Final Construction Project Meeting of Winter 2018/2019

Saturday April 27th, 2019 saw the last Construction Project meeting of the 2018/2019 winter period, and what a turnout!

Over 25 members and non-members alike braved the April snow showers and showed up at the Schaumburg Tennis Club, to enjoy conversations about ham radio, the projects people have been working on, and everything else under the sun!

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From the President April 2019

From the President,

As I write this, I am looking out at a snowstorm. We are days away from May and it is snowing like January.  A week prior, I was in Florida and the high temperature was 63 degrees with a low around 49. Climate change or Maunder Minimum? But I digress, it is cold and snowy, and I have this urge to go outside and put up an antenna. In fact, when I was in Florida, I was working on my dad’s 5 band vertical. When I was there last August, we were getting intermittent high SWR readings. I tightened all of the counterpoise connections and the problem was solved. We ended up with roughly 1:3-1 on all bands. Eight months later, were getting SWR readings of between 4:1 on 120 MHz to 9:1 on 40 meters. All connections were tight, secure and sealed with no corrosion. Since there was no intermittency, my first test was to check the continuity of the coax. It was indicating a dead short. There is about 150 feet of coax that is mostly buried.

I will most likely ask around about this at the next meeting. Not having the time, patience, or equipment to cut the connectors and test the coax I will ask for troubleshooting expertise at the meeting. But that is what is so nice about this club, I can come to a meeting with any question and get an answer or two. That is what makes this club so good.

See you at the next meeting.


Geoff Stevens



From the President March 2019

From the President,

March is here and that means the return of SARC in the Park. This is an outstanding opportunity for anybody that wants to get on the air and make a contact, that does not go through a repeater. This is Ham radio….old school!  If you have never operated an amateur radio, now is your chance! The group will be out there, roughly every other weekend, depending on weather. Don’t just stand around and watch, ask somebody if you can operate, they will gladly help you make contacts and talk to somebody over the horizon.

There is a very common issue that has afflicted most hams in the very beginning. This malady is called “Mic Fright”. It’s the fear a new ham has of actually picking up the microphone and saying something wrong or sounding stupid, and it is very normal. A good Elmer will never let you sound stupid, and we have lots of good Elmers in the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club.

Field Day 2019 is coming. We look forward to this day as it is an opportunity to work on the radio for 24 straight hours. Similar to the SARC in the Park events, Field Day uses all emergency power to make as many contacts as possible. I highly recommend putting your name on the sign-up sheet that can be found our website, WWW.N9RJV.ORG [In mid April – Ed.]. Just showing up thinking a radio station will be open usually ends in disappointment. Typically, there are not a lot of operators in the overnight hours. For example, I walked around the Field day site at around 2 AM, last year. There was nobody on any of the radios, so I sat down on the Sideband Tent, fired it up and started calling CQ. After about 5 minutes I was working pile-ups on the 20-meter band.  I Made about 40 or 50 contacts before heading in for a nap. I remember I had to leave three stations still calling when I turned the radio off. The sideband radio station was not turned on again until after sunrise and breakfast was served. There is no reason for not getting on the radio.

Hope to see you out there.

Geoff Stevens

Volunteer Opportunity – MS Walk

For several years the club has provided communications support and course monitoring for the 3-mile MS Walk. This event has typically been held in Schaumburg, but recently moved to Lake Park High School in Roselle. We will continue to support this great event.

Club members should monitor SARC-ALL for details on signing up which require registering as a volunteer with the National MS Society. We’ll need about 10 hams for the event. The course covers about a 1-mile radius area so an HT should be sufficient for this event.