Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club Board of Director March 7, 2018

Frank Giampa N9QPD Chairman opened the meeting at 7:00 PM.


Leo Ribordy N9NBH Dennis Calvey KD9HIK Cliff Sowka K9QD
Matt Walsh AC9IG Kent Ochs W9KAO Russ Schmidt KC9NUV
Frank Giampa N9QPD Dirk Smith W0RI Chris Brewer AC9GN

Treasurer’s report

Chris Brewer AC9GN reports: beginning balance $4,992.50.  Income was $0.  Expense was $60.29 for data line and State of Illinois Annual Report.  Ending balance $4,932.21.  Paid membership is currently 64.

President’s Report

Matt AC9IG reports we filled some committee vacancies:  Dennis Calvey KD9HIK has offered to take the role of Publicity Chair.

Construction Project Chair Vacancy announced beginning this fall:  4 people should be able to take turns in covering the Construction Project vacancy when Gary N9VU retires starting in the fall: Rob Glowacki (can handle closing only), Leo (can fulfill full session starting October), Bill McGovern, Dave Bender are also available to take the duty as needed.

Membership Chair

Bob Benwitz N9JAX not present but provided following report:

The following WEB inquiries were responded to via phone/email during the month of February

2/5   Chuck Patrick    (No Call Sign shown)

2/8   Chuck Patrick    additional follow-up

2/23 Christian Mahnke    No Call Sign/License yet but was provided VE testing and License Exam class information

2/25  Jeremy Peeler      New Tech, awaiting call sign as of 2/25, moving to Vernon Hills area in April, will try to come to club meeting

SARC Repeaters

Kent W9KAO reports audio on the UHF side working well.  Kent responded to recent repeater hang as follows:  “……. It released when I restarted the system.  Most likely you heard the connection between the VHF system and the Link System.

I did hear an Echolink connection earlier in the commute.  There has been some talk on the HamVoip group that there may be a lockup interaction going on between Echolink connections and the repeater application.  They seem to think it is a stuck Echolink push to talk problem where a user leaves Echolink in transmit mode, but it has been my observation that the USB interface freezes with PTT stuck.  The only solution is to restart the PI operating system.  One suggestion is to implement Echolink on its own node, which is certainly doable, but I don’t think that is the problem, although an active Echolink connection may be involved in some way.

Stuck USB interfaces with this application has been an ongoing issue for years.  This is one of the downsides to using USB interface connections.  In the past it seemed that the longer the system ran without a reboot, the more likely a lockup would occur.  We are restarting the system on a weekly basis, but on the rare occasions, this problem still occurs.

One of the authors of this version of the software was incredulous when I suggested it wasn’t if but when a USB interface got stuck, of course it certainly couldn’t be his software, but it does happen.  There is a reason that at least two vendors provide usb interfaces that now monitor the usb device heartbeat signal and provide a logic signal if it stops flashing.  I implemented two of these usb devices on the UHF system, as there is no internet connectivity to do a restart should the system lockup.  I use the logic signal as an interrupt to automatically restart the system.  We probably should consider doing the same on the VHF system as well”.

Kent requests hardware:  Board approved $120 budget for purchase of two new interfaces.

Secretary’s Report

Cliff Sowka K9QD:  Approval of Meeting Minutes as published in the RHG.


Leo N9NBH reported exercise of the Sunday night Net and the Peoria-based ARES 3.905 MHz test 4:30PM conducted for all districts within the state.  Frank N9QPD mentioned Bob’s WB9TZC discussion from the February meeting where a mission statement/definition of the Hoffman Estates venue may be a good action for consideration.  Is the Hoffman Estates venue an official SARC event?

Construction Project

Gary N9VU not present.

Ebay Sales

Gary N9VU not present.


Roger Ryan W9RDR not present.


Leo N9NBH reported plans for a winter General Class with the Library District are in place.  September 8th through the end of October at the Hoffman Estates facility, same as last fall’s Technician class.  Publication will be ready for the August issue. Looking for some text on ‘Why do you want to become a General?” as once published.

VE Test

Dirk W0RI reported four students for March.  Three Tech and one Extra.


Mike K9KQX not present.  Dirk W0RI reported on Mike’s behalf requesting additional support on a bi-monthly basis.

Public Service

Rob N9MVO not present but previously reported MS Walk May 6th Sunday at Schaumburg Baseball Stadium.  More details as we come nearer to the date.


Cliff Sowka K9QD:  Matt AC9IG will present a Skywarn overview for March and

Dirk W0RI will work on materials to do overview of Digital Modes for April.


Dennis KD9HIK will Chair the public communication effort for the club.  He has several questions for the new role:  Writing Publicity Documents require Board approval?  Facebook for SARC is established but traffic appears dormant for several years.   Growth can be assisted with an effort toward a targeted audience.  Contemplation about where to find new prospects and other general awareness ideas were presented.


Matt AC9IG reports 15 check-ins.  Observed refreshing change to the script as personalities inserted new approach to preamble.  Enjoys the diverse dialog and handling of the net.

Ebay Sales

Gary N9VU Not present.

Old Business

Field Day Chair is needed.

Construction Project will need a new Chairman starting next fall as Gary N9VU has requested vacating that role in the future.

Band pass filter needs for Field Day:  Kent W9KAO performed biopsy of commercial filters during CP to determine what components would be procured; would not be terribly difficult to duplicate.  Prefer the club make the effort to build our own.  We will build 20M and 40M and include about $20 each in the Field Day budget; total of $200 headroom approved.  Chris AC9GN will take the lead in the construction effort.

New Business

Fusion Repeater Coordination.  Kent W9KAO will handle the FCC filing eventually.

Leo N9NBH will be receiving our Service Monitor equipment this week and the club already authorized his $20 expenditure for the operation/service manual.

Adjourn 9:00 PM

Submitted: March 8, 2018.  Cliff Sowka K9QD Secretary.