Minutes – March 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of March 2, 2021

President Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) called the March 2021 meeting to order at 7:06 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. Also, voting via Zoom Reactions will be attempted tonight.

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 37 people were in attendance, including one guest; Bob Sepot (KC9JBA).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from the February 2021 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review.   John Cankar (W9JM) motioned to approve the minutes with Dave Whiteside (N9BSA) seconding the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous voice and Zoom Reactions vote.

Membership and Financial Reports

Treasurer Dean Hettel (WC9C) presented the membership and financial reports for February. MCWA has a membership of 123 full members, 8 family members and 2 associate members for a total of     133. Dean reminded the membership to pay their dues for this year and set the deadline to the end of this week after which those that have not paid will be removed from the roster and the K9RN reflector. Ralph (WB9ICF) demonstrated the roster on the MCWA website.

Opening Balance $7,056.03
Deposits $226.77 (dues)
Expenditures $12.98- (Sympathy cards, postage)
Interest $0.06
Final Balance $7,269.88

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Fred Soop (AC9RQ) with a second by Joe Robin (N9OK). The motion was approved by voice vote.


Laura Whiteside’s (N6JLT) father passed. Mike Miller (KA9DFI) has entered long term care as a consequence of COVID. Pierre Berube (K9EYE) mentioned that another blind ham, Dave Behrendt (KA9KWR) is in need of assistance to get his station operational. Pierre and Ken Field (KO9H) are coordinating. Please contact them if you can assist.

Hamfest Update

Nearby hamfests have been cancelled. Hamcation 2021 was held virtually on February 13-14. Gary Kaatz (W9TD), John Lund (N9DJ), Ralph Iden (WB9ICF), Dean Hettel (WC9C) and Dave Whiteside (N9BSA) reported attending. John Kalenowsky (K9JK) reported that the 6-meter Club hamfest is cancelled. Kermit Carlson (W9XA) reported that several hamfests are still tentatively “on” including the Dekalb Hamfest on May 2, KARSFEST on July 18, Wisconsin ARES Connect Conference, Superior ARRL Convention on May 1, Kaukauna and the MARC Swapfest in August.

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

10-10 Intl. Winter Contest SSB: No reports.

ARRL School Club Roundup: No reports.

CQ WW WPX RTTY Contest: Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) reported that he participated.

Hamcation QSO Party: No reports.

ARRL Intl. DX Contest CW: Gary Kaatz (W9TD), Joe Robin (N9OK), John Lund(N9DJ) and Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) reported participating in the contest.

Russian WW Contest – PSK: No reports.

CQ WW 160-meter Contest SSB: John Lund (N9DJ), Dave Cooper (KA9OZP) and Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) reported participating in the contest.

NAQP – RTTY: Joe Robin (N9OK), Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) and Dave Whaley (NT9E) reported participating in the contest.

Weekly CWT and SSTs: Gary Kaatz (W9TD) and Jim McDonald (N7US) reported their participation.


ARRL Intl. DX Contest – SSB – March 6-7
Stew Perry Topband Challenge – March 13-14
Wisconsin QSO Party – March 14-15
BARTG HF RTTY Contest – March 20-22
CQ WW WPX Contest – SSB – March 27-28

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

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

June 1          Show & Tell (tentative)

Awards and license upgrades

John Dewey (KA9CAR) reported that license exams will be given at the McHenry Moose Lodge on March 13. Contact Frank Heabler (W9STH) for reservations. A FRN is required.

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 February 25 meeting. Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) asked if the alternate Field Day for home stations is going to be available this year. Dan said it would be but that home stations would be limited to 150 watts due to complaints last year. Tom Pusateri (W9NBG) asked Dan for his email address.

The first “Hams Helping Hams” online Zoom session was held on February 15.  The topic was, “Learning more about the NanoVNA”. There were 13 participants and it ran for 75 minutes. The link to the video has been posted on the K9RN reflector. Dan Larson (KD9M), Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) and Loren Burkett (K3RFC) thought it went well. Topics for the next session were solicited.

New Business

Ralph reported that the Lake County Maker Faire will be held virtually on April 17 from 10:30AM to 3:00PM. Spots of 15, 30 or 45 minutes plus Q&A are available. Ralph wants MCWA to participate. Tom Pusateri (W9NBG) asked “What is a Maker Faire?” Ralph referred to the website and said that is was an exhibition of things built, crafted, invented, etc.

Wrap up

Kermit Carlson (W9XA) will be presenting the “ARRL Update” following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, April 6, 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 Joe Robin (N9OK) and seconded by Roger Scott (KF9D). The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:57 PM.

Prepared by Gary Kaatz (W9TD), MCWA Secretary.