It’s hard to believe 2021 is half over. I had a great time in Mendota at the Starved Rock hamfest. My small battery operated fan came in very handy with the temperature and humidity. It was great seeing old friends and meeting new.

Field Day was a busy time. I had the opportunity to work with Boy Scouts on their radio merit badge. My original plan was to start in northern Illinois and work my way south. Those plans were changed due to the inclement weather throughout central Illinois. Instead I visited sites from south central Illinois then westward on I70 to southwest Illinois and finally arriving back in Marion. It was just over 700 miles in the two days.

The fun part was, in addition to seeing the different Field Day setups, I had the opportunity to work 64 stations on HF during the drive. Next year, hopefully, we won’t have bad weather and I can start in northern Illinois. If you let me know your Field Day site in late May or Early June next year, I will try and visit.

I have received a request from a member asking about AREDN networks or people in the section experimenting with ARDEN. If you are experimenting or running ARDEN please let me know so I can relay the information.

We have more hamfests coming up. This weekend is the ARRL Indiana State Convention in Indianapolis. Then on July 18 we have the KARS hamfest in Peotone followed by the Hamfesters Hamfest on Sunday August 1 also in Peotone. The following Saturday, August 7, the West Central Illinois Hamfest is in Carlinville.

On August 28 the Society of Midwest Contesters will hold their annual SMCFest, which is an ARRL Specialty Operating Convention, in Naperville. That will be followed by the Northern Illinois DX Association W9DXCC ARRL Illinois Section Convention, September 10-11 in Naperville.

On September 18-19 the Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club will be holding their PAARC Superfest in Pekin and on September 26 the Chicago FM Club will hold their Radio Expo in Belvidere.

After a year of no in-person hamfests it is great to get out once again. I look forward to seeing you at one or more of the hamfests.

I also received the following announcement for 2022. The Winterfest ARRL Midwest Convention will be held on January 22 in Collinsville and the Starved Rock hamfest is planned for June 5, 2022.

If you enjoy contesting be sure to check out for all the upcoming contests. There is something for everyone on the calendar.

Remember to mark your calendars on the 1st and 3rd Sunday each month for the statewide ARES net at 4:30 p.m. on 3905 kHz. If you don’t have HF capabilities you can listen to the net on Echolink at WB0VTM-L. If you are unsure how to get on Echolink, contact me at and I’ll be glad to help.

If you know someone who is licensed but you haven’t heard them on the air, check with them and see if you can help them get back on. It is also especially important that a new ham get help. Don’t wait for them to contact you. Reach out and invite them to your next club meeting and find out how you can help them program their radio or build an antenna.
Until next month, 73 and good operating.