Minutes – April 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of April 6, 2021


President Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) called the April 2021 meeting to order at 7:02 PM by Zoom meetings. The Pledge of Allegiance followed led by Dave Holmgren (K9AT).

Board members present were Gary Dembski (W9GD), Dean Hettel (WC9C), Ralph Iden (WB9ICF), Gary Kaatz (W9TD), Dan Larson (KD9M), Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) and Mike Salak (KC9Q).

A total of 40 people were in attendance, including one guest;  Andy Dyckman (KC9UTB).

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 Roger Scott (KF9D) 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 March. MCWA has a membership of 111 full members, 7 family members and 1 associate member for a total of 119.

Opening Balance $7,269.88
Deposits $120.00 (dues)
Expenditures $0.00-
Interest $0.06
Final Balance $7,389.94

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Joe Robin (N9OK) with a second by Mike Ricketts (ND9G). The motion was approved by voice vote.


A work detail to get Dave Behrendt’s (KA9KWR) station in Fox River Grove operational is scheduled for April 10th starting at 12:30 PM with a rain date of April 11. It was noted that Dave is a blind amateur having recently suffered through some health issues and having his station operational would be a great blessing for him. If you can help, please contact Bill (KC9WUZ) at kc9wuz@yahoo.com or Ham Shack Hotline #11118.

Ralph reports that Jimmy Dorsey (KC9GCR) has been admitted to the hospital with Covid Pnuemonia.

Steve Maresso (KB9OLD) reports that the Free Methodist Church in Woodstock has given permission to use their facility for VE testing, so testing will resume in August. Please call Steve at 847-477-3518 in advance of each test date to secure your spot as no walk-ins will be accepted. Two test sessions have been announced: August 17th and November 16th, both at 7:00 PM.

Dave Holmgren (K9AT) announced that he and Jen VanZieleghem (KD9FMJ) both received job offers today.

Hamfest and Event Update

The second annual QSO Today virtual Ham Expo was held March 12-14 and presentations are available on-demand through April 16th. Joe Robin (N9OK) reported attending good sessions, some delayed due to difficulties during the original airing. Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) reported that the replays are available free now and he was surprised at the quality of some of them.

The Last Man Standing special event was held March 24-30, the last day of filming the show. There was an enormous amount of participation with over 88,000 QSOs with the 19 call signs used by the volunteer activators. Many of our club members participated with several achieving a “clean sweep”. Glenn Otto (K9OK) reported that he got every available one including the studio on Wires-X. Gary Dembski (W9GD) explained the background of the event.

Hamfests and Events

Maker Faire – Lake County (virtual)  April 17 (10 AM – 3 PM) Free

KARC DeKalb Hamfest  May 2 (8 AM – 1 PM) Sandwich Fairgrounds, Tickets $8/$10 at the gate. See Scott DeSantis (KB9VRW) for tickets.

Starved Rock    June 6 (8 AM – 3 PM), Mendota Fairgrounds, Tickets $7/$8 at the gate

WI9SM 2021 Swapfest  July 10 (6:30 AM – ?), American Legion Post 434, Oak Creek, WI, Tickets $5

KARS-Fest  July 18 at the Will county fairgrounds in Peotone

Also: Wisconsin ARES Connect Conference, Superior ARRL Convention on May 1, Kaukauna and the MARC Swapfest in August

Contest Reports

Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) reported participating in most of these contests.

ARRL Intl. DX Contest – SSB: Joe (N9OK), Fred (KG9X) and John (N9DJ) reported their participation.

Stew Perry Topband Challenge: Fred Sanborn (KG9X) reported use of diversity reception which really helped.

Wisconsin QSO Party: John Lund (N9DJ) reported participating

BARTG HF RTTY Contest: No reports.

CQ WW WPX Contest: Joe (N9OK), Fred (KG9X) and John (N9DJ) reported their participation

EA RTTY Contest: No reports.

144 MHz Spring Sprint: John Kalenowsky (K9JK) reported operating around the four corners of grid squares and achieved 44 contacts, 20 multipliers and 5 states.


FT8 DX Contest – April 10-11
222 MHz Spring Sprint – April 13
ARRL Rookie Roundup – SSB – April 18
432 MHz Spring Sprint – April 21
10-10 Intl Spring Contest – Digital – April 24-25
10-10 Intl Spring Contest – CW – May 1-2
Indiana QSO Party – May 1-2

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

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

June 1          RTTY Contesting using the Flex, NY7G Digital Engine and N3FJP,                               Dave Whaley, NT9E

July 6          Show & Tell (tentative)

Awards and license upgrades

Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) received the Society of Midwestern Contesters Lifetime Achievement award for 10,000 contest QSOs in 18 months.

Fred Sandborn (KG9X) came in first place in the low power category for the December 2020 ARRL 160 meter contest.

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 April 1st meeting. We will be class 2A (two HF stations) with VHF and a GOTA station. There will be an alternate field day like last year where home stations can aggregate their scores for the club.

Ralph asked for a volunteer to help coordinate interests and schedule sessions for “Hams Helping Hams”.

Ralph reported that enough members have committed to participate in the Lake County Maker Faire. The MCWA program will be called “Amateur Radio in the 21st Century” and is scheduled for April 17th at 10:45 AM. Registration is free and more information can be found on the K9RN reflector and the MCWA website.

New Business

Ralph reported that the organizer for the McHenry County Century Bike Run reached out to MCWA to see if there are operators that can provide communications for the event. The ride will be held Sunday, May 30th from 6:30 AM to around 3 PM. Wendell Smith (N9REP) has been in touch with the organizers and is looking for volunteers to assist in the event. The need is for drivers with radio communications to ride the route and provide support to the riders. The base station will be set up at the terminus in Union. To volunteer, contact Wendell at w9rep@arrl.net.

Wrap up

We will be playing a video from the RSGB titled “Understanding HF Propagation” following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, May 4, 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 Dennis Ryan (KA9PUC) and seconded by Ed Finnegan (K9ECF). The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 8:01 PM.

Prepared by Gary Kaatz (W9TD), MCWA Secretary.