Governor Pritzker has proclaimed June 2022 as Amateur Radio Month. I have sent a copy of the proclamation to those who have requested it. Hopefully they have shared it with their local officials and news outlets. I did with my local mayor and he then also issued a proclamation recognizing the significant role amateur radio operators contribute in the community. Please let our Public Information Coordinator (PIC), Vicky Whitaker, KD9BAU, know if your local officials have issued a proclamation. It’s one of the excellent ways we can get exposure for amateur radio.
I’m somewhat saddened by the lack of response by ARRL affiliated clubs in providing Vicky with the name of the club Public Information Officer (PIO). It is a critical role and every ARRL affiliated club is supposed to have a designated PIO. Vicky is working with those PIO’s that have been identiified and assisting them in their duties.
I am challenging every Illinois Section ARRL affiliated club to identify a PIO and send the information to Vicky at email@example.com. It is not a difficult job, nor does it require significant time.
Things are heating up as we approach Field Day and it’s not only the temperature. I hope your plans for June 25 and 26 are well underway.
As you probably know, the Section Emergency Test (SET) was canceled for April. There were conflicts with other activities. The SET has now been scheduled for the morning of June 25 before Field Day starts.
John, W9ZE, the SET chair provided the following information:
When: Saturday, June 25, from 10 AM to 12 Noon
Where: 7227 kHz. +/-
- Stations that are participating check into the net on 7227 kHz, and receive a radiogram message from KA9MZJ via voice. If several stations are present at the same time, all will copy the message together, but each will have their own unique message ID number. The message will include a request for information from each station.
- The participating stations with will gather the information and then reply with a radiogram formatted message to KA9MZJ. That message must be sent digitally and leave their site via RF. It DOES NOT need to go directly to KA9MZJ. It can go to an RMS station that you are able to connect with. For example, if you do not have WInlink HF but do have WInlink Packet, send it out via packet.
If you are able to participate, great! If not, no worries. You won’t lose any points for not participating. (You don’t get extra points if you do participate, though. Just the ability to bask in the glow of a job well done.) Remember that this is outside of the scope of Field Day.
There is also an EOC station hunt planned and John provided:
We will run small IL ARES event (trying not to say contest) to see how many EOC stations within Illinois your FD operation can contact (just once, independent of mode, HF only unless using satellite). To do this, we want to register those stations that will be operating out of an EOC. Typically, that would be indicated by using the Class “F” category. However, if you are operating in an EOC under a different class, that will count as well, but you have to be on the list. Think of this as similar in some ways to the 13 Colonies.
Please send me your station information, call sign, class and location by June 22 and I will compile the list of EOC stations that may be available during Field Day. We’ll work out the reporting details later, but it has been discussed about having some type of recognition for the group that contacts the most EOC stations. Maybe even a prize of some sort……It is rumored that the SM and SEC may have the ability to support free Happy Meals for your group if you win. That’s just a rumor. But there may be a trophy involved that could be awarded at the Illinois Section Convention in September.
You may have noticed that we don’t have a long list of rules for this event, nor do we have a web site. This is designed to be a fun event and we’ll make the rules up as we go. And just like all ham radio contests, you really don’t win anything other than bragging rights. And who wouldn’t want to brag that they beat <insert your rival (Lake County) here>. Keep it lite and have some FD fun!
The ARRL Club Grant program is well underway. The first round of applications are due by June 20. There will be a second round this fall.
The ARRL Club Grant program is funded by a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), making $500,000 available to radio clubs. The program will provide up to $25,000 for worthy club projects.
Information about the program and how to apply can be found at: http://www.arrl.org/club-grant-program.
Jim Hull, W9GJH, the section Affiliated Clubs Coordinator has been diligently working on launching the new ilclubs.net page. He is also checking which ARRL affiliated clubs have not filed their reports. The report needs to be filed annually. If you haven’t filed this year’s update, contact Jim ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send Jim your club information so he can highlight your activities. Don’t forget to also send it to our PIC.
Are you, or someone you know, having equipment problems? Jim Hudson, WB9QPM, our Section Technical Coordinator, is available daily via Zoom to help you solve equipment/WinLink, etc., problems. Contact Jim at email@example.com.
I have been working with our Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC), Robert Littler, W9DSR, to clean up the District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) and county Emergency Coordinator (EC) appointments in the database. The ARRL now has the correct information for the DEC list and hopefully the updated EC list will be completed soon.
We are also trying to get the Field Services appointments cleaned up. I discovered there were close to 35 web pages of appointments of Field Services appointments. The list contained SK’s, people who were no longer in the section, people who were appointed 10+ years ago that haven’t been heard on the air. It’s a time consuming process, but headway is being made. If you currently hold an appointment as an Official Emergency Station (OES) and wish to actively continue, please let me know. Otherwise I will remove your name from the list.
Even though gas prices are rising every day, I am still trying to get to your hamfests. The Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club hamfest on September 17 and 18, 2022, is also going to be the ARRL Illinois Section Conference. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. It’s been a couple of years since we had our Illinois Convention. I hope to see you all there.
If your club is either meeting on Zoom or having a combined in-person/Zoom meeting, Please send me your meeting information. I’m trying to make as many of the Zoom club meetings as possible.
Good luck on Field Day 2022 and please help us get our Illinois Section records brought up-to-date.