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”

SATERN Net Monday Nights

By: Leo N9NBH

The Salvation Army has started to use our repeater on Monday evenings at 7 PM for their weekly net. The name of the net is SATERN. It stands for Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network. This net lasts about 15 minutes. You do not have to be a member of the Salvation Army to check in. Satern also has an International net Monday through Saturday starting at 10 AM on 14.265 Mhz. Every Tuesday there is a Territory net at 8:30 AM on 7.265 Mhz.

A little info about the Salvation Army Emergency Radio Network. During the initial first hours of a major disaster the Satern operators establish emergency communications for the Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster service. The Satern members also provide communities with invaluable Health & Welfare Inquiry services.

The attached brochure was available at the Hamfest in Saint Charles explaining in detail Satern.

Satern Page 1 Satern Page 2