NEW – In addition to the usual net this coming Sunday, December 19, we will do an informal 60M and 40M check beginning at 4:10PM. At 4:10PM, John, W9ZE will call for stations on 7230 kHz. At 4:20PM, we will move to 60M. The start frequency is 5403.5 kHz. (channel 5). If that frequency is busy, move up one to channel 1. If 1 is busy, then 2, etc., in that order. 

The regular Illinois ARES HF net then occurs for the last time in 2021, this Sunday, December 19 @ 4:30PM on 3905 kHz. Bruce, WA9APQ, will be calling the districts with assistance of John, W9ZE. The roll call will run from South to North, with breaks for check ins from out of state stations.

All stations are welcome. Please invite your out of state friends.

The ARES HF net is also available on EchoLink on node# 824404 (WB0VTM-L).

For those interested in digital opportunities, check out the Illinois Digital Net, Sunday right after this net at approximately 5:00 PM on TG31171. Other digital modes are available as well.

Stations may test propagation conditions 10 – 15 minutes before the net for relay purposes. Be aware of other nets occurring close by as we may need to move up a bit to avoid interference.

For those who wish to test 75M more frequently, you are encouraged to participate on the following nets:

North Central Phone Net every weekday at 0700 Local on 3912 kHz

Illinois Phone Net every weekday at 1645 Local on 3857 kHz.

Illinois Sideband Net daily at 1800 Local on 3905 kHz

These nets provide a great way to experience propagation conditions and practice message handling.

SET Event – Saturday, 11/30/21

The upcoming SET event on Saturday is an adjunct event that was developed after our Illinois SET was put into place. A couple of surrounding states indicated that they would be willing to participate in a multi-state event. However, due to our date being October 2, they would be unable to participate on that day because of previous events being already scheduled. We agreed to work with them to help them sculpt an event similar to what we did that they could use on a local basis as well as expand it to include neighboring states.

To be clear, we were not leading the charge on this event. Our expectation was, and continues to be, minimal participation from the Illinois Section. If you wish to participate, please do. If not, no harm, no foul.

Our understanding is that at least one of the states is still having meetings to finalize their participation. So many details are not available. What we have confirmed so far: HF frequencies – 3900 +/- kHz (SSB)/ 3538 (CW), WiresX 43833 (D10 Indiana), and Echolink K9SEB (692641).

John Zelz W9ZE
SET Chair

Strong SET Turnout In Illinois a Guide for Future Exercises

With some 150 ham radio operators from across the state participating in the  Illinois Section Simulated Emergency Test (SET),on October 2, 2021, coordinators  Robert Littler (W9DSR), Illinois Section Emergency Coordinator and John Zelz (W9ZE) the Assistant SEC who ran the Saturday morning exercise, termed it  “a resounding success.”

The SET, from 8 a.m. to Noon. Central Time. began with a general “Wellness Net” from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.. to encourage participation from all areas of amateur radio, extending beyond those with an interest in the SET that was geared to those who participate in Amateur Radio Emergency Service activities throughout the year.  Approximately 150 HF/VHF/UHF/Echolink stations checked in during the “Wellness Net” from 8 to 9 a,m, CDT. The SET HF Net ran from 9 a.m. to Noon CDT with more than 50 stations checking in. There were also  45 VHF/UHF stations with formal traffic. The individual ARES Districts reported a similar number of VHF/UHF stations with traffic.

“We were extremely pleased with the response in this modified exercise that followed one we did in the spring, part of an ongoing effort to hone the system used to train amateur radio operators in the event of a catastrophic emergency in Illinois and their interaction with counterparts in nearby states,” said Zelz.  

Plans are already in motion for a spring 2022 version of the SET to further expand and enhance the exercise’s operating efficiency. 

Illinois SET a Success!

The Illinois Section Simulated Emergency Test (SET), held on October 2, 2021 between the hours of 8AM and Noon CDT was an resounding success. The SET began with a general “Wellness Net” from 8 AM to 9 AM. The goal of this net was to encourage participation from all areas of amateur radio, extending beyond those with an interest in the SET. Approximately 150 HF/VHF/UHF/Echolink stations checked in during the “Wellness Net” from 8 to 9 AM CDT.

The SET HF Net ran from 9 to Noon CDT with more than 50 stations checking in. There were also 45VHF/UHF stations with formal traffic. The individual ARES Districts reported a similar number of VHF/UHF stations with traffic.

Plans are already in motion for a spring version of the SET to further enhance operating efficiency.

Illinois ARES SET, HF Net, and 60M Check this weekend

The Illinois Section SET will be held on Saturday, October 2, 2021, between 8 AM and Noon CDT. At 8 AM CDT there will be a “Wellness Net” on 3905 kHz and EchoLink on node# 824404 (WB0VTM-L) for one hour preceding SET activities.

The ICS-205a Frequency List for the exercise can be found here.

The complete PowerPoint slide deck explaining the exercise, including the list of District Contact Stations, is here.