Minutes – July 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of June 1, 2021

President Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) called the July 2021 meeting to order at 7:02 PM by Zoom meetings. The Pledge of Allegiance followed led by Dan Larson (KD9M). Ralph noted that the meeting would be recorded.

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 31 members were in attendance and one guest, our speaker tonight, Lloyd Berg (N9LB).

Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from the June 2021 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review. Roger Scott (KF9D) motioned to approve the minutes with Mike Salak (KC9Q) 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 June. MCWA has a membership of 115 full members, 7 family members and 1 associate member for a total of 123.

Opening Balance $7,396.06
Deposits $20.00 (dues)
Expenditures $11.00- Stamps
  $159.68- MCWA signs
Interest $0.07
Final Balance $7,245.45

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Joe Robin (N9OK) with a second by Dave Holmgren (K9AT). The motion was approved by voice vote.


John Rice (K9IJ) passed away on June 22. He was not a member but was known by many. Pierre Berube (K9EYE) also informed us that George Frahm (KD9JBS) also passed. Ralph asked for a moment of silence.

Hamfest and Event Update


Starved Rock: Dean Hettel (WC9C) said it was well attended and had lots of older equipment for sale.

Lakes Area ARC (Lyon’s FreeFest): Pierre Berube (K9EYE) attended and said it was very nice with 26-28 tables.

6M Club of Chicago (SMCC): Loren Burkett (K3RFC) attended and said it was very small.


WI9SM 2021 Swapfest  July 10 (6:30 AM – 3:30 PM), American Legion Post 434, Oak Creek, WI, Tickets $5 at the gate

KARS-Fest  July 18 at the Will county fairgrounds, Peotone, IL

W9AA Hamfesters August 1, Will County Fairgrounds, Peotone, IL

West Central Illinois Hamfest August 7 (7 AM – 1 PM) Macoupin County Fairgrounds, Carlinville, Tickets $5

W9DXCC Convention    September 10/11, Chicago Marriott, Naperville, IL

Peoria Superfest September 18/19

Radio Expo September 26 (6 AM – 3 PM), Boone County Fairgrounds, Belvidere, IL, Tickets $8/$10 at the gate

Contest Reports

ARRL June VHF Contest: Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) worked 6 meters and Pierre Berube (K9EYE) made his first contact on 222.1 MHz SSB.

Stew Perry TopBand Challenge: none reported

ARRL Field Day: reports later

13 Colonies: Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) worked all 16 stations in two hours at the beginning of the event and then tried to work them all again on Phone, CW and digital.


IARU HF World Championship – July 10-11
CQ Worldwide VHF Contest – July 17-18
North American QSO Party (RTTY) – July 17-18

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

August 6        Equipment auction

Awards and license upgrades

John Dewey (KA9CAR) announced that exams will be given on August 17 at the Methodist Church in Woodstock.

Old Business

In-person meeting update:

With restrictions lifting, the search resumed last month. The Member survey (with 60 respondents) drove the requirements for a venue.

  • Larger meeting room so people have space
  • Proper climate control
  • Crystal Lake or nearby locations preferred
  • Support spending $100 or less for rent per meeting
  • Keep virtual meeting option for remote members or those unable to attend in-person

Most survey respondents were ready to start meeting in-person as soon as possible and 25% would wait until fall.

Venue selection factors:

  • Capacity of at least 60-75
  • Availability each month
  • Proper room temperature control
  • Ease of access
  • Geographical location
  • Screen or wall for projection of slides
  • Internet for presenters and streaming
  • Rental costs

Many possible venues were proposed and were initially screened by capacity of 60-75, availability each month and rental costs.

The chosen venue is the Algonquin Township meeting hall in Crystal Lake. Ralph gave John Dewey credit for doing all the initial legwork. The features are:

  • Capacity of 90 people
  • Except for this September, available on the first Tuesday of every month
  • Operational zone thermostat
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Just over 1 mile for Portillo’s on Route 14
  • Can use their screen or project on wall
  • Internet access for presentations
  • Public address system
  • Cost: $0 and no custodian fees (we make sure things are clean and chairs and tables stored)

Pictures of the meeting space were shared by Ralph Iden (Wb9ICF). The August 3rd meeting will be at our new location. Doors will be opened at 6:30PM and the meeting will be streamed. There will be a live auction. Pierre Berube (K9EYE) asked if the meeting is to be streamed on YouTube, will it be saved? Ralph said, yes it would. John Dewey (KA9CAR) asked if the September meeting would be at the bank. Ralph said it will be looked into.

Dan Larson (KD9M) reported on the MCWA Field day that was held at the Rush Creek Preserve. The setup team was Joel (W9NXM), Roger (KF9D), Bill (KD9WEW), Dean (WC9C), Wayne (KC9UKA), John (KA9CAR), Mike (WB8BZK), Dan (KD9M) and Loren (K3RFC). Additional people helped at teardown. CW station operators were: Harold (W9HB), Roger (KF9D), Fred (KG9X), Gary (W9TD) and Joel (W9NXM). SSB and digital operators were: Dean (WC9C), Dan (KD9M), Dave (KA9OZP), Kent (K9KMD) and Mike (KD9DLL). VHF operators were Mike (WB8BZK) and John (KE9NDY). The GOTA station was run by John Dewey (KA9CAR) and Bill Wacaser (KD9WEW) who did all the recruiting. It was successful on Saturday with several Scouts making contacts. The results this year were:


Band CW Phone Digital
80 420 3 0
40 595 79 238
20 313 27 12
15 78 26 0
10 31 38 0
6 1 98 39
2 1 1 0
222 0 1 0
432 1 1 0
1296 0 1 0
Total: 1440 286 289


The final score including 1350 bonus points was 8838 for 2015 QSOs in all but 2 sections. Not quite as good as our 2020 score of 8930, the best of all time. Chef Mike Ophus’ (KD9DLL) food kept everyone happy. Loren Burkett (K3RFC) said that the community outreach was the best he has seen as was the GOTA.

Reports from other McHenry County Field day activities:

K9ESV, the McHenry County RACES & ARES, operated 2F from Woodstock. N9WH, the 415 group, operated 3A from Gary Dembski’s (W9GD) farm. Jan Van Zieleghem (KD9FMJ) reported that they made 363 CW, 527 phone and 264 digital contacts for a total of 1154 QSOs and 5004 points.

New Business

Annual Officer and director elections will be held at our September meeting. To give the members a chance to consider the candidates, the Nominating Committee will report their nominees at the August meeting. At the September meeting, the nominees will be formally presented with additional nominations accepted from the floor. The election will then follow. Ralph noted that the following have expressed their willingness to continue: Dan Larson (KD9M) VP, Dean Hettel (WC9C) Treasurer, and Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) President.

Ralph posed the question whether there is an interest in a November Dinner/Social? Should other places than the Village Squire be considered? If so, do we have a volunteer to scout out appropriate venues? Ralph will post the request on the K9RN reflector. He also noted that the previous cost was $25 per person and would increase this year. Tom Pusateri (W9NBG) said that in the past he had trouble finding handicap parking at the Village Squire and others noted that they also had to park further away. Tom Craner (KD6KHK) noted that as part of our negotiations, the venue could put up additional handicap parking for us. Pierre Berube (K9EYE) suggested having the event catered at our new meeting space.

Ralph also announced that Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) will be stepping down after several years as the program chairperson. Since programs are an important part of our monthly meeting we will be looking for a volunteer to step into this position. If interested, contact Ralph or Mike for more information as to what is involved.

Wrap up

Lloyd Berg (N9LB) will be presenting “Lightning Protection for Amateur Radio Stations” following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at the Algonquin Township meeting hall. Open “eyeball” QSOs start at 6:30 PM, with the meeting starting at 7:00 PM. The program will be the equipment auction.

A motion to adjourn was made by Tom Cramer (KD6KHK) and seconded by Dave Whaley (NT9E). The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.

Prepared by Gary Kaatz (W9TD), MCWA Secretary.