Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club Business Meeting March 15, 2018

Matt Walsh AC9IG President opened the meeting at 7:00 PM.


Leo Ribordy N9NBH Dennis Calvey KD9HIK Cliff Sowka K9QD
Matt Walsh AC9IG Kent Ochs W9KAO Frank Giampa N9QPD
Dirk Smith W0RI Chris Brewer AC9GN Rob Glowacki N9MVO
Danny Kafka KD9HIL Robert Kocourek W9RKK Burt Shultz AB9CV
Steve Karson AC9EM Rick Cook KC9PLO Don Smith K9UD
Jack Walsh   Jim Campbell KB9RGU Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC
Ed Lishka AC9SD Bill McGovern KD9JQM Dave Sims K9KBM
Orson Baker AB9WQ Dave Bender KD9JKG Jim Scott W9KV

President’s Report

Matt AC9IG reports we’re in need of avoiding consternation when there are unplanned events that conflict with planned meetings.  Several events can occur within our large membership and will sometimes overlap.  SARC_All is a public forum for club members so be careful with dialog.

We’re in need for Field Day Chair:  Rob N9MVO can assist and hopefully others will step forward to help him.

Construction Project

Gary N9VU not present.

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. 

Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC reminded May 20th is the Chicagoland Marathon in Busse Woods.  Start 6AM and goes till 1PM


Roger Ryan W9RDR not present; Robert Kocourek W9RKK has stepped forward to become Social Chair.


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.


Mike K9KQX not present.  Dirk W0RI previously reported on Mike’s behalf requesting additional support on a bi-monthly basis.  Burt AB9CV had provided links to some public domain articles but there may be some concern of copyright protections.

Public Service

Rob N9MVO reported MS Walk May 6th Sunday at Schaumburg Baseball Stadium.  More details as we come nearer to the date.  Rob will be sending notice on SARC_ALL in planning manpower.  Expecting arrival around 7:30 and conclusion around Noon.

Fourth of July and Schaumburg Triathlon will be later in July.


Cliff Sowka K9QD:  Matt AC9IG presented Skywarn overview and

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


Dennis KD9HIK Chairman provides following update:

  • I met with the SARC board on March 7th to discuss what the Publicity Chair should be doing to support club activities
  • The consensus from the Board is that the primary function is to promote awareness to the general public about Club activities.
  • It was agreed that any publicity releases should be provided to the Board for review and comment before publication. The method of submission, review and approval would be by e-mail.  An actual vote is not required.
  • SACR maintains a web site that has not been refreshed in some time. Some of the limiting factors of the existing site include the time and effort required to get changes implemented.  There are a large number of web site hosting services that provide simple methods to change and update web pages, without having to master topics like Cascading Style Sheets or HTML5.  Within that group, there are many that are specifically designed for special interest groups or associations.  Costs typically start at around $40.00 / month and go up depending on the level of support required.  An example is, that supports WordPress as well as large number of free or low cost plugins.  Before I invest time in researching and preparing a report for the board to review, I’d like to know if there is a consensus to support updating the web site.
  • SARC also has a Facebook page that has not been kept current. There was discussion about using social media to promote club activities, including justifiable concern about controlling what can be posted.  In 2016 there were over 185 million active social media users in the United States.  In 2017, 87 percent of the US population had one or more social media profiles (Source: I believe social media can be a viable publicity tool for the club and that adequate controls can be put in place. Toward that end I’ll be attending a class on Facebook next month to learn more about how it functions, and what controls we can put in place.
  • A number of suggestions for landing free publicity exposure were offered, including newspapers like the Daily Herald, Community College Bulletin boards and registering events with the ARRL.
  • Recent activities like Construction Project and “Ray Tower Restoration Project” are excellent publicity examples, and I would welcome the opportunity to work with the content providers to get the message out. With respect to publicity, there are no bad suggestions – only time constraints.

Please forward any ideas, suggestions or questions via e-mail to KD9HIK and I’ll do my best to use them.


Matt AC9IG reports 18 check-ins.  EMCOMM Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC reminded Monthly login on Fusion machine 7PM first Sunday of the month.

Ebay Sales

Gary N9VU Not present.

Old Business

Field Day Chair is needed.  Rob N9MVO has volunteered to become a resource and asked for more members to come forward.  The Permit Application with the Village needs to be started soon to secure the legacy Plum Grove water tank location.

New Business

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

Leo N9NBH obtained our Service Monitor equipment and the club already authorized his $20 expenditure for the operation/service manual.

Dirk Smith W0RI read a statement to the membership regarding recent tower repair activity that unintentionally conflicted with the Construction Project schedule.

Adjourn 7:39 PM

Submitted: March 16, 2018