from the day we started. He’s been a meeting master of ceremonies for many years… and doing The Peanut Whistle (the club newsletter) at the same time. The Peanut Whistle that we got a couple of days ago was the 372nd issue. That’s a lot of newsletters! And Keith’s fingerprints are on every one of them. It comes every month like clockwork.”

Thank you, Keith, for your tireless and steadfast efforts in making SLQS what it is today!

Keith KC0̷PP proudly displaying his new straight key trophy, hand-crafted by Larry Naumann N0̷SA

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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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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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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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SLQS 2016 Builder’s Contest

This year’s Builder’s Contest drew ten entries and good attendance. Thanks to Jon Poland, N0WL, for organizing this year’s friendly competition and awards ceremony.


Best of Show and 1st place in the Transmitter/Receiver/Transceiver category goes to Larry, N0SA, for his DDS Triband Radio.
2nd Place in the Transmitter/Receiver/Transceiver goes to Dave, W0DF, for his 40M CW Transceiver, using a DDS VFO and Arduino control.
3rd Place went to Tim, WA0TSY for his Junk Box 20M SSB Receiver.

In the accessory category:
1st place:  Larry, N0SA, for his digital watt meter and dummy load in an Altoids tin
2nd place: Chuck, K6QKL, for the through-bone bluetooth hearing system
3rd place: Sam, W0PCE, for the enhanced and hacked N0SA SWR sweeper

Photos of the contest entries and a group photo of this year’s contestants appear in the club’s photo gallery.

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N0SA Awarded Club NO0G Member Service Award

Our annual SLQS dinner meeting was the occasion to recognize N0SA with the the club’s special NO0G Member Service Award by prior recipient AA0VE. Larry Naumann is the nineteenth member to be so honored during our club’s twenty-eight year history.

During the presentation John Lonigro recalled Larry’s key role in developing the accessory board kit for our 25th anniversary transceiver project. He then developed and managed three of our newest kits, including the end-fed antenna, a miniature dipole feed point, and most recently the magnetic single-lever paddle.

After his acceptance speech, Larry demonstrated his latest kit proposal to nineteen members attending the dinner. The new “SWR Sweeper” now under development could offer the club an opportunity to kit an Arduino-based handheld antenna analyzer in the future.

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