Happenings around the Section for February and March

This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant

February was a different type of month. Our weather here in southern Illinois has constantly changed from nice spring weather with flooding rains, to frigid cold along with some very strong 50+ mph winds that stressed our wire antennas. I was glad I put mine back up with the Kevlar paracord as I watched the trees swaying. I hope they are correct that March will go out like a lamb but it also begins our tornado season. I’m not complaining as I understand the northern part of the state is still dealing with snow.

An excellent time was had by all in Effingham at the Severe Weather Workshop put on by the National Trail Amateur Radio Club. It was a day of informative presentations. I’m looking forward to their next one. They were one of the recipients of a club grant that helped with the expenses of the conference.

Right after the conference I was out of town for a week as I had to make an emergency trip to Arizona when my mother passed away. Thank you to all who sent your condolences. They meant a lot to me as I dealt with her loss.

This weekend is the Lewis and Clark hamfest in Godfrey Illinois. The hamfest calendar is filling up quickly. Right now, here are the current ones we know about:

I’ve only included the Illinois hamfests but we also have the Society of Midwest Contesters, DXCC and the Wisconsin Convention again held at HRO Milwaukee and the Huntsville hamfest as well as the Central Division (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin) Conference.

  • 03/19/2023 – Sterling Rock Falls Hamfest, Dixon
  • 04/29/2023 – Sullivan Hamfest, Sullivan
  • 05/07/2023 – Dekalb/Sandwich Hamfest, Sandwich
  • 05/07/2023 – Dekalb/Sandwich Hamfest, Sandwich
  • 06/04/2023 – Starved Rock Radio Club Hamfest, Mendota
  • 06/11/2023 – Six Meter Club Hamfest, Wheaton
  • 06/11/2023 – Egyptian Fest, Granite City
  • 07/16/2023 – KARSFEST, Peotone
  • 08/05/2023 – West Central Illinois Hamfest, Carlinville
  • 08/06/2023 – Hamfesters 88th Annual Hamfest, Peotone
  • 09/16-17/2023 – Midwest Superfest, Chillicothe

After considerable conversations. it was decided we couldn’t get favorable results for an ARRL Illinois Section Convention. Instead it was decided to have 3 ARES meetings (North, Central, South) instead of a convention.

The first of the three will be held in Springfield on March 25, 2023 at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. An agenda for the Central Illinois Emergency Communications Summit is now available on ilares.org. The Summit will be held in Springfield, IL on Saturday, March 25 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Information about the sessions and panelists are included in the agenda. All ARES, RACES, AUXCOM and anyone interested in emergency communications is invited.

I’ve hinted at our new ARRL Illinois Section webpage for a while. I happy to announce arrl-il.org will go live this weekend. Please note that is ARRL with a dash IL.ORG. It will become a single point for the Illinois Section information instead of the current multiple locations. Many thanks go out to W9JGH, our Accredited Clubs Coordinator, for writing the code and your Section Cabinet for all their reviews so we could go live. New information will be added as needed. Your suggestions, as always, are appreciated.

If you have been listening on HF, you know that the Volunteers On The Air (VOTA), ARRL’s yearlong operating event, began January 1, 2023. The event is organized as part of ARRL’s 2023 theme, “Year of the Volunteers,” which recognizes the contributions of ARRL member volunteers, and offers opportunities to become more active and involved in amateur radio and ARRL.

Volunteers will be operating in all US states and territories as W1AW/#.

Illinois, W1AW/9, will be operating our two periods on the weeks of June 28, 2023 and December 6, 2023. K9CT is is responsible for the June week and I am responsible for the December week. If you are interested in operating as one of the W1AW/9 stations, contact K9CT at k9ct@arrl.net, or me at w9ry@arrl.org. We will be glad to schedule you in a time slot that is convenient for you. VOTA is not only for HF. It encompasses HF, VHF and UHF operations. So don’t think you can’t participate if you don’t have HF capabilities.

If you wish to read more about VOTA go to https://vota.arrl.org/ where you will find more information. Come join us for a week of fun. In the interim, get on the air and work the other states. A complete list of operations can be found on the https://vota.arrl.org page under the link W1AW activations. It’s a great time to pick up some of those Worked All States contacts you’ve been missing.

Were you one of the 3Y0J 19,000, Bouvet Island, contacts that ended on February 14, 2023? The team had a very difficult time and you can read more about the obstacles they faced at https://www.arrl.org/news/bouvet-island-dxpedition-wraps-up.

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program for contacts that will be held between January 1, 2024, and June 30, 2024 is closing the proposal submissions on March 31, 2023. Proposal information and more details, such as expectations, proposal guidelines, and the proposal form, can be found at https://www.ariss.org/apply-to-host-an-ariss-contact.html.

Is your affiliated club taking advantage of the Affiliated Club Commission program? If not you are missing out on the opportunity to add $5 for ARRL renewals and $15 for new ARRL members submitted to ARRL headquarters.

A new member is defined as any individual who has never been a member of ARRL or an individual who has not been a member of ARRL for 2 or more years prior to their application submission. Renewing members can renew at any time even before their current membership expires and their membership will be extended.

One of the requirements for an ARRL Affiliated Club is a Public Information Coordinator (PIO). Our Section Public Information Coordinator (PIC), Vicky, KD9BAU, has been working with our section club PIO’s to insure they have the necessary information to help publicize your club activities. If you have not designated a club PIO, please make your PIO appointment and let Vicky, kd9bau@arrl.net, know so they can work with her to help your club get publicity.

The Illinois ARRL Section is always looking for volunteers for our Field Services activities. If you are interested in serving your local area hams as an Emergency Coordinator (EC) contact our Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) at w9dsr@arrl.net. If you are interested in an Official Emergency Station (OES), Official Bulletin Station (OBS) etc. appointment, please contact me at w9ry@arrl.org. We are looking for fellow hams who will participate, not just hang a piece of paper on the shack wall. I know that may sound rough but it is a reality. We are all volunteers who give their time and money to make sure the Illinois Section can be well represented and serve our fellow hams. To paraphrase the Army quote, “We are looking for a few good people.”

We are also looking for someone who is interested in serving as an Assistant Section Manager (ASM) in the northwest area of our section and a young ham who is interested in helping our Youth Coordinator. Please contact me, w9ry@arrl.org with your recommendations or your interests.

During the lame duck session of the 117th Congress, two bills were introduced. H.R. 9664 that would change symbol rate < 300 baud to a bandwidth < 2.8 KHz and H.R 9670 dealing with antenna restrictions. We are hoping they will be reintroduced in the 118th Congress. We are also hoping the FCC will act on some of the other proposals they have been sitting on for some time. I’m not holding my breath but I guess there is always hope. Until next time,

I wish you good propagation.
Thom W9RY


ARRL Illinois Section Section Manager: Thomas H Beebe, W9RY w9ry@arrl.org