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ARRL Sections - Illinois



Contact Information

Section Name:
Ron Morgan, AD9I
Daytime Phone:
(309) 397-9549

Basic Information

Follow us on Facebook at Illinois Section--American Radio Relay League!

Follow us on Facebook at Illinois Section--American Radio Relay League!

SM/AD--Ron Morgan, AD9I
ASM--Mike Nowack, NA9Q
ASM/ACC--Scott DeSantis KB9VRW
SEC/PIC--Fritz Bock, WD9FMB
SGL--Charles Richey, K9DUE
TC--John Dinella, WA9IL
OOC--Tim Childers, K9CQ
ASEC--Curtis Williams, W5DTR
ASEC--Kelly Robertson, KC9FVK
ASEC--Robert Littler, W9DSR
ASEC--Pat Ryan, KC6VVT
ASEC--Pat Stowell, N9PN
ASEC/Digital Ops--Danny Pease NG9R
 District Emergency Coordinators:
Region 2--Lloyd Sherman KB9APW, 
Region 3--Dale Marzano N9JH,
Region 4--Neil Ormos N9NL, 
Region 6--Gary Shanks KA9FAJ, 
Region 7--Josh Kittle, N9WEW 
Region 8--Curtis Williams W5DTR,
Region 9--Jim Hudson WB9QPM, 
Region 11--Bruce Talley WA9APQ 

1. Jim Pepper W9PX appointed IL State RACES Officer
2. Double duties
3. Shamrock Shuffle
4. Fort Massac Encampment Special Events Station
5. SEOC Visit (State Emergency Operating Center)
6. The Illinois Field Organization
7. Personal Recognition – Chuck Towner AE9CT
8. IEEE EMC Meeting at Batavia/FermiLab
9. Hamfests
10. Invitations

1. Jim Pepper, W9PX appointed IL State RACES Officer
Jim Pepper, W9PX was recently appointed as the new Illinois State RACES
Officer and AUXCOMM Coordinator by IEMA Director James Joseph. Jim sent
the following biography as an introduction.  (edited by the SM).
Jim is a native of Sterling, and currently lives midway between
Sterling and Dixon in rural northwest Illinois. After working as a
Chemist out of college, Jim went to work in the two-way radio industry
in 1981. In 1988, he started with the Illinois State Police
Communications Bureau, where he currently serves as the Radio Network
Manager for the northern third of Illinois. In this position, he is the
de facto COML for the Illinois State Police. He holds both General
Radiotelephone and Second Class Radiotelegraph licenses, as well as
APCO and NABER certifications. He was part of the original Starcom
design team, when it began as simply a replacement for the State Police
Low Band radio system. He is a state-recognized COML and COML
Instructor, as well as AUXCOMM Instructor, and earned his Illinois
Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM) recognition in 2012. Jim has
served in the following capacities: Sterling Unit District 5 School
Board Member, paid-on-call firefighter/paramedic for the Rock Falls
Fire Department, adjunct faculty in the Electronics Dept. at Sauk
Valley Community College, Division Commander in the US Coast Guard
Auxiliary, and District Chairman and Council Board Member with the Boy
Scouts of America.
Jim started his ham radio background in 1976 as a member of the
Sterling High School Radio Club. He was first licensed as a technician,
and upgraded to Extra within a few months. Jim was issued callsign W9PX
in January of 1978. He has been active for many years in CW, fox
hunting, field ops, and Civil Defense comms. More recently, he dabbled
in SSB, PSK31, and learning CAP and MARS procedures. He very much
enjoys design and construction work, especially with PIC processors.
Jim is a longtime member of the ARRL, and an OES.
(Jim continues to be an asset to the Ham Radio community and will
provide insight and leadership between the various governmental

2. Double duties within the Section
I want to thank all of the Illinois Section Cabinet for accepting their
new appointments. Several are still doing double duty which is
appreciated.  We will be working to find additional hams to help fill
these positions and reduce the burden to a single position.  Although I
do post some of the appointments to the State-wide reflector, most are
of a local nature and only appear on FaceBook.  The Illinois Section
has 102 counties with numerous Emergency Coordinator vacancies that
need our representation. If your county is not currently active, the
DEC can provide some assistance in getting a group started.

3. Shamrock Shuffle and the Chicago Marathon
Rob Orr reports that 25 ham radio operators from around the Chicagoland
area provided radio support to the Bank of America's Shamrock Shuffle,
held April 2.  This is the baby brother event to the Chicago Marathon,
where he has more than 140 ham radio operators working to support the
volunteer medical teams in the field. For the Shamrock, there are only
two aid stations, so the demand for radio communication specialists is
much lower.  Still, this event gives us an opportunity to try new
people in net control and field positions.  Rob will be seeking
volunteers for the Marathon in June, so if you would like to be on his
mailing list, contact Rob Orr, K9RST, ( 
(Your Section Manager and Section Emergency Coordinator have been
working Aid Station 10 at the Marathon for several years.  This proves
our ability to setup quickly in various difficult conditions, Join

4. Fort Massac Encampment Special Events Station
Charlie Richey (K9DUE) announced that the Metropolis hams along with
the Illinois ARES hams are planning a Fort Massac Encampment Special
Events Station during the festival October 20th, 21st, and 22nd.  ARRL
will be represented by the Section Manager and other cabinet members. 
This event will have an operational radio station and will ask the FCC
for a special call for the event.  Special QSL cards will be sent out
to those who request them.  The purpose will be to help celebrate the
occasion by raising awareness of the history of Southern Illinois as
well as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.  Charlie also invited PARA
(Paduach Amateur Radio Club) members to join in with them. Additional
info available from Charlie by calling (270) 816-5551 or email

5. SEOC Visit (State Emergency Operating Center)
Fritz Bock WD9FMB IL/SEC and Ron Morgan AD9I IL/SM were invited to the
State Emergency Operation Center on April 5th by Jim Pitchford, N9LQF,
and Roger Whitaker K9LJB to join them at the monthly SEOC briefing. The
site was packed with members of the SEOC staff which in itself was
impressive.  The facility, called the horseshoe, has served agencies
and governmental bodies represented that would be needed in the case of
a State emergency. Located in Springfield Illinois just off I-55, this
is one impressive facility with the capability to handle any Statewide
emergency. This was also our first opportunity to meet Jim Pepper, W9PX
and to see his seat at the table.  Jim is our RACES team champion and
will be providing future guidance.

Following the briefing Fritz and I paid a visit to the NC9IL
Springfield RACES station at the IEMA Rodger Street facility with Jim
Pepper, Walt Lewis and our Springfield hosts. Thank you for the
invitation and the time spent with this new Section Manager, it was

6. The Illinois Field Organization - The EC Position
One of our members asked that we use this forum to describe some of the
cabinet positions which I thought was a good use of space.

What is the role of an EC (Emergency Coordinator)?    (abbreviated from
the ARRL Website)
The ARRL Emergency Coordinator is a key team player in ARES on the
local emergency scene. Working with the SEC, the DEC and Official
Emergency Stations, the EC prepares for, and engages in management of
communications needs in disasters.

Technician class license or higher; Full ARRL membership
    Promotes the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) for the
benefit of the public.
    Manage and coordinate the training, organization and
emergency participation of interested amateurs.
    Establish viable working relationships with federal, state,
county, city governmental and private agencies.
    Develop detailed local operational plans with ''served"
agency officials in your jurisdiction.
    Establish local communications networks run on a regular
basis and periodically conduct realistic drills.
    Establish an emergency traffic plan, utilizing the National
Traffic System as one active component.
    In times of disaster, evaluate the communications needs of
the jurisdiction and respond quickly.
    Work with other non-ARES amateur provider-groups to
establish mutual respect and understanding.
    Work for growth in your ARES program, making it a stronger,
a more valuable resource.
    Report regularly to the SEC.
    Encouraged to earn certification in Level 1 of the ARRL
Emergency Communications Course. 

7. Personal Recognition - Chuck Towner AE9CT
I have asked our Section cabinet members to help us recognize those
that promote our hobby. Neil Ormos N9NL sent this information about
Chuck Towner AE9CT which I am pleased to include in this newsletter. 
Chuck leads a ham license instruction team associated with Palatine EMA
that has helped at least 110 people get their ham licenses. Chuck's
classes are well-attended and the students are successful. Not only is
Chuck is extremely knowledgeable, he has an upbeat, affable personality
and an ability to make the material accessible to students who may lack
a technical background.

Tom Smith KB9ZTL, Palatine's EMA Coordinator (retired), commented,
"Chuck is the longest tenured PEMA (Palatine Emergency Management
Agency) volunteer and a wonderful, dedicated person. Chuck came to us
several years ago with the idea of holding ham classes on a regular
basis for not only PEMA volunteers but ANYONE that was interested in
getting their license. Chuck organized the classes and recruited the
trainers. We purchased materials and provided the location and Chuck
and his team did the rest. A former PEMA volunteer named Bernie Knepper
passed away several years ago (far to young). Bernie was a ham. In his
honor, we named a Volunteer of the Year Award for him. Chuck was the
first recipient of this award for his dedication to the PEMA. He still
spends time helping others through PEMA and his church. I am proud to
call Chuck my friend." 

Chuck's classes are well-attended and the students are successful.
Chuck is extremely knowledgeable, but the low enrollment and high
attrition that afflicts some courses elsewhere show that expertise
alone does not guarantee good results.

I believe a significant part of Chuck's success in attracting students,
keeping them throughout the whole course, and ultimately, having them
pass the exam, arises from his upbeat, affable personality and his
ability to make the course accessible to students who may lack a
technical background. 

8.   IEEE EMC Meeting at FermiLab
A group of more than 200 Amateurs and Radio Professionals attended the
IEEE Meeting at FermiLab hosted by Director Kermit Carlson W9XA on
April 19th.  Kermit gave a personal tour of the facility to about 25
amateurs prior to the talk on Man-made Noise. Greg Lapin N9GL and Ed
Hare W1RFI were the speakers. Both of these individuals represent the
ARRL Staff.  The meeting was very informative and provoked a lot of
questions from the audience about noise reduction in the their area of

It was a pleaser to spend time with amateurs from the area. With so
many people present, I was not able to get around to meet everyone.  

9.   Hamfests
It is the Hamfest season, with several clubs and organizations hosting
events about the State. Look over the Hamfest calendar in QST and make
an effort to attend one in your area.

10.   Invitations
Invitations to events are appreciated. Most of the Section knows that I
am a high school teacher which has limited my schedule during the school
year. Summer is upon us and I expect to be out to meet and greet more of
the section amateurs. I plan to take Rob Orr, K9RST and Charles Richie, 
K9DUE up on their invitations to meet this summer.7 at 1915 local time
Illinois NTS report for March 2017:
Illinois Side Band Net (ISN) - Net Manager WB9QPM
Daily on 3905 at 1800 local time
QNI 313 QTC 69 Sessions 31 
Illinois Phone Net(IPN) - Net Manager KA9MZJ
M-F on 3857 at 1645 local time
Sunday on 3940 at 0800 local time
QNI 220 QTC 27 Sessions 27
North Central Phone Net (NCPN)– Net Manager KA9MZJ
M-F on 3912 at 0700 local time
QNI 289 QTC 36 Sessions 23 
Illinois CW Net (ILN) Net Manager W9NXM
Daily on 3537 at 1915 local time
QNI  20 QTC 0 Sessions 11
STM comments:
The ISN is the primary traffic net for the Illinois section.
The IPN is also an ARRL traffic reporting to the Illinois Section.
The NCPN is listed as an ARRL traffic net reporting to Illinois Section and includes traffic handlers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Iowa at the present time.
The ILN is our primary CW traffic net. This net is our liaison to cycle four. All nets have liaison stations to 9 th Region and the 75 meter Interstate Sideband Net.
We are looking for stations to step up and serve as Net control operators on all nets. Please contact me or WB9QPM for more information. We are also very short of traffic handlers in the northern Illinois area, especially the Chicago area.


Illinois Officials