Upcoming Technician Class Postponed

Our Technician level license class that was to run on Saturdays January through March at the Hoffman Estates branch of the Schaumburg library has been cancelled. The library has temporally suspended in-person events due to the current surge of COVID-19. The library is moving many of their events to an online-only format, however our instructors did not believe that the subject matter and audience are well-suited for this format, especially given the short notice.

We will work to re-schedule this class when the library resumes in-person events.

Winter Field Day In-Person, Outdoor Event

The Winter Field Day (WFD) will be on Saturday January 29th, 2022, with setup commencing at about 11:00 AM, on the air operation starting at 1:00 PM and continuing until late afternoon. WFD is set up under the pavilions adjacent to the Bocce Ball Courts near the northwest corner of the Schaumburg Community Recreation Center (CRC) at the corner of Bode and Springinsguth Roads in Schaumburg.  SARC will cancel if weather conditions are too extreme.

Additional information about operating in this event can be found at the Winter Field Day web site.

Below are photos from our last Winter Field Day in 2020.

Restrictions on Club Events

SARC’s meetings and events take place at Schaumburg Park District Facilities. The park district provides these facilities to us free of charge in exchange for the public service events and emergency communication services that our club provides throughout the community. In order to remain in good standing with the park district and simplify any vaccination/mask/testing requirements related to the ongoing pandemic we have reviewed the park district’s current policies and decided to restrict food and beverage at our events.
The park district’s policy is as follows:
For group meetings where no food is served, face masks are to be worn at all times.
If food is served (including snacks or beverages) ALL attendees must provide proof of full vaccination and masks worn at all times.
The SARC Board of Directors have reviewed the SPD policy and decided that no food or snacks will be served at Board Meetings, Club Meetings, VE Examinations, or Construction Project until such time as the SPD drops the policy.
This will not affect the Winter Field Day as this is held outdoors, not in the facility.
Your cooperation will help assure that SARC can continue to utilize SPD facilities at no charge.

W9YY Celebrates 60 Years!

Jack W9YY is celebrating 60 years as a ham radio operator. He writes:

On this day exactly 60 years ago, January 9, 1962, I was first licensed as a ham radio operator, WN8BVX, at the age of 12. The event made the news in three local papers. After 60 years, that constitutes a whole lot of dits and dahs sent to the airwaves!!

Many club members passed along congratulations of this milestone.

  • Jack, Congratulations! That’s fantastic! I don’t remember when I got my first novice license but I do remember the callsign, KA9OYQ. – KB9RCR
  • Congrats, Jack.  That’s a lot of dits!!   And you made the papers, too.  That’s an accomplishment many of us have not done. – N9MVO
  • That’s great, Jack.  Congratulations!  At 12 I was building my first kit, an Allied Radio Star Roamer receiver.  I might have intercepted of few of you dits and dahs along the way. – W9WEM
  • I hope you all will be there for my 60th licence anniversary!…..in 2080….. – KD9NJR

Business Meeting will be Hybrid (In person and Zoom)

The contagion rate of the Omicron virous is serious.  For example, this last Fall there were typically five students absent from Huntley High School on any given day due to Covid; since the Holidays, that number has increased to 50+.  In ham-speak, that is an increase of 10 dB and significant.

Anecdotally, there have been several hams on the 2-meter machines discussing family members that have contracted the virus.  Many times, these members have been vaccinated.

In addition, attendance has decreased at our meeting and planned activities.  Members are rightfully concerned and cautious.

To encourage participation in our business meetings by more members, without endangering their health, I personally purchased a conference style, omni directional microphone and a Zoom membership.  My intent is to offer hybrid meetings (meetings that are both in-person and virtual) for the foreseeable future.

For the first meeting on January 20th, we will use a fixed-field camera.  The video is not going to be great or perhaps, even good.  But this is going to begin an ongoing effort to improve our audio and video over time.  We will be seeking suggestions for improvement from the members that attend the meetings.  For future meetings, we will probably need someone to control the AV equipment.

Ham radio operators have always adopted and adapted technology to overcome challenges.  We need to do the same for our meetings and activities.  I suspect we will be able to relax some of our efforts later this Spring, perhaps as early as April.

We need to recognize that there is a new “normal” that requires us to develop new methods to mitigate the challenges of 2022.  The alternative is to continuously postpone our activities until we can return to the normal of 2019.   In my mind, returning to 2019 is counterproductive.  We need to push forward, overcoming the challenges as we go.

73,
John, K9WIC
President