Archive for February, 2012

It’s coming up – The Wisconsin QSO Party on March 11th 2012:

2012 Wisconsin QSO Party

March 11, 2012 from 1800Z to 0100Z March 12 (1:00PM CDT to 8:00PM CDT):


Rules Package in PDF:

If you are interested in being party of a W9DK Club Effort contact any of the club officers!

Good Luck & 73

Here is the link to Mancorad Member Minutes February 18th 2012 as a pdf

Thought I would post a copy of the email version – you can subscribe through your member configuration page.







** Wisconsin QSO Party!

A reminder that the WIQP starts on March 11. Details and rules are
posted on this site:

** VE session needed for Forest County

Looking for someone that could do ham radio testing in the Forest
County area, during normal daytime hours. Please forward and get back
to me. Thanks!!
Bill, KC9UC, bill.bergs

** Superfest is coming!!

Mark your calendars for the AES Superfest on March 30 (2 – 6 p.m.) and
March 31 (8:30 a.m – 3 p.m.) Free parking and admission! PRIZES!!
Special guest will be, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, ARRL Technical Editor. Joel
is the monthly editor of QST’s Doctor is IN column.
Saturday forums include:
* Moonbounce Basics (8:45 – 9:30)
* The Doctor is IN (9:45 — 10:30)
* Recent Advances in Digital Sound Card Modes (10:45 — 11:30)
* NOISE- the SCOURGE of ham radio and how to deal with it (11:45 —
* It’s time for thinking OUTSIDE of the shack! (12:45 — 1:30)
* The Heil & West SHOW! (1:45 — 2:45)
Saturday activities:
* V.E. TESTING (8:30 — 11:15)
* QSL CARD CHECKING (DXCC, WAS, WAC, & VUCC) (8:30 — noon)
* 2 meter Fox Hunt Challenge (9:30 — 10: 30)
* Special Event Station!

Come to the ARRL table and meet Joel and others from ARRL HQ. Central
Division Director, Dick Isely, W9GIG and I will be there, of course,
with wonderful membership renewal gifts to offer you. Looking forward
to seeing you there!

** Milwaukee Radio Amateurs’ Club

Milwaukee Radio Amateurs’ Club, in continuous operation since January
1917 (and affiliated with ARRL since December 1919) is celebrating its
95th Anniversary. During Saturday March 31, 2012 at AES Superfest MRAC
will be operating the AES demo radio as a special event station
commemorating the club’s anniversary. The operation will be using the
club call W9RH.
Certificates will be available for contacting the station. Email will
be the preferred method of certificate delivery. Frequencies of
operation will be announced as we get closer to the event. Watch the
club web site for more details.

Also as part of the celebration the MRAC meeting immediately prior to
Superfest (Thursday March 29, 2012), will feature Gordon West WB6NOA
(for his fourth appearance at a MRAC meeting) and other guests.


** Foundation for Amateur Radio scholarships

THE FOUNDATION FOR AMATEUR RADIO, INC., a non-profit organization with
headquarters in Washington, D.C., plans to administer fifty (50)
scholarships for the academic year 2012 — 2013 to assist licensed
Radio Amateurs in the pursuit of higher education. The Foundation fully
funds two of these scholarships. The remainder are administered by the
Foundation, without cost, for various donors.
Licensed Radio Amateurs may compete for these awards. They must be
planning to pursue a full time course of studies beyond high school and
be enrolled, or have been accepted for enrollment, at an accredited
university, college or technical school. The awards range from $5,000
to $300 with preference given in some cases to residents of specified
geographical areas or the pursuit of certain study programs. Non-US
residents are eligible to apply for some of the scholarships. Clubs,
especially those in California, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin (areas of preferred residence for some of
the scholarships), are encouraged to announce these opportunities at
their meetings, in their club newsletters, during training classes, on
their nets and on their club’s web pages.
Additional information and an application form may be requested by
letter or QSL card to:
FAR Scholarships
Post Office Box 911
Columbia, MD 21044-0911
Applications are also available for download from the Foundation’s web
The Foundation for Amateur Radio, incorporated in the District of
Columbia, is an exempt organization under Section 501(C)(3) of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1954. It is devoted exclusively to promoting
the interests of Amateur Radio and those scientific, literary and
educational pursuits that advance the purposes of the Amateur Radio

** STM Report Wisconsin Section January 2012

Vive La Difference

FAQ #126 – We’re not much if we’re not flexible. A huge benefit of
Ham Radio as a resource is that we’re versatile. If we were to connect
all the stations in Wisconsin through one, big system, it would be
great — until the system failed.

One of the big advantages of ARES/RACES and the NTS in Wisconsin is
that they are comprised of individual stations — each with its own
capabilities. Some use different modes. Some have a selection of
equipment or of antennas. Some have emergency power. Some can be
portable or mobile quickly. Some are located in the perfect spot for
radio — some are not. Each station is unique, and it’s the
independence of our operators, each with their own areas of expertise,
that gives us strength.

Mutual aid relies on the idea that not everyone will be affected by a
disaster at the same time. If a tornado hits my house, there are
hundreds of others hams with individual stations who can still help.
Yes, we can use various modes, repeaters, and linked systems, but when
they can’t support what we need to do, it will be the trained,
independent, flexible, individual operators that will still be able to
get the job done.

Some folks think that Hams are “different.” They are. And it’s a good
thing. 73 – K9LGU/STM-WI


BWN 2304 2648 4222 31 W9IXG
BEN 449 412 1012 31 WD9FLJ
WSBN 573 162 984 31 KB9KEG
WNN 221 18 479 31 KB9ROB
WSSN 260 38 481 31 N1KSN
WIN/E 134 17 215 28 WB9ICH
WIN/L 219 45 308 31 W9RTP
WRACES 69 13 201 4 W9HDG
WRACESD 204 859 7200 5 WB9RQR
totals 4433 4212 15102 223

BWN is Badger Weather Net;
BEN is Badger Emergency Net;
WSBN is Wisconsin Side Band Net;
WNN is Wisconsin Novice Net;
WSSN is Wisconsin Slow Speed Net;
WIN/E is Wisconsin Intrastate Net/Early;
WIN/L is Wisconsin Intrastate Net/Late;
WRACES is Wisconsin Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service net.
Details on all these nets are found on this site: under Wisconsin Traffic

** The 2012 ARES/RACES conference will again be held in Wisconsin
Rapids public library on October 20. The conference committee is busy
planning it so hope you have that date circled on your calendar. More
information will be posted later.

There are several hamfests coming up in March that I will be attending.
Visit the Wisconsin site for complete details. I look forward to seeing

Remember that this monthly state-wide newsletter and/or the Wisconsin
site can post your upcoming events and classes. Be sure to send me
what you would like Wisconsin ARRL members to know so they can support
your activities.

Don, W9IXG

A Summer Story

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Mancorad Radio Club

Les Volta, NP6LV

An old mobile adds a spark to one family’s history.

As my youngest daughter drove up to our annual family reunion picnic, the summer breeze blew past where I was standing and a flashback of time hit me. I recalled being at the same family reunion picnic. It was a hot and sunny summer day and we were sitting around a shade tree at the picnic. I looked around and saw my father driving up in his old 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook. He bought it new back in ’51.

I heard all the kids say, “Far out, look at that old car!” As my father sat down, I asked him if he still had the old ham radio in it. He looked at the car and said, “Yep and it still works too.” My youngest daughter ran over and said, “Wow! Grandpa that is a big radio in the car.” I asked my dad to tell us the story about how he got the radio. It was always a good story. He looked at us and asked us to sit down and he began this story.

A Story to Tell

When your dad was about 12 years old, I came home one day with a new car; it was a pear green 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook. Your dad stared at the car for hours. He looked at the inside and out of the car with a ruler in his hand. I was perplexed by what he was doing. He walked over to me and said, “If I get my Amateur Radio license can we put a transmitter in the car?” I had my Extra Class license for just about 3 years and had asked your dad if he would like to get his Novice license, but he was not interested at the time. But now, with the new car, he was very interested.

Your dad read all my QST magazines and told me all about the Elmac A54H and that it could run on 6 V from the car’s battery. I had to think about this. The radio cost $175 new at the time. With the new car and the Korean War going on cash was going to be tight. I told him if he got a summer job mowing lawns like I had been asking him, then I would help him get his Novice license.

Your dad asked all my ham radio buddies in the area if he could mow their lawns. He told them that if he got his Novice license, he was going to get the Elmac A54H and put it in the Plymouth. All my ham buddies jumped at the chance to get a new ham radio operator on the air.

Your dad started that week mowing the lawns. He picked up more jobs as neighbors saw him mowing. It took him a little over a year to get $112, he was almost there. He passed his Novice test and was waiting for his call in the mail. With a Novice call back then he could operate some CW on the 80 and 40 meter bands. The Elmac A54H was an AM phone transmitter and he was going to have to work third party until he upgraded to General.

Well, your dad worked more and saved up $135. Then I pitched in and we ordered the radio. While we were waiting for the radio to arrive at the store the Armistice was signed and the Korean War was over; that was on July 27, 1953 and my brother, your great uncle, was going to come home. We had not seen him since the US started sending troops to the Korean conflict in 1950.

A Clean Installation

We lived in an apartment and could not set up an Amateur Radio station. We had to use my buddy’s station. When the radio arrived, we got right to installing it in the Plymouth. It took most of the afternoon. We took our time wanting to get it right the first time. We mounted the whip antenna on the car first and moved inside to mount the radio. We made a direct power connection to the battery and brought the leads through the firewall right next to the heater hose. The radio was mounted right under the car radio, but it stuck out on the passenger side just a little.

Your grandma came out and asked how it was going? I told her we were done and ready to test it. She opened the back driver’s side door and sat down. I called CQ and no one answered back; as I recall the bands were dead. She then got out and closed the door, but the door would not latch and to this day we always have to close the door twice to secure it.

A day or so passed before we got the opportunity to operate the radio again. I came home from work and the bands were hopping. A station was working some phone patches and another was sending messages to and from Korea. We listened for a while and they were calling for any station in our small town. I jumped and gave my call. They came back and asked if we could deliver some messages in our neck of the woods. I sent your dad in to get some paper and pencils. He came back with his school tablet and three pencils.

We must have been on the 10th message. It turned out it was for us from your great uncle. It read: “My unit is packing up and coming home, will get in touch with you when back in Seoul to regroup and will have date when we head back to US.” We delivered all the messages to the town folks and they gave us more messages to send back to the troops.

It’s a good thing we got the radio. Your dad had a great idea. When we were not sending and receiving messages to and from Korea we both worked some DX. Your dad upgraded to Technician that summer. We had so much fun working together, I told him, “There will come a time when I will pass this car to you.” With a smile ear to ear, he just gave me a hug. We were working some message handling when the message from my brother came in that he was in Seoul and should be back in town next week. When he arrived, we went to the park and had a picnic, right here in this park. We always have the annual family reunion picnic the third Saturday in August, same tree, same park.

Handing Down History

“What a story Grandpa!” My youngest one shouted out. Every now and then at the picnic the story would be told to the little ones when they saw him drive up in that old Plymouth. I’m now holding the Extra Class license and received my dad’s old Extra Class call after he passed away in ’91 and true to his word that old Plymouth showed up in my driveway with the radio still working and extra tubes in the trunk.

Now, I follow in his footsteps. As I get older and drive up to the picnics and all the kids swarm around the old car and look at the radio, I find myself sitting under the same tree telling the same story. Grandpa will be at the picnic in our hearts. Yes, I did promise the old 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook to my youngest daughter. It will be up to her to keep the memories and pass them down to the next generation. The door will probably never get fixed, but that’s okay, it’s just one of those things that adds character to the car. So, if you see an old pear green ’52 Plymouth sitting at a park with a whip antenna, stop by and ask to hear the story. It’s worth it. 73 and may you always remember how important your family is.

Photos by Paul Rios, KC6QLS.

Equipment supplied by Patrick Bunsold, WA6MHZ.

Les Volta, NP6LV, is the pen name for a character who is a little bit of me, a little bit of you and a little bit of everybody who may be heard on the Amateur Radio bands. Les is 96 years old and married. He served in World War II and Korea, and retired as captain from the United States Navy. He was a pilot who flew the PBY-40 aircraft in WWII and flew jet planes in later campaigns. In the stories, from time to time, he reflects on his personal experiences during the wars, growing up, meeting his wife, family ties and shares Amateur Radio related experiences with his readers.

The stories that Les Volta tells always have some connection to Amateur Radio be it a character, a contact, an experience, sharing about Amateur Radio equipment or the hams he has met in his life as an Amateur Radio operator. You can contact Les at

Heads Up that our February Meeting is coming up!

We will have a presentation on DXing and may watch some of DXpedition DVD if we have time.

Room temperatures have been decent, so see you there!