Some exciting things have happened relating to our new web site. It is proving to be a great tool for communicating our events, and for showing others who may be interested in the club what we do. I urge all of you to help us keep things fresh on the web site. It’s fairly easy. Just send any pictures or notes about any ham related activities that you’re taking part in to myself, or use the Submit an Article link at the bottom of our web site. The more pictures the better, so make sure you take a few when you’re at SARC in the Park or one of the upcoming public service events.
Because of the ease at which we can now update the web site, we’re also making some changes to the RHG. The role of the RHG will be pared back to cover only club business such as meeting minutes and election notifications as well as a letter from the President. You’ll continue to see it posted on our web site. The articles that used to make up parts of the RHG will now be posted right on the front page of the web site as they are submitted. This helps us keep the content on the web page fresh. Everyone is still invited to submit content for the RHG. You can use the link at the bottom of our web site, or send articles to the RHG editor. If you’re suggesting that we re-publish an article from another site, please secure permission from the author before submitting it. We will also monitor SARC All for interesting discussions as was the case with Battery Size for Portable Operation and RF Tornado Detection, 1959, which both came from SARC All.
With the upcoming weather spotting season, this article we recently unearthed is very timely. My wife recently came across a newspaper clipping from around 1959 that her family had kept. At that time the use of black and white television was still predominant and I believe the following method of tornado detection worked best with a black and white TV (you do remember those don’t you?) on an outdoor antenna.
I can attest that the Weller method did work for detecting lightning and strong storms. There is enough energy at 54 Mhz (approximately channel 2) in a lightning storm to trigger a TV screen to turn white and flicker with the energy. Although it was somewhat crude it worked well. Fortunately I was never close enough to a tornado to see my screen turn completely white. Today we have digital TV and cable in place so we are stuck watching the weather channel or a weather app on our smart phone. Ahh… the good old days.
They say April showers bring May flowers, but I never heard of April Snows bring May flowers. This April has been a wild ride for weather, and its been slowing me down with outdoor HAM antenna work, but I’m making the best of it. So in this months edition we are looking for articles. I’ve got one on a 160M antenna I’ve been working on. Hopefully others chime in.
Our message board recently had a great discussion about how to properly size a battery when operating remote.
Robert W9RKK asked:
I’m looking to buy a deep cycle battery for SARC in the Park. What kind of ampere hour rating would be sufficient? I have an Elecraft K3.
Rob N9MVO replied:
The question is: How much power do you want to run? A good way to start is to assume <50% efficiency, so double the transmit power, and add some to it. Also, assume 100% transmit time. Since you don’t actually transmit that much, you actually have more running time than you expect. Finally, recognize that you cannot suck the battery dry. Add 30% to the battery capacity to be able to operate without completely exhausting the battery.
If you are going to run low power, e.g. 25 W, you can expect the radio to draw about 5 A, key down. If you are there from 8:00 ’till noon, you need 20 AH. Add 30%, and you could use a 26 AH battery. If you want to run 100 W, the rig will draw about 20 A. For that, you should have a 100 AH battery. While it will be heavy, it will give you enough power for SARC in the Park or emergency use. That 100 AH battery will run your 25 W field day station all night. 24 hours at 100 W on battery is not practical. The batteries would be excessively large and VERY HEAVY.
If you are planning to run QRP, (5W), the receive current becomes more significant. My Kenwod TS570 runs about 2 A on receive, so even at 5 W, I have to assume much higher current drain than with a QRP rig. One QRP transceiver I built draws about 200 mA on receive, and about 1 A key down. A 7 AH battery, can easily run it for the 4 hours of SITP. I don’t know about the K3 current drain on receive or transmit but those are likely in the spec page of the manual.
CW, of course uses ‘off’ time between dits and dahs, so the actual average current drain is less than ‘key down’ current. SSB also does not put out the maximum PEP the whole time you are transmitting unless you are using too much processing. (Don’t do that, it sounds horrible on the air.) These aspects increase your potential running time, or increase the percentage ‘head room’ you have on your battery.
Dennis KD9HIK added:
When you’re looking at battery amp-hour rating, please also consider the following:
Look at the manufacturers specification sheet for the discharge curve. Your radio is going to quit working at a specific voltage and the discharge curve helps you figure out when, with a given constant current drain, when that will occur. Given that an operating transceiver will present different current demands depending on what it’s doing, you have to come up with some reasonable average.
Remember the discharge curve is based on a relatively new, fully charged battery. The curve becomes steeper as the battery ages. The operating temperature will also affect the amount of energy available, as well as the temperature at which the battery is stored when not in use.
So, follow Rob’s advice – do the math and and a reasonable fudge factor…
Rob N9MVO followed up with:
Also, you do have to derate batteries by how heavy a load you put on them. A German guy named Peukert figured out a formula, which is specific to each type of lead acid battery. See:
The usual lead acid battery is usually rated at the 20 hour discharge rate. That means a 7 AH battery can provide 350 mA for 20 hours. If you double the discharge rate to 700 mA, it will NOT provide 10 hours of service. Probably about 9 hours. At 1.4 A, (4 times the 20 hour discharge rate) you probably won’t get 4 hours of service. And at 7 A, you probably cannot get even 30 minutes of running time.
The specific amount of derating depends on your particular battery. That information might be available from the battery manufacturer.
All of this is based on lead acid batteries. Lithium-based batteries ARE different. I do not know how they derate at high discharge rates. They DO drop in output voltage significantly as they discharge, so a voltage regulator is almost a necessity with them.
Frank Giampa N9QPD Chairman 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
Chris Brewer AC9GN reports: beginning balance $4,932.21. Income was $23.97. Expense was $512.86 for Data Line, Service Manual, Insurance, and Repeater equipment. Ending balance $4,443.32. Paid membership is currently 64.
Matt AC9IG reports we’re still in need of a Field Day Chair. Matt’s newly created N9RJV.ORG website is experiencing about 15 hits per day. Discussed some further enhancements that we may be able to institute to provide event more flexibility.
Bob Benwitz KD9IPO not present but provided this report:
The following web inquiries were responded to via phone or email during the month of March
3/5 Ron Delpiere Smith KD9IPO
3/8 Randy Bartosiewicz W9RTB
3/9 Taylor Richier (no call sign shown)
Additionally the membership committee report for March should acknowledge that the email to all “dues delinquent” members shown on our recently scrubbed roster was sent out bcc to all recipients with a copy of the email text forwarded to SARC Board on 3/27.
Any forthcoming dues that the club receives as a result of this email should be updated via coordination between the treasurer and the keeper of the master current club roster.
Kent W9KAO reports a node change may have improved the code bugs that created some recent access failures. Servers are supposed to replicate each other but the audit trail didn’t reveal any anomaly that may have prevented some recent EchoLink invocations. There has been recent software updates and the problems may be fixed.
Cliff Sowka K9QD: Approval of Meeting Minutes as published in the RHG.
Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC not present but provides following report:
May 20 is the ChicagoLand Marathon.
Auxiliary Communications radio operators will be needed. A dual band hand-held radio will work for most assignments. Preprogram your radios with the EMCOMM frequencies found on N9RJV. John K9WIC is our liaison and contact person for the event.
Save the date Oct 26 and 27 for the State Dark Web II.Exercise. More to come on this. Amateur radio will have a roll.
No EmComm Round Table April due to the Hanover Township conference.
No EmComm Round Table May due to Dayton Hamfest scheduled same weekend.
Dennis Calvey KD9HIK:
Waiting for confirmation from Schaumburg Township Public Library about General Class License before forwarding to ARRL Section or local media.
Intent is to provide information to ARRL & local media as events are formally announced.
Can we publish on website and announce MS Walk, May 5 2018; Hoffman Estates 4th of July Parade?
Casual tour of local Amateur Radio club web sites shows a wide range of representations. One common element appears to be the landing pages appear to written for Hams, rather than an uninitiated visitor.
“Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It’s fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.”
The “What is HAM radio?” page continues with a variety of topics and FAQs.
Some local club web sites also provide links to their Facebook pages where information about events, information, discussion and questions are posted (from Facebook page of Fox Valley Radio League).
M S Walk Event Support
May 5, 2018
The FRRL will be providing communication support for the MS Walk in St. Charles again this year. See the M S Walk website for details.
Gary N9VU: not present.
Robert Kocourek W9RKK will be preparing for the ‘Pilot Pete’s’ institutionalized club social event for sometime in September. We haven’t held this event at Pilot Pete’s for several years due to their current insistence on guaranteed attendance numbers. It’s been difficult for the restaurant to plan their facility’s seating/capacity so they’ve tightened the rules . That loss of flexibility has precluded our desire to continue with them for the club’s social event.
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.
Dirk W0RI provided a brief update regarding member’s wellbeing on the VE team.
Mike K9KQX not present. Dirk W0RI reported on Mike’s behalf requesting additional support on a bi-monthly basis.
Rob N9MVO not present but previously reported MS Walk May 6th Sunday at Schaumburg Baseball Stadium. More details as we come nearer to the date.
Cliff Sowka K9QD: Dirk W0RI will present an overview of Digital Modes for April’s Business Meeting. The May presentation will be Field Day preparations.
Dennis KD9HIK: Reminds that our website needs posting of the MS Walk and Hoffman 4th of July Parade added to our published events. July 29th is the Schaumburg Tri-Athlon (Splash Peddle Dash).
Matt AC9IG observes good participation.
Gary N9VU Not present.
Field Day (FD) Chair is needed. Rob N9MVO will begin the permit process for the water tower on Plum Grove. Kent W9KAO and Frank N9QPD proposed some ideas in case there is no one willing to be FD Captain: Run FD Saturday afternoon only without any overnight/Sunday morning activity. Matt AC9IG will present this idea during our April Business Meeting and request someone step forward to Chair FD else obtain group agreement for curtailed event this year.
Four club members are organizing the staffing plan for the Fall opening of Construction Project (CP) this coming September. CP will need a new Chairman starting this fall as Gary N9VU has requested vacating that role.
Matt AC9IG will set limited website access for authorized members: Publicity, RHG, Secretary, who will go through a single Webmaster filter step before their materials are published on the site. Also discussed possibility for Contact Form entry to allow paid members in good standing the ability to upload Ham Radio items unencumbered.
Unauthorized Facebook site will be taken down once we find the controlling author who created this unused/dormant account.
Adjourn 9:00 PM
Submitted: April 5, 2018. Cliff Sowka K9QD Secretary.
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 Rob Glowacki N9MVO Danny Kafka KD9HIL Robert Kocourek W9RKK Burt Shultz AB9CV Steve Karson AC9EM
Rick Cook KC9PLO Don Smith K9UD D.J. Traxler WA9UBR
John Douglas KD9KSA Jim Campbell KB9RGU Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC
Ed Lishka AC9SD Bill McGovern KD9JQM Orson Baker AB9WQ
Bob Zuttermeister W9GEW John Zietlow K9WIC Dan Van Der Wonde KC9ZCC
Ray Baker K9EYT Bob McIntyre W9DXR Bob Benwitz N9JAX
Wake Wacaser AF9I Peter Maziuk N9POL Larry Burke K9FLT
Bob Ekl K9EKL
Chris Brewer AC9GN not present but previously reported the following during April’s Board Meeting: Ending balance $4,443.22. Paid membership is currently 64.
Matt AC9IG reports website updated and running. Announced Field Day (FD) dilemma: If no one steps forward to become FD Captain this year the plan is to participate in severely truncated SARC-in-the-Park format for the afternoon only.
Support for Field Day received enough membership commitments tonight to continue with SARC’s historical participation. Volunteer leadership from Bob Zuttermeister W9GEW with CW, Robert Kocourek W9RKK will handle the SSB tent. Bill McGovern KD9JQM will manage food and assist with emergency power procurement. Kent Ochs W9KAO believes his son Ryan Ochs W9RAO may be available for necessary presence of a certified tower climber to anchor three pulleys on the tank’s guard railing.
Gary N9VU not present.
Bob Benwitz N9JAX had previously 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.
Kent W9KAO reports normal operation following a few software updates. Good weather approaching will allow some hardware improvements shortly.
Cliff Sowka K9QD: Approval of Meeting Minutes as published in the RHG.
John Zietlow K9WIC and Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC are managing licensed Ham Radio Operator support for the May 20th Chicagoland Marathon again this year.
Frank Giampa N9QPD was been specifically requested to perform Net Control duty because Village officials recognized his superior radio traffic management skills during past SARC/Village events.
Phil McBride WB9C has also been recognized and individually selected to again handle Medical Tent communications traffic.
Additionally, several SARC members have committed to provide radio resources to Schaumburg Village management again this year.
We have already received several SARC membership confirmations for the course’s station staffing ….. yet we still could benefit from additional Ham Radio support for this year’s event.
John Zietlow K9WIC posts following:
We need to publicize this event and request that members who are available contact Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC or myself at my email address: K9WIC
The event is on May 20th from 6AM to 2PM in Busse Woods Forest Preserve.
We will be providing communications between the race, the sponsor, and the medical facilities regarding participants’ health and welfare issues.
I would also like to see this on the [N9RJV.ORG] calendar of events.
Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC reminded May 20th is the Chicagoland Marathon in Busse Woods. Start 6AM and goes till 1PM. John Zietlow K9WIC will be handling the event during Bob’s absence that weekend.
There will be no EMCOMM Round Table at the Hoffman Estates Police Department for May.
Robert Kocourek W9RKK Social Chair reports planning for Saturday September 8th at the club’s choice of Lou Malnati’s, Chandler’s, or maybe Fuddrucker’s.
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.
John Shofield AC9JS reports the following for April 7, 2018:
Next examination date: May 5, 2018
Mike K9KQX not present. Burt AB9CV had previously provided links to some public domain articles but there may be some latent concern of copyright protections. Brief discussion regarding potential authorization through previous means such as of Creative Comments, or potential legal authorization of so-called Common Knowledge. Best to obtain author’s permission before publishing potentially copyrighted materials in the Radio Hill Gazette.
Rob N9MVO reported MS Walk May 6th Sunday at Schaumburg Baseball Stadium. Radio hardware of 5W HT is sufficient because the distances are less than one mile. Expecting arrival around 7:30 and conclusion around Noon.
Fourth of July in Hoffman Estates parade will be on Hassle Road this year. The Amita Health Care running event was staffed by SARC members last year, and we will plan to support again this year. Schaumburg Triathlon will be later in July.
Cliff Sowka K9QD: Dirk Smith W0RI presented an overview of Digital Modes for tonight’s venue.
The May Business Meeting will focus on Field Day planning and will not have a presentation scheduled. Our June Business Meeting may also continue Field Day discussion and if so, we will be in need for a July presentation. Please consider a topic you’re willing to contribute to our membership’s knowledge and let me know.
Dennis C. Calvey KD9HIK Chairman provided following update to the Board of Directors:
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.
SARC 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 wildapricot.com, 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: statista.com). 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 Dennis and I’ll do my best to use them.
Steve Karson AC9EM will take the monthly control operator duty. Matt AC9IG reminded there is an updated script is on the club’s website. Steve won the $25 Gift Certificate lottery for the previous period of Net Log-in attendance.
Gary N9VU Not present.
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. Insurance rider is required and Chris Brewer will hear from Rob to get the task underway.
have about 10 people who wish to build Fox Hunt attenuators. Gather parts and instructions will be a future Construction Project endeavor.
Adjourn 7:51 PM
Submitted: April 20th, 2018. Cliff Sowka K9QD Secretary.