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

December 9 Meeting
Annual Auction
& Election of Officers

The North Shore Radio Club’s Annual Auction will be held Tuesday, December 9 at the Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road in Highland Park.

We have received over 200 items for the Auction this year including a Kenwood TS-530S with remote VFO, two ten meter mobile transceivers, a new Alinco 220 HT, many station accessories, scanners, antennas, test equipment and much more. A current list of items can be seen here. We are still looking for donations to make this year’s event even better! Please look around your station and home and donate used Ham and other related electronic items. Please bring them to the meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 11 or email me, K9RH so I can arrange to get the items.

This year we will again be featuring BUY IT NOW tables (like you see at a hamfest) with items attractively priced. Everything will be available for inspection at 6:30 PM and available for sale at 7:00 PM. Come early to check out the bargains! No one will be admitted before 6:30 PM. The actual auction begins at 8:00 PM.

You do not have to be a member to attend and buy! As an added bonus, when you attend you will be given a ticket to enter the free drawing for a Tenma digital multimeter and other surprise giveaways. Officers and Board members of the club are not eligible to win so your odds are good! These drawings are free and the winning ticket will be drawn at the end of the meeting. The winner must be present to win. It cannot be picked up by anyone else. Come join us for the fun and pick up a bargain! Any questions? Email K9RH.

Please join us Tuesday December 9 - 6:30pm - at the Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd in Highland Park. Bring a friend!

Upcoming Meetings:

Jan 13           Building Your HF Station “102”

Feb 10          Test Equipment

Feb 28          Winter Banquet at Wilmette Golf Club
                     SAVE The DATE !
                     Info and Reservation Form can be downloaded here.

Meetings are at the Heller Nature Center unless otherwise noted.


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

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!

Fall Ham Radio License Classes


Don’t waste time memorizing hundreds of questions and answers. Get your Ham License the EASY way, by learning the theory behind radio electronics! Why memorize question and answers, when you can learn the reason it all works!

Here’s your chance to learn what you need to know about the exciting world of Ham Radio, by taking an eight week class which culminates in an exam session. Under the new FCC Rules, you can earn any grade of ham license without having to learn Morse code. Instead, you’ll be developing the background which builds your understanding of the theory of Radio.

First class session is Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Classes will meet on Wednesday Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5, and Dec. 3, with testing on Dec. 10.

A schedule and description of classes can be found here.

Cost of Class: Nothing!


Northbrook Fire Department
Administration Building
740 Dundee Road (1/2 mile West of Edens Xpy)
Northbrook, IL 60062

License Examination Session: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The class is taught by local volunteer Amateur Radio Operators from the North Shore Radio Club. Your primary instructor is Rich Davidson, K9RD, B.S.E.E., who has taught this course for more than a decade, and who has been a ham for over 54 years. Rich is the recipient of the national 2004 Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year award, selected by the board of the American Radio Relay League.

For more information, call (847) 295-8845

 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.