New Club Members
Order Club Badge
Ham Radio Inventory Documentation
Breakfast Club

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!






 Date: November 13, 2018

 Location: 2821 Ridge Rd,

                 Highland Park, IL 60035

 Time: 7:30PM


Election of Officers - The candidates for the 2019 election are posted below for your review.  A brief overview of each of the candidates is provided.  Please take a look.  A few new candidates are running this year.


Public Service update - Rob, K9RST will provide an after action report on the North Shore Century Ride and the Chicago Marathon.  Both events were heavily supported by the North Shore Radio Club and other local clubs.


Northbrook Library Soldering Class - a review of the soldering class recently held at the Northbrook Library’s Collaboratory will be briefly discussed.  The 3 projects that were used will be on display after the meeting.


Annual Financial Report - Warren, KC9IL will provide an update on the cubs financial situation. Information will be provided on membership and our sources of funds and their disposition.


Auction Preview - Burt, KR9T and Greg will display a number of the premier items that the club will have for sale and for auction during the December meeting.  Items will not be for sale at the November meeting.  A pronominal list of all items will be available at the meeting and on line.

Election of Officers for 2019

Slate of candidates

President  Rob Orr K9RST is a professional video cameraman and editor whose work has taken him to over 82 countries. He was an avid shortwave listener as a kid and was inspired by his physics professor to become a licensed in the amateur service. He currently holds an Amateur Extra class license. He has been a member of the North Shore Radio Club for almost 20 years and has served as President of the club for almost 10 years. He has previously served the club as Program Director, Field Day Director and Public Service Director, and he is the lead organizer for ham radio support to the Evanston Bicycle Club’s annual North Shore Century bike ride and to the Chicago Marathon. He is an active outdoorsman and enjoys running, biking and hiking. He lives in Glenview.


Vice President and Program  Dave Hewitt WW9S is an Electrical Engineer who has worked in the defense industry in a number of technical and management roles before moving into management consulting. He is an Amateur Extra class licensee, first licensed in 1963. He has previously served the club as Technical Director, Program Director and Vice President. He has built a number of kits over the years, mostly Elecraft, and is currently experimenting with the FT-8 digital mode. He has hosted many “Build Club” sessions at his home and will soon be teaching a class on how to solder at the Northbrook Library. He lives in Lake Forest. 


Treasurer  Warren Pugh KC9IL has a background in accounting and finance and is currently a Chief Financial Officer. He has been licensed since 1976 and holds an Amateur Extra class license. He joined the North Shore Radio Club in 2008, and served as the Membership Director before being appointed Treasurer in 2011. He is an active operator, including traditional SSB, CW and FM; on Fusion, D-Star and DMR digital voice modes; and many data modes. He’s also active with Foxhunting, bicycle mobile and QRP portable operation. He’s also into bicycling, softball, astronomy and boating. He lives in Buffalo Grove with his wife of 44 years whom he met on 27.115 MHz. 


Secretary  Jeff Kraft WW9F is a retired attorney and an active ham who enjoys DXing, ragchews, soldering and our club’s public service events. He holds an Amateur Extra class license and has served on the NSRC Board as Public Service Director and Publicity Director. He is a guitarist who built his own Heathkit amplifier. He lives in Glencoe. 



Membership  Don Whiteman KK9H is a financial advisor. He was first licensed in 1967 and has held an Amateur Extra class license since 1981. He joined NSRC in 1986 and has served the club in many roles including Treasurer, Technical Committee Chair, Field Day Co-Chair, Vice President and President. He is an accomplished DXer with many awards including DXCC on CW, Phone and RTTY modes, DXCC on 8 bands, DXCC Honor Roll with 334 entities confirmed, the CQ Worked All Zones award, 6 meter Worked All States and the VHF/UHF Century Club award. He lives in Northfield. 


Publicity and Communications  R.F. Derick Bonewitz AB9PR is retired from a scientific and managerial career at Abbott and also from a second career teaching English to speakers of other languages at the College of Lake County. He obtained a Novice license in 1987, was re-licensed in 2007, and holds an Amateur Extra license. He has been a member of NSRC since 2010 and has served as club Secretary since 2016. He primarily operates HF phone, including QRP portable and the occasional contest and electronics construction project. He also enjoys cycling, cooking and classical music. He lives in Libertyville.


Technical  Ron Settle WM9Q is an electrical engineer working in analog and RF design and testing. He was licensed in 1978, holds an Amateur Extra class license, and spends most of his operating time on CW where he is a DXer and contester, and is a very active advisor in the CW Academy. He is the long-time Technical Director of the club and lives in Gurnee. 


Net  Mark Klocksin WA9IVH has worked professionally in television production in TV stations in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, and in Phoenix, Arizona.  He later worked at Bell & Howell, Amoco, and Square D. He was first licensed in 1963 and became an Amateur Extra class licensee in 2000, the year he joined NSRC. He has been the club’s Net director since 2004, captain of our Field Day SSB tent since about 2008 and has long been a net control operator at the North Shore Century and Chicago Marathon. He is an avid RTTY operator but is also active on phone, CW and digital. He is currently moving from Wilmette to Northfield.  


Education  Rich Davidson K9RD is a retired electrical engineer who has worked at Motorola and several other companies. He was first licensed in 1960 and became an Amateur Extra in 1992. He joined NSRC in 1987, was Technical Diretor in 1992, has been Education Director since 1994 and also organizes our club’s license exam sessions. He has taught the club’s advanced license class for 25 years and received ARRL’s Herb S. Brier “Instructor of the Year” award in 2005. He operates HF single sideband and digital modes and is starting to experiment with amateur satellites. He lives in Lake Forest. 


Information Technology  Vic Maiewski, KA9KBD was first licensed in 1981, in high school, and currently holds a General class license. He joined the North Shore Radio Club in 2009, has been the club’s IT director since 2017, and has been very active in club Field Day and public service events, and repeater and D-Star maintenance. He lives in Evanston. 


Public Service  Bill Vest Jr. N9WGV has had a long career in law enforcement and is currently a Sergeant in the Cook County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program. He was first licensed as a ham in 2013 and currently holds an Amateur Extra class license. He has been a board member of the York Radio Club, in Elmhurst, serving as President in 2015. He joined the North Shore Radio Club in 2017. He has been active in Skywarn, the Chicago Marathon and the North Shore Century bicycle ride, and is a volunteer examiner. He lives in Elmwood Park.


Burt Krain KR9T is a licensed clinical/industrial/organizational psychologist. He was first licensed in 2012 and currently holds an Amateur Extra class license. He joined NSRC in 2012; served this year on the Board as Communications Director; and has actively participated as net control operator for our Thursday night net, as a volunteer examiner, the club’s public service events and community outreach. Recently, he has assumed responsibility for managing equipment donations to the club. He lives in Northbrook.


Mike Simmons N9GHP is a an attorney, private pilot and long-time shortwave broadcast listener, and has been a ham since the late 1980’s. He holds a General class license and is currently active on HF, System Fusion, D-Star and APRS. He is part of a team that launches high-altitude balloons carrying cameras and APRS trackers. He joined the North Shore Radio Club in 2013 and has served as Membership Director. He lives in Buffalo Grove. 


President - Rob Orr K9RST

Vice President - Dave Hewitt WW9S

Treasurer - Warren Pugh KC9IL

Secretary - Jeff Kraft WW9F

Membership - Don Whiteman KK9H

Publicity - Derick Bonewitz AB9PR

Tech. Committee - Ron Settle WM9Q

Net - Mark Klocksin WA9IVH

Education - Rich Davidson K9RD

Program - Dave Hewitt WW9S

IT - Vic Maiewski, KA9KBD

Communications - Derick Bonewitz AB9PR

Public Service - Bill Vest N9WGV

 At Large:

Burt Krain KR9T

Mike Simmons N9GHP



Save the Date:


NSRC Annual Auction 2018

Date: December 11, 2018

Time: 7:30 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.  More later…


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


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.