New Club Members
Shelby NC Hamcation 2013 - KA9QJX
Early NSRC History

April 14 Meeting
RTTY Operation on HF

 Presented by Mark WA9IVH

Radio Teletype (RTTY)—the oldest machine-generated amateur radio mode.

What’s the attraction of RTTY today? How can I get into it? Why is it a top contesting mode? What are the leading-edge users doing?

Come to the meeting and learn the answers to these and other questions you may have about RTTY.
— A brief history of RTTY and how it’s evolved into one of the top contesting modes. 
— A live demo of commonly used RTTY hardware and software systems. 
— Learn the difference between AFSK and FSK, and why you should care about it. 

To learn all about RTTY, one of amateur radio’s most fascinating modes of yesterday and today, please join us Tuesday, April 14, 7:30p at the Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd in Highland Park.

Bring a friend!

Upcoming Meetings:

May 12 Basic Circuits and Measurements (TBD)

Jun 9 Field Day Prep + Foxhunting

Jul 14 Fox Hunt at The Glen

Aug 11 Mini-Swapmeet + QRP and QRPp

Sep 8 QRP Campfire Night at Emily Oaks

Oct 13 Making Your Own Printed Circuit Boards

Nov 10 Annual Financial Report + System Fusion

Dec 8 Officer Election + Annual Auction



* Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at the Heller Nature Center unless otherwise noted.

* Many presentations from past meetings may be accessed in the Resources/Downloads section here.

AES Superfest

AES Superfest will be Saturday March 21 at their store in Milwaukee. Forums, exhibits, prizes.
Details in their flyer here.

VE Testing

The next NSRC VE test sessions will be at the Glenview Public Library from 1:30p to 4:30p on:

Sunday, April 12

May 12 Meeting (Tentative)
Basic Circuits & Measurements


We will follow up our previous “Test Equipment for Radio Amateurs 101 and 102” meetings (see the resources section for presentations made at those meetings - Oct 2013, Feb 2014).  

This meeting will focus on circuits, measurements, and Ohm’s law. There will be a lecture and a lab. The lecture will cover simple DC circuits using resistors, diodes, and a single transistor. During the lab you will learn how to breadboard circuits using small commercial breadboards. Some circuits will be prepared for you, some will be built by you. You will identify an unknown resistor using only a voltmeter. Other measurements will be taken. Each group will have a different unknown resistor. Bring a calculator or a phone with a calculator app - four-function is all you will need.

Two door prizes will be given to raffle winners. One is a small digital pocket multimeter. The other is geekier than a pocket protector. You will have to come to the meeting to find out what it is. NSRC board members do not participate in the the raffle so your odds are good.

Please join us Tuesday, May 12, 7:30p at the Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd in Highland Park. Bring a friend!

Tour de Cure Recognizes NSRC Volunteers

The 2014 ADA Tour de Cure was an in paralleled success! Over 1100 riders raised several hundred thousand dollars for diabetes research, education and services. It was due in no small part to the work of the 40 amateur radio operators that comprised the majority of the Communications and Safety team. Being in my 10th year of being an ADA volunteer it amazes me every year the support we get from individuals and club like the North Shore Radio Club.

For many years now, the NSRC has not only encouraged it’s members to participate, but has provided us with equipment and technical expertise to help us accomplish our mission- to bring back every one of the riders that go out…back safely.

On behalf of the American Diabetes Association, THANK YOU for your efforts not only on behalf of helping the fight against diabetes, but for putting on the “good face” individually and corporately for Amateur Radio and it’s public service component. We truly could not do it without you!

Mike and ask that you please accept this certificate as a token of our appreciation for the efforts of the NSRC and it’s members in making the 2014 safe and successful for those riding.

Eric Lorenz K9LGE
Michael Johnson KC9QLT
Communications and Safety Co-chairs
2014 ADA Tour de Cure

Emily Oaks Campfire/QRP Outing   

Several members took advantage of great weather and decent band conditions at Emily Oaks the evening of September 9. Those who did not bring radios enjoyed the campfire and camaraderie.

Congratulations to the 2014 “Emily” winners for QSOs with greatest distance/watt:

CW     Warren KC9IL   QSO with AA1JD on 40m
800 miles/100mW    8000 miles/watt
SSB     Greg W9GAK    QSO with SV9CVY on 20m   
5620 miles/5 watts    1124 miles/watt

Honorable mention for Dan WD9E

 SSB    Dan WD9E     QSO with EG5VAL on 20m
4175 miles/5 watts    835 miles/watt

No digital mode QSOs were reported this year, so no winner in that category.

There was plenty of space for additional stations - be ready for next year!

 New High Score at 2014 Field Day

The results of FD 2014 have been posted by ARRL.

We finished 18th overall - #1 in Illinois - and #2 in Class 3A. Thanks to all for a winning effort!

It took several years to post a new high NSRC score for Field Day, but we finally did it. Based on over 3500 QSO’s and all the bonus points we earned, our final score was 13,112. That breaks our previous high score of 12,994 in 2004. Hats off to all who participated - from setup, to operating around the clock, greeting and guiding visitors, through to teardown. Truly a team effort. Fortunately we were spared the weather that arrived Monday evening - and the line noise that plagued us last year. Murphy always pays a visit or two, but we were able to keep on going.

You can read more about NSRC Field Day in Rob K9RST’s blog

NSRC at Dayton 2014

“Hot in Cleveland”…”It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”…But Dayton in May? Not so much…
Didn’t stop intrepid NSRC members, though, who are used to having parkas at hand even when the calendar says “Spring”.
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

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 2013 Field Day 

 Field Day 2013 was held once again at the Grove Cultural Center in Lake Forest, June 22-23. We had a great turnout - whether to enjoy the hospitality tent, the Saturday picnic, take advantage of VE testing, learn how to communicate by satellite, or operate in the phone, cw, vhf or GOTA tents.

Although the weather was favorable for Saturday and Sunday, band conditions were mediocre - marginal on 15, nil on 10, minimal on 6 - with S9 noise on the low bands. Our preliminary score tabulation shows about 11,400 points - down some from last year, in large part due to the noise level. (Be sure to read K9RST’s President’s Blog). While we were #1 in 3A in 2012, we’ll have to wait until Fall when scores are published to see how we did this year. Regardless, we always have fun! 

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!

North Shore DMR is Here!


The North Shore Radio Club is now sponsoring a 440 DMR repeater, connected to over 165 repeaters worldwide and 3 in the Chicagoland area.   DMR is ham radio’s newest 2-way communications protocol, is an international open standard, and features 2 voice channels from one repeater that occupy 1/2 the bandwidth of an analog repeater.  DMR radios are made by multiple manufacturers, feature excellent battery life, and are very affordable.

Read all about it!

NSRC JNOS BBS/Packet Cluster/Callsign Lookup/WX Server and Winlink Servers Upgraded

UPDATE 12/17/12:  The JNOS BBS/Packet Cluster/Callsign Lookup engine and Winlink Server has been upgraded to a new PC and more reliabile internet connection.  Please give it a try.

The NSRC Tech Team welcomes you to our new NS9RC-1 JNOS packet BBS system on 145.01 MHz with 30W of power at over 100’ high from Techny.  This isn’t your traditional BBS system.  It has wormhole connections to other BBS stations in the USA, Canada, and Australia. It has a DX cluster and a feed from Weather Underground for weather conditions and forecasts.   As usual, all you need is a 1200 bps TNC, a VHF radio, antenna, and a computer with a terminal program.

Please visit our Tech Blog to learn more about using JNOS for the first time

We also have a working 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.