With temperatures barely above freezing, and snow covering just about everything, members from the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club setup their portable ham radio equipment, as part of the annually held Winter Field Day event. This event encourages Ham Radio operators across North America to test their radio equipment with the goal of making contacts in less than favorable weather conditions. Like previous years, the club decided to hold this outside at the Schaumburg Community Recreation Center.
Even before the setup started, some of the club’s board members were asked to be interviewed for the Schaumburg Park District’s Schaumburg Heartbeat cable TV show, which airs monthly on the district’s cable channels, including Comcast 15, WOW 14 and AT&T 99. During the interview they were asked about ham radio, and all the different activities our club does. We expect this will be available for viewing on their YouTube channelwithin the next few months.
So, starting around 10.30am, the outdoor picnic area was cleared of snow, and a set of tarps were erected around the main shelter to try and provide a break from the wind. Using a combination of generator power, and portable battery power, 3 radios were in operation. 2 of them on SSB, the other used for CW (morse code). This put our operating class for the event as 3 Oscar IL (3 = 3 radios, Oscar = Outdoors, IL = Illinois).
Antennas were also strategically deployed outside of the shelter, and consisted of a 20m endfed (sloping configuration), a vertical 20m supported on a telescopic pole, and a mobile screwdriver style antenna.
As you can see from the contact log below (divided by SSB and CW), contacts were made across North America, even as far north as Alaska. For the SSB log, I had a technical issue with my iPad which meant I had to use a paper/pen log, and so some of the contact times may be off a little.
Based on WFD 2020 Rules, we scored as follows:
WFD 2020 Score
(12 x 1)
(6 x 2)
No commercial power
Not at home
Bob, W9DXR provided the following report from the CW station:
” We didn’t make a lot of contacts (6 to be exact) but we had a lot of fun and were able to span the US with contacts in IL, CO, NM, UT, and FL. When we started to assemble the CW station antenna we were short on parts and had to use two “bungee” cords to keep the vertical antenna pole upright. In the true spirit of emergency communication we got our station on the air. If the sun spots were with us and propagation had been better I’m sure the station log would have many more contacts. However, we met our objective of getting the club station on the air and making contacts.
73, Bob W9DXR “
From my own perspective, and also listening to other’s feedback, a few points for improvement next year would be:
Bring headphones/headset – the volume of conversations from non-operators within the shelter sometimes made it difficult for me to hear the radio contacts I was trying to make.
Antenna coverage – we seemed to all be on 20m for the most part, so covering more bands (even though 40m was in bad shape) would be a huge benefit. My antenna tuner managed to get my 20m endfed working on 40m but it wasn’t ideal.
The only part of me that got cold were my feet – perhaps something underfoot to insulate from the concrete floor would help.
Food – some hot food from a gas grill or stove would have been welcome, albeit that we were only operating for a couple of hours.
So finally, here are all the photos taken by several of us during the event! Thank you to everyone who submitted their photos, and of course thank you to everyone who helped make this day so much fun.
Rob Glowacki N9MVO previously reported our first two events for 2020 will be the MS Walk May 3rdand the 4th of July parade for Hoffman Estates. John K9WIC will email further MS Walk details to firstname.lastname@example.org for upload to site.
John Zietlow K9WIC informed there may be an EMCOMM event in April; expecting to providemore information as it becomes available.
Board authorized John K9WIC during January BOD to research possible participation in the Illinois Digital Emergency Network.
Fusion machine at the hospital will be removed and placed in spares. The machine has not been moved as of tonight. Leo will unplug the equipment this week. Removal of the equipment will be set for some time in the spring.
Bill McGovern W9WEM reported attendance during Construction Project meeting January 25th:
Construction Project (CP) cabinet clearance: Planning to schedule club’s help reviewing eligible sale items once the Dummy Load project finishes. Next Hamfest is May @ Sandwich.
Brief discussion regarding Construction Project equipment: Survey is needed in replacing depleted tools, possibly upgrading test equipment, and checking for other resources requiring consideration. No immediate action taken.
Unable to determine any specific source of recent report(s) where a newly-attending Ham(s) was somehow shunned/disappointed by the CP group’s lack of attentiveness. Asking for increased awareness be instilled that will assist in welcoming new participants.
John Schofield AC9JS reports Volunteer Testing Resultsfor February 1, 2020
Participating Volunteer Examiners (VEs):
Next examination date:March 7, 2020 at the Bock Neighborhood Center for the next two months due to CRC space allocation needed for their special events. This venue change will also be posted to our website.
Rob N9MVO submitted this report.So…..the following Amateurs checked into the January 30th net:
N9MVO Rob (Net Control)
Matt AC9IG, Net Control for the 23rdof January Net reports:18 Check–ins!
There was a discussion about the dummy load for construction project. It’s expected that the reworked resistors will be available as well as the remaining parts if you still need to pick them up at this Saturday’s construction project.
We also had several discussions about projects that our members are taking on as well as Arduinos, battling robots, dog-like robots and grade school and high school robot building competitions.
Radio Hill Gazette RHG
Geoff KA9QGH no report.
Dennis C. Calvey KD9HIKPublicity Chair announced the SARC June Field Day plans are submitted to Daily Herald.
During the Winter Field Day event, the Schaumburg Park District Heartbeat Community Cable Channel interviewed Rob Glowacki N9MVO and Kent Ochs W9KAO and videotaped operator activity for a future segment. Dennis also provided digital photographs from the N9RJV.ORG website for inclusion in the segment.
It’s expected that it will take several months for the interviews to be edited and combined with the digital photographs. Don Clancy and Burke MacDonald will keep Dennis informed. Don Clancy brought up the possibility of doing another segment during our Summer Field Day event.
John KD9KSH reports nothing scheduled in the near–term.
Leo N9NBH said plans for September class remain in place.
Kent W9KAO moved that SARC’s Recording Secretary Minutes will be posted on our website according to Roberts Rules of Order. Leo N9NBH seconded. So moved.
Action Required: Cliff K9QD to inform Webmaster of this action taken to assist in providing timely communication instead of posting planned activities after the event date(s) may have already passed. The goal is to conform to Robert’s Rules of Order and also avoid the current situation of time-sensitive information languishing until the end of a publication month
Kent W9KAO moved the club generate a special appreciation award of $150 to be utilized for presentation at a future time. John KD9KSH will purchase prepaid Visa card. Leo N9NBH seconded. So moved.
Action Required:Chris AC9GN to reimburse John KD9KSH once purchase receipt is presented.
Internal Revenue Service: Anticipatingpreparation of our report for 2019.
State of Illinois Annual Report is completed and ready for submission.
Action Required: Cliff K9QD Sending Annual Report documents to Chris AC9GN so that our $10 fee can be submitted before the State of Illinois filing deadline of March 1st.
Action Required:We need a Budget for 2020.
Need to appoint a Secretary to fulfill Ken’s departure.
Rebecca Hopkins KA9EFE brought brownies tonight. All gone in minutes.
Geoff Stevens KA9QGH President called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM
Danny Kafka KD9HIL
Cliff Sowka K9QD
Chris Brewer AC9GN
Mel Luxenberg W9FRT
Geoff Stevens KA9QGH
Rick Dickens KY0Q
Ed Liska AC9SD
Kevin Willard KB9QVX
Robert Kocourek W9RKK
John Zietlow K9WIC
Bob Benwitz N9JAX
Daryl Jenks KB9RHR
Steve Karson AC9EM
Doug May W9YFC
Rob Glowacki N9MVO
John Douglas KD9KSH
Don Smith K9UD
Don Dewar KD9NJR
Leo Ribordy N9NBH
Sid Puri KD9OLJ
David Weinheimer AC9VW
Tom Geletta N9CBA
Dennis C. Calvey KO9HIK
Cliff Sowka K9QD requested a motion to accept the minutes of the December meeting. So moved.
Chris Brewer AC9GN reported
Expense$ 1,335.89 (SK Auction funds to widow, $62.82 Data Line, Party Awards)
Current number of fully paid members in good standing: 89
Rob Glowacki N9MVO reported our first two events for 2020 will be the MS Walk in early May. A 5 Watt HT is sufficient for the 3M walk. Following our Field Day event, we will assist with 4th of July parade for Hoffman Estates.
John Zietlow K9WIC informed Emergency Simulation will be held April 24th and April 25th. Potential class at Hoffman PD. Scenario with Red Cross @ Sears Center handle evacuees from Downstate. Attempt to set up HF, VHF with downstate stations.
Rob Glowacki N9MVO reported 60Hz noise fixed 4PM today. Link pulled down to stop jamming Wednesday 8:30 reported Rap Music on 440.
Six Dummy Loads remain to be claimed.
Bill McGovern W9WEM reported attendance at last week’s Construction Project meeting:
Volunteer Testing Results: Two tested with one passing Tech and one passing General.
Radio Hill Gazette RHG
Mike Griffiths K9KMV requests articles for publication.
Bob N9JAX no report.
Special $150 Gift Certificate was awarded in gratitude for extensive machine shop production supporting our Dummy Load effort.
Leo N9NBH reports schedule for next Ham Radio License class to start Sep 5th
Steve AC9EM reported February 6th Net activity.
Thanks everyone, for checking into the net this evening. 25 people checked in!!! The question(s) of the night: Are you aware of any HF Band Nets and when do they occur? Do you participate? We received lots of Net recommendations and advice. Thanks for the question Dirk, W0RI…
Remember your check-in is important and your traffic always welcome. Also, a lot more interesting than the basic Net Script… We want to hear from you…
Tonight’s check-ins include:
Leo N9NBH reported 2/13/20
N9NBH Leo Net Control
The question of the evening was: Do you have a 220 Mhz radio? If not, do
you have a HF rig that you could install a transverter.
Dennis KO9HIK reported the Village of Schaumburg Cable TV team interviewed Rob N9MVO and Kent W9KAO during Winter Field Day. Will report scheduled public release once known.
Two visiting hams, David Weinheimer AC9VW and Tom Geletta N9CBA presented Fox Hunting techniques.
Leo N9NBH reported Bill Clark from Schaumburg EMCOMM attended our Winter Field Day.
Need eBay Sales Chair
160M on Air event starts Friday.
Field Day planning: Danny KD9HIL reviewed action items needed: Permit submitted by Rob N9MVO prior to June event. Should Field Day be a social event or contest event, or both? Planning items like security, radio equipment (160M used with EMCOMM). Should we rent equipment for the public demonstration? Bring action item requirements to the Board of Directors.
Ask an Elmer
Q. What to do about a lost QSO?
Dave Simms of the Breakfast Club discussed online call book utilization
Is the FCC taking some bands away from Amateur Radio?
Prevention is to be active
Motion to Adjourn:
Cliff Sowka K9QD Interim Secretary
……with special thanx to Chris’ AC9GN help capturing meeting minutes for us. My abrupt departure from the meeting was due to a sick animal at home.