CQ Worked All Prefix Contest

From 7pm Friday, March 23 until 7pm Sunday March 25 you can work countries around the world on HF SSB. The goal of this contest is to work as many prefixes as possible, with more points earned for countries on a different continent than you. The exchange for this contest is very simple, 59 and a serial number. Start with one and give each successive contact the next serial number in line.

CQ SPX SSB contest details

VE Testing

John Shofield provided the following report:  Results March 3rd, 2018

Name Call Class
Walgenbach, Neil E. AC9SK Extra
Chen, Hao KD9KLX Technician
Richier, Taylor L. KD9KLY Technician
Bizon, Bartlomiej KD9KLZ Technician


Technician 3
General 0
Extra 1
Total 4

Next examination date: April 7th, 2018

All of us at SARC would like to congratulate all those that received or upgraded their license this month, and we welcome you to the amateur radio community.  Hope to hear you on the air.   Should you have any questions, come join SARC at our regular monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month or stop in at one of the Construction Meetings.

Miscellaneous Updates

Construction Project   Gary N9VU

Next CP meeting will be Saturday, April 14th and 28th from 8am till noon.

Location is at the Schaumburg Tennis Plus, 1416 Payne Rd, Schaumburg, IL

EMCOMM  Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC

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

Repeater updates  – 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.

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.

Public Service – Rob N9MVO

All Public Service events are over for the year.  Next years public service events start in April and May of 2018


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

Education: 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.

Net Check-ins – Leo N9NBH

SARC Net Check In’s For Thursday, March 8th, 2017:

The following hams checked in to the net this evening.

N9NBH Leo (Net Control)

Thank you to the following hams that checked in to the net,

  1. N9VU Gary
  2. KD9HIJ Ken
  3. AC9EM Steve
  4. W0RI Dirk
  5. K9KQX Mike
  6. KB9RGU Jim
  7. W9RKK Robert
  8. KD9IPO Ron
  9. W9KAO Kent
  10. K9EKL Ron
  11. N9LQ Joel
  12. N9NBH Leo
  13. KD9FMN Paul
  14. KB9QVX Kevin
  15. KD9HIK Dennis
  16. KD9JBU Joe
  17. N9AAE JR

From the President

I am always thoroughly impressed when I hear the attendance numbers for the construction project. Very often above 20. This is great. It’s unfortunate that my schedule doesn’t allow me to make it to them very often. I also enjoy the photos from the construction project that show up on SARC All from time to time. These certainly help to keep everyone informed of what is going on.

Some of the best things that come out of the construction project, by far, are the working projects. Every now and then there’s a great write up of how a project came together complete with instructions. Or, someone will bring a project to a club meeting and show off parts of it (whether it’s the night’s program or not). I recently got to hear the end of some of the details of the build of a graphical clock featured in the October 2017 QST. This made me quite proud of the number of active members we have in the club.

I mention these projects because they would all make great material for our updated web site. Continue to post your successes, trials and photos to SARC all and we will begin taking some of this information and posting it on the web page. If it’s an original work, we will ask for your consent first.



From the Editor

Happy Easter to all, Spring is here, though as I write this it’s supposed to snow Friday, but Spring should be here soon.  So in this edition we have a couple of member profiles to share, a part 2 on Ray Buchicchio’s antenna project, and an article on the BITX40 transceiver kit.

Enjoy this months edition of the RHG and please if you have something to share please send it to me K9KQX.

Mike K9KQX