Club Member Invited to Operate IARU Headquarters Station

One of the special features IARU HF Championship contest is bonus points for contacting the headquarters stations for each of the IARU member societies. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) itself also counts as one of these stations. While the Union does not maintain their own station, the privilege to operate their NU1AW call sign is awarded to different contest stations each year. WB9Z and K9CT were chosen this year to operate SSB and CW respectively. These stations are expected to work on multiple bands simultaneously to maximize the number of contest participants that can get these bonus points. This requires a team of operators.

Matt AC9IG was asked to be part of the SSB team hosted by Jerry WB9Z and Val NV9L in Crescent City, IL. He answered a few questions for us regarding operating in this contest.

AC9IG operates as NU1AW/9 in the IARU HF Championship contest

How did the station differ from your setup at home?

The station at WB9Z is set up for three radios to operate simultaneously. Each one has an amplifier capable of 1500W as well as a high-end radio that really helps to pull out call signs and exchanges in crowded band conditions. The radios each have access to an array of antennas for all bands. Some of these rotate, others are oriented in different fixed directions to take advantage of the gain they provide to different continents for DX. At home I have a dipole that propagates east-west and a 100W transceiver.

Each radio is also attached to a computer to facilitate logging. This is similar to my home station, however we took advantage of having three logs available to us by networking the computers. This once a station was in any log the contest exchange (in this case an ITU zone) would automatically be looked up by any other station completing a part of the log for you automatically.

With the contest station the goal is to get as many contacts as possible. There are a few features of the station that help this. A high quality set of headphones nearly cuts out all noise from the room so you can focus on the audio from the radio. With three stations operating in the same room this is very helpful. The headphones also have a microphone attached so there is no need to pick up a hand mic leaving your hands free to enter call signs into the computer. To complete keeping your hands on the keyboard, the push to talk switch is actually a foot pedal. It takes a few minutes to get used to this setup.

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Meet the VE Testing Team

Our team of Volunteer Examiners (VEs) dedicates one Saturday morning per month to administering Amateur Radio license exams for all three license levels. They also spend additional time submitting paperwork for all of the new licenses generated from the tests as well as keeping their testing materials up to date with the latest question pools. In 2017 the team granted 68 new or upgraded licenses.

You can find more information on our test dates and times here.

Seated: Tom Doyle K9MF. Standing (L – R): Bill Davies K9WKD, Dirk Smith W0RI, Bill Riess KW9WR, Steve Karson AC9EM, Ed Lischa AC9SD, John Schofield AC9JS

Reminder: W9DXCC Scholarship Applications Due

SARC is sponsoring two scholarships for W9DXCC this fall. Forms are due August 1, 2017 and should be sent to the club president.

Thanks to a generous donation from a member, the club will be sponsoring two people to attend the W9DXCC convention on September 14 and 15 at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg.

The criteria for awarding the scholarship as well as other conditions are in the attached form. The due date is August 1, 2017.

W9DXCC Scholarship Form

Field Day Results

The club operated 2A (two transmitters + GOTA, club station) on Field Day. We had approximately 35 participants over the 24 hour period.

Our final score is: 3,204

This consists of:

  • 490 Bonus Points for the ARRL bulletin, emergency power, public location, youth participants and GOTA.
  • 610 CW QSOs
  • 382 Phone QSOs
  • 35 Digital QSOs

We did not get all of the sections, missing a few in Canada, AK, EWA, and PAC. We made contacts on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters.

We would like to thank everyone who operated, participated, helped in the setup, teardown and planning for the event. We are especially thankful for those who oversaw the tent and food preparation: Robert W9RKK for SSB, Bob W9DXR for CW, Bob W9GEW for GOTA and Bill W9WEM for both dinner and breakfast with help from Frank N9QPD. A special thanks goes out to Ryan W9RAO for climbing the tower at both setup and tear down, and as serving as our impromptu first aid station.

Here is a video shot by drone as we were setting up. Thanks to Peter KD9ICT for bringing the drone.

A few photos of our operation follow.

New SARC banners donated by Bob W9GEW
GOTA and SSB stations
Matt AC9IG operates SSB
Robert W9RKK operates SSB
CW station waiting for the contest to begin
Commemorative Field Day 2018 name badges were produced on site by laser etching. Bob W9GEW brought this equipment to the site.