NEWSLETTER OF THE ST CLAIR AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
PO BOX 94 BELLEVILLE, IL 62222
Candidates nominated for club officer positions at the January meeting were elected at the February meeting without opposition. Last year when reporting in the SCAN on the officer elections it was suggested that hard charging new blood should step forward to lead in 2003. Our new president, Bob, KC9AEC has made that leap and accounts for a significant lowering of the average age of the class of 2003 officers. Congratulations Bob and thanks for taking on the challenge. Rounding out the rest of the 2003 officers are: vice president, Bob, W9BP; secretary, Lou, KB9UEF; treasurer, Bob, WA9TUG; activities manager, Ted, K9HUH; and sergeant at arms, Red, WA9MGX. A special thanks and a salute to our outgoing president, Charlie, N9BPK, for his strong leadership and a job well done. The passing of the gavel took place at the club dinner on March 27th at the Lantern Restaurant. Thirty nine members and guests enjoyed the good food and conversation of that event. It was special to again have charter club member Bill Burke, W9PAM and his wife joining us for the dinner. The evenings activity was rounded out with Skip, AA9ZV giving a presentation on a number of communications initiatives being pursued for the Fairview Heights Red Cross. As the initiatives become a reality there will be significant opportunity for club members to volunteer and operate communications for the Red Cross.
METRO EAST SEARCH AND RESCUE
The program for the February club meeting was given by Ted Lohr, N9WDS and Skip Mize, AA9ZV of the Metro East Search and Rescue (MESAR). The organization is always on call to respond to a variety of search and rescue situations including those in rural and urban areas, wilderness, caves, disasters, etc. It is an all volunteer organization with member skills including fire fighters, law officers, paramedics, EMT’s, cave explorers, search dog handlers and communications specialists. Of interest to our club are the unique communications requirements especially when working a cave rescue. The MESAR is currently recycling an ambulance as a communications van. Volunteers with a ham license are always welcome to become members of the MESAR. For more information check out the MESAR web site www.search-rescue.net/mesar and/or call Skip at 346-8655.
Our new club president, Bob Riddell, KC9AEC developed an interest in two way radio as a youngster, but delayed until 2001 to include an amateur radio license as part of the radio activity he pursued over the years. He obtained his license through self study license manuals and using interactive study sites on the internet. He hooked up with our club and became a member after finding club information on the ARRL Affiliated Club web site. So far Bob’s operating activity includes a variety of vhf and uhf phone, APRS and Echolink. He is a regular in RACES/ARES activity, and enjoys opportunities for emergency communications training and public service communications support. He is pursuing a goal to expand operating opportunities in the HF spectrum. Bob recently got his XYL Marjorie interested amateur radio and she is now licensed as KC9CXU. This involvement probably went a long way towards Bob getting approval for the enviable inventory of vhf and uhf equipment they share. Included are base, mobile and portable systems capable of operating on all local vhf and uhf repeaters by both of the family licenses whether at home, driving or on foot. There are nine systems total which should be an incentive for the families three young children to also pursue a license. Bob is enjoying amateur radio and is already contributing his talents so that others can make the most of our great hobby and service. We are very fortunate to have Bob as our new president and look forward to his leadership in 2003.
REPEATER GOOD NEWS
The clubs 2-meter repeater system is gaining full operational capability. Interim improvement was the result of installing an old spare controller unit that worked fine, but at lower power and without a patch capability. That arrangement allowed receiver squelch to be adjusted to accommodate local power line interference. The best news is the club authorized the purchase of a new controller with the phone patch capability. The new controller has been installed, but work remains to get the patch capability fully operational. Prior to installation, Tom, W9TJ, our dedicated team leader in this effort brought the new controller for viewing at the March club dinner. Many hours of hard work have gone into restoring the health of our 2-meter system. We are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and dedicated crew to call on. Thanks to all involved.
EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
The next club meeting is April 24th. The program will be presented by John King, W9KXQ, and the topic is the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP). This is another new mode of operation that will be fun to hear about and see demonstrated.
Volunteers with 2-meter portable equipment are needed again this year to support the metro-east March of Dimes WalkAmerica. The event is April 26th. Volunteers should work the details with our club point of contact, Kurt, N9PYM. Volunteers will need to report by 8:00AM at the St Elizabeth’s Hospital complex. Food and drink are provided after the march.
The May meeting is the 29th and will be dedicated to planning for Field Day 2003. This years Field Day is the 28th and 29th of June. Make sure your schedule is blocked for these dates to take advantage of practicing emergency communications set up and operation, and contesting along with the fun, food and fellowship that is a part of Field Day.
Time to start forming teams and fine tuning equipment for a spring fox hunt. This will be an open event for participants throughout the area. Stay tuned to the club’s 2-meter net for details as they are worked out.
Welcome to new club members Fred Hensler, N9FDJ of Fairview Heights and Eric Bennett, KC9DGB of Belleville. Also, welcome back to the Wentz’s, Mitzi, KB9PNQ and Dale, KB9JJA.
A couple of local hamfests coming up. On April 26th the Lewis and Clark Radio Club hosts their event at the Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. Starts at 7:00AM and admission is $5. Note this spring date is a change from the fall date used in past years. Also, mark your calendars for the Egyptianfest on June 8th at the Granite City Southwestern Illinois College.
Mike, KB9WQJ participated in the CQ SSB WPX contest in 2002 as opportunity to work some new DX in a short period of time. He really enjoyed getting involved the event and in appreciation to the contest sponsors, he forwarded his log. Congratulations are now in order as Mike was awarded a winners certificate in the rookie low power category for the “9” call area.
For 2003 our club again has over 50% of the members also belonging to the ARRL and we are good for another year to enjoy the advantages of being an ARRL Affiliated Club.
The clubs web site continues to be updated and can be accessed at www.scarc.net. If you have ideas or contributions for the web site pass it on to KC9AEC at email@example.com.
VE test sessions are available the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM. A reservation is required to establish the session. For a reservation and information, contact Ted, K9HUH at 233-1313 or 235-6152.
Mallo’s Pastries makes our club meetings more enjoyable with complimentary pastries. Show your appreciation and do business with Mallo’s.