Get Your First License and On the Air!
The North Shore Radio Club will again be offering its Technician License Class at New Trier High School in Northfield starting September 8, 2016. Classes will meet on Thursdays, 6:00-8:30 p.m., for nine weeks. (There will be no class on October 6 and November 10.) The FCC license exam will be administered in the final class meeting on November 17.
The class is open to students of all ages. We encourage parents, relatives or older siblings to accompany and support pre-high school age students. Students should plan one to two hours of outside study per week.
The class is offered through New Trier Extension, the community education program of New Trier township high school District 203.
Online registration is open now at http://www.newtrierextension.org. The cost of the course is $119, including materials.
Please contact Derick Bonewitz AB9PR at AB9PR@arrl.net or 224.456.2540 for further information.
September 13 Meeting
QRP Campfire Night at Emily Oaks
Coming up is our annual Campfire & QRP night - Tuesday September 13, 7:30pm at the Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie. Emily Oaks is at Brummel and Kenton - just north of Howard St., 2 blocks east of Skokie Blvd. A map is here.
Bring your QRP rig, an antenna, and some insect repellent, just in case campfire smoke isn’t enough to keep bugs at bay. Beverages and s’mores will be provided. As the days grow shorter, it’s almost dark by 7:30, so recommend you get there early to set up an antenna. 40, 30, or 20 meters are usually the bands of choice.
Once again there will be “Emily” awards for QSOs that cover the greatest distance per watt, with separate categories for CW, SSB and digital.
If you want to have some fun with QRP, and missed KC9IL’s excellent QRP presentation at our August meeting, you can find his presentation here and an audio file here.
Please join us Tuesday September 13 at Emily Oaks in Skokie.
Bring a friend!
Upcoming meetings (at Heller Nature Center):
|10/11||High Power HF Operation|
|11/9||Annual Financial Report|
|Working the World w/Raspberry Pi & D-Star|
|12/13||Election of Officers & Annual Auction|
No, not baseball, it’s the excitement of opening the box of your Door Prize.
In an effort to spur even more interest and excitement at our already outstanding monthly meetings, the Board has unanimously agreed to have a door prize raffle at our meetings through November (when held at the Heller Nature Center). So, we’ve got six brand new Baofeng BF-F8+ dual band handhelds ready for proud new owners. Each radio will be pre-programmed with most of the 2 meter and 70 cm repeaters in Cook and Lake counties, as well as the North Shore repeaters. They will be charged up and ready to go. So be sure to get a door prize ticket when you arrive at the next meeting. Officers and Board members are not eligible, so your chances are even better! Winners will be selected towards the end of each meeting and the winner must be present to win. See you there!
Save the Date
North Shore Century September 18
Folks, time to begin building our roster for the Evanston Bicycle Club’s North Shore Century, held on Sunday, September 18, 2016. This has become a terrific partnership. Our support of this event has grown as we have continued to demonstrate how valuable ham radio volunteers can be. This will be our 11th year! (and who is counting?). This is a wonderful event for all—it is a charity ride, so thousands of dollars are raised and donated to good bicycle related causes. Our work is to provide some SAG (cars who can carry bikes and people) and handle radio communication for the event. We need up to 35 people for various positions: 1) SAG cars, people who ride along with bike Club SAG cars; 2) forward command staff; 3) rest stop communicators. SAG stands for Support and Gear and basically these are folks who ride along the course watching for bikers who may need help (flat tires, accidents, exhaustion).
If you have never done one of these events, try it. It is really a great deal of fun and we are providing important safety for the Evanston Club. The North Shore Century is essentially 3 different bike courses using public roads…100, 62, and 25 miles, and can attract up to 2000 riders.
NSRC 2016 Field Day
Field Day 2016 was a lot of fun - many new faces, lots of Scouts and other youngsters trying out ham radio in the GOTA tent, and many dedicated operators filling the chairs throughout the 24 hours. While propagation was not the best, with very little to be had on 15m and up, we managed to produce 12,058 points in class 3A. Down a bit from last year, but sunspots were not in abundance FD weekend.
Thanks to all for your help and participation, especially in helping us score those bonus points!
NSRC at Dayton 2016
The usual suspects and a few first-timers.
Amateur Radio - A 21st Century Hobby
An excellent introduction to ham radio has been developed by the RSGB and is available on YouTube here. We encourage you to share the link.
Introducing Boy Scouts to Ham Radio
We have set up a small station at the Boy Scout camp for the Northeast Illinois Council, called Makajawan. When I was up to visit last week, there were 23 scouts taking the Radio merit badge! The station consists of an Icom 7200, donated to the program by Icom as a loaner for the season. We also have a Yeasu 757GX, an older radio but which seems fairly reliable, and an Alinco VHF station with two Baofeng HT radios.
The boys have been having fun with the VHF radios running around camp doing search and rescue drills. The Icom radio is working very well both as a PSK demo and as an HF voice station. This is connected to a 20/40 meter trap dipole. The Icom works brilliantly with Ham Radio Deluxe, so you have complete control of the rig from a laptop interface. That was really a great deal of fun to work with. Greg Karlove W9GAK helped me set up the station and the interface earlier this summer. We both got more ticks than radio contacts! The Yaesu was not working very well at all, so I did some antenna repair work and got it to hear better, but I have little confidence that it will last the summer with the antenna we provided. The balun had a dead short!
I was surprised to see that there are no AM radio stations to be heard during the day, we are that far north…plus that says more about the state of AM radio! There have been hams stopping by the station every week to help the boys get on the air, and frankly, this might be the weakest link. We need to find a way to make the station available to the boys at night. Also, this set up is currently only on East camp, which has about 300 scouts. There is another camp across the lake that does not have a station at all.
Based on what I have seen, I am very encouraged by the participation and interest. There is plenty of opportunity for us to do more. Next year, I am hoping I can spend more time at camp and help generate more interest in this activity.
NSRC 2012 Field Day Video
This is a short video showing some of the activities at the 2012 annual ARRL radio emergency event, called Field Day. North Shore Radio Club created three HF radio stations, a VHF weak signal station and a GOTA, Get on the Air station for newer operators. This is ham radio’s premiere summer event. The goal is to contact as many stations as we can in a 24 hour period, so it is part contact, part social and all fun, especially when the weather behaves!
We have an NS9RC-10 Winlink RMS Packet server on 145.61 MHz 1200 baud for sending and receiving email over RF. Learn more about it here.
Northern Cook County Skywarn Net Frequency Change
Northern Cook County Skywarn (WX9NC) is moving its spotter nets to our own 147.345+ MHz repeater with a tone PL of 107.2 Hz effective this spring. Our 2m repeater has much improved coverage and we hope that more hams will be able to participate in spotting severe weather for the National Weather Service. Severe Weather Net controllers for 2013 are still needed! For more information or to volunteer your services visit here.