This Page contains pictures from SLAMS outdoor activities copied from the original SLAMS web site. New outdoor activities are documented in the "blog" section ("Home").

Creve Coeur Park Tests 2009

The SLAMS did have another successfull Sunday on February 22, 2009 in Creve Coeur Park.

Mel, K0PFX worked John WB9PNU on SSB and CW. These were his first contacts made using his new portable 10 GHz station:

Mel with his new station

Nice job, Mel!

Mike, N0OBI worked John WB9PNU on FM again, this time with new dish and modified feed:

Herbert, AF4JF presented simple laser communications system using 650 nm wavelength (frequency is 462 THz !) transmitter running 5 mW of power modulated CW. Receiver uses single solar cell inside 2 ft. drain pipe (no lenses) and Radio Shack audio amplifier. Signals were good quality, several SLAMS members tested the link by sending their own callsigns over. Distance between RX and TX was approx. 50 ft.

This is the Laser Receiver

Laser Transmitter (tie-wrapper to the Riflescope)
AM-CW Modulator (using NE555 and IRF510 as "shunt modulator")

Couple of 10 GHz QSOs were made on February 8, 2009 in Creve Coeur Park.

First QSO between Herbert, AF4JF and John, WB9PNU
First QSO between Herbert, AF4JF and Dave, KB0PE
First QSO between Mike, N0OBI and John, WB9PNU
First QSO between Mike, N0OBI and Herbert, AF4JF
QSO between John, WB9PNU and Dave, KB0PE

Mike N0OBI, Dave KB0PE, Herbert AF4JF, Jim N0OBG and John WB9PNU

Mel, K0PFX and Rich, N0PQU with John WB9PNU (between them)

Dave, KB0PE and Mike, N0OBI
(Mike is using home-brew transverter with Frequency West brick oscillator and FM handheld)

John, WB9PNU and Ron, KO0Z (behind John)
Probably work better with Feed Line!

Jim, N0OBG measuring field strength with his nice NARDA meter
(to make sure we are withing radiation exposure limits)

AF4JF transverter
(DEMI 10 mW with Horn antenna, using FT-817 as IF rig)

Rich, N0PQU inspecting John's portable

First 10 GHz QSO between Harry WA0CNS and Dave KB0PE made on January 18, 2009 at 17:42 UTC
Harry, WA0CNS

Dave, KB0PE


At the begin of the day - SLAMS Rover on Waffle House parking lot in Collinsville, IL

Interesting view from the moving Rover

Kevin W9GKA in his contest QTH

Certainly nice location!

Mel K0PFX concentrates on CW

John's (WB9PNU) Jeep

Mel, K0PFX and Jim, N0OBG at Mel's 10 GHz station

Dave, KB0PE with Herbert, AF4JF watching Mel, K0PFX

Herbert, AF4JF operating CW

John, WB9PNU at Kevin's contest station

Outdoor Activities 2010-2011

Another microwave SPRINT contest took place on May 7, 2011. John WB9PNU went to EM49ua (AT&T Tower) with Jim N5MU who provided his 10GHz setup. Herbert AF4JF tried to contact them from near his home location in EM48qr. Unfortunately, Mr. Hepburn didn't sleep well tonight and his charts for our area were black. Signal propagation followed the charts this time, so the signals were below the threshold, although visible on a waterfall. Therefore, John and Jim moved around the hilltop and Herbert went to EM48sq (YMCA). Contacts were made on 10GHz CW (579) and 144MHz SSB (59).

Following picture shows how strong the 10368.9 MHz SLAMS beacon is in St. Peters area (EM48qr). Audio signal is far over 59 which probably is the reason for multiple spurs on the waterfall (note that the beacon is running FSK).

Zack W9SZ went far northeast, over 250 miles away, so we didn't even try with poor propagation today.

Several members of SLAMS participated on Fall Sprint Microwave Contest on October 16, 2010.

Zack W9SZ went North to work stations from Chicago / Michigan area.

John WB9PNU, Herbert AF4JF, Jim N5MU and Mel K0PFX tried several locations around St. Louis / St. Charles area. While John and Mel remained at their locations, Herbert and Jim moved around and set up on several places each.

We did have 4 truly portable stations moving independently around the area and making QSOs today!

Following picture is a view from Herbert's station towards West while working Jim N5MU.

John WB9PNU, Mike N0OBI, Jim KK0JIM and Herbert AF4JF tried to participate on second half of the "ARRL 10GHz and Up" contest this Sunday 09/19/2010. We have met at Denny's as usual, but heavy rain and thunderstorm prevented us from any serious HAM activity. However, we managed to test Herbert's 10GHz portable. Herbert put his old 10GHz xverter on a tripod with an offset dish and added 2W PA built from DEMI kit. Herbert/Mike went to the YMCA parking lot (read below) while John/Jim set up behind Denny's. QSO was interesting for 2 reasons - Herbert forgot microphone at home (but didn't forget CW paddle) and rain was so heavy that signals were distorted on both sides. Typical "rainscatter" chirping tone.

Picture of Herbert's new setup

SLAMS members spent many weekends working on the CSVHF Conference that took place in St. Louis this year. However, we also found some time for our own activities. Finding and activating new "microwave-friendly" locations around St. Louis was one of them.

John WB9PNU, Jim N5MU and Herbert AF4JF went to the Edward Jones Family YMCA parking lot (West County, intersection of McKelvey and Marine Rd.) in EM48sq several times. Elevation ~ 650ft. a.s.l.

First picture is from April 2010. Although this was a contest weekend, we didn't have any SKEDs and didn't work anybody. This was just a visit to this promising location.

Second picture is from August 2010. Herbert AF4JF (on picture) is working Zack W9SZ in EM59ig across 75 miles on 10GHz CW.

Weather was as usual in St. Louis, which means hot (~90F) and humid. We tried to work several others, even detected (not copied) very weak signal from W9SNR in EN62cc some 250 miles away, but finally gave up and returned home to air-conditioned rooms.

We intend to use this location in future contests. Very good for N-E directions, not-so-good for NW-N and questionable but usable for South direction (would require moving around the parking lot looking for a spot with reasonably open shot).

SLAMS meeting on November 22 was followed by 10GHz beacon testing right from the parking lot behind Denny's restaurant on Dorsett Rd.

John WB9PNU copied the beacon on 10368.9MHz from any direction and so did Mike N0OBI with his transverter. The signal was very strong, plenty of dB over S9, so both John and Mike tried without antennas. Just on the SMA connector! Both copied the beacon well.

Jim N5MU built a simple down converter from brick oscillator on 10224MHz and surplus mixer and succeeded with copying the WB9PNU/B beacon from two locations in St. Charles area!

SLAMS members John (WB9PNU), Jim (N5MU) and Herbert (AF4JF) went to the microwave site in EM49 again to participate on the SPRINT contest this weekend (10/17/09). We only spent 2 hours on the hilltop ... long enough to freeze to the bone. Weather sure was COLD, especially on the northern side of the building!

We made 12 valid QSOs on 1296 and 10368 MHz.

Some pictures to share the excitement with visitors of this web site:

Antenna for 1296MHz aiming South towards Dave (KB0PE)

Antenna for 10368MHz aiming South towards Dave (KB0PE)

QRP station for 10368MHz (AF4JF) ready

QRP station for 10368MHz (AF4JF) aiming towards South

Waiting for Zack (W9SZ) on 3 cm ... 23cm antenna is behind the Jeep

John (WB9PNU) nearly frozen with Jim (N5MU) packing something up

Nice northern view .. but nothing stops the cold wind!

Thermo bottles in the car contained only hot tea and coffee :(

Herbert, AF4JF with John, WB9PNU and Dave, KB0PE attended the "ARRL 10 GHz and Up" contest on Saturday September 19. New location in EM49ua approx. 720ft. a.s.l. was chosen for this contest.

We all got hungry (and Herbert got himself a sunburn as usual), so we closed the day with dinner at the Aeries winery above Grafton, IL. Nice place with beautiful view towards South! Too bad it isn't in EM49 ...

Dave, KB0PE helped out Ron, KO0Z with installation of antennas. Ron now has loopers on 3.4GHz, 2.3GHz, 1.2GHz, two yagis 22 elements on 432MHz, a 5 element 2 meter Yagi vertically polarized, a 13 element horizontal 144MHz Yagi and the A4 HF Yagi antennas. Note that all this was done in very hot weather!


John WB9PNU with Mel K0PFX, Jim N0OBG and Herbert AF4JF participated on ARRL VHF CONTEST 2009 as a Rover station. All this happened on 06/14/2009. Some pictures are located here.

John WB9PNU and Bill K0AWU Complete Tropo CW and SSB 10GHz QSO's. EM48tn <==>EM39ka
Date/Time: May 20, 2009 at 11:20utc CW, 11:22utc SSB. Signals were 579 and 57. 151 Miles!

John WB9PNU EM48tn working Bill K0AWU EM39ka (Bill was portable at Family Farm)

John WB9PNU and Zack W9SZ complete Tropo 10GHz CW QSO. EM48tn <=> EN50rl
Date/Time: Saturday March 7, 2009, 15:45 utc. Distance: 164.5 miles !!
John WB9PNU (EM48tn) in Garage at Home working Zack W9SZ (EN50rl)

First 10 GHz QSO between Harry WA0CNS and John WB9PNU made on February 2, 2009 at 17:50 UTC
Harry WA0CNS - Out in the Cold
John WB9PNU - Comfort of Living Room

First 10 GHz QSO between John WB9PNU and Dave KB0PE made on October 11, 2008 at 14:55 UTC
John, WB9PNU
Dave, KB0PE

ARRL 10GHz and Up Contest 2011

Several SLAMS members met at local Denny's restaurant for quick breakfast on Saturday 8/20/2011. Some went to EM48sq (the YMCA parking lot) to set up their microwave stations, some went to other locations.

AF4JF, K0PFX, N5MU, WA0CNS, WB9PNU, KO0Z and W9SZ actively participated on the contest from EM48sq, EM58as and EM49ua. We have even had 2 visitors from the local HAM community - Gary KB0DRS and Bob KD0JIY.

These pictures show our stations set up at YMCA in EM48sq (near Westport).

John and Ron KO0Z went to EM58as to work the rest of the group and the continued to EM49ua to join Zack W9SZ who came there from his home in IL in the morning.

John WB9PNU in EM59as

John and Zack W9SZ in EM49ua

John and Zack discussing Rainscatter techniques in front of a restaurant near EM49ua

Herbert AF4JF and Jim N5MU went to YMCA (EM48sq) on Sunday morning again. Zack W9SZ went to his favorite hilltop in EN50rl and tried to work us in the morning. However, no thunderstorms in the area visible from both locations (see picture below) and no tropo conditions, so we didn't make QSO with Zack on Sunday. Maybe next time!

Field Activity Fall 2011

Once again, we were preparing for a microwave contest. Once again, we have realized that with Zack W9SZ going somewhere towards Chicago, there will be nobody else but us in the area to work on microwave frequencies.
We have realized on various occassions before that our 10GHz stations are producing signals of different strength each, so some kind of field activity to verify that dish feeds are tuned properly, receiving parts are receiving and transmitting parts are transmitting as expected, was needed. John WB9PNU came with a last-minute idea to organize some kind of "antenna range" activity this weekend, which was supposed to be filled with sunshine and, according to Mr. Hepburn, with no propagation enhancement to speak of.
The SLAMS group enhanced by the presence of Bob N0IS met in surprisingly high headcount considering the crazy hour (7:00am) at John WB9PNU's house, consummed some coffee, issued several wake-up calls to some of our sleepy members, and finally went to the antenna range right across the street from John's house.
We have lined up all our 10GHz dishes and counted them. Wow - 6 completely functional 10GHz SSB setups! Dishes owned by AF4JF, K0PFX, N0OBG, N5MU, WA0CNS and WB9PNU were there!
Note Herbert AF4JF's 24GHz box sitting on the table at the right side of the picture.
Jim N0OBG's station was set up little bit later and located aside
First activity - receiving sensitivity verification. We have set up a weak signal source (DEMI) at a distance approx. 200ft. driving small 10GHz horn antenna. All 6 stations copied that signal with S9. Furthermore, all 6 stations copied the WB9PNU beacon on 10GHz (located behind the horizont, thus weak), so this part of the test was pronounced successful.
Now, strength of transmitted signal was checked with a simple LED-bargraph indicator built by Jim N5MU from a DEMI kit. This was very subjective test, intended to compare signal strengths with a signal transmitted by WB9PNU. No other station was able to light 2 diodes of the indicator, only John's station did. Here is a room for improvements, for all our stations are supposed to radiate 2W of RF power.
Third and last step was testing our new 24GHz transverters. John WB9PNU has one based on W2PED design using the Apollo32 synthesizer by N5AC and a harmonic mixer from 6GHz with 144MHz IF. Herbert AF4JF has built one based on DB6NT harmonic mixer stripline design driven by an ELCOM synthesizer on 11.88GHz (frequency set by PIC processor) with 432MHz IF.
Both transverters were working, so most of the HAMs present have made their first 24GHz contacts today. We have used narrow band FM modulation for couple of reasons, but both transverters are capable of CW/SSB. Estimated output power was ~50 microwatts.
John WB9PNU in QSO on 24GHz
Herbert AF4JF's transverter is also shown on first picture above
Overall, very successful day. Participated: AF4JF, WB9PNU, K0PFX, N0OBG, N5MU, WA0CNS, N0OBI, N0PQU, N0IS and KK0JIM.
73 Herbert