by Bill Carroll (KC9CIK)
I had a fun filled amateur radio month so far during October. I was able to either participate in or listen to multiple radio nets during the month. I drove around town with my mobile rig scanning through the St. Louis repeaters and joining in on a few ragchew sessions. I got to go back to school and help Thomas Laybourn (KEØSGU) set up a few stations in his classroom. I even threw my hat in the ring for the Illinois QSO party.
Over the past few weeks I was able to do some check-ins with the SLSRC Tuesday Night Net. While I did not get to listen to the entire net each time, I was able to throw my call out there and listen to a fair portion of the nets. Our Tuesday Night Net has been going on for a while, and it is with the help of several behind the scene folks that make it work. I would like to say a special “Thank you” to the net control operators that keep the process running smoothly and our folks that prepare Newsline for the net. I was also able to listen in on a couple of other nets during the month that I normally do not. One of which was the Hospital Amateur Radio Network (HARN) that did their monthly net two weeks ago. I have only been able to catch them a couple of times, because of my normal work schedule. It is really cool that our repeaters get used by other groups for the nets. I hope that this tradition will continue.
My big event in amateur radio for the month was to join some others from our club at the Woodridge Middle School in Jefferson County. We helped Thomas (KEØSGU) get two radios he plans on using for the upcoming semester up and running. This involved running coax from the radios in the classroom up to the two antennas on the roof. Thomas and I also did some training on how he can program the Alinco 2m/70cm radio with local repeaters he can hit from the school. These activities at Woodridge took a couple of sessions over Friday and Saturday. The final step will be to have the school’s facility maintenance folks secure the HF antenna to the roof. I also learned a few things about Thomas this week and I invite you to ask him about the Rubik’s Cube story.
My final event that I would like to report on was my ability to participate in the Illinois QSO party on October 21st. Vern (AEØTT) and I traveled out to a four-county line in Illinois to do most of our contesting. We were able to activate Vermilion, Champaign, Douglas, and Edgar counties. While I am still not certain that contesting is for me, I did have a good time and would recommend that everyone take a shot at this type of contesting.
There are so many opportunities in our hobby, and I am glad that I have been able to play around in different aspects of it during this month. I hope that all of you take a chance at looking into other ways that you can participate in Amateur Radio. You may even find your newest, favorite activity.