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NEWSLETTER OF THE ST CLAIR AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

PO BOX 94 BELLEVILLE, IL 62222

DECEMBER 2002/JANUARY 2003

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MEETING HAPPENINGS

The November meeting held on the 21st had a good turn out and an excellent impromptu presentation by W9TJ on the health, diagnosis of problems and game plan to restore the 100% operational status of the clubs 2-meter repeater system.Lots of work has been devoted to the interference problem and after thorough bench checks of the equipment confirming itís fully operational, the effort proceeded to completely check antennas and to rebuild mounting devices.After all that work, interference to the system is still a problem.Direction finding indicates a possible source north to northwest of the system tower.With improved weather, W9TJ and his work party will try to isolate the source.

Our next club meeting is a holiday dinner event on December 12th at Eckerts Family restaurant, 951 South Greenmount Road outside Belleville.This is a bring a guest activity.Be there by 7:00 PM and order your choice from the house menu.No advance reservation needed, so be there and make this a part of your holiday activity.

The January meeting is on the 30th and this is the month to nominate member candidates for club offices.A term limit on the presidents position will require a change at that level and other positions are also open for change.The strength of our club depends on participating members and dedicated officers.Over the past three years, club membership has greatly increased.Keep the ball rolling!Step forward to help run our organization by taking on a club office.Officer elections will be at the February 27th club meeting.

A new activity is being promoted for the last agenda item of regular club business meetings.At that time we will have a technical forum with a purpose for members and visitors to bring up unanswered ham related questions and leaving it to members with information on the subject to provide the answer.This activity could be a very beneficial resource for new and seasoned hams, and could generate enjoyable discussion.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

For close to forty years Red, WA9MGX has been licensed and enjoying ham radio.Redís early interest in the hobby was generated by his brother who was already licensed.Red was first a member of the club in 1967 and then after a lapse of membership, he came on board again in 1991.In 1992 he was drafted as the clubs Sergeant at Arms and has held that position continuously ever since.Pursuing the position as more than maintaining order, Red serves the club well by ensuring fresh coffee is available for every club meeting, and providing food and drink whenever needed for club activities.Most notable is the great annual spread that Red provides to our club Field Day site.Additionally, Red is totally involved with the repeater committee spending many hours at the repeater site with repair and upgrades.He also is a involved every year providing check point communications for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica and Shrine Circus parades.Redís operating interests include monitoring and operating through the clubs 2-meter repeater system and enjoying HF SSB activity on 10 and 20 meters.At his Belleville QTH, Red has a triband beam and dipoles for HF, and for 2-meters an 11 element beam on the house and a J-pole on the garage.Base station 2-metter rigs are available in both the house and garage giving good opportunities to monitor and catch a lot of QSO time on VHF.For HF, a Swan transceiver and Swan KW amplifier round out the home station capabilities.Red truly enjoys the activities and fellowship of our hobby, and serves our club outstandingly giving his time to make club facilities and activities more enjoyable for all members.Thanks Red for all your contributions.

DUES NEWS

Annual club dues for 2003 are payable now.Pay dues to our treasurer, Bob Thurgood, WA9TUG in person or by mail to 5 Seven Iron Court Belleville, IL 62220.Dues are $25 for individuals and $30 for families.The club provides the area with three VHF and UHF repeater systems that can always use funds for maintenance and upgrade.Also, significant annual recurring expenses run close to $1,000 for items such as liability and equipment insurance, repeater control telephone system, newsletter printing and distribution, checking account fees, Post Office box rental, and activity refreshments.Timely payment of dues certainly helps build a realistic annual budget for the club.

Itís also time for the club to renew our ARRL Affiliated Club status.It takes at least 50% of our club members being ARRL members to qualify for affiliated status.The status gives the club special privileges and recognition we donít want to give up.We need to identify our 50% plus.Enclosed is a list of club members that includes an ARRL membership status collected at a recent club meeting.We need an answer on the ARRL status for all members.If you still need to pay dues and will pay this month, you could advise at that time of your ARRL status or use the instructions on the enclosed list.

NEWS BRIEFS

Welcome to new club member Ed Way K9WAY of Fairview Heights.

The candidates for becoming a ham in the local area are decreasing since annual classes were started in 1997.Hopefully this is a sign that the club has well met demand rather than a reduced interest in becoming a part of amateur radio.Only three students, including one age 14, attended our class session on December 7th and they will test after a final review session on December 14th.In 1997 a high count of 30 students pursued the free class opportunity.K9HUH has done a super job organizing this class every year.

2002 ARRL Field Day results on page 101 of the December 2002 QST shows the clubs total score of 3,020 placing well in the upper half of all Category 2A participants.

Winterfest 2003 is again close to home at the Gateway Center in Collinsville on January 25th starting at 8:00 AM.This is one of the better local hamfests with lots of buying opportunities.

VE test sessions are scheduled the second Tuesday of each month provided at least one testing candidate makes a reservation well in advance.Without a reservation, the session is canceled and those candidates planning to walk-in are out of luck.In December, no candidate made a reservation and a second Tuesday session will not be held.However, walk-ins still have a shot and could be accommodated along with the technician class test session on December 14th.For information and reservations, contact Ted, K9HUH at 233-1313 or 235-6152.Also, in 2003 the ARRL VEC is raising the test fee from $10 to $12.

Information on a great web site for owners of older ham radio equipment was passed along during the clubs on the air meeting December 3rd.The site is titled the Boat Anchor Manual Archive and the address is http://bama.sbc.edu/.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY SEASON: W9BP, EDITOR