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 http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio
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!
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 http://microwaveupdate.org
Plans 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!
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.
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.
Mike N0SO has put together a handsome flyer for the upcoming Tailgate Meeting, 2015 edition. Everything you need to know, including a map to the location at Creve Couer Lake Park. Have a look:
Tailgate Meeting Flyer 2015
Do you know someone — or some club — that needs to be reminded of our outing? Pass along a link to this story, or send them a copy of the flyer!
Our Tailgate Meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16th. This is the regular monthly meeting night, but with an earlier start time and an outdoor location. The club’s brats, sodas and chips stand, known for its good & cheap eats, will be up and running until it runs out.
Our location will again be in Creve Coeur Lake Park on the the eastern shore of the lake. Use Marine Avenue via the Maryland Heights Expressway which is convenient to I-70 or Page Avenue Expressway drivers.
Turn on to Marine Avenue and drive south 0.8 miles to the pedestrian crosswalk prominently marked with yellow signs. Along the way you will pass the Sailboat Cove sign on your right, a Crystal Springs Quarry Golf Course sign on your left, and a paved parking area with adjacent shelter also on your left.
Next to the pedestrian crosswalk and on your left is a large tree with a red number “2” spray painted on the bark. Turn left into the gravel driveway and you will see the parking lot about 75′ away.
As always – please bring plenty of money to spend and radio related stuff to sell. Freebies are always welcome! Someone usually brings an antenna or two and we can always use another one. A couple rigs for operating and homebrew projects for show & tell are always well received. More info via email and the Peanut Whistle as we get closer to the date.
Well, perhaps I was a little harsh on the band conditions in my previous post. I was recalling the dearth of signals on 10M and 15M at the outset. Fair to say that things were better by Sunday morning, so I suppose I was a bit hasty in my assessment of the solar conditions. (But not the weather! I stand by my claim!)
Dave Gauding, NF0R, wrote a nice summary of this year’s FD:
Field Day 2015 has come and gone and it was a good one. The backyard of KY0U turned out to be very kind to RF. The trees, flower beds and deck were well-suited for our antennas. John Lonigro was called out of semi-retirement to orchestrate the event and ably assisted by Tom Brown. Additional attendees included Jeff (and Sara) Logullo, Lou Axeman, Rod Koch, Hillard (and Bonnie) Goldman, Bob Pritchard and Dave Gauding. Bonnie was truly a great hostess and tolerant of a bunch of hairy-legged boys tramping in and out of her gorgeous home! HI Thank you once again Bonnie! The club used a 40M dipole, G5RV, R5 vertical, 6M dipole and a micro loop. There were several K2’s, a KX3 and an single FT-817 underfoot. We submitted a score of 5355 points on CW and SSB in 4A Battery including bonus points. John Lonigro has already mentioned two items of interest for anyone not attending this year. First, club station AA0VE did pretty well for what started out as a laid-back non-competitive operation. And, not one neighbor complained about after-hours noise and lights. Therefore, in the the absence of a responding Kirkwood police officer we were unable to qualify for extra points by inviting a public official on-site! HI
Rod and Lou were the iron men on CW once again and responsible for about 400 of the 464 total QSO’s on 10M, 15M, 20M, 40M and 80M. Way to go OM’s! Our ops also recorded 19 SSB contacts. The bonus points were taken for emergency power, alternate power (solar), W1AW bulletin (copied by Tom Collinvitti) and our web submission.
The club gave our traditional pork steak menu the year off and replaced it with excellent take-out fried chicken with all the trimmings as well as a few treats from Bonnie. We could not have asked for better weather and many mature trees in the yard provided plenty of shade. Nature in its various forms certainly made up for those years where we have been baked, nearly drowned or blew away. Needless to say a good time was had by all. If you were not there you were missed but I believe everyone knows that already. So we hope to see you next year! Plans are already underway to nail down our operating site early on.
The photos taken by John AA0VE and Bob K0FHG are now in the photo gallery.