What’s New With The Club?

The club has been having lots of fun in the past several months. You’d not know that, judging by the lack of posts here on our web site! So here’s my take on things of late:


Attendance at our meetings has been growing. This may be due in part to a “return to normal”, post-COVID. We have used Zoom to enable “attend from home,” but by and large we’ve had to bring more chairs to the center of the meeting room each month. And not just for long-time members; we’ve also been welcoming new members on a regular basis.

As a QRP club we’ve got a lot of CW operators, of all skill levels. It’s been fun to welcome guys who have just started learning CW! They’ve heard or witnessed that using Morse code is an effective and efficient way to communicate, especially using 5 watts of power (or less!). We’re not CW only of course; SSB and digital modes like FT8 are also great for QRPers. As we near the peak of this sunspot cycle we’re definitely reaping the benefits.

If you’re not a member and you’re in the St. Louis Metro area, please drop in at a meeting and say hello! Third Wednesdays (including tonight!).

Twenty men are seated around tables arranged in a square before the meeting begins
Ten minutes before meeting start and we’d run out of chairs! Had to raid the stack in the back of the room to get a seat for everyone.


Several of us have caught the POTA (“Parks On The Air”) bug, and we’re all watching for an email from someone saying “Let’s do a group POTA on <date/time> at <park>”. We bring our portable rigs and easy-up antennas and get together for the fun, taking turns doing our activations while the rest of us talk radio etc. We have even been known to catch a meal together afterwards. It’s a great excuse to get out of the house and have fun playing radio.

Come to think of it, some of us made POTA contacts with Keith KC0PP who was activating a park in Georgia this morning. Two-way QRP using SSB with 59 signal reports. Ah, the joy of a high solar flux!

Five men are standing around the tailgate of a pickup truck in a parking lot. Tall antennas extend from the back of this truck and another vehicle in the background.
One of recent “group POTA” outings had us activating Katy Trail State Park at the Defiance trail head. Other favored group spots include Route 66, Babler, and Castlewood parks, Busch Wildlife Area, etc.


There’s a few of us who have been doing SOTA (“Summits On The Air”) activations for the past few years. I was inspired to give it a try last year as Missouri celebrated its 10 year anniversary in the program. The “summits” I activated were rather modest — I never had to break out a machete, pick through brambles, or ford creeks. But a few were nice uphill hikes with spectacular views at the top.

Other intrepid members activated peaks which required a lot more fortitude. Inspiration for the beginner like me! And we sometimes coordinated our outings to trade the all-so-nifty P2P (“peak to peak”) exchanges. SOTA is another activity that all but requires QRP operation. Great fun!

Missouri QSO Party

SLQS members have a real love for this annual event. This year was no exception. We had a few mobile teams that planned and executed routes through our great state, giving out contacts from some of our more rare counties to folks across the US and around the world. Many of us were using the 1×1 special event calls, helping folks try to earn a certificate by spelling out “SHOW ME” and “MISSOURI” using the suffix letters of our calls.


Not a ham radio activity per se… but some of us have started using Slack to keep tabs on what’s going on. Calling out the latest DXpedition or passing spots. Announcing upcoming POTA/SOTA plans. Trading thoughts and ideas about antennas, rigs, 6 meter band openings… you name it.

Field Day 2024

Heh — you knew I couldn’t let it slip by. Field Day is right around the corner. Tonight’s meeting we’ll be doing some planning, you betcha. The weather should be spectacular! At least for the meeting tonight—who knows what it’ll be like next month(!). Remember that we’ll be meeting at the Field Day site tonight and for the next few warm-weather months. Bring a radio; bring something for show-and-tell; bring questions; bring a sack lunch and something to drink. See you at the park!

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