- Section Name:
- Tom Ciciora KA9QPN
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SM--Tom Ciciora KA9QPN
ASM/SRM--Ron Morgan, KB9NW
ASM/SEC--Brad Pioveson, W9FX
ASM/ASEC--Shari Harlan, N9SH
ACC--Scott DeSantis KB9VRW
SGL--Charles Richey, K9DUE
STM--Roy Eades, KA9MZJ
PIC--Fritz Bock, WD9FMB
TC--John Dinella, WA9IL
OOC--Tim Childers, KB9FBI
ASEC--Curtis Williams, W5DTR
ASEC--Kelly Robertson, KC9FVK
ASEC--Pat Ryan, KC6VVT
ASEC--Pat Stowell, N9PN
ASEC/Digital Ops--Danny Pease NG9R
DEC: Region 2--Lloyd Sherman KB9APW, Region 3--Dale Marzano N9JH, Region 4--Neil Ormos N9NL, Region 6--Gary Shanks KA9FAJ, Region 7--OPEN, Region 9--John Van Sandt N9YRX, Region 8--Curtis Williams W5DTR, Region 11--Bruce Talley WA9APQ
From the top...
**So it happened, in the same fashion that it happens in the country several times a year. A series of tornadoes crossed the state on 9 April, with one in particular which was large and violent. The damage is still being tallied in north central Illinois at this writing. Two people lost their lives, and there were also numerous injuries. However, it could have been a lot worse. As of the Saturday prior, the Storm Prediction Center of the Weather Service was making mention of a significant severe weather event for the area. This was mentioned daily in their outlooks, and crept into the local outlooks early in the week. By Thursday, the general public was acutely aware of what was coming. And, so were we. When the flag went up, repeaters came to life all over the Section, as this was a very widespread event. At one point, nearly all of Illinois was under a tornado watch. And once again, hams jumped into the breach to provide real-time ground truth to the Weather Service offices...by radio if they could, by phone or any means necessary otherwise. Coupled with Doppler radar and other unaffiliated spotters, timely warnings were generated to the public. This was a defining moment for Amateur Radio. Another installment was made on the rent payment for our spectrum.
**What was also different this time was the amount of publicity generated by our participation. I have frequently said that we do a marvelous job of telling each other what we do, but a completely horrible job of telling the general public. Not this time. I saw articles and items popping up in all manner of media. I personally spoke to one of the Chicago radio stations, who then ran the resulting bit multiple times for a day or two. Downstate, newspaper and TV coverage was evident. Right now, with all of the talk about distracted driving and our efforts on HR-1301 (you HAVE written or spoken to your Congressman, right?) we need to continually tell the public who we are and what we do. I will guarantee you that the next hot issue for our community will be "RF pollution". "RF sensitive" people have already begun complaining about supposed ill affects from wireless access points and such. It appears to be the thinking person's equivalent of gluten intolerance from the standpoint that many claim to be affected but few really are. And, I'm here to tell you that we are going to be next. So, we need to establish and keep ourselves positioned as a positive force in the community. It's unfortunate that an event where people are hurt or killed and have their lives turned upside down is one of the vehicles that we have to use. As long as we're where we need to be when we're needed and take credit with the public for what we do, we can minimize the impact of attempts at regulation by the uninformed.
**I was forwarded an email where a ham out west was requesting that we hams sign an online petition at change.org favoring HR-1301. I believe that we need to avoid spinning our wheels in things like this and concentrate our efforts on personal contacts with Congressmen or at least staff. When you do that, it's made plain that there is a face attached to a voter who is touting this measure. In any human intercourse, the personal effort is always the most successful.
**An online form is now available for filing complaints with the FCC. I have already used this form to report a gentleman attempting to use my repeater, first with no call ("Anybody out there?") and several days later with a GMRS callsign. I got a very nice form email back which said that my complaint was received and was being investigated for appropriate action. It remains to be seen as to whether or not anything will happen besides that.
**It would seem to me that now would be a very good time to introduce your club or ARES group to your local or county EMA/ESDA if you haven't already. We have a very small window of opportunity while the events of 9 April are still fresh in people's minds. You say "ghoulish"? I say "opportune".
**Did I mention that you need to contact your Congressman about co-sponsoring HR-1301? Our folks in DC are currently trolling for a Senator to introduce a mirror measure in the upper chamber. Then, we'll need to go to work on those two people.
**Not much time left to provide input on the draft HF band plan proposals being prepared by the League's HF Band Planning Committee. An online form has been placed on the website, but it's going to disappear on the 19th.
**Every time one of these band plan thingys come to the fore, I can count on an angry email or "irate consumer" at a hamfest raging as to who does ARRL think they are making rules like this? Or some variant thereof, plus or minus obnoxiousness. First and foremost, let's stipulate that anything that is not an FCC or IARU generated scheme does not carry the force of Rules. However, gentleman's agreements have been the foundation on which Amateur Radio cooperation was built. Without them we'd have no repeater coordination, weak signal areas on VHF and UHF, DX windows or suggested frequencies for digital operations just to name a few. And, if there was another viable national association for Amateur Radio, they'd be involved in coordinating this stuff as well. Fact remains that every organization raised to attempt to represent hams has withered and died. Who else is there? Or, do you prefer a free-for-all?
Around the Section...
**Excellent overview in this month's Kankakee ARS Key Klicks newsletter on high altitude ballooning. These happen more often than you know, and carry an APRS tracker and perhaps a camera or other instruments. Sometimes, they ascend to the very edge of space, providing vivid and spectacular photos. And of course, they show up on your favorite APRS tracking site.
**While we're ballooning, the Peoria Area ARC is partnering with the Washington Gifted School to launch a high altitude balloon on 24 April. One of our own volunteers extraordinaire, Fritz Bock WD9FMB, has been helping the kids design and plan the operation. From the article in PAARC's Bandbits newsletter: "Experiments that will ride in the payload include the following: two experiments that determine the solar charging efficiency of two types of rechargeable batteries, cosmic radiation of common vegetable seeds, cosmic radiation using personal radiation dosimeters, a noise spectrum of near space noise, gas and vapor detection and determination of the expansion of the common marshmallow. The school’s mascot, a Wildcat, will also accompany the payload."
**"Jeez, he was windy this month."
Ye Olde Traffic Report DE KA9MZJ...
Illinois Side Band Net - Net Manager WB9QPM
Daily on 3905 at 1800 local time
QNI 407 QTC 49 Sessions 32
Illinois Phone Net - Net Manager K9GYI
M-F on 3857 at 1645 local time
Sunday on 3940 at 0800 local time
QNI 254 QTC 19 Sessions 27
North Central Phone Net – Net Manager K9HEZ
M-F on 3912 at 0700 local time
QNI 320 QTC 4 Sessions 20
Illinois CW Net (ILN) Net Manager WB8SIM
Daily on 3838 at 1915 local time
QNI 39 QTC 5 Sessions 19
Section ManagerThomas T. Ciciora KA9QPN
Affiliated Club CoordinatorC Scott DeSantis KB9VRW
Assistant Section ManagerRon Morgan KB9NW
State Government LiaisonCharles L. Richey K9DUE
Official Observer CoordinatorTimothy C. Childers KB9FBI
Technical CoordinatorJohn R. Dinnella WA9IL
Assistant Section ManagerSharon Harlan N9SH
Public Info CoordinatorFrederic M. Bock WD9FMB
Section Traffic ManagerRoy R. Eades KA9MZJ