Minutes – August 2020

Meeting Minutes of August 4, 2020

DRAFT

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held via Zoom. 

President Mike Metroka WB8BZK called the August 2020  meeting to order at 7:02 PM.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Tom Cramer KD6KHK .

Board members present were Gary Dembski W9GD, John Dewey KA9CAR, Dean Hettel WD9FOO, Ralph Iden WB9ICF, Dan Larson KD9M, Mike Metroka WB8BZK, and Mike Salak KC9Q .

A total of 31 members were in attendance.

Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from the July 2020 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 voice acclamation.

Membership and Financial Reports

Dean Hettel WD9FOO presented the membership and financial reports for June.  As of July 31, 2020, MCWA has a membership of 126 members,  125 full members and 1 associate member.

June Finances

Opening Balance 6,306.33  
Deposits 29.41 Dues
Expenditures 0.00  
Interest 0.06  
Final Balance 6,335.80  

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Tom Cramer KD6KHK with a second by Joe Robin N9OK. The motion was approved by voice vote.

Announcements

Hamfest/Conference Reports

A few members attended the DX Engineering Virtual Hamfest including N7US and WB9BZK who thought the presentation by Jerry Rosalius WB9Z was great.

The first ever QSO Today Virtual Ham Convention will be held the weekend of August 8 – 9 with the opening keynote on Friday evening.

The Racine Megacyle Club’s Free Fest is still scheduled to occur on August 8 at the Greater Racine Kennel Club, Racine, Wisconsin.

The Society of Midwest Contesters (SMC) will be holding their SMC Fest on August 22, 2020 via Zoom.  At the present time, attendance is limited to current paid SMC members.

As reported previously, the W9DXCC – NIDXA DX Convention has been canceled.

John Kalenowsky K9JK reports that CFMC Radio Expo (Belvidere hamfest) has also been officially canceled.


August VE Testing

A reminder that the scheduled August 18th VE testing in Woodstock has been canceled due to the COVID pandemic, however there are alternatives.

The Hamfester’s Radio Club offers VE testing in Oak Forest (details at https://www.hamfesters.org/main/ve-testing). 

MRAC also offers VE testing at HRO in Milwaukee (details at https://www.mracvec.org/).

The Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club (SARC) is providing limited VE testing.  More information about the SARC testing sessions can be found at the SARC website (https://n9rjv.org).


Contest Updates

  • CQ Worldwide VHF contest  had participation from Mike Metroka WB8BZK and John Kalenowsky (who was also the contest director). Mike said that it was an okay contest and made 60 contacts on 6m and 2m.   John added there was minimal e-skip.

The North American QSO Party RTTY was enjoyed by Mike Metroka WB8BZK as well as Jim McDonald N7US, who made 543 contacts.

The ARRL 222 MHz and Up Distance contest saw John Kalenowsky K9JK have his personal best score. He visited four grids and made contacts on several bands including 3.4 GHz and 10 GHz.

  • The North American QSO Party CW saw some great scores earned by N7US (816 contacts), Rick Dickens KY0Q (500 contacts), and Mike Metroka WB8BZK (200+ contacts).

Upcoming contests

    • Worked All Europe DX contest CW August 8 – 9, 2020,  This is an interesting contest as it involves an option to exchange message traffic for additional points.
    • North American QSO Party SSB on August 15th.
    • 50 MHz Fall Sprint on August 22nd.

Upcoming contests as well as the current ARRL news can be viewed from the “News” page on the MCWA website (https://mcwa.org/topics/news/) and is updated daily.

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

Our members have enjoyed and learned much from our meeting programs in the past because of the wealth of knowledge and experience of the presenters.  Please consider sharing your knowledge and present a talk at an upcoming meeting. Everyone has something to share that will benefit others.

    • September 1, 2020 – Building & Testing the SATNOGS Rotor by Ralph Iden, WB9ICF & Officer and Board of Director election
    • October 6, 2020 – DXing by Jack Hudson, W9MU
    • November 3. 2020 – Dinner Social (tentative)
    • December 1, 2020 – QSLing by John Canker W9JM

Old Business

Field Day

The club’s Field Day at Rush Creek Conservation Center in Harvard was a resounding success and resulted in the highest score since the club restarted its Field Day activities. Safety measures to guard against COVID-19 were put into place and the weather cooperated this year.

[See FD slides under the MCWA website News area]

Here are this year’s statistics along with previous year totals.


Alternative Field Day activity

Congratulations to all of the MCWA members who participated in our Alternative Field Day activity. Your scores will be affiliated with the club’s FD score. The final results are in.


Other Field Day Reports

Dave Whaley NT9E reported on the 415 Field Day.  They operated 3A under the callsign N9WH. One of the stations was plagued by interference in the trailer due to coiled cables and  software problems were experienced out of the gate. A total of 14 operators participated with a total score of 3264.

John Dewey KA9CAR gave a report on the K9ESV FD site. They operated 2A from two office-type trailers using a 3 element beam and wire antennas. The scores were similar to prior years.

Rick Dickens KY0Q, as he has done the past 6-7 years, operated from a tent running QRP CW on battery. He normally pairs up with Olaf Nurmepuu W9FY for this annual event, but the COVID-19 pandemic interfered with their plans. He said working QRP was kind of tough, but managed to make 435 CW contacts.


Officer Elections

The Nomination Committee chairperson, Jim McDonald N7US, presented the committee’s slate of candidates for the MCWA 2021 Officers and Directors.  A brief biography was given to acquaint the membership with the candidates.

The slate will be presented once again at the September meeting and members will be given the opportunity to nominate additional members from the floor prior to the vote.  Any additional nominees need to be present to affirm that they will accept the nomination.

    • President: Ralph Iden WB9ICF
    • Vice President: Dan Larson KD9M
    • Treasurer: Dean Hettel WD9FOO
    • Secretary: <no nominee at present>
    • Director: Gary Dembski W9GD

In addition, Mike Metroka WB8BZK will serve as Past President and Mike Salak KC9Q will begin his second year as Director.

The club still needs a nominee for club Secretary. Beside taking meeting minutes, the Secretary also handles club correspondence such as sending out sympathy cards for members who have become Silent Keys.  Please consider standing for nomination as the club will need a Secretary. Support and guidance will be provided so you will not be overwhelmed. Please contact Jim McDonald N7US if you will be willing to serve the club in this capacity.

It is important that all members attend the September meeting in order to vote for next year’s officers and directors. If there are no contested positions, then a simple acclamation vote will be taken. Otherwise, an online election will be held using Election Runner, a secure voting system.  The meeting will go into executive session while members vote. When the meeting is reconvened, the election results will be reported to the club. The time frame for online voting, if necessary, will be announced at the September meeting.

As a voting member who intends to vote electronically, it is crucial that you have a valid email address on file as this will be the means to deliver the link to the ballot.  By default, that is the email address associated with the reflector.  If a member is not registered on the K9RN reflector or has two or more addresses on file, please let Dean Hettel WD9FOO know your preferred email address. Each voting member will be able to cast one vote for each office.

New Business

No new business was presented.

Wrap up

The program for the evening will be “So You’d Like To Run A Repeater – Hints & Tips”, presented by Ken Farver KB9I, which will begin immediately following meeting adjournment.

The next regular meeting will be a virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2020.  This meeting will elect next year’s Board of Directors so all members are strongly encouraged to attend. The meeting program that evening will be “Building & Testing the SATNOGS Rotor” by Ralph Iden, WB9ICF.  Members watch your email for your meeting invitation.  The meeting will open around 6:20 PM to allow new users to join and the meeting will commence at 7:00 PM.

A motion to adjourn was made by Roger Scott KF9D and seconded by Joe Robin N9OK. The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:59 PM.

Prepared by Ralph Iden WB9ICF, MCWA Secretary

Minutes – July 2020

Meeting Minutes of July 7, 2020

Once again the club met via Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Mike Metroka WB8BZK called the July 2020  meeting to order at 7:02 PM.  Mike Ophus KD9DLL led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Board members present were Dean Hettel WD9FOO, Ralph Iden WB9ICF, Dan Larson KD9M, and Mike Metroka WB8BZK.

A total of 35 were in attendance including three guests:  Lloyd Berg N9LB- Oregon, WI,  ARRL Assistant Section Manager Ron Delpiere KD9IPO-Villa Park, and new General class licensee Bill Laprise KD9PQR from Woodstock.

Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from the June 2020 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review.  Dennis Ryan KA9PUC motioned to approve the minutes with Harold Burt W9HB seconding the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

Membership and Financial Reports

Dean Hettel WD9FOO presented the membership and financial reports for June.  As of June 30, 2020, MCWA has a membership of 124 members,  123 full members and 1 associate member.

June Finances

Opening Balance 6,659.33  
Deposits 25.00 Dues
Expenditures 327.82 Field Day food expense (KD9DLL)
  50.24 Field Day food expense (KD9DLL)
Interest 0.06  
Final Balance 6,306.33  

A motion to approve the financial report was made by John Kalenowsky K9JK with a second by Dan Larson KD9M. The motion was approved by voice vote.

Announcements

Joseph (Joe) Szczubelek K9DMV – SK

The club was saddened to hear that long-time member Joe Szczubelek K9DMV passed away unexpectedly on June 18, 2020.  Joe was active in the club and was looking forward to operating Field Day at Rush Creek the following Saturday.

The membership paused for a moment of silence and remembrance.


August VE Testing

The scheduled August 18th VE testing in Woodstock has been canceled due to the COVID pandemic. The coordinators are continuing to investigate  a safe testing environment for everyone. 

The Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club (SARC) is providing limited VE testing for those who do not want to wait for the local testing session in November.  More information about the SARC testing sessions can be found at SARC website (n9rjv.org).

Update from the ARRL Assistant Section Manager (ASM)

Ron Delpiere KD9IPO, Central Division ASM, attended the meeting to introduce himself and to provide a brief Section update.

Recently reelected Illinois Section Manager Ron Morgan AD9I has stepped down due to health concerns that became apparent just as he was ready to start a new term. He will now serve as the Central Division Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC). 

Thomas Beebe W9RY has been appointed as the Illinois Section Manager, effective July 1.

John Nebl N9MYC and Ron Delpiere KD9IPO are the ASMs for this area.


13 Colonies Special Event

A number of members reported participating in the recent 13 Colonies special event, including Tom Cramer KD6KHK, Dean Hettel WD9FOO, Ralph Iden WB9ICF, Mike Metroka WB8BZK, Roger Scott KF9D, and Dave Whaley NT9E.

All agreed that the Great Britain station GB13COL continues to be the most elusive station to contact due to their weak signal in the States.


New meeting topic: Help Needed?

A new meeting topic is being introduced that will give meeting attendees an opportunity to ask for assistance.  Does anyone need any help with anything Ham Radio? If so, maybe someone attending the meeting can help you get the assistance you need.

Dan Larson KD9M shared about a great application called Ham Clock for the Raspberry Pi.  Created by DL1GKK (dl1gkk.com), Ham Clock is the perfect clock for the ham shack. 

Upcoming Contests

    • CWOps Mini-CWT each Wednesday
    • CQ Worldwide 6m and 2m VHF contest, July 18-19
    • North America QSO Party (RTTY), July 18-19
    • ARRL 222 Mhz & Up, August 1-2
    • North America QSO Party (CW), August 1-2
    • Worked All Europe DX Contest (CW), August 8-9

Our very own John Kalenowsky K9JK is the Director of the CQ Worldwide VHF contest!

Note: If you visit the MCWA website (mcwa.org) and click on the “News” item, you will not only see news items and current propagation conditions, but there are news feeds from the WA7BNM Contest Calendar, ARRL, DX News, and ARISS. It is a great one-stop destination to keep current.

Harold Burt W9HB said that he found the new site very informative, especially the Resources section. He thanked those who worked on the new website and recommended that members take some time to visit the site.

Hamfest/Conference Reports

The Lyons, WI Freefest is still scheduled to be held on July 11.

Jim McDonald N7US called attention to a ground breaking virtual amateur radio exposition that you can attend from your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.  The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will be held on August 9-10, 2020 and will feature keynote speakers and exhibitors. Registration is free and those who register by July 24 will receive early bird prize incentives. More information at the QSO today expo site (www.qsotodayhamexpo.com) 

The Peoria Superfest originally scheduled for September has been canceled as the venue is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

Our members have enjoyed and learned much from our meeting programs because of the wealth of knowledge and experience of the presenters. Everyone has something to share that will benefit others. Would you consider sharing your knowledge and present a talk at an upcoming meeting?

    • August 4, 2020 – So You’d Like To Run A Repeater – Hints & Tips by Ken Farver, KB9I
    • September 1, 2020 – Building & Testing the SATNOGS Rotor by Ralph Iden, WB9ICF & Officer and Board of Director election
    • October 6, 2020 – DXing by Jack Hudson, W9MU

Old Business

Field Day

Field Day 2020 at Rush Creek Conservation Area is in the books and was, by all measures, a success.  The Field Day report will be presented at the August meeting.

If you participated in Field Day with any group, please send Mike Metroka WB8BZK a short recap and photos.


Alternative Field Day activity

A number of members who could not participate at the Rush Creek event were able to take part in the MCWA Alternate Field Day activity.  Operators could participate in Field Day from home and have their scores affiliated with the club and, for the top scorers, win prizes.

About a half of dozen members have already sent in their scores to the ARRL. For those who have not yet sent in their scores, you are encouraged to do so as soon as possible being careful to spell the name of the club exactly as it is registered with the ARRL,  “McHenry County Wireless Assn” for the score to affiliated with MCWA.  If you need any assistance, contact Mike Metroka WB8BZK and he will be happy to assist you.


Officer election

The Nomination Committee chairperson, Jim McDonald N7US, along with Directors Gary Dembski W9GD and Mike Salak KC9Q are at work to prepare a slate of candidates for the annual MCWA officer election that will take place during the September meeting. 

To give the membership more time to  consider the candidates and to nominate additional candidates, the slate of candidates will be announced at the August meeting next month and the election held at the September meeting.

New Business

Election Process

There is a great deal of  uncertainty regarding whether or not an in-person meeting in September will be possible. The bank has not indicated when the meeting room would be available again and the room size isn’t sufficient to ensure proper social distancing for the number of members expected to attend.,

Therefore, the Board of Directors has explored options to hold the election at the September meeting as specified by the Constitution.  The Board has decided to hold the election using a private and secure cloud-based voting application used by other organizations. The Board smoothly and successfully performed a mock election using a variety of devices (laptop, iPhone, Android, tablet, etc.) 

As a voting member who intends to vote, it is crucial that you have a valid email address on file as this will be the means to deliver the link to the ballot.  By default, that is the email address associated with the reflector.  If a member is not registered on the K9RN reflector or has two or more addresses on file, please let Dean Hettel WD9FOO know your preferred email address. Each voting member will be able to cast one vote for each office.

There were no questions about the election process, but it will be gone over again at the August meeting.

Wrap up

The program for the evening will be “Meteor Scatter Communication” presented by Mike Metroka WB8BZK which will begin immediately following meeting adjournment.

The next regular meeting will a virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, August 4th 2020.  The meeting program, “So You’d Like To Run A Repeater – Hints & Tips”, will be presented by Ken Farver KB9I. Members watch your email for your meeting invitation.  The meeting will open around 6:20 PM to allow new users to join and the meeting will commence at 6:30 PM.

A motion to adjourn was made by Tom Cramer KD6KHK and seconded by Joe Robin N9OK. The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:43 PM.

Prepared by Ralph Iden WB9ICF, MCWA Secretary

Minutes – June 2020

Meeting Minutes of June 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the club from meeting in person. The June meeting was held via Zoom.

President Mike Metroka WB8BZK called the June 2020  meeting to order at 7:05 PM followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Dave Holmgren K9AT.

Board members present were John Dewey KA9CAR, Gary Dembski W9GD, Dean Hettel WD9FOO, Dan Larson KD9M, Mike Metroka WB8BZK, and Mike Salak KC9Q. Ralph Iden WB9ICF was unable to attend the meeting.

A total of 36 members were in attendance.

Approval of Minutes

There was no April 2020 meeting of the club, but the meeting minutes from the February 2020 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review.  John Cankar W9JM motioned to approve the minutes with John Dewey KA9CAR seconding the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Membership and Financial Reports

Dean Hettel WD9FOO presented the membership and financial reports for May.  As of May 31, 2020, MCWA has a membership of 119 members, 118 full members and 1 associate member.

May Finances

Opening Balance 6,837.85  
Deposits 50.00 Dues
Expenditures 21.00 DigitalOcean website hosting (Jun-Sep)
  207.57 “Alternate Field Day” prizes
Interest 0.05  
Final Balance 6,659.33   

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Dan Larson KD9M with a second by Joe Szczubelek K9DMV. The motion was approved by voice vote.

License updates

At the end of May, HRO hosted an in-person VE testing session where the following MCWA members obtained their license or upgraded their existing licenses.

      • Eric Padilla passed his Technician exam and is now KD9PLJ.
      • Dean Hettel WD9F00 has upgraded to Extra class.
      • Bill Wacaser KD9GIU upgraded to General and then to Extra!

 In addition, Glenn KD9MGH, who recently upgraded to Extra class, has a new call sign, K9OK. 

Congratulations to Eric, Dean, Bill, and Glenn.  Well done.

Awards

Congratulations to Mike Metroka WB8BZK for his completion of 15m WAS, which also completes his 5-band WAS.  Mike recently received a paper QSL from a 2016 West Virginia RTTY QSO that completed the 15m WAS award and is awaiting confirmation from ARRL HQ once they start processing their incoming mail. 

Announcements

Nomination Committee

Jim McDonald N7US has been appointed the Nomination Committee Chairperson for this fall’s election of MCWA officers and directors. Jim will be working with the two Directors at Large, Gary Dembski W9GD and Mike Salak KC9Q to develop a slate of candidates for the election.

As reported earlier, the committee will announce the slate of candidates at the August meeting with the election occurring at the September meeting. This change will provide time for the membership to consider the candidates and to offer additional nominations, if desired.

August VE Testing

The scheduled August VE testing in Woodstock has been canceled due to the COVID pandemic. The coordinators are investigating alternatives that provide a safe testing environment for everyone, but they have not yet found a practical solution to execute this type of session yet. 

Upcoming events

Dave Whaley NT9E announced that the annual 13 Colonies Special Event is coming up July 1 -7, 2020.  It is a fun event that a number of MCWA members have enjoyed in the past.  More information is available at the 13 Colonies website (www.13colonies.us) or KU2US’s QRZ page.

John Kalenowsky K9JK mentioned that the June VHF Contest will be coming up on June 13-15 from 1800 UTC Saturday through 0259 UTC on Monday. He added, “Microphones are still allowed on 6m, they haven’t been banned.”, a light-hearted reminder that besides FT8 and other digital modes,  SSB, FM, and CW contacts are encouraged.

Hamfest/Conference Reports

All area hamfests and events have been canceled for May, with some events still scheduled for June. On June 13th, the Fox Cities ARC will be holding the Sunshine Hamfest in Kaukauna, WI.  More information can be found at the FCARC website (fcarc.club/sunshineswap.php).

Heil Ham Radio Day, a free virtual event,  was held Saturday, May 9th. No meeting attendees attended the event.

With Hamvention canceled this year, Contest University went virtual this year and was free.  Over 2,000 people attended the day long event and the MCWA members who attended the event found it great and were very impressed with the topics and quality of the talks. The recording can be found by searching for “Contest University” on YouTube. The slide decks are found at the Contest University website (www.contestuniversity.com).

Hamradio 2.0 held their online YouTubers Hamfest 2020 on May 23rd featuring a number of interesting talks containing lots of good information. The videos can be viewed on Hamradio 2.0’s YouTube channel.

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

Our members have enjoyed and learned much from our meeting programs because of the wealth of knowledge and experience of the presenters. Everyone has something to share that will benefit others. Would you consider sharing your knowledge and present a talk at an upcoming meeting?

    • July 7, 2020 – 6m Meteor Scatter Communications by Mike Metroka, WB8BZK
    • August 4, 2020 – So You’d Like To Run A Repeater – Hints & Tips by Ken Farver, KB9I
    • September 1, 2020 – Building & Testing the SATNOGS Rotor by Ralph Iden, WB9ICF & Officer and Board of Director election
    • October 6, 2020 – DXing by Jack Hudson, W9MU

Old Business

Field Day Report

Great news as Illinois has entered Phase 3 of the COVID recovery plan. This means that the club will be able to have Field Day at the Rush Creek Conservation Area, the site of the past two MCWA Field Days. The club will have two HF stations and a VHF station and will be operating SSB, CW, and Digital modes. .

Social distancing practices will be used at Rush Creek, which includes a limit of the number of participants on site at any one time. Operators should plan to bring their own headset, keyboards, etc. Gloves, wipes, soap & water, and disposable covers for keyboards and mice will be provided. 

There will be a limit of 10 participants at any one time at the site. Dean Hettel WD9FOO will be handling registrations to ensure that the limit will not be exceeded. All are welcome, however no walk-ins will be allowed, so contact Dean to sign-up to let him know that you will be there.

At the last meeting of the Board of Directors, the Board approved a Field Day budget of up to $750 and approved expenses up to $300. Any expenses above $300 requires membership approval.

A motion was made by Mike Metroka WB8BZK to approve the balance of the 2020 Field Day budget up to an additional $450 for total of $750, the amount the Board approved. Pierre Berube K9EYE seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

MCWA Alternative Field Day Activity

The Board recognizes that not everyone will be comfortable with attending or be able to attend the Rush Creek in-person FD. Therefore, MCWA members will be able to operate Field Day from their homes, have their scores affiliated with the club, and have some friendly competition with prizes. Recognition will be given for all who join in on the fun.

The details of the various FD classes and rules were discussed as well as how to report your scores and let the ARRL know that your station is affiliated with MCWA. Mike will be sending out a follow-up email that covers the specifics.

Prizes will be awarded in each of the home station categories:

    • First place – MCWA embroided hat
    • Second place – ARRL Field Day mug
    • Third place – ARRL Field Day mug

Top finishers will also receive a certificate recognizing their achievement.

New Business

There was no new business.

Wrap up

The program for the evening will be “Inexpensive Test Equipment for Hams” presented by Gary Kaatz W9TD which will begin immediately following meeting adjournment.

The next regular meeting will another virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, July 7th 2020. Members watch your email for your meeting invitation.  The meeting will open around 6:20 PM to allow new users to join and the meeting will commence at 6:30 PM.

A motion to adjourn was made by Dave Whaley NT9E and seconded by Mike Ophus KD9DLL. The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:51 PM.

Prepared by Ralph Iden WB9ICF, MCWA Secretary

Minutes – May 2020

Meeting Minutes of May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the club from meeting in person. The May meeting was the club’s first virtual meeting and was held via Zoom.

President Mike Metroka WB8BZK called the May 2020  meeting to order at 7:32 PM followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led once again by Dave Holmgren K9AT.

Board members present were John Dewey KA9CAR, Gary Dembski W9GD, Dean Hettel WD9FOO, Dan Larson KD9M, Mike Metroka WB8BZK, and Mike Salak KC9Q. Ralph Iden WB9ICF was present for the pre/post meeting portion, but was called away to address a work matter.

A total of 41 members were in attendance.

Approval of Minutes

There was no April 2020 meeting of the club, but the meeting minutes from the February 2020 meeting were previously posted to the MCWA website for review.  Joe Robin N9OK motioned to approve the minutes with John Cankar W9JM seconding the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Membership and Financial Reports

Dean Hettel WD9FOO presented the membership and financial reports for March and April.

On March 31, 2020, MCWA had a membership of 114 full members and 1 associate member for a total of 115. 

As of April 30, 2020, MCWA has a membership of 117 members, 115 full members and 2 associate members.

March Finances

Opening Balance 7,055.81  
Deposits 71.26 Dues
Expenditures 162.00 Field Day site rental
Interest 0.09  
Final Balance 6,965.16  

April Finances

Opening Balance 6,965.16  
Deposits 40.00 Dues
Expenditures 23.91 2020 Dinner Raffle prizes
  15.09 Sympathy cards and postage
  128.37 Website reconstruction expenses
Interest 0.06  
Final Balance 6,837.85  

A motion to approve the financial report was made by Dan Larson KD9M with a second by Joe Jaax W9JCS. The motion was approved by voice vote.

Bill Lieberum, KB9IWH SK

It is with great sadness to report that Bill Lieberum, KB9IWH became a Silent Key on April 8th, 2020.  When notifying the club, Dave Cooper KA9OZP said Bill belonged to MCWA for a number of years and had served as President prior to moving to Pennsylvania.  The club offered a moment of silence in remembrance of Bill.

Announcements

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in hamfests, conferences, and VE testing being canceled and for organizers to search for alternatives.

Heil Ham Radio Day will be held Saturday, May 9th starting at 1 PM CDT.  It is a free event, but you need to register ahead of time.  More information on the Heil website (heilhamradio.com).

Contest University is going virtual this year and it will be FREE!  If you are planning on attending this event, you must register by Thursday, May 14th.

Virtual VE Testing is not prohibited according to the FCC in a Public Notice released on April 30, 2020 clearing the way for VE coordinators to develop virtual testing methods. Trials are underway and it can be expected that remote testing will be available in the very near future.   MCWA knows of a number of people, including new member Eric Padilla, that are very excited to sit for the exam.  Mike Metroka WB8BZK was in contact with VE Coordinator Steve Maresso KB9OLD who confirmed that in-person VE testing in May was canceled, so virtual testing will be an option once the process is in place.

Hamfest/Conference Reports

All hamfests and events are canceled for May, with some events still scheduled for June.

Upcoming MCWA Presentations

Our members have a wealth of knowledge and experience that other members are eager to receive. Everyone has something to share that will benefit others. Would you consider sharing your knowledge and present a talk at an upcoming meeting?

    • June 2, 2020 – Inexpensive Test Equipment for Hams by Gary Kaatz, W9TD
    • July 7, 2020 – QSLing by John Cankar, W9JM
    • August 4, 2020 – So You’d Like To Run A Repeater – Hints & Tips, Ken Farver, KB9I

Old Business

Field Day Report

The Field Day committee met this past week and voted unanimously to continue to hold an in-person FD event at the Rush Creek Conservation Center in Harvard.  MCWA will be operating two HF stations and one VHF station  (CW, SSB, and Digital).

A number of reasons could lead to the cancellation of an in-person FD such as the Conservation District revoking the lease, restrooms being closed, State restrictions extending into June, etc. A backup plan to have members get on the air from their homes using their own call and submit their entry to the ARRL with MCWA as their affiliated club is being considered.

Social distancing practices will be used at Rush Creek, which includes a limit of the number of participants on site at any one time. Operators should plan to bring their own headset, keyboards, etc.

The committee has been monitoring what other local area groups are planning based on the current situation.

      • Fox River Radio League – On
      • Lake County RACES – Status unknown
      • Palatine RACES – Status unknown
      • McHenry County Races – Status unknown
      • Schaumburg ARC (SARC) – On
      • SUFARS – Monitoring
      • The 415 – On, but monitoring
      • Wheaton Community Radio Amateurs (WCRA) – Monitoring and developing contingency plans

John W9JM reported that the Northshore Radio Club will not be operating a club station this year, but encourages members to operate from home and specify Northshore as their affiliated club. All in-person events for the remainder of the year have been canceled.

Pierre Berube K9EYE added that SARC has canceled Field Day because of Kermit’s (W9XA)  letter and that Busse Woods is closed.  SARC’s website says all in-person meetings are canceled through May 30, 2020, but doesn’t indicated the current status of June’s Field Day.

New Business

There was no new business.

Wrap up

Dan Larson will be presenting “MMANA Antenna Modeling Software” immediately following the adjournment of tonight’s meeting.

The next regular meeting will another virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd 2020. Members watch your email for your meeting invitation.  The meeting will open around 6:20 PM to allow new users to join and the meeting will commence at 6:30 PM.

A motion to adjourn was made by John Cankar W9JM and seconded by Ed Finnegan K9ECF. The motion was approved by voice vote and the meeting was adjourned at 7:57 PM.

Prepared by Ralph Iden WB9ICF, MCWA Secretary