Field Day 2024 – Everyone Invited!

Come join us for ARRL Field Day. Everyone is invited even if you don’t have a ham radio license! Our members will have all of the radios, antennas, microphones and oh-so-many cables all set up and ready for you to get on the air.

Or, maybe you want to talk with one of our members about how we’re communicating with people all over the country and world with an antenna that’s less than 50′ long. It’s really incredible.

The event starts at 1pm on June 22 and runs for 24 hours. Join us at 1406 N. Plum Grove Rd. Schaumburg IL and see what we’re up to.

More information is available on our 2024 Field Day Page including operator sign-up forms for our members.

These photos are from our 2023 event.

STEM Night at Anne Fox Elementary School

The Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club (SARC) was invited to participate in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Night at Anne Fox Elementary School in Hanover Park on Thursday May 2nd.

Robert Benwutz at Anne Fox Elementary STEM Fair

Leo Ribordy (N9NBH), SARC Education Chair organized the effort and recruited Daryl Jenks (KB9RHR), Robert Benwitz (N9JAX), SARC Board Member, Bill Riess (KW9WR) SARC Board Member, and Dennis Calvey (KD9HIK), SARC Publicity Chair.  Bill was called away to assist in a disaster relief effort and was unable to attend.

Our objective was to introduce as many people – students, parents, and teachers – as possible to Amateur Radio, and hopefully encourage them to follow up.
We knew going in that we’d have a very short period of time to get people’s attention, and then only a few minutes to deliver the message.

Our setup included a large supply of hand out literature, giveaway pens, a 32” monitor running a slide show about Amateur Radio, two base stations with antennas, and a couple of straight keys connected to buzzers.

The event was staged in several school hallways and the gym.  SARC was assigned a tabletop in the gym.

Leo and Daryl had brought radios and antennas for demonstrations, but it was quickly determined that all we could get was noise.  HT’s were able to hit the SARC repeaters with difficulty.

Tough RF conditions – LED ceiling lights, built up steel deck roof, interior cinder block walls, no way to get an antenna outside, and to make matters worse, a storm outside and a Van de Graf generator demonstration about 25 feet away.

So, while we couldn’t use the radios, we were able to talk about them, and stuff that HAMs do on the air.

The big hit for SARC was Robert’s Morse Code demonstration.  Almost every kid that saw his straight keys asked what they were and that’s all it took.  He gave a brief history of Morse Code (The Original Text Messaging!), and then wrote their name, with the letters arranged vertically, on a piece of paper.  Then he showed them the classic dots and dashes for each letter.  A quick lesson with the key, and then he had them send their name.  They walked away with a souvenir – their name written in Morse Code – and the parents got a bunch of literature.

There’s really no way to gauge how effective we were, but we did learn some lessons for the next time:

  1. Monitors running a slide show are OK, but they’re not effective at drawing people in. We think radios connected to a monitor showing things like PSK Reporter would be better.
  2. Hands on stuff, like Robert’s Morse Code demonstration, are key (pun intended) to getting engagement.
  3. The next time we try this, we’ll ask if we can check out the venue for antenna placement in advance.

If you have any suggestions for a HAM related hands-on activity that we could use in the future, please let us know.  It must be a quick commercial, and cost is an issue.

SARC in the Park Starts May 11

By Paul KD9FMN

Tonight, Howard ran another great [New Ham] net. The topic was on what to bring to a SARC in the PARK activity. I was asked to prepare a list of items that one needs to bring with them to have a successful QSO day. The list can be very short or quite extensive depending on the type of communications you want to do. The usual things such as a HAM radio, power source, an antenna, coax,  and coffee. For CW you need to bring your Key and perhaps a set of headphones. The simpler the set-up makes the day more enjoyable. KISS!

I have found that the ARRL has a very good list of items needed for POTA activations, another site is here
I hope this helps those of us that are new to outdoor activations and spurs more members to come to our first SARC in the PARK on May 11, 2024 at the Schaumburg CRC facility at 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg, IL.


This article originated as a discussion on our mailing list SARC-All.

Local Radio Tower History

Our club has an active email reflector (SARC-All) which discusses all things related to radio as well as club business. From time to time we post excerpts from some of the general radio discussions.

Kirk K9MSG started the discussion

Recently I’ve been near the southeast corner of Bloomingdale [Illinois – Ed.]. I’ve often looked up and across Army Trail Rd with curiosity at the pair of huge antennas sitting just inside Glendale Heights (between Bloomingdale and Glen Ellyn roads).  The 20+ acre lot has an impressive old brick building at the entrance that I imagined might be full of stories.  [Map – Ed.]

I finally got around to researching the site and it is certainly full of history that few may know!  Among the many stories…

  1. It was home to Chicago’s pioneering radio station over 100 years ago; KYW (fun to find that my great aunt performed in the 1920’s on that station
  2. It was the long-time home of WMAQ 670 at 50,000 watts
  3. On the site still stands a large, self-supporting, historic antenna which was first used in Cleveland before going on display at the NY World’s Fair in 1939 and then ending up here to become WMAQ’s emergency antenna when their original antenna collapsed in 1949.

If this is interesting to you, you might like to read this brief article which is one of the better ones that I found.

Cliff K9QD then brought the transmitter’s history into the club’s activities

Thanks for the history!

Interestingly WMAQ’s Continental 317C3 was sold for scrap and it was fortunate to find a fellow ham displaying its final tank coil at a Sandwich Hamfest.

  • Just had to have it….so it’s now employed as part of a crystal radio’s greatly-oversized tank circuit.

WMAQ’s EF Johnson final tank coil is still doing its thing on the broadcast band thanks to a long wire out to the trees.

[Cliff discusses the radio in the following video – Ed.]

Video credits: 

  1. Dave K9KBM and Rob N9MVO in charge of video production.
  2. Kent W9KAO winding one of our orange Construction Project extension cords in the background.
  3. Charles (SK) N5HSR finishes his own set’s tank winding.
  4. Mel W9FRT (SK) supplied the giant variable cap (B-17 antenna tuner).

Fun stuff.