Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simulated Emergency Test - 2010

This Saturday, October 2nd, is the 2010 Simulated Emergency Test or SET. If you are an ARES member I hope that you're planning to participate in some form or another. This helps to keep us ready for the day when a large scale disaster strikes and we have no instant messaging, no tweets, no Facebook, no cell phones.

Here in Springfield, Illinois where I live we have a new opportunity for the first time in many years. This will be the first activation of the new RACES station at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The station isn't fully operational yet as equipment has just started arriving but we do have some HF capability along with local VHF/UHF comms. We're bringing in all three operating teams to do some training and a little building and configuration along the way.



Monday, September 27, 2010

Illinois Sideband Net

Traffic handling is a dying art that we really should save. It's hard to think of sending a message through the National Traffic System when we have cell phones, email, and even shudder, the plain old telephone system. But when the chips are down, and one day they will inevitably be down, at least some commercial infrastructure will fail. Amateur Radio and the NTS will still work--if we remember how to use it.

The Illinois Sideband Net meets every day at 6:00pm local time. The frequency is 3.905 MHz SSB. There isn't typically much if any traffic to pass. The beauty of checking in every day or at least once a week is that you know your antennas are still up, the radio and power supply works, and you remember how to use it all. If you are a Ham living in Illinois please stop by some evening for a visit.

You can read up on working within a traffic net on the ARRL web site.


Tim, N9PUZ

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peoria Superfest

Two major events today. First, it was my wife Teri K9TLM and my 28th wedding anniversary. Life just keeps getting better. Second, this is the weekend of the Peoria Superfest which we have attended for many of those 28 years.

This is a long running central Illinois hamfest. This year the weather was against them. A fairly severe rain storm just before lunch time kind of killed off the flea market business. An awful lot of people packed up and headed home early. Too bad, the weather was beautiful later in the afternoon.

It was good to see old friends and put faces with newer ones. Most notable was a face to face meeting  with James K8JHR from Wyoming, MI. We've talked on the radio several times and had many email discussions but meeting up at big events like Dayton has eluded us.

On the way home Teri and had dinner with friends Bob K9KGO and Dorothy KB9WAN at a neat little place in Mason City, IL named Jack and Jo's. Excellent food. I highly recommend the Cajun Pasta but I can't recall ever having a bad meal there.

Hope you had a good Saturday as well.



Friday, September 10, 2010

Jim Dunn K9CNP (SK)

September 9th was a sad day. My long time friend Jim Dunn K9CNP passed away. Writing about Jim deserves more of a book than a blog post but I want to hit a few of the highlights.

I first met Jim in 1977. He was an instructor in my Novice licensing class taught by the Sangamon Valley Radio Club. He became one of my Elmers and we've remained close friends ever since.

Jim was a Broadcast Engineer. He maintained many of the area AM & FM radio stations. A few years after we first met he took a position as Chief Engineer for the radio station at the University where I worked. There were many memorable lunch time discussions and a work related projects that I enjoyed very much. You never worked with Jim on anything without coming away having learned something.

Jim was very active in Amateur Radio to the end. He was a Volunteer Examiner for years, The ARES Illinois Section Traffic Manager, and the ARES Emergency Coordinator for Sangamon County. Jim also co-founded our local Sangamon/Menard County ARES group.

In his spare time Jim liked to travel, operate outdoors, and camp. He also built beautiful Native American style flutes.

Jim K9CNP doing what he loved.
20 Meter CW 2010 ARRL Field Day

I can't yet imagine how much we will all miss Jim. He will never be forgotten.

The wind is in the buffalo. (Jim will understand this)