Tropospheric Ducting Website

4 01 2010

Even though it is wintertime, ducting can apparently happen at any time of the year. Jim KC9HSM passed along this interesting site TROPSPEHERIC DUCTING FORECASTS: 6-DAY FORECASTS OF VHF, UHF & MICROWAVE RADIO & TV SIGNAL STRENGTH & INTERFERENCE by William Hepburn.

Check the site out here:


CSRA Article in LIFE Newspapers

2 06 2009

This article appeared in the Wednesday May 27th edition of the Suburban Life Newspaper. Reporter Joe Sinopoli spent the evening at the May CSRA General meeting….

Some call him Ed Schumacher. Many others know him as WA9GQK. Same goes for Scott Childers, or W9CHI as he is know in the amateur radio world.

The two Westchester residents are members of the Westchester-based Chicago Suburban Radio Association, which is celebrating its 85th birthday this year. Its members are of all ages and come from throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

It all started when a handful of amateur radio operators got together in 1924 to discuss their mutual interest in the airwaves. A year later the association was formed in Chicago.

Today, the association is the oldest radio club in the county.

Amateur radio, otherwise known as ham radio, is a multifaceted hobby centered on wireless, worldwide communication. Operators can communicate verbally or by Morse Code, and can make contacts across the globe or even in outer space. Amateur radio buffs are among a handful of people who can actually drop a line to the International Space Station orbiting Earth.

Just because they are called amateurs does not mean they are not skilled communicators. The term signifies the operators cannot financially benefit by communications.

Such a hobby is no stretch for Childers, afternoon host and IT director for WSSR Star 96.7 FM.

“It’s the communication, the ability to pick up a microphone and see where your voice will go,” he said. “It’s fun to talk to people. How interesting is it to be able to speak to someone in Cuba, someone in Russia or Brazil?”

Schumacher, an engineer by profession and club president, said it is the technical aspect of radio that interests him so much.

“I must be from a galaxy where we were all technicians,” he said. “From the first time I saw the Boy Scouts electronics merit badge books, it just grabbed me, and I went to read every book the Berwyn Library had on it.”

But it is not entirely about fun and games.

Ham operators have been responding to emergency situations since the beginning of the medium and play an important role in communicating in areas when the infrastructure has failed. Ham operators provided communications in such emergencies as the Plainfield tornado, the Shuttle Columbia recovery effort and the World Trade Center tragedy on 9/11.

The club will be participating in an emergency preparedness Field Day exercise June 27 at Veterans Park in North Riverside. There they will test their operator’s skills in setting up and operating radio equipment under emergency situations where power is not available.

The exercise simulates natural and man-made disaster conditions.

Dayton Hamvention Update from W9PXZ

16 05 2009

Mike Dinger W9PXZ, is attending the Hamvention this weekend and provided CSRA with an update on Saturday.  Here is his report….

Attendance is good, about the same as last year.  But what is remarkable to me is the mix of people. The “walker” crowd is almost non-existent and there are quite a few women and younger folks here.

A good sign.

The quality of merchandise in the flea market area is much better. Not all junk this time. They still want the high prices though. Maybe the economy is spurring some hams to shed some of their stuff to raise cash?

Yaesu has a couple of new models coming out but is not discontinuing the FT-8800 mobile.  Still selling well enough to keep it. I’ll bring the flyers on the new ones.

Kenwood announced that they will finally have some new models…. in 2010! A new HF radio and HT is coming. The HT will add many of the features of the VX-8 to the now discontinued THD7A, at least that is my take on it. They are being a bit more secretive about the HF radio.

Went to Bob Bruninga’s seminar on APRS. He started out on a couple of rants on that it was supposed to be a messaging system not a tracking one. (almost a whine about “they aren’t using it as I designed it”) Also that the various manufacturers all implemented the protocol differently so the interoperability is impaired. (but if you own the trademark on the name APRS, wouldn’t you also control what specifications the equipment must meet to use the trademark?) That makes his argument a bit hollow to me. I left the seminar early.

The only other seminar I went to was the one on becoming a better operator.   Some of his points were legit, but his answer to everything was to become a contester.  I joined the 1/3 of the room that got up and left when he made that his only focus.

Free wifi in the campground! A little far out, but nice. I’d stay here again. About 1/3 of the park is Hamvention folks.

More later,


CSRA’s Rich Past

12 04 2009

Hello CSRA Members,

I started with the CSRA in 1976 and got my ticket with the help of Jim, W9GIC (later N9GI) and the CSRA’s code and theory classes.  I thought I’d send you a couple of my CSRA treasures, QSL cards from Jim Troyer, W9GIC and Fred Hinds, W9WR.

Both attended the first meeting of the CSRA.  Also, I included a copy of W9WR’s time conversion chart which Fred included with his QSL cards.

Fred was a printer by trade.  Fred’s old house on Oak Park Ave. in Berwyn used to sit on property that is now a part of McNeal hospitals south parking lot.

I hope to try to get to a meeting soon and say hello.


Bob Kriegseis, WB9VGO

(Click on an image below to see a full sized version)

Field Day!

20 03 2009

We got to enjoy a great trip back in time last month with the club Field Day DVD. What are your memories of Field Days past or what new traditions would you like to see started?

Courtesy of Harry Blesy N9CQX

Courtesy of Harry Blesy N9CQX

Hello from CSRA!

20 03 2009

Welcome to the CSRA Blog Post! We encourage any and all things ham radio related – especially with a CSRA slant. The Club is about to celebrate it’s 85th Anniversary. What are your fond memories of CSRA!

Post often and tell others to stop by as well!

73 de N9BAT