Minutes – July 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of June 1, 2021

DRAFT

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 December. 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.

Announcements

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

PAST

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.

UPCOMING

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.

Upcoming:

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.

Minutes – June 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of June 1, 2021

President Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) called the June 2021 meeting to order at 7:00 PM by Zoom meetings. The Pledge of Allegiance followed led by Gary Dembski (W9GD). 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 34 members were in attendance and no guests.

Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from the May 2021 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review. Roger Scott (KF9D) motioned to approve the minutes with Kent Dulaney (K9KMD) 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 December. MCWA has a membership of 115 full members, 7 family members and 1 associate member for a total of 123.

Opening Balance $7,386.00
Deposits $10.00 (dues)
Expenditures $0.00-
Interest $0.06
Final Balance $7,396.06

A motion to approve the financial report was made by John Dewey (KA9CAR) with a second by Pierre Berube (K9EYE). The motion was approved by voice vote.

Announcements

None


Hamfest and Event Update

PAST

Contest University (virtual): N7US and WB8BZK reported attending

Virtual Dayton Hamvention: K9JK attended

72nd International DX Convention (virtual): N7US, K9JK, WB8BZK reported attending

UPCOMING

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

6M Club of Chicago (SMCC) June 20 (7 AM – 3 PM), American Legion Hall, Carol Stream, IL.  Combined flea market with Antique Radio Club of Illinois (ARCI). SMCC and ARCI sellers only, visitors welcome at no charge.

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

50 MHz Spring Sprint: John Kalenowsky (K9JK) roved for 2 hours over four grids, Mike Metroka (WB8BZK) also participated

VOLTA WW RTTY Contest: no reports

CQ WW WPX Contest – CW: Jim McDonald (N7US), Joe Robin (N9OK) and Mike Ricketts (ND9G) participated with Mike making 850 contacts for 1.2M points with good conditions reported by all

It was reported that K7CW achieved the 13th Fred Fish Memorial Award, facilitated by W0W activating EN48 over the Memorial Day weekend

Upcoming:

ARRL June VHF Contest – June 12-14
Stew Perry TopBand Challenge – June 19-20
ARRL Field Day – June 26-27


Upcoming MCWA Presentations

July 6          Lightning Protection for Amateur Radio Stations, Lloyd Berg, N9LB


Awards and license upgrades

None reported

Old Business

2021 MCWA Field Day will be June 25-27 at the Rush Creek Conservation Area. Dan Larson (KD9M) presented the current state of planning from the May 27th meeting. We will be class 2A (two HF stations) with VHF and a GOTA station. If you want to participate, contact one or more of the station captains: GOTA (KA9CAR), CW (KF9D), SSB/digital (KD9M) or VHF (WB8BZK). There will be an alternate field day like last year where home stations can aggregate their scores for the club. Please submit your scores with “McHenry County Wireless Association” as club name, exactly.

The McHenry County Century Bike Run was held on Sunday, May 30. Wendell Smith (N9REP) gave a recap of the event. He said the weather was great and there was a nice turnout with over 400 participants. There were few incidents and no one got hurt. The rest stop and station was at Veteran’s Park in Union. He had 12-13 helpers including club members K9FD, W9HB and KA9CAR. He noted that he had radio problems but managed to get operational.

In-person meeting update:

  • We are all anxious to get back together for in-person meetings and with updated COVID guidelines that time is fast approaching.
  • A search for a larger meeting space is resuming and there will be a report at next month’s meeting.
  • Assuming that we will be allowed to meet again at the bank, it is likely our original meeting space will be the initial venue when we start meeting in person again while we secure a larger space.  We will be contacting the bank to get an updated status of the availability of the meeting room.
  • It is important to gather input from the membership regarding their readiness to meet in person and to have them weigh in on various options including costs. To that end, a Google survey will be sent within the next two weeks. The responses will used to guide the Board’s course of action.

New Business

None

Wrap up

Dave Whaley (NT9E) will be presenting “RTTY Contesting using the Flex, NY7G Digital Engine and N3FJP” following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, July 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 Tom Pusateri (W9NBG) and seconded by Mike Salak (KC9Q). The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:42 PM.

Prepared by Gary Kaatz (W9TD), MCWA Secretary.

Minutes – May 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of May 4, 2021

President Ralph Iden (WB9ICF) called the May 2021 meeting to order at 7:01 PM by Zoom meetings. The Pledge of Allegiance followed led by Dave Holmgren (K9AT). 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) and Mike Metroka (WB8BZK).

A total of 34 members were in attendance and no guests.

Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from the April 2021 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review. Harold Burt (W9HB) motioned to approve the minutes with Dave Whaley (NT9E) 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 December. MCWA has a membership of 115 full members, 7 family members and 1 associate member for a total of 123.

Opening Balance $7,389.94
Deposits $30.00 (dues)
Expenditures $22.00- (DigitalOcean 3 mo. website hosting)
  $12.00- (MCWA.org domain renewal)
Interest $0.06
Final Balance $7,386.00

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Mike Pecorini (K2MRP) with a second by Dan Larson (KD9M). The motion was approved by voice vote.

Announcements

None


Hamfest and Event Update

PAST

KARC DeKalb Hamfest : Reported as attending: N9OK, K9OK, K9AT, W9GD, WC9C, W9JM and KD9FMJ.

UPCOMING

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

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

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

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

MARC Swapfest in August


Contest Reports

FT8 DX Contest: No reports

222 MHz Spring Sprint: Mike (WB9BZK) operated FM only and made 24 contacts; John (K9JK) also reported participating

ARRL Rookie Roundup: No reports

432 MHz Spring Sprint: John (K9JK) reported participating

10-10 Intl Spring Contest: No reports

10-10 Intl Spring Contest: No reports

Indiana QSO Party: Mike (WB9BZK) made 100 contacts

Microwave Spring Sprint: John (K9JK) reported 2 contacts on 47GHz and 2 contacts on 10 GHz

Upcoming:

50 MHz Spring Sprint – May 8-9
VOLTA WW RTTY Contest – May 8-9
CQ WW WPX Contest – CW – May 29-30


Upcoming MCWA Presentations

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

July 6          Lightning Protection for Amateur Radio Stations, Lloyd Berg, N9LB


Awards and license upgrades

None reported

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 29th meeting. We will be class 2A (two HF stations) with VHF and a GOTA station. If you want to participate, contact one or more of the station captains: GOTA (KA9CAR), CW (KF9D), SSB/digital (KD9M) or VHF (WB8BZK). There will be an alternate field day like last year where home stations can aggregate their scores for the club. Please submit your scores with “McHenry County Wireless Association” as club name, exactly.

The Lake County Maker Faire was held virtually on April 17 and Ralph acknowledged the members who helped make it possible: Bill Wacaser (KD9WEW), Dan Larson (KD9M), Dave Holmgren (K9AT), Doug Tcker (KD9PQI), Gary Dembski (W9GD), Jen Van Zieleghem (KD9FMJ) and of course Ralph Iden (WB9ICF). Mike Metroka (WB9BZK) thought it was very well done. Harold Burt (W9HB) suggested adding a link to the YouTube video on the MCWA website.

The McHenry County Century Bike Run will be held on Sunday, May 30 from 6:30 AM until around 3 PM. Wendell Smith (N9REP) has been in touch with the organizers and is looking for volunteers to assist in the event. To volunteer, contact Wendell at n9rep@arrl.net.

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

Pierre Berube (K9EYE) asked if a new meeting site has been chosen. Ralph said the search was still under way.

New Business

None

Wrap up

Gary Kaatz (W9TD) will be presenting the third installment of “Inexpensive Test Equipment for Hams” following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, June 1, 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 Mike Pecorini (K2MRP) and seconded by Andy Dyckman (KC9UTB). The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 PM.

Prepared by Gary Kaatz (W9TD), MCWA Secretary.

Minutes – April 2021

MCWA Meeting Minutes of April 6, 2021

DRAFT

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 December. 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.

Announcements

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.

Upcoming:

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.

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 December. 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.

Announcements

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.

Upcoming:

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.