Winter Field Day 2020 roundup

Winter Field Day 2020

With temperatures barely above freezing, and snow covering just about everything, members from the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club setup their portable ham radio equipment, as part of the annually held Winter Field Day event.  This event encourages Ham Radio operators across North America to test their radio equipment with the goal of making contacts in less than favorable weather conditions.  Like previous years, the club decided to hold this outside at the Schaumburg Community Recreation Center.

Even before the setup started, some of the club’s board members were asked to be interviewed for the Schaumburg Park District’s Schaumburg Heartbeat cable TV show, which airs monthly on the district’s cable channels, including Comcast 15, WOW 14 and AT&T 99.  During the interview they were asked about ham radio, and all the different activities our club does.  We expect this will be available for viewing on their YouTube channel within the next few months.

So, starting around 10.30am, the outdoor picnic area was cleared of snow, and a set of tarps were erected around the main shelter to try and provide a break from the wind.  Using a combination of generator power, and portable battery power, 3 radios were in operation.  2 of them on SSB, the other used for CW (morse code).  This put our operating class for the event as 3 Oscar IL (3 = 3 radios, Oscar = Outdoors, IL = Illinois).

Antennas were also strategically deployed outside of the shelter, and consisted of a 20m endfed (sloping configuration), a vertical 20m supported on a telescopic pole, and a mobile screwdriver style antenna.

As you can see from the contact log below (divided by SSB and CW), contacts were made across North America, even as far north as Alaska.  For the SSB log, I had a technical issue with my iPad which meant I had to use a paper/pen log, and so some of the contact times may be off a little.

Date Time (UTC) Frequency (MHz) Mode Callsign Class Section
1/25/2020 19:05 14.277 USB KC9WXA 1 O IL
1/25/2020 19:12 14.277 USB W9CCU 3 O IL
1/25/2020 19:18 14.277 USB W4BUG 3 O SFL
1/25/2020 19:21 14.277 USB KY0Q 1 H IL
1/25/2020 19:24 14.277 USB W8ISH 1 O SFL
1/25/2020 19:26 14.277 USB W4SFL 1 I SFL
1/25/2020 19:30 14.277 USB K4W 2 O WCF
1/25/2020 19:40 14.254 USB W4AE 2 O WCF
1/25/2020 19:50 14.258 USB VE6AO 1 H AB
1/25/2020 20:02 7.257 LSB N3FJP 1 H MDC
1/25/2020 20:17 7.234 LSB W2PE 3 I WNY
1/25/2020 20:31 14.294 USB W3MKG 1 H AK
1/25/2020 19:53 14 CW K0IIT 1 O CO
1/25/2020 19:56 14 CW KU9Z 1 O IL
1/25/2020 20:00 14 CW KY0Q 1 H IL
1/25/2020 20:27 14 CW KR5NM 2 H NM
1/25/2020 20:32 14 CW W4LX 7 O SFL
1/25/2020 20:45 14 CW K7SW 2 I UT

Based on WFD 2020 Rules, we scored as follows:

WFD 2020 Score
QSO points:
SSB 12 (12 x 1)
CW 12 (6 x 2)
Band/Mode 72 (x 3)
Power Output 48 (x 2)
Bonus points:
No commercial power 1500
Outdoors 1500
Not at home 1500
TOTAL 4620

Bob, W9DXR provided the following report from the CW station:

” We didn’t make a lot of contacts (6 to be exact) but we had a lot of fun and were able to span the US with contacts in IL, CO, NM, UT, and FL.    When we started to assemble the CW station antenna we were short on parts and had to use two “bungee” cords to keep the vertical antenna pole upright.  In the true spirit of emergency communication we got our station on the air.  If the sun spots were with us and propagation had been better I’m sure the station log would have many more contacts.  However, we met our objective of getting the club station on the air and making contacts.

73,  Bob  W9DXR “

From my own perspective, and also listening to other’s feedback, a few points for improvement next year would be:

  • Bring headphones/headset – the volume of conversations from non-operators within the shelter sometimes made it difficult for me to hear the radio contacts I was trying to make.
  •  Antenna coverage – we seemed to all be on 20m for the most part, so covering more bands (even though 40m was in bad shape) would be a huge benefit.  My antenna tuner managed to get my 20m endfed working on 40m but it wasn’t ideal.
  • The only part of me that got cold were my feet – perhaps something underfoot to insulate from the concrete floor would help.
  • Food – some hot food from a gas grill or stove would have been welcome, albeit that we were only operating for a couple of hours.

So finally, here are all the photos taken by several of us during the event!  Thank you to everyone who submitted their photos, and of course thank you to everyone who helped make this day so much fun.

73 de Mike, K9KMV

YouTube video..


Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club Board of Directors Meeting February 5th, 2020

Board of Directors Meeting,  5 February, 2020

Burt Shultz AB9CV Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM 



Burt Shultz  AB9CV  Cliff Sowka  K9QD  John Douglas  KD9KSH 
Geoff Stevens KA9QGH  Kent Ochs  W9KAO  John Zietlow  K9WIC 
Ed Liska  AC9SD  Leo Ribordy  N9NBH  Dennis C. Calvey  KD9HIK 


Secretary’s Report:  


Cliff Sowka K9QD motion to accept the minutes of the December meeting.  So Moved.   

 Treasurer’s Report:  

 Chris Brewer AC9GN previously reported 12/01/2019 through 12/31/2019 

 Beginning balance:$  5,392.36 

Income:$  1,257.00 

Expense:$     414.91(repeater batteries, dummy load parts, $62.89 data line) 

Pending  check:$  1,216.00  (silent key auction receipts) 

Ending balance:$  5,018.45 


Notes:  Current number of fully paid members: 88 

 Public Service: 

 Rob Glowacki N9MVO previously reported our first two events for 2020 will be the MS Walk May 3rd and the 4th of July parade for Hoffman Estates.  John K9WIC will email further MS Walk details to for upload to site. 


 John Zietlow K9WIC informed there may be an EMCOMM event in April; expecting to provide more information as it becomes available. 

 Board authorized John K9WIC during January BOD to research possible participation in the Illinois Digital Emergency Network. 



Fusion machine at the hospital will be removed and placed in spares. The machine has not been moved as of tonight.  Leo will unplug the equipment this week.  Removal of the equipment will be set for some time in the spring. 

 Construction Project: 

 Bill McGovern W9WEM reported attendance during Construction Project meeting January 25th: 


Steve AC9EM  Burt AB9CV  Robert W9RKK 
Don KD9NJR  Rob N9MVO  Cliff K9QD 
Bob W9GEW  Chris AC9GN  Bob W9DXR 
Dave K9KBM  Terry KM9N  Daryl KB9RHR 
Terry AE9TJ  Tim KC9NMW  John AC9JS 
Bruce N9EHA  Kevin K9MKD  Kevin K9BWZ 
Tim Smith  John KD9KSH  Bob N9JAX 
Kevin KB9QVX  Pierre K9EYE  Ken KO9H 
Bill W9WEM     


Construction Project (CP) cabinet clearance:   Planning to schedule club’s help reviewing eligible sale items once the Dummy Load project finishes.  Next Hamfest is May @ Sandwich. 


Brief discussion regarding Construction Project equipment:  Survey is needed in replacing depleted tools, possibly upgrading test equipment, and checking for other resources requiring consideration.  No immediate action taken. 


Unable to determine any specific source of recent report(s) where a newly-attending Ham(s) was somehow shunned/disappointed by the CP group’s lack of attentiveness.  Asking for increased awareness be instilled that will assist in welcoming new participants.     

 VE Testing: 

 John Schofield AC9JS reports Volunteer Testing Results for February 1, 2020 


Name  Call  Class 
James  KD9OSW  General 
Brent  KD9OSX  General 


Technician  0 
General  2 
Extra  0 
Total  2 


Participating Volunteer Examiners (VEs):  


Steve  Karson  AC9EM 
Ed  Lishka  AC9SD 
James  Migalla  KC9UFB 
William  Riess  KW9WR 
John  Schofield  AC9JS 
Dirk  Smith  W0RI 


 Next examination date:   March 7, 2020 at the Bock Neighborhood Center for the next two months due to CRC space allocation needed for their special events.  This venue change will also be posted to our website. 


 Rob N9MVO submitted this report.  So…..the following Amateurs checked into the January 30th net: 




Matt AC9IGNet Control for the 23rd of January Net reports: 18 Checkins 


There was a discussion about the dummy load for construction project. It’s expected that the reworked resistors will be available as well as the remaining parts if you still need to pick them up at this Saturday’s construction project. 


We also had several discussions about projects that our members are taking on as well as Arduinos, battling robots, dog-like robots and grade school and high school robot building competitions. 




Radio Hill Gazette RHG 

 No Report. 


 Geoff KA9QGH no report. 


 Dennis C. Calvey KD9HIK Publicity Chair announced the SARC June Field Day plans are submitted to Daily Herald.  


During the Winter Field Day event, the Schaumburg Park District Heartbeat Community Cable Channel interviewed Rob Glowacki N9MVO and Kent Ochs W9KAO and videotaped operator activity for a future segment.  Dennis also provided digital photographs from the N9RJV.ORG website for inclusion in the segment. 


It’s expected that it will take several months for the interviews to be edited and combined with the digital photographs.  Don Clancy and Burke MacDonald will keep Dennis informed.  Don Clancy brought up the possibility of doing another segment during our Summer Field Day event. 


 John KD9KSH reports nothing scheduled in the nearterm. 


 Leo N9NBH said plans for September class remain in place.  


 No report.   

 Old Business: 


 New Business: 

 Kent W9KAO moved that SARC’s Recording Secretary Minutes will be posted on our website according to Roberts Rules of Order.  Leo N9NBH seconded.  So moved.  


Action Required:  Cliff K9QD to inform Webmaster of this action taken to assist in providing timely communication instead of posting planned activities after the event date(s) may have already passed.  The goal is to conform to Robert’s Rules of Order and also avoid the current situation of time-sensitive information languishing until the end of a publication month 


Kent W9KAO moved the club generate a special appreciation award of $150 to be utilized for presentation at a future time.  John KD9KSH will purchase prepaid Visa card. Leo N9NBH seconded.  So moved.   


Action Required:  Chris AC9GN to reimburse John KD9KSH once purchase receipt is presented. 


  • Internal Revenue Service:  Anticipating preparation of our report for 2019. 
  • State of Illinois Annual Report is completed and ready for submission.   


Action Required: Cliff K9QD Sending Annual Report documents to Chris AC9GN so that our $10 fee can be submitted before the State of Illinois filing deadline of March 1st. 


Action Required:  We need a Budget for 2020. 



Need to appoint a Secretary to fulfill Ken’s departure. 


Motion to Adjourn: 

 At 9:00Pthe Board meeting was adjourned.    

 Submitted Feb 6, 2020  

Cliff Sowka K9QD Interim Secretary 

VE Testing – temporary venue change in March and April

For the months of March and April only, the monthly VE (Volunteer Examiner) Testing sessions offered by the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club will be held at an alternative location.

New Location:

Bock Neighborhood Center (March and April Only)
1223 W. Sharon Lane
Schaumburg, IL 60193

The sessions will then return to the Schaumburg Community Recreation Center in May and beyond.

For anyone looking to take the test to get their new license, or upgrade from an existing license, please follow this link for full VE Testing details.

Winter Field Day 2020 video

Here is a quick YouTube video taken during  SARC’s Winter Field Day held in January.  Thanks to Kevin, K9MKD for providing the footage.

The full write-up with all the photos is posted here.

Mike, K9KMV

Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club Business Meeting February 20th 2020

Schaumburg Business Meeting       February 20th 2020

Rebecca Hopkins KA9EFE brought brownies tonight.  All gone in minutes. 

 Geoff Stevens KA9QGH President called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM 



Danny Kafka  KD9HIL  Cliff Sowka  K9QD  Chris Brewer AC9GN 
Mel Luxenberg  W9FRT  Geoff Stevens KA9QGH  Rick Dickens  KY0Q 
Ed Liska  AC9SD  Kevin Willard KB9QVX  Robert Kocourek  W9RKK 
John Zietlow  K9WIC  Bob Benwitz  N9JAX  Daryl Jenks  KB9RHR 
Steve Karson  AC9EM  Doug May  W9YFC  Rob Glowacki  N9MVO 
John Douglas  KD9KSH  Don Smith  K9UD  Don Dewar  KD9NJR 
Leo Ribordy  N9NBH  Sid Puri  KD9OLJ  David Weinheimer  AC9VW 
Tom Geletta  N9CBA  Dennis C. Calvey KO9HIK   

Secretary’s Report:  

 Cliff Sowka K9QD requested a motion to accept the minutes of the December meeting.  So moved. 

 Treasurer’s Report:  

 Chris Brewer AC9GN reported 

 Beginning Balance$6,234.45 

Income$   649.82 

Expense$  1,335.89  (SK Auction funds to widow, $62.82 Data Line, Party Awards) 

Ending Balance$5,548.38 


Current number of fully paid members in good standing:  89 


Public Service: 

 Rob Glowacki N9MVO reported our first two events for 2020 will be the MS Walk in early May.  A 5 Watt HT is sufficient for the 3M walk.  Following our Field Day event, we will assist with 4th of July parade for Hoffman Estates. 


 John Zietlow K9WIC informed Emergency Simulation will be held April 24th and April 25th.  Potential class at Hoffman PD.  Scenario with Red Cross @ Sears Center handle evacuees from Downstate. Attempt to set up HF, VHF with downstate stations.    


 Rob Glowacki N9MVO reported 60Hz noise fixed 4PM today.  Link pulled down to stop jamming Wednesday 8:30 reported Rap Music on 440. 

 Construction Project: 

 Six Dummy Loads remain to be claimed. 


Bill McGovern W9WEM reported attendance at last week’s Construction Project meeting: 


Russ KC9NUV  Robert W9RKK  John KD9KSH 
Chris AC9GN  Cliff K9QD  Bill KD9AUP 
Abe KD9OFB  Burt AB9CV  Leo N9NBH 
Jack W9YY  Rob N9MVO  Doug W9YFC 
Bob W9DXR  Terry AE9TJ  Mike K9KMV 
Kevin K9MKD  Phil WB9C  Sid KD9OLJ 
Dave K9KBM  Ed AC9SD  Tim KC9NMW 
Kevin K9BWZ  Daryl KB9RHR  Tom KD9KF 
Dennis KD9HIK  Paul N9ISP  Steve AC9EM 
John K9JDM  Bruce N9EHA  John K9WIC 
Ken KO9H  Pierre K9EYE  Geoff KA9QGH 
Kent W9KAO  Al KD9FIA  Ron WB9PTA 
Kevin K9AAB  Don K9UD  Bill W9WEM 

 VE Testing: 

 Volunteer Testing Results:  Two tested with one passing Tech and one passing General. 

 Radio Hill Gazette  RHG 

 Mike Griffiths K9KMV requests articles for publication. 


 Bob N9JAX no report. 


 Special $150 Gift Certificate was awarded in gratitude for extensive machine shop production supporting our Dummy Load effort. 


 Leo N9NBH reports schedule for next Ham Radio License class to start Sep 5th  


 Steve AC9EM reported February 6th Net activity. 

  Thanks everyone, for checking into the net this evening.   25 people checked in!!!   The question(s) of the night:  Are you aware of any HF Band Nets and when do they occur?  Do you participate?  We received lots of Net recommendations and advice. Thanks for the question Dirk, W0RI… 

Remember your check-in is important and your traffic always welcome.  Also, a lot more interesting than the basic Net Script…  We want to hear from you… 

 Tonight’s check-ins include:  


KD9KSH John  N9NBH Leo  W9RKK   Robert 
K9EYE Pierre  KD9HIK Dennis  KB9RHR Darryl 
K9KMV Mike  W9YFC Doug  KB9QVX Kevin 
KY0Q Rick  KD9FIA Al  WA9E Roberto 
KD9NJR Don  N9LTW Lou  KC9NMW Tim 
W9WEM Bill  KD9ESD Chris  KD9MBR Dane 
KF5IV Owen  N9FJM Fred  KB9UGJ Lucas 
N9MVO Rob  KD9FMN Paul  K9WIC John 
AC9EM Steve     

Leo N9NBH reported 2/13/20 


KB9RGU    Jim  W9RKK Robert  KD9FIA  Al 
KC9NMW Tim  K9QD    Cliff  K9EYE    Pierre 
W9YY        Jack  AC9SD  Ed  W9YFC  Doug 
K9MKD     Kevin  KB9RHR Darryl  KD9ESD Chris 
KD9NJR     Don  N9MVO Rob  AC9EM   Steve 
K9WIC      John  N9NBH Leo    Net Control  KD9OLJ   SID 
W9DXR    Bob  KD9OSW      Jim  KD9LRE Mark 
KD9OSX   Brent     


The question of the evening was:  Do you have a 220 Mhz radio?  If not, do  

you have a HF rig that you could install a transverter. 


 Dennis KO9HIK reported the Village of Schaumburg Cable TV team interviewed Rob N9MVO and Kent W9KAO during Winter Field Day.  Will report schedulepublic release once known. 


 Two visiting hams, David Weinheimer AC9VW and Tom Geletta N9CBA presented Fox Hunting techniques. 

 Old Business: 

 Leo N9NBH reported Bill Clark from Schaumburg EMCOMM attended our Winter Field Day. 

 New Business: 

 Need eBay Sales Chair 

160M on Air event starts Friday. 

Field Day planning:  Danny KD9HIL reviewed action items needed:  Permit submitted by Rob N9MVO prior to June event.  Should Field Day be a social event or contest event, or both?  Planning items like security, radio equipment (160M used with EMCOMM).  Should we rent equipment for the public demonstration?  Bring action item requirements to the Board of Directors. 

 Ask an Elmer 

 Q.  What to do about a lost QSO?  

  1. Dave Simms of the Breakfast Club discussed online call book utilization
  2. Is the FCC taking some bands away from Amateur Radio?
  3. Prevention is to be active

 Motion to Adjourn: 



 Cliff Sowka K9QD Interim Secretary  

 ……with special thanx to Chris’ AC9GN help capturing meeting minutes for us.  My abrupt departure from the meeting was due to a sick animal at home.