April was a busy month for Illinois amateurs.

We started the month with the SET/Earthquake exercise on May 1. In spite
of, what I would call a perfect storm, namely poor propagation,
equipment failures and difficulty passing traffic, we were successful in
getting message through to participants. We tried to make it an
inclusive exercise, that is, no matter your license level, there were
activities for you. It is not a matter of if–but rather when–will we
have a major earthquake or other disaster. Exercises like this give us a
chance to practice in the event we have a major incident.

The following day, May 2, was our first real hamfest in Sandwich,
Illinois since the start of COVID. A good time was had by all. It was
great to see friends that I hadn’t seen in over a year as well as meet
new friends. We, Kermit and Thom, also had 11 new or renewing ARRL

Later that afternoon, the Illinois ARES Statewide Roll Call Net was held
on 3905 kHz at 4:30 p.m. The net happens the first and third Sunday of
the month at that time and frequency. For those who do not have HF
capabilities, or propagation is poor, the audio from the net is
simulcast on Echolink courtesy of wb0vtm on the link WB0VTM-L or node
824404. That gives everyone a chance to hear the net no matter license
class. A roster of Echolink check ins is kept and forwarded to the SEC.
We hope to hear you on 3905 kHz or see you on Echolink.

On May 15 there was another statewide exercise, VHF Simplex message
across Illinois (North to South and East to West). This is one of the
monthly exercises held on the fifteenth of each month at 7 p.m. for two
hours. Each month involves a different exercise. The monthly schedule
can be found on the ilares.org page. It gives everyone a chance to
participate on one or more of the exercises. Check out the schedule and
get ready to participate.

Then on May 16, the second Illinois ARES Statewide Roll Call Net was
held on 3905 kHz at 4:30 p.m.

You can also participate in one (or all) of the Illinois Traffic Nets.
Everyone is welcome with or without traffic. The nets are the North
Central Phone Net, Daily at 7 a.m. local time, on 3912 kHz LSB; the
Illinois Phone Net, Monday – Friday at 4:45 p.m. local time, on 3857
kHz LSB and on Sunday at 8 a.m. on 3940 kHz; and the Illinois Sideband
Net, Daily at 6 p.m. local time, on 3905 kHz LSB.

This past weekend on June 6, the Starved Rock Radio Club held its
hamfest in Peru, Illinois. In spite of the heat and humidity,  it was
well attended and we signed up 6 new or renewing ARRL members. My thanks
to Ron, KD9IPO for his help setting up, our SEC Robert, W9DSR, for
helping to man the ARRL table, and to all of you who helped to reload my
car at the end. On my way home I was able to check in to the Illinois
ARES net at 4:30 p.m. from my mobile. The next Illinois ARES net will be
Sunday, June 26.  We hope to hear you.

Now it’s time to get ready for Field Day. I will be spending part of
my time working with K9PWW and  KD9FRQ helping Boy Scouts earn their
radio merit badges. I hope to hear you on the air.

We have a number of hamfest still coming up. They are:
        Central Division Indiana Convention July 9-11
        Kankakee/Peotone July 18
        Hamfesters Peotone August 1
        West Central Illinois, Carlinville August 7
        W9DXCC Convention September 10-11 
        Peoria Superfest September 18-19
        Radio Expo Belvidere (Chicago FM Club) September 26

Finally, we are looking for someone to help out with the ilclubs.net
page. If you can donate an hour or so a month, please contact me for
more information.

I look forward to see you.
Thom W9RY