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

Field Day June 25-26

Don’t forget - Field Day is coming up June 25-26. NSRC will be active from the Grove Cultural Center in Lake Forest. Planning is underway and we will be discussing FD preparation at our June 14 meeting.

Opening Day

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 next six meetings 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!

May 10 Meeting:
Hams and Public Service

At our May meeting, we will explore the various ways that ham radio has evolved to serve public service events and for national emergencies. There was a time when it was expected that ham radio would make itself available for deployment to provide communications in case of disruptive emergencies.

With the advent of more robust public service radios and the ubiquity of cell phones, ham radio lost ground for a number of years. In fact, many embedded groups started to dismantle their ham radio infrastructure in favor of other more popular and reliable means: satellite, social media, and other Internet-driven services.

This meeting will explain how ham radio is returning to the public service arena. We will provide an overview of the publc service landscape and show some of the many ways that ham radio operators from our own club are making a difference today. In many ways, ham radio is being recognized as a vital piece of the entire emergency communication continuum. The burden is on us as operators to know better the agencies we might serve and to be prepared to help. We will discuss service opportunities, training, and look to the future.

Come join us at the club meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 7:30pm, at the Heller Nature Center in Highland Park. Bring a friend!


* Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at the Heller Nature Center unless otherwise noted. Topics are subject to change.

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

Upcoming meetings:

6/14 Field Day Preparation

Surface Mount Devices

7/12 Fox Hunt in Glenview

8/9 Mini Swapmeet

Test Equipment / Xtal radio 

9/13 QRP Night at Emily Oaks

10/11 High Power HF Operation

Free Ham License Class Starts in July

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! This is especially important if you are upgrading. 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.

When:                First class session is Thursday, July 7, 2016
Time:                  7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Cost of Class:     Nothing!
Sponsor:            NORTH SHORE RADIO CLUB –
Where:               Northbrook Fire Department
                           Administration Building
                           740 Dundee Road (1/2 mile West of Edens Xpy)
                           Northbrook, IL 60062

License Examination Session: Thursday, August 25, 2016

The class is taught by local volunteer Amateur Radio Operators from the North Shore Radio Club. Your primary instructor is Rich Davidson, K9RD, BSEE, who has taught this course for more than a decade, and who has been a ham for over 55 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.

The class schedule and topics to be covered can be accessed here.

For more information, call (847) 295-8845.


New Hams from Feb 28 VE Session & Vernon Hills Tech Class

The Feb 28 VE session in Glenview produced 4 new hams and one upgrade. William Hayes (Northfield) KD9FRY, Magda Dorin (Buffalo Grove) KD9FRZ, and Steven Banks (Des Plaines) KD9FSA are new Techs. Martin Mills (Buffalo Grove) AC9NV upgraded to Extra. Thanks to Mike W9MJD and crew for administering the tests.

The recently concluded ham license class at Vernon Hills H.S. run by Derick AB9PR with NSRC volunteers produced ten new Techs and a General. One student was already licensed and took the course as a refresher, and one student passed her test before the end of classes (Stephanie KD9FTK). Many thanks to all who assisted in instruction and the VE testing.

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.

Tour de Cure Recognizes NSRC Volunteers

The 2015 American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure bicycle ride was an unparalleled success! Over 1400 riders raised over $700,000 for diabetes research, education and services. It was due in no small part to the work of the amateur radio operators that comprised the majority of the Communications and Safety team, including several North Shore Radio Club members.

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

 NSRC 2015 Field Day

Field Day 2015 was a great success - many new faces, lots of young folks trying out ham radio in the GOTA tent, and many dedicated operators filling the chairs throughout the 24 hours. Weather was the best in years, and while propagation was not the best, at least on Saturday - it picked up and we managed to eke out a small gain over 2014, for a new NSRC high score. We finished #20 overall — #3 in the 3A category — and #1 in Illinois!

Thanks to all for your help and participation!

Plus - two hams upgraded at the VE session held on Saturday - thanks Mike W9MJD.

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!

NSRC Winlink

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.