Minutes – May 2020

Meeting Minutes of May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the club from meeting in person. The May meeting was the club’s first virtual meeting and was held via Zoom.

President Mike Metroka WB8BZK called the May 2020  meeting to order at 7:32 PM followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led once again by Dave Holmgren K9AT.

Board members present were John Dewey KA9CAR, Gary Dembski W9GD, Dean Hettel WD9FOO, Dan Larson KD9M, Mike Metroka WB8BZK, and Mike Salak KC9Q. Ralph Iden WB9ICF was present for the pre/post meeting portion, but was called away to address a work matter.

A total of 41 members were in attendance.

Approval of Minutes

There was no April 2020 meeting of the club, but the meeting minutes from the February 2020 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review.  Joe Robin N9OK motioned to approve the minutes with John Cankar W9JM seconding the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Membership and Financial Reports

Dean Hettel WD9FOO presented the membership and financial reports for March and April.

On March 31, 2020, MCWA had a membership of 114 full members and 1 associate member for a total of 115. 

As of April 30, 2020, MCWA has a membership of 117 members, 115 full members and 2 associate members.

March Finances

Opening Balance 7,055.81  
Deposits 71.26 Dues
Expenditures 162.00 Field Day site rental
Interest 0.09  
Final Balance 6,965.16  

April Finances

Opening Balance 6,965.16  
Deposits 40.00 Dues
Expenditures 23.91 2020 Dinner Raffle prizes
  15.09 Sympathy cards and postage
  128.37 Website reconstruction expenses
Interest 0.06  
Final Balance 6,837.85  

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Dan Larson KD9M with a second by Joe Jaax W9JCS. The motion was approved by voice vote.

Bill Lieberum, KB9IWH SK

It is with great sadness to report that Bill Lieberum, KB9IWH became a Silent Key on April 8th, 2020.  When notifying the club, Dave Cooper KA9OZP said Bill belonged to MCWA for a number of years and had served as President prior to moving to Pennsylvania.  The club offered a moment of silence in remembrance of Bill.


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in hamfests, conferences, and VE testing being canceled and for organizers to search for alternatives.

Heil Ham Radio Day will be held Saturday, May 9th starting at 1 PM CDT.  It is a free event, but you need to register ahead of time.  More information on the Heil website (heilhamradio.com).

Contest University is going virtual this year and it will be FREE!  If you are planning on attending this event, you must register by Thursday, May 14th.

Virtual VE Testing is not prohibited according to the FCC in a Public Notice released on April 30, 2020 clearing the way for VE coordinators to develop virtual testing methods. Trials are underway and it can be expected that remote testing will be available in the very near future.   MCWA knows of a number of people, including new member Eric Padilla, that are very excited to sit for the exam.  Mike Metroka WB8BZK was in contact with VE Coordinator Steve Maresso KB9OLD who confirmed that in-person VE testing in May was canceled, so virtual testing will be an option once the process is in place.

Hamfest/Conference Reports

All hamfests and events are canceled for May, with some events still scheduled for June.

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

Our members have a wealth of knowledge and experience that other members are eager to receive. Everyone has something to share that will benefit others. Would you consider sharing your knowledge and present a talk at an upcoming meeting?

    • June 2, 2020 – Inexpensive Test Equipment for Hams by Gary Kaatz, W9TD
    • July 7, 2020 – QSLing by John Cankar, W9JM
    • August 4, 2020 – So You’d Like To Run A Repeater – Hints & Tips, Ken Farver, KB9I

Old Business

Field Day Report

The Field Day committee met this past week and voted unanimously to continue to hold an in-person FD event at the Rush Creek Conservation Center in Harvard.  MCWA will be operating two HF stations and one VHF station  (CW, SSB, and Digital).

A number of reasons could lead to the cancellation of an in-person FD such as the Conservation District revoking the lease, restrooms being closed, State restrictions extending into June, etc. A backup plan to have members get on the air from their homes using their own call and submit their entry to the ARRL with MCWA as their affiliated club is being considered.

Social distancing practices will be used at Rush Creek, which includes a limit of the number of participants on site at any one time. Operators should plan to bring their own headset, keyboards, etc.

The committee has been monitoring what other local area groups are planning based on the current situation.

      • Fox River Radio League – On
      • Lake County RACES – Status unknown
      • Palatine RACES – Status unknown
      • McHenry County Races – Status unknown
      • Schaumburg ARC (SARC) – On
      • SUFARS – Monitoring
      • The 415 – On, but monitoring
      • Wheaton Community Radio Amateurs (WCRA) – Monitoring and developing contingency plans

John W9JM reported that the Northshore Radio Club will not be operating a club station this year, but encourages members to operate from home and specify Northshore as their affiliated club. All in-person events for the remainder of the year have been canceled.

Pierre Berube K9EYE added that SARC has canceled Field Day because of Kermit’s (W9XA)  letter and that Busse Woods is closed.  SARC’s website says all in-person meetings are canceled through May 30, 2020, but doesn’t indicated the current status of June’s Field Day.

New Business

There was no new business.

Wrap up

Dan Larson will be presenting “MMANA Antenna Modeling Software” immediately following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will another virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd 2020. Members watch your email for your meeting invitation.  The meeting will open around 6:20 PM to allow new users to join and the meeting will commence at 6:30 PM.

A motion to adjourn was made by John Cankar W9JM and seconded by Ed Finnegan K9ECF. The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:57 PM.

Prepared by Ralph Iden WB9ICF, MCWA Secretary