SM Newsletter – Sept. 2020

It seems like September went by too fast and fall has now begun. That
means it’s time to check your antennas and coax before the cold
weather sets in. I’ve worked on a lot of antennas in my amateur career
and I can definitely tell you it’s much easier to do antenna work when
your fingers are not numb when you’re trying to put the nuts on u-bolt
or get that antenna support up over an icy tree branch.

During September I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of our radio
clubs both in person and online and more have been scheduled in October.
Please let me know when you are having club meetings that I can attend.

Several clubs have been holding meetings in parks where everyone can
spread out and conform to COVID-19 restrictions. Since we haven’t been
able to attend hamfests, they have coupled their meetings with
swapfests.  It is another way to maybe pick up some used equipment or
those hard to find components.

If you would like to get together for a day of food and friendship, the
Egyptian Radio Club is holding a  Halloween Meet and Greet at Pleasant
Ridge Park in Fairview Heights. For more information contact
kb9lbc@gmail.com.

This past weekend was the Illinois mini Field Day. Propagation on 80/75
was not great but contacts were made on both phone and P2P  Winlink
digital and through HF and IDEN gateways. Several Trimode
(ARDOP/VARA/PACTOR) HF gateways were recently added in Illinois. If you
haven’t  updated your channels on HF and VHF/UHF, I would recommend
you start doing it at least every two weeks. When you do your update you
should see WB9QPM, NC9IL and W9DSR have been added to your HF gateway
list.

John Nebl (ASM), N9MYC, has started an amateur radio net in NE Illinois
on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on the 875DX repeater (444.875 +5mhz input
and 114.8pl). If you’re anywhere between the Wisconsin border on the
north to I-80 on the south and I-39 on the west to Lake Michigan on the
east, join John on the new net.

The ilclubs.net is still looking for club information. This is a great
resource for letting others know what your club is doing.

We also hope you are checking the ilares.org page. It is an excellent
source for ARES/AUXCOMM information.

By now I expect you have heard about the FCC proposed $50 amateur
license fee. If you would like to add your comments you can do it by
going to:
www.fcc.gov/ecfs/help/ecfs
then click on “express comment”
Fill in the number 20-270
After entering your information and comment, copy it and submit it.
After you receive your email confirmation, forward your comments to our
Central Division Director at w9xa@arrl.org.

If you missed the September VHF contest, there are several more before
the year ends.
October 3-4 is the ARRL SET exercise. See page 75 in the September issue
of QST for more information on the SET.

During this year’s SET, participating ARES/NTS members can earn SET
bonus points by participating in the ARRL Centennial QSO Party. During
the October 4-5 SET weekend, ARES and NTS field members and appointees
are encouraged to get on the air and call “CQ Centennial.” The
exchange is signal report, name, location, and your designator.

Then try your luck on the EME 50 to 1296 MHz contest 0000Z October 10
through 2359Z October 11.

The Illinois QSO Party begins at 1700Z on October18 through 0100Z
October19 on 160 through 2 meters, excluding 60, 30, 17,and 12 meters.
Come join the fun.

You also have the School Club Roundup, October 19, 1300Z thru 25,
23:59Z, which is an amateur radio event for clubs and individuals,
especially those that are associated with elementary, middle, junior
high, or high schools, or colleges. The objective is to give young
people experience with on-air activity in a contest-like format by
exchanging QSO information with any amateur radio stations. This is an
excellent opportunity to introduce young people to the hobby at your
local schools.

73 until next month
Thom W9RY IL SM
w9ry@arrl.org