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The Six Meter Club of Chicago(SMCC) promotes interest in the Amateur Radio Service by fostering activity on all radio bands(HF, VHF, and UHF), provides emergency communications, community radio services, and technical assistance related to radio and its use in communications.
Next club meeting
Canceled until further notice. ☜
St. John’s Lutheran Church, on the southwest corner of 47th Street and Brainard Avenue in LaGrange IL; enter through south side door adjacent to parking lot.
SMCC JUNE 21 HAMFEST CANCELED
We are sorry to report the cancellation of our annual Hamfest held at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton, which also features the Antique Radio Club
of Illinois' June swap meet as well as the Mdiwest Classic Radio Net Hamboree. Fairgrounds management has already reserved May 20, 2021 - Fathers' Day - for our next Hamfest. Anyone who already purchased tickets may return them for a refund or hold onto them for 2021 as they will be honored at that time. Many other activities at the Fairgrounds, including the popular County Fair held in July, have also been cancelled.
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SMCC PLANNING VIRTUAL MEETINGS
We have been notified by Saint John's Lutheran Church that since they are effectively closed down, we will not be able to hold in-person meetings until the
virus situation has been resolved - which also presently prohibits gatherings of ten or more persons. Jeff, W9ARG is working with us to experiment
with Internet meetings using the ZOOM program, and we expect to test this system in the near future, beginning with a Board meeting of the officers.
NOTE: Several members have indicated that they would prefer not to use ZOOM, but continue with the on the air format until we are permitted to hold inperson meetings again. Meanwhile, we will hold an on-the-air meeting via our K9ONA repeater system for about half an hour, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 12, which is our regular meeting date and time. Members who are not able to access the repeater can still participate using the Echolink system.
Please forward your suggestions to Jim, WA9FIH at WA9FIH@aol.com. Thanks!
SMCC LOOKING FOR NEW MEETING SITE
We have been notified by Saint John's Lutheran Church that they are no longer hosting non-church related events which includes our meetings - This is until the Ban on gatherings of ten or more persons is cancelled. If at that time they choose to keep this policy we will need a new place to hold our meetings.
Your suggestions for a new meeting location will be appreciated. We need a room similar to the one that St. John's had provided us, preferably in the same general area (Brookfield, La Grange, La Grange Park) and on the second Friday of the month, accessible at 7 p.m. We have been paying a nominal fee for usage of the facilities, which should include convenient parking and use of washrooms.
Please forward your suggestions to Jim, WA9FIH at WA9FIH@aol.com. Thanks!
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ARRL 2020 FIELD DAY OFFERS NEW GUIDELINES
Due to the present situation regarding the need for isolation and limiting the size of groups, ARRL has formulated some new alternatives for Field Day operation this year. Field Day begins at 1800 UTC (1 PM CDT) Saturday June 27 and ends Sunday June 28 at 2100 UTC (4 PM CDT). It is an exercise in emergency preparedness that gives hams a “hands on” experience with operating under conditions requiring the use of emergency power, setting up a station at a temporary location with efficient portable antennas and exchanging test messages. Mobile operation (1C), or
home stations (1D) using emergency or commercial power, are also included in the rules. NOTE: This year home stations may work each other for points. Since gathering at usual offsite locations for Field Day will not be possible in many cases this year, ARRL suggests that we all consider operating as Class B, C, D, or E stations using our individual call signs, either base or mobile. Published results will include Club names for all participating stations. We encourage all Club members to get on the air from their home stations and help the Club score.
VHF Noise, Installation of UPS, and
222 MHz Repeater Audio Adjustment
Friday afternoon, February 28, 2020 at approximately 2:00 pm Andy KC9BKP, Brandon N9LMZ, Lee KB9OYP, and I started an evaluation of the noise on the VHF repeater, and low audio on the 222 MHz repeater. The 222 MHz repeater system had it's audio output increased by adjustments within the S-COM 7330 controller. It should be working just fine at this time. We also installed the new battery backup (Uninterruptible Power Supply or "UPS") to the entire repeater network and peripherals. We also tested all functions of the repeaters including Echolink which worked fine.
Now, the bad news. After Andy conducted extended testing of the VHF antenna line, duplexer, and repeater, it was determined that the VHF antenna is defective. Any kind of wind or movement of the antenna causes extensive static crashes making QSO's and nets difficult as all of us have experienced. Andy has extremely sensitive and intricate test equipment including his brand new service monitor, and after changing several RF connectors of the jumper cables (which were not changed out when the feedlines were replaced) we thought the noise was gone, but it wasn't. Continued testing indicated that the antenna is defective and will continue to make noisy interference. Physical observation of the antenna from the ground indicated that one of the ground radials is missing which wouldn't cause noise or interference, but it still has defects.
Upon approval of the Board and membership, I will speak with my contact at BARS that we recently obtained our replacement VHF repeater antenna from. Also, this evening I spoke with Steve Bracy of Top Tower who said he would remove the defective antenna and install the new repeater antenna for us. Please give this some serious thought, and I will be planning on making a motion at our upcoming general membership meeting for approval of the purchase of a new antenna for the VHF repeater.
Also be advised that I spoke extensively with Lee Kudia KB9OYP of Hinsdale Central High School, and he assured me
that he was not planning on retiring in the near future, so our position at the facility will be assured for several upcoming years.
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March 15 Update
Due to the fact that the Six Meter Club of Chicago (SMCC) was not able to convene at our regular monthly membership meeting on Friday, March 13, 2020,
and that I was not able to make a motion before the membership to obtain a new VHF antenna, we will unfortunately be plagued with sporadic interference
on the VHF repeater for a longer while. I may suggest that net control operators utilize the UHF or 222 MHz repeaters to avoid undue interference. If you don't have these capabilities, please be patient while we deal with this issue.
I have obtained an extremely reasonable price from our antenna contractor, Steve Bracy of Top Tower, the company that did previous work on our repeater
at Hinsdale CENTRAL High School, and Amita Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale. If and when the motion is made and hopefully passed, we will make arrangements to have the new VHF repeater antenna installed.
Please bear with us while we are in this interim period. Hopefully, this COVID-19 issue
will clear up in the near future, and we can conduct business in our usual manner.
Will Sperling W9WSS
Repeater Committee Chairman
WE'RE LOOKING FOR PROGRAMS!
We have always had an interesting variety of programs at our SMCC meetings, but our Program Director, Joe,
KC9TQF is on the lookout for new ones whether related to Amateur Radio or not, so if you have an idea for a
presentation that our members would enjoy, please let Joe know. We are fortunate to have access to a variety
of audio visual equipment in our meeting room at St. John's.
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Six Meter Club of Chicago Apparel
Six Meter Club of Chicago apparel is now available thanks to Will W9WSS.
Click on the picture to order caps shirts cups and jackets.
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