I’m a bit later than I wanted to be with this newsletter because I am
recovering from COVID. I became one of the statistics on August 30. Even
though I had both vaccines, I let my guard down and caught it. It has
put me out of commission for the W9DXCC conference as well as Peoria and
probably Belvidere hamfests. While I have been recovering, others in the
section have been busy.
Assistant Section Manager Ron Delpiere-Smith, KD9IPO, participated in
the HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes special event station W4V over the Labor
Debbie Gray, WX9VOR, worked many hours as one of the hurricane watch
VoIP net control stations.
We have had several planning meetings for the upcoming Simulated
Emergency Test (SET) on October 2. John Zelz, W9ZE, EC McHenry County,
graciously agreed to be the chair for the exercise. Our counterparts in
surrounding states will also be participating with us on October 2. John
has provided the following information:
One of the key areas of focus for amateur radio is public service. In
order to maintain key skills used to support our public service effort,
Illinois amateurs are invited to participate in the Simulated Emergency
Test (SET) on October 2, 2021, between 8 AM and 12 Noon. The event is
open to all amateurs regardless of club or EMCOMM affiliation. There are
several ways to participate:
• Check into the SET Wellness Net starting at 8 AM on 3905 kHz.
This is a revival of the very successful Wellness Net run during the
early stages of the Covid pandemic, where over the course of the net, 94
of 102 counties in the state checked in. District ECs and local ECs are
being encouraged to also run local VHF and/or UHF nets in order to
reach out to operators how do not have HF capability.
• Get your ARES/RACES/EMCOMM team to participate. At 9 AM, the
Wellness Net will transition to a formal ARES Net for the purpose of
passing messages within Illinois, as well as our surrounding states.
Groups are being challenged to pass at least one message to each of the
other Illinois ARES districts within the state. The message will be
short, but include a request for a reply. That means that every district
could end up handling up to 14 messages during the course of the event.
That could be up to 112 messages handled during the course of the
Contact your local EC to see where you can participate. A list of ECs
along with more information about the SET can be found at:
Since we are partnering with our colleagues in other states, we should
also strive to log into their ARES nets. The following information will
help you to do that:
The Indiana Section ARES® HF net is held on 3.900 MHz every Sunday at 5
The Indiana ARES® HF Digital Net is held every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
Eastern Time except the second Wednesday of the month on or about 3.583
MHz using Olivia 8/500.
Tuesday evenings 7 p.m. Central, 3.5885 MHz USB Olivia 8-500 (check ins)
1500 Hz WF. Out of Iowa we call after our regular check ins. The
first Tuesday we also do Winlink P2P after the net, for practice.
Kentucky Winlink Net
When: Thursdays 00:00LT EST (04:00 UTC/ZULU) to 23:59LT EST 03:59
Session Type: Messages will be accepted via VARA P2P (frequency below)
P2P Frequency: Center Frequency 3583.5 KHz USB, Dial Frequency
3582 KHz USB
Information Requested: All requested info should be submitted on a
Winlink Check In form.
Winlink Check In form fields should be field out as follows:
Date/Time: Date and time of report
Band: HF Amateur if sending on HF, VHF if sending on a 2-meter
frequency, UHF is sending on 70 centimeter frequency
Mode: Select mode you are sending. If using VARA pick either HF or FM
depending on the band used. If sending Ardop select that. If sending via
packet select packet.
Send To: AF4Y
Call Signs of Initial On-Site Operators: Leave Blank or your call
Sender: Your Callsign
Location: Your QTH, if EOC or Hospital please note
Decimal GPS Coordinates: Easily looked up using your address
MGRS: Will auto populate once you put in GPS info
Grid: Will auto populate once you put in GPS info
We had a good showing this past Sunday on the 4:30 p.m. ARES net by out
of state partners. Let’s return the favor.
Jim Pitchford, N9LQF, EC Macoupin County Illinois has also been busy.
In preparation for the upcoming September 22 exercise at Boyd Memorial
Hospital in Carrollton and the SET that will be held on October 2, 2021,
members of Macoupin County ARES met with the Hospital Emergency
Coordinator in Staunton at the Community Memorial Hospital to review
procedures and review the emergency amateur radio equipment located on
the top floor of the hospital.
N9LQF from Girard, W9FE from Bunkerhill, N9VFP from Eagerville,
KC9MQX from Benld and KD9MNR all met in the parking lot at 10 a.m. and
walked into the facility as volunteer radio operators ready to be
trained on policies, procedures and equipment located in the facility.
Sue Laughlin, the EC for the Hospital Emergency Department,
captured all of our critical information so she could contact us if
needed in the future. She also shared a copy of the facilities TICP,
Tactical Interoperability Communications Plan for us to review. After
a 10 minute meeting with Sue, the team traveled by elevator and
stairway up to the top floor of the facility to review the operations
station which is a Kenwood TM D710 dual band radio on a 35 watt power
supply and a diamond dual band antenna up about 50 above ground on the
roof of the hospital.
After reviewing the channels programmed into the unit, it was
discussed and determined to change them to the known emergency repeater
and simplex frequencies that are currently being operated during
emergencies. The station was able to work both the 444.250 linked
repeater system in West Central Illinois and the 146.850 repeater in St
Louis which is used as the primary for the HARN network of hospital in
the Metro Saint Louis Area. A simplex contact was also made using
Macoupin County ARES simplex frequency of 147.480.
After all operators were familiar with the equipment it was
discussed the have operators come to the hospital on the second Friday
of each month to check into the HARN net at 0810. (HARN) is part of the
Saint Louis Area Resources and Response System (STARRS) that covers
all of the IDPH Hospital in Region Eight.
KD8KVO who lives in Staunton but was unable to be with us today has
been the key point of contact in the City for emergency communication
and the hospital was excited to have not only a back-up operator but 5
back-up operators to respond to them if ever needed.
We completed out training around Noon and all members returned to
their life as normal format.
Our next training at the facility will be one week from this Friday
as Mike and Gaylon are responding for the HARNS net. The exercise on
September 22 from Greene County will be a way to demonstrate to the
Administrator at Boyd Hospital in Carrollton that amateur radio
operators really can reach out and touch someone when all else fails.
This is to model for the SET on October 2, as we are working to activate
as many hospitals in District Eight which is eleven counties. As of
right now we have commitment from 7 hospitals to participate.
Congratulations to John Zelz, Debbie Gray, Jim Pitchford, and my fellow
Section Managers Jimmy Merry, KC9RPX, Indiana, Lee Garner, WA0UIG, Iowa,
Steve Morgan, W4NHO for all the time and efforts they have put in this
Speaking of congratulations, I had the honor of presenting Carlos
Arzuagas, W9FE, with a Certificate of Appreciation for all his dedicated
work in training the new group of Extra class operators. Not only did he
teach the classes but he also spent considerable time to develop over
1,000 slides used in the class.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Great American Shakeout on
October 21. You can register for the event at:
For those who have heard my Earthquake presentation, I thought I would
share the follow showing 970 quakes in our area since 1900:
Finally, I am soliciting your nominations for the recipient of the
Illinois Section Amateur Of The Year award. Nominations are open until
November 30, 2021. Please include your nominee’s full name, call sign,
address, telephone number and ARRL Club affiliation along with a 250
word or less reason for the nomination. Please send them to:
Until next month, good luck and let’s have a great showing for the
October 2 SET.