Skywarn Presentation Notes

John K9WIC presented information about SKYWARN at the club general meeting on March 21, 2019. He’s provided the following notes from his presentation.

Interesting sites with information on storm spotting

List of selected local nets

  • Kane County SKYWARN Net
    • Kane County OEM Repeater
    • 145.47 MHz -600kHz PL 103.5Hz
  • Lake County SKYWARN
    • K9IQP repeater
    • Tactical call sign Lake County SKYWARN
    • 147.180 MHz +600kHz PL 127.3Hz
  • McHenry County SKYWARN
    • K9ESV repater located in Woodstock, IL
    • 146.835 MHz -600kHz PL 91.5Hz
  • Additional Information for Cook County from:
    • Northern Cook Co. Skywarn is a joint effort between members of the North Shore Radio Club, NORA, and Palatine ARES. Severe weather nets take place on the primary 147.345+ MHz (TPL 107.2 Hz) repeater. The NORA 147.09+ MHz (TPL 107.2 Hz) repeater is the backup repeater if 147.345 is down. Spotters may check into this net during severe events. Net control will operate with callsign WX9NC. All severe reports will be relayed from net control to the FISHFAR liaison system as encouraged by the NWS. Reports will be taken from anywhere within the repeaters’ coverage, however, we will actually only activate based on severe weather for Northern Cook County.

Reporting Tips

  • Don’t call in just to “check-in.” This is not a roll call net. Call in if you have a severe event to report, question about the storm, or you need emergency help. If you do not have a notable weather report of interest to the general public, just listen.
  • Don’t call in and say “KC9AAA… I’m on my way to Woodfield Mall and will be monitoring.” No one cares if you are on your way to the mall or where you are unless you have a notable weather report. You may be tying up the frequency unnecessarily just announcing where you are.
  • Don’t call in that your corner sewer is clogged.
  • Don’t ragchew during severe nets. Even casual QSOs are prohibited during severe net
  • Do call net control if an area river is rapidly rising which may cause a road to be washed out.
  • Do call net control if you are bike riding, boating, golfing, your kids are playing outdoor sports, or if you’re part of a marathon team and you would like to know more about the storm’s path or intensity forecasted by the NWS.
  • Do call net control to report property damage, uprooted trees, or large broken branches caused by the severe event.
  • Do report your name/call, location, time, and describe the event.

The NWS Chicago office provides this Spotter Reference Sheet

Three Parks, 4 Days, 4 Degrees

By: Mike KD9KMV

Last week I decided to set myself a challenge. The challenge was to operate from 3 new (to me) State Parks within a week, as part of the POTA (Parks On The Air) program.

Activation 1 – Monday March 4th 2019

Chain-O-Lakes SP, IL – K-0986

With winter temperatures still with us, the gauge in my car measured the outside temperature at 4 degrees F. “Why am I doing this?” I thought as I drove to my destination. Well, I want to prove to myself that I can. Simple as that.

Arriving at any State Park for the first time is interesting. Not knowing the layout of the park, suitable operating positions, etc., especially when the snow often seems to block access to certain sections. Google Maps and its Streetview feature can help for some pre-planning, but it is not a failsafe.

I found a suitable spot that had a picnic bench in just about the perfect place, so I decided to setup.

Here are some photos of the deployment:

Continue reading “Three Parks, 4 Days, 4 Degrees”

From the President February 2019

From the President,

So the February meeting came off without hitch. Except for starting a half an hour late, we had some spirited discussion. Talk consisted of field strength meters, contesting, Emcomm, and imaginary numbers i = (√-1)  or more simply i2=-1. Simply stated an imaginary number is a complex number that can be written as a real number multiplied by the imaginary unit. Needless to say, nothing was settled. The only reason it came up is because we use the imaginary numbers when calculating antenna and feedline impedance. Many of us have seen the calculations on the Extra class exam looking something like this: Z=50+j*0 with “j” being the imaginary number.

The question did come up of how many members were looking to upgrade from Tech to general or General to Extra. The answer was nobody. Maybe this is the time that we should upgrade. Go out on Amazon and get a Gordon West book and study for an upgrade while it’s cold outside. At a minimum you gain access to bands you have never been on. I dare anybody to memorize 462 questions in the FCC General class pool and not learn something, or perhaps the 716 questions in the Extra class pool. The more we “advance the radio art”, the stronger the hold we will have on the airwaves that have been granted to us by the US government to take care of.

See you at the next meeting

Geoff Stevens

Winter Field Day Deployment

By: Mike KD9KMV

On January 26th 2019, aka Winter Field Day, I decided to deploy a portable station at the Moraine Hills State Park, in Illinois (map).
I chose this location because, as a bonus, it is also a Parks On The Air (POTA) recognized location, so I would be able to take part in WFD as well as activate this park for POTA ‘hunters’. The reference for this park is K1012 and more details about POTA can be found here.

Operating Location, Mike KD9KMV photo
I ran a QRP station for portable work, using an Icom IC-703+ HF/6m transceiver.  On this day, and because of the cold temperatures (10 degrees), I chose to just run with one antenna on 20m.
First, I needed to make sure my 20m dipole was resonant for the SSB portion of 20m.  Check (good enough!).

Continue reading “Winter Field Day Deployment”