March 2020 – President’s Notes

Did you attend Winterfest or any of the weekend’s events in January?  If not, you really missed out on a great weekend of Amateur Radio in the St. Louis area.  I want to extend a big thank you from SLSRC for the huge turn out and warm welcome with our new events.  Every event was well attended and received. We gathered some great feedback from the weekend and some constructive criticism on what we can improve on for next year.  I think Winterfest is heading in the right direction and will continue to grow and bring more hams together.

In recap, this year we were contacted by the founders of the W9DYV Radio Symposium looking for a location to host their forums.  Bob Heil (K9EID) was instrumental in bringing the Symposium to the area. It’s been hosted in New Orleans in past years and they were looking for a more central location.  The Symposium was held on Friday starting at 9 a.m. and was well attended as we had over 80 sign up for the free event. I left early to help set up for the banquet later that night, but when I left at 1 p.m. there were over 60 in attendance.  We even had someone fly in from Oregon to attend the event! I believe the Symposium will be back next year!

If you missed the symposium, you can view this years and previous years’ forums at

The banquet on Friday night was held at Genesis Banquet Center and we had a huge crowd, which was great!  Over 110 people signed up for a night of presentations from Craig Thompson (K9CT), Ward Silver (NØAX), John Yodis (K2VV) and Rod Blocksome (KØDAS).  We had a small issue develop on Sunday before the banquet when the ARRL Board of Directors did not re-elect the CEO, who was to speak at our banquet.  The banquet committee scrambled and we were saved by Ward Silver who stepped up to the plate and delivered a great presentation on Radiosport 2.0. Thanks to all who attended the banquet, as it exceeded our expectations.  We are already coordinating for next year’s banquet!

Winterfest on Saturday was a huge success.  Doors opened at 8 a.m. and the line rushed in to grab those early deals.  This year hams saw some new vendors never seen at Winterfest and some familiar faces.  FlexRadio was a new large radio vendor for us and Debco Electronics was also a new vendor.  Batteries America made a comeback to Winterfest this year after a hiatus. Associated Radio, Tower Electronics and West Mountain Radio, staples at Winterfest, were back also.

Did you look at any tables in Education Alley, or attend the lightning talks or forums at Winterfest?  The lightning talks were a first for us modeled by ideas from larger hamfest and was well received by attendees.  Education Alley had everything from AREDN networks to CW keys to balloon launches. I want to thank everybody who presented a lightning talk, who reserved an Education Alley table and especially to the First Robotics team who came out and demonstrated their robots.  Education Alley will be back next year with more exciting topics.

Contest College started at 1 p.m. and was overflowing in the Illini room, with standing room only.  We had great topics, good discussion and I think everybody who attended and stayed to the end got something out of the presentations.  Thanks to the presenters and attendees, and thanks to everybody who showed up to help drive the discussion around contesting. Hopefully it lit a spark to those inspiring to contest to get out there and make some contacts.

If you haven’t heard yet, we have been selected as the ARRL Midwest Convention for 2021.  We are working with the W9DYV Radio Symposium group again and plan on hosting the banquet and Education Alley again next year.  We learned what worked and what didn’t work as we will build on our successes and improve on our weaknesses. 

I want to thank everybody who came out and attended the weekend events as we’ll do it again next year!