Minutes – February 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of February 2, 2021

President Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) called the February 2021 meeting to order at 7:00 PM by Zoom meetings. The Pledge of Allegiance followed led by Dave Holmgren (K9AT). Ralph noted that the meeting and the presentation would not be recorded.

Board members present were Gary Dembski (W9GD), Dean Hettel (WC9C), Ralph Iden (WB9ICF), Gary Kaatz (W9TD), Dan Larson (KD9M)and Mike Metroka (WB8BZK).

A total of 36 people were in attendance, including no guests.

Ralph asked for a minute of silence to acknowledge the passing of two members, Steve James (KA9NPT) and Neil Martin (NM9T).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from the January 2021 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review.   Dennis Ryan (KA9PUC) motioned to approve the minutes with Gary Dembski (W9GD) seconding the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous voice vote.

Membership and Financial Reports

Treasurer Dean Hettel (WC9C) presented the membership and financial reports for January. MCWA has a membership of 122 full members, 8 family members and 2 associate members for a total of     132. Dean reminded the membership to pay their dues for this year.

Opening Balance $6,855.85
Deposits $309.12 (dues)
  $73.00 (donation in Joe K9DMV’s memory)
Expenditures $160.00 (FD site rental)
  $22.00 (website hosting)
Interest $0.06
Final Balance $7,056.03

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Dennis Ryan (KA9PUC) with a second by Dave Whaley (NT9E). The motion was approved by voice vote.

Glenn Otto (K9OK) questioned the odd amount for the dues deposit. Dean explained that some members did not use “send to a friend” and the club was charged a $0.59 fee. John Kalenowsky (K9JK) asked how many members have not paid their dues yet. Dean said the number was 36. Dennis Ryan (KA9PUC) asked about paying through the MCWA website and Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) said “not yet”.


Hamfest Update

Nearby hamfests have been cancelled. Presentations from Contest University’s propagation summit are on the CTU website. You can also find the presentations from the St. Louis Winterfest on YouTube. Dan Larson (KD9M) and Joe Robin (N9OK) reported attending the WCRA virtual hamfest. Mike Metroka (WB8BZK), John Kalenowsky (K9JK) and Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) reported attending the CTU event. Dave Whaley (NT9E) and Gary Dembski (W9GD) reported attending the St. Louis event.

Hamcation 2021 will be held virtually on February 13-14. It is free although prize tickets can be purchased for $5 each. The second annual QSO Today virtual Ham Expo will be held March 12-14. This year there is an admission charge of $10 in advance or $12.50 “at the door”. Presentations will be on demand through April 12.

Contest Reports

NAQP CW: Dave Whaley (NT9E), Mike Metroka (WB8BZK), Jim McDonald (N7US), Gary Kaatz (W9TD), Dennis Ryan (KA9PUC) and Roger Scott (KF9D) all reported participating in the event.

January VHF Contest: Dave Whaley (NT9E), Mike Metroka (WB8BZK), John Kalenowsky (K9JK) all reported participating in the contest.

NAQP SSB: Dave Whaley (NT9E), Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) and Jim McDonald (N7US) reported participating in the event.

Winter Field Day: Dan Larson (KD9M) reported that he made no QSOs while out in his truck with QRP and a mag loop, but did much better indoors at his regular station.

CQ WW 160-meter Contest CW: Joe Robin (N9OK), John Lund (N9DJ), Mike Metroka (WB8BZK), Jim McDonald (N7US) and Dan Larson (KF9D) reported participating in the contest.

Jim McDonald also reported operating in the BARTG RTTY contest, the ARRL RTTY Roundup, the weekly CWT’s and SST’s.


10-10 Intl. Winter Contest SSB – February 6-7
CQ WW WPX RTTY Contest – February 13-14
Hamcation QSO Party – February 13-14
ARRL Intl DX Contest CW – February 20-21
CQ WW 160-meter Contest SSB – February 26-28

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

March 2         ARRL Update, Kermit Carlson, W9XA

April 6         RTTY Contesting using the Flex, NY7G Digital Engine and N3FJP,                               Dave Whaley, NT9E

May 4           Inexpensive Test Equipment for Hams, Part 3, Gary Kaatz, W9TD

Awards and license upgrades

Jim McDonald (N7US) received the Society of Midwest Contester’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is granted to SMC members who make 10,000 QSOs for the club in 28 specific annual contests that have club participation. Jim was able to achieve the 10,000 QSO level in about one year which was an excellent effort.  Dave Holmgren (K9AT) reported reclaiming his old call (K9RUF) for his club call. Dean Hettel (WC9C) reported receiving his certificate from the 12 days of Christmas event. Gary Kaatz (W9TD) reported receiving his certificate for the Rt. 66 event. John Dewey reported that he participated in a new VEC group that had one exam this January in McHenry. Tom Pusateri (W9NBG) reported that the DuPage county VEC currently is running a General class and will do testing when it is finished.

Old Business

2021 MCWA Field Day will be June 25-27 at Rush Creek. Dan Larson (KD9M) presented the current state of planning from the January 28 meeting. The board had approved $300 of the $750 budget for Field Day and motion for the remaining $450 was made by John Kalenowsky (K9JK) and seconded by John Dewey (KA9CAR). The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Ralph is planning on piloting the “Hams Helping Hams” online Zoom sessions in February and will record them for reference by MCWA members. The topic of the first session will be, “Learning more about the NanoVNA”. John Kalenowsky (K9JK) asked about the specific date. Ralph said it would be within the next two weeks.

Ralph is working on making the recorded programs available online. He will meet with the board to detail the plan and address any questions.

New Business


Wrap up

Sevim Ablay (WB8BHN) will be presenting “European SOTA & Friedrichshafen” following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, March 2, 2021 by Zoom meetings. Open “eyeball” QSOs start at 6:30 PM, with the meeting starting at 7:00 PM.

A motion to adjourn was made by Dave Whaley (NT9E) and seconded by Harold Burt (W9HB). The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 PM.

Prepared by Gary Kaatz (W9TD), MCWA Secretary.