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Save the Date:


NSRC Annual Auction 2018

Date: December 11, 2018

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Heller Nature Center

                2821 Ridge Rd.

                Highland Park, IL 60035


The 2018 Annual Auction will soon be upon us. We hope you can attend since this is the club’s biggest fund raising event and fun for all. 

To view the items for the event, please click on the link below:

Between now and then, we are accepting donations of transceivers, amplifiers, keys/paddles, speakers, antennas and all things of value that are ham related.  No “junk” please.  Please look around your shack and think about making a tax-deductible donation of equipment that is simply lying around and that NSRC can repurpose or sell at our auction.  Feel free to contact Burt Krain, KR9T to discuss your donation and make arrangements for pick-up or drop-off. He can be contacted at (847) 208-3117 or

NSRC Annual Auction
The North Shore Radio Club’s Annual Auction will be at our December meeting on Tuesday, December 11th at the Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road in Highland Park. That’s just two weeks away! We have received over 160 items for the Auction this year including  a prestine Collins 75A-4 Receiver will all filters; several transceivers such as an Icom 725, Kenwood TS-850S,Kenwood TS-520SE, Kenwood TS-450; several quality amplifiers such as the Drake 4LB with power supply and an Ameritron ALS 600 with power supply; antenna tuners and , many station accessories, scanners, antennas, test equipment, books, coax, electronic parts and much more.   
This year we will again be featuring BUY IT NOW tables (like you see them at a hamfest) and with items attractively priced. Prices will be firm but fair and below those outrageous eBay prices. A comprehensive list of all items, those available for sale and those in the auction will be published on the website shortly. How will you know which items are for immediate sale or in the auction? Come join us and find out.!  
PLEASE NOTE:  Everything that is not in the Auction will be available for sale at 7:00 PM. Just like a Hamfest, plan to be there at 7:00pm when the doors open to get the bargains! No one will be admitted to the center before 7:00 PM. 
The actual auction begins at 8:00 PM. You do not have to be a member to attend and buy so tell your friends.  We will also have a 50/50 auction. Any question? Email

Frequently asked Questions About The NSRC Auction
1. What time can I get in the Heller Center? The doors will open at 7:00 and the items for sale are available immediately. This is a change from last year. Get there at 7:00 for the best bargains.
2. How do I know what’s for sale at 7:00PM and what is in the Auction? Most auction items will be on a separate table marked AUCTION ITEMS.
3. What can I buy at 7:00PM? Anything that is not on the Auction Item tables.
4. What if I don’t like the price on an item on the buy it now table? The prices on the buy it now items are firm but fair. They were determined by looking at recent online and Hamfest sales, averaging and then setting the price lower than the average. Check them out on eham, and ebay in advance or bring your smart phone and check them out at the meeting tonight.
5. I saw Frank on American Pickers bundle several items for a discount on the pile. Can I bundle several items and get a discount? No. Reread answer #4  above. 
6. The Dancing with the Stars vs. American Ninja Warrior Competition comes on at 8:30 and I have to be home to see this once in a life time show.  Can my friend pick up the meter or HT for me?  Although Dancing Stars vs. Ninja Warriors is a significant event I the Grand Scheme of things, the person whose name is on the ticket is the only one who can pick it up. We will keep drawing tickets till we get a winner.
7. Is there a guarantee on any of the items or can I return anything I buy? No. Every effort has been made to accurately describe the condition of each item for sale or Auction. It is impossible to test every item in every possible circumstance. Therefore, all items are sold as is, with no warranty expressed or implied. Please choose your purchases with this in mind. If you have any questions about any item, please ask BEFORE you purchase it.

Breaking News: November 9, 2018

Field Day 2018 Results

With 10,440 points, we were:

#6 in our class (3A)  (#’s 4 through 6 were within 224 points of each other) Winner had 14,562

#1 in Illinois

#2 in the 9th Call Area - behind N9NS in Indiana

Beat McHenry (K9RN) by 2,000+ points

Well done everyone!



New APRS digipeater and IGate Station Installed

I am pleased to report that a new combined APRS digipeater and IGate station has been installed at K9EAA’s QTH in Waukegan. Along with Al offering to host this station, WD9GYM, WA9IVH and I teamed up to put it on the air. This new station, K9EAA-10, is a Raspberry Pi based APRS controller with a Motorola 2M mobile radio running 25 watts. Two things converged to cause an idea to become a joint project. One was Mark’s moving to a new QTH from Wilmette where this station was located previously and the other is a well known North Shore Century Ride APRS dead zone up in Al’s area. Initial observations indicate that it reliably covers mobiles out 7-8 miles in all directions and has even picked them up from as far as 14 miles. It appears to have a good set of ears.

73, Don, KK9H

Want to help the North Shore Radio Club financially in a very painless way?

If you use for shopping, all you have to do is use and designate the NSRC as your charity and a portion of your amount spent will automatically be saved to an account helping NSRC.


Ham-In-The-Park  Since I haven’t been great about keeping everyone up to date on where and when, I’ll announce the location for the last one of the year, on Saturday November 3rd at 1pm, as well:

Orr Park in Glenview on Saturday November 3rd (weather permitting):

Address:  1323 Pine Street, Glenview, IL

GPS Coordinates:  42.07941,-87.80320

Map Link:





Feel free to RSVP (if you want, no need) or ask questions.  Feel free to just come and hang out and have some fun!”


Contact Casey, KV3T via his QRZ address.


2018 NSRC Field Day In Pictures

Live Field Day 2018 again! We have posted some of our shot up on my SmugMug site.  I know they suggest you can buy the photos, but they are free to download.  Thanks again everyone for participating in the event…and if you weren’t there, this is what you missed!

(Please click on the link below)


Fox Hunt At The Glen Results

1) 7:22pm KC9IL  Warren

2) 7:33pm KD9IXB  Tami

3) 7:34pm KD9AAM  Forrest

4) 8:10pm KV3T  Casey

5) 8:14pm KC9ZMY  Don

6) 8:15pm K9RST  Rob

7) 8:16pm WD9GYM  Marty





We Did It!
Number 1 in Illinois!

ARRL Field Day 2017 was held on June 24-25 at the Grove Cultural Center in Lake Forest located just a few blocks north of the Heller Nature Center. Our call was K9OR and we operated in the 3A class with a GOTA station using the call K9EAA. Our score of 12,410 points placed us 29th overall out of 2964 total entries which is in the top 1 percentile. We were also 1st in our Illinois Section, 2nd in the Central Division and 2nd nationally in the 3A class. This is our club’s most popular annual event that included 120 members participating in a variety of ways throughout the weekend. However, don’t let our success scare you away, we also have lots of fun socializing from set up to take down and we have a great Saturday evening barbeque. Field Day 2018 will be during the weekend of June 23-24. Come and join us next June!


Marv Michnik N9SXS (SK)

I have to admit, it took many repeated calls before I really understood Marv’s call sign, N9SXS. If you say it fast enough, well it sounds like more like something from a Masters and Johnson study than a ham call! When I finally met Marv in person and got his call sign right, I discovered the person behind the call. Marv was a passionate, caring ham radio operator. He devoted his valuable free time to this hobby, helping us with many local events and organizations. He recently retired and was expanding his activities. He was eager to learn and patient with the rest of us. I think many got to know him best as our Skywarn lead. He had a special passion for this activity and really worked hard to maintain our systems, recruit operators and be there when it was needed. His shoes will be very hard to fill…but we must as that is exactly what Marv would have wanted for us.

Pictured above is a shot from last year’s Field Day. Marv worked the GOTA station, helping many of the young people get on the air. He seemed energized by the youth he met. It was fun to watch him work with the young people to build up their confidence to talk on the radio and manage a QSO.

Several people have talked about Marv’s demeanor. He was a gentleman in all things on the radio, in person and when representing a group. The world needs more people like Marv, if nothing else to show us how we should all live our lives. Now, with his passing, the best we can do is simply reflect on his memory and the generous spirit he left behind for the rest of us.

Thank you Marv for all you have done to make us a better community.


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.


147.345 Repeater Now System Fusion

November 30, 2016
Warren KC9IL

Late this afternoon our Technical Committee installed a Yaesu System Fusion repeater at our Northbrook site, replacing the analog repeater we’ve had there for several years.

Yaesu System Fusion is the latest entry into the field of digital voice used by ham radio operators. Similar to D-Star, Fusion was designed specifically for ham use, unlike some of the commercial systems (P-25, DMR, NXDN) that have been adapted for ham use. What is unique about System Fusion is that it supports both analog and digital use as well as the ability to connect to “rooms”, which are similar to D-Star reflectors or DMR talk groups.

The new repeater will be on our same frequency of 147.345 MHz. In the analog mode, it will continue to use the same PL of 107.2 Hz.

What does this mean to you? If you are an analog only user, the only change we are recommending is that you activate Tone Squelch (PL receive - 107.2 Hz) on your radio. This way, when the repeater is operating in digital mode, your squelch won’t open up and you won’t hear the distinctive “white noise” of digital modulation. Also, when getting ready to key the mike and transmit, look at your radio to be sure the frequency is clear. Another thing to note is that with your radio in PL receive, you may not hear a courtesy beep, so please be sure to leave space between transmissions so a breaking station can get in.

If you are a System Fusion digital user – The repeater will operate in Automatic Mode Select (AMS). What this means is that it will retransmit whatever it hears. So if you transmit FM, it will repeat FM. If you transmit narrow digital (DN), it will transmit narrow digital. And, if you transmit wide digital (VW) it will retransmit the same. Since you will be sharing the repeater with analog users, we ask that you please use AMS receive at all times (that’s FM, DN or VW with a horizontal line above it in your display). This way you will hear FM users.

What about SkyWarn? Since the repeater always has priority for emergency and SkyWarn traffic, all users must yield to emergency traffic. Digital users must be aware that during times of potentially threatening weather, analog users may break in and need to use the repeater. That’s why we ask you to operate in AMS receive mode.

What about Internet linking? At this time we do not have an Internet connection at the site, so our short term plan is to use an RF link from a member’s home QTH to allow access to the Internet and Wires-X “rooms”, which are similar to D-Star Reflectors or DMR Talk Groups. In the startup period, our plan is to not have unattended full time connections to Wires-X rooms. The reason is that if the repeater is connected to a busy room and no one can execute a disconnect, analog users might not be able to access the repeater in an emergency. So for now, we ask that if you connect the repeater to a Wires-X room, please disconnect when you leave so that the repeater is truly open and available for both analog and digital users.    

What if we have problems? We understand the migration from an analog-only system to a digital system can create unintended consequences. The North Shore Radio Club has nearly 200 members, the majority of whom are analog only users. While the number of digital users grows rapidly every month, we have carefully considered our implementation so that members are not negatively impacted. One of the reasons we are excited about activating digital on the 2 meter band (virtually all of the digital systems of all flavors in the Chicago area are on the 70 cm band) is that the cost barrier to entry on Fusion is much lower. While a dual band Fusion rig can cost between $300 to over $500, the 2 meter-only Yaesu FTM-3200DR is only $149 at HRO. As a result, more hams can “dip their toes” into digital waters. So to answer the question, if we find we are having problems, we can certainly alter the “rules of engagement” to allow as many people to enjoy the advantages of digital while maintaining a viable analog system.

What if I don’t want anything to do with digital? As we mentioned earlier, if you place your rig in PL receive, you will not hear any digital. Also remember we have a 220 MHz repeater on the very same site as our 2 meter repeater, with very similar coverage. And also understand that we have no plans at this time to convert our 442.725 MHz flagship repeater to digital. We have consciously decided to keep our widest coverage repeater an FM only machine.

What about D-Star? There are no changes to our three D-Star systems (70 cm voice, 1.2 GHz voice & 1.2 GHz data). We are committed to maintaining our D-Star presence in Chicago, since it was our first digital operation nearly ten years ago. D-Star still has more users worldwide than any of the other digital modes, and will continue to be popular for the foreseeable future.

So, in summary, we are excited to be adding this new technology to our fleet of repeater assets. We are mindful and respectful that hams have a variety of interests and are proud to make so many VHF/UHF voice options available to our membership. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact any Board member. And thank you again for your continued support of the North Shore Radio Club.

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.