Again a lot to report, so bullet points are in order:

  • Some Set Backs – We lost some inertia/time with a few folks dealing with personal health issues.  Now solidly on a steady as we go trajectory again though.
  • Physical Club Belongings – Remain in storage.  We’ve given away a fair bit of the excess to help area hams with underdeveloped stations get on the air.
  • Meetings/Meeting Space – We will discontinue leasing a space in the Armory, as previously noted we had recognized the stairs at the Armory are a deal-breaker for older club members.  We have a space lined up where we can meet with small groups (under 15 folks) so watch for a meeting announcements.
  • Main 146.610 Repeater – basically working okay and we’ve had to reschedule a work party to update settings.  Still identifying as W9DK where the correct ID is W9MTW.  We intend to replace some of the equipment with a new monoband Yaesu Fusion setup, which will add some nice capabilities for the area radio amateurs.
  • Backup 145.110 Repeater – The new tower has its base in place, and we hope to have the antenna and tower up before the snow flies.  The new equipment is the monoband Yaesu Fusion setup, which will add some nice capabilities for the area radio amateurs.  Steve K9ZW has funded the tower installation and purchased the new antenna.
  • Repeater’s going Yaesu Fusion – Last spring Steve K9ZW purchased a pair of new Yaesu Fusion units for the repeaters, but circumstances put Mancorad behind in installing the new units.
  • Meetings, Dues and all that Stuff – remain on a hiatus while we find a new space.
  • Cleaning Up “Old Stuff” – We’ve found a series things needing updating to the current people involved with Mancorad that we’re working through, standardizing the Mancorad Contact information.  Seems some items were being mailed to individuals who wouldn’t forward the notices they received to Mancorad, nor did they return the items to senders.
  • Mobile Trailer Station for Club Use – The same people’s availability issues have pushed out the trailer’s build-out to this winter.  We have a heated location to do the build-out secured.


for Mancorad
Steve K9ZW – Secretary/Treasurer


Much to report, so bullet points are in order:

  • Physical Club Belongings – they are in storage while we work to secure a ground level room to use.  We do have a space in the Armory, but recognized the stairs are a deal-breaker for older club members.
  • Main 146.610 Repeater – basically working okay and we’ve had to reschedule a work party to update settings.  Still identifying as W9DK where the correct ID is W9MTW
  • Backup 145.110 Repeater – is down for repairs, which we’ve also had to reschedule before it can be relocated. A tower is being put up for our use for this repeater.
  • Repeater Listings – we are all good with the coordinator, but the ARRL has been at odds with that group.  We’ve found a way to make sure our information is included by the ARRL’s contractor as they prepare the Repeater Guides.
  • Meetings, Dues and all that Stuff – are all on a hiatus while we find a new space.
  • Field Day – with everything in storage we will not stage our own field day effort and encourage members to help any of the other local groups man their field day 2017 stations.
  • Mobile Trailer Station for Club Use – K9ZW has provided a trailer for the club to use as a portable operating station, though he will retain ownership of the trailer.  The build-out for our use will start this summer.


for Mancorad
Steve K9ZW – Secretary/Treasurer

As a head’s up, the former Club Shack/Meeting Room at 1125 Fleetwood (Fleetwood and Waldo, in the City Park’s Building) is NO MORE.

The building is being repurposed by the City and we are in the last stages of vacating the room.

We’ve taken the opportunity to downsize/sell/give away/dispose of the years of accumulation, most which was seldom if ever used.  Particular focus was given to area hams needing a helping hand, to members with special interest/affiliation to memorabilia, and to benefit local charity.  Holiday House, our local sheltered workshop, was selected as the recipient charity for appropriate items.

Nominally the club’s new location is upstairs at the Manitowoc Armory at Citizen’s Park, but as the facility has the same access issues as the club room we’ve just left the new area will be used only for storage and equipment prepositioning.

Mancorad’s negotiations for a new space presented an opportunity to benefit other area hams, and we were able to get the Manitowoc ARES/RACES Group a room down the hall from our new space.  As their long time host, the American Red Cross, had closed the Manitowoc office and intends to sell it, the timing was excellent to lend them a hand.

Mancorad Meetings will continue to be held in Handicap accessible venues, with Tony’s Pizza and The Tower Tap high on the list of favorites.

We’ve also been offered storage space and a spot of the 145.110 repeater at Crafts Inc on Menasha Ave, where Club Secretary Treasure Steve K9ZW works.  Through hams in Fond du Lac K9ZW was able to get a Rohn Tower for the 145.110 , which hopefully will return (recoordinated for the ten block move) soon.

As everyone local knows our local economy has taken hit after hit, with the latest Manitowoc Cranes move affecting Mancorad as members have moved on.

Mancorad President Scott W9JSB has moved to Michigan, and while remaining a Mancorad Member has resigned as a club officer.  Anne KC9YL has been appointed to take his place as Mancorad President effective October 1st 2016.

Jeremy KC9BWK, Mancorad Vice President, had back surgery AND had his family instantly expand by he and Tammy being selected as long term foster parents for several children under two years old!  Jeremy hasn’t resigned, but recognizing he has his hands full Vern K9EME has taken on the role as interim Mancorad Vice President while Jeremy is unavailable.

So the present officer list is:

  • President – Anne KC9YL
  • Vice President – (interim) – Vern K9EME
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Steve K9ZW

The club is seeing a lot of change – old members becoming infirm, inactive or passing away, lots of changes due to the local economy being in turmoil, several long term members retiring with an interest to becoming more active now that they have more time, location changes, changes in technology, and overall a refocus on social and technical sharing part of being a club.

Officers will be discussing a date and location for a meeting/presentation between Thanksgiving and Christmas – almost certainly to be held at place with easy access and service.  So please watch this space for an announcement.


Mancorad W9DK/W9MTW/K9MTW Radio Club

The K9MTW 145.110 Repeater is off the air for repairs. Presently it looks like it may be down for a couple weeks while aged components are refurbished.

The 146.610 W9DK/W9MTW and other Manitowoc area repeaters are unaffected.



As is pretty easy to tell Mancorad W9DK has had a bit of a Hiatus.  Meetings have been quarterly at either Tony’s Pizza or the Tower Tap.   The changed meeting locations works around the City of Manitowoc’s reduced low temperatures in the parks building during etc winter, makes access easier for this not able to climb the stairs, and lets those who wish to eat or have a beer do so.

2016 is a watershed year for Mancorad.  The City intends for the club room location to move, several members have either become SKs, are unwell, have new little children or have had job changes – all affecting the ability to get together significantly.

On different levels of Ham Radio their remains a nice program at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum’s submarine the USS Cobia Radio club that a former Mancorad president spearheads, and the local ARES/RACES group remains somewhat active.

But none of the groups has all that many young members, and of the several waves of Hamcram tech licensees only about one in ten has go on further in ham radio. Sadly several have not only moved away for school, careers and opportunities, but have started to let their licenses lapse.

The several successive waves of local industry downsizing – one of the Nuclear Plants closing, Manitowoc Cranes shedding 30-40% of its engineers, and all the others has taken a lot of good folk out of the area, including some who were either interested in becoming Hams or who were already licensed.

As a result of changing conditions Mancorad needs to change, and the club once it moves will be operated much skinnier – sort of a virtual/internet club with a club room.

The relocated Club Shack will be scaled down to match what is in a typical Go-Kit style operation, and will continue to be open for club members to use by appointment.

The proposed new location features gigabit fiber internet, so there will be a have emphasis on “ham radio – internet” technology, with IRLP, Echolink, WIRES-X and D-Star all in consideration.

The W9MTW (W9DK) 146.610 and K9MTW 145.110 call signs will likely end up on relocated smaller profile repeaters, but repeaters we hope will be internet connected.  Be aware that it is only a mater of time before the W9DK (W9MTW) tower is replaced, and community plans were not able to guarantee a place for amateur radio on the replacement.  Actually wit the expected access limitations and rules it makes sense to relocate elsewhere.  It is unlikely that the resulting coverage area can match what the 146.610 has now, as non of the prospective sites has the same height.

Thinking that playing hard on the EmGov angle might aid in securing the same coverage, Mancorad has offered to move the 146.610 to either a repeater trust, or transfer it to the ARES/RACES group.  To date Manitowoc ARES/RACES hasn’t felt they want to support the 146.610.

The backup 145.110 repeater will be relocated to a dedicated tower being made available to Mancorad privately, and should have a similar coverage area once moved.  For insurance and technical reasons the club is likely to “lease” usage of the repeater/tower rather than directly own it.

In preparation for the club room move the club is going to skinny down, and watch this blog for announcements of any ideas declared surplus being sold.  A strategic plan has been drafted that doesn’t provide for as much “museum style property holdings” and the Scholten W9BZU Homebrew Radio has been offered to the Manitowoc ARES/RACES Group, to EC NZ9Z as a remaining personal friend of W9BZU and to the ARRL to no avail.  Unless another area ham with Scholten W9BZU connections speaks for it, this radio will be gifted, along with several other surplus items, to a sale to benefit the HandiHams Group.  Link to Handihams

Volunteers are being sought to photograph old club minutes for electronic storage for posterity.  The actual paper many years are recorded on is degrading that this appears to be the best way to save the heritage of Mancorad before the old minute ledgers fall into dust.

The move is a wonderful opportunity to preserve what is important while offloading the debris that every club accumulates.

Expect later this year a return to a small level of club dues to support the relocated repeaters.

Watch this space for more news!


Steve K9ZW

Mancorad Secretary/Treasurer

As a reminder we will have a social meeting in September, and will not meet before then.



Travel obligations and work has gotten the best of Mancorad’s usual Field Day efforts, and we will not be offering an organized club led Field Day.

Instead we will be encouraging individual efforts and those opportunities are available to club members.

Steve K9ZW expects to be operating /P portable on Washington Island, Wisconsin – US Island Program WI-001L   Please contact K9ZW well in advanced if you are interested in joining his efforts as the Island accommodations and transport/logistics issues need to be handled (basically if you coming in for the day, you can take the ferry or fly in, and join K9ZW, provided you either leave on that day’s last ferry or arrange someplace to overnight – some additional camping is available with advanced notice).[Unless you can arrange your own housing on the Island, Steve K9ZW has had all available beds spoken for on Field Day weekend.  Day visitors still are a possibility. – Editor]

Scott W9JSB is planning to operate /P portable with his children in town.  He hadn’t decided what modes or if he will be QRP as this is written.  [Scott W9JSB’s revised schedule will likely be in the way of any serious Field Day operations.  Busy People and a Busy Summer do cut into operating opportunities. – Editor]

Next Mancorad meeting is in September – watch this blog for details.