Winterfest 2021:Canceled by Covid-19

From the SLSRC website:

August 28, 2020….

We live in unprecedented times which calls for hard decisions.  Some of those decisions are not easy to make.  This is one of them.

The Winterfest Committee along with the SLSRC Board made the tough decision that Winterfest 2021 will be postponed until January 22, 2022.  But we do have good news!

SLSRC will hold Winterfest 2021 virtually on-line Saturday, January 23, 2021, so save the date!!  It will be a day jam-packed with ham radio gear reviews, forums and events, so stay tuned!  You don’t even have to leave your house to join in the fun!

In full transparency, the factors in postponing an in-person Winterfest 2021 were:

One, the uncertainty of what the future holds for this pandemic and the health and welfare safety of our membership and the Amateur Radio community.  Keeping all our Winterfest vendors, patrons and volunteers safe is priority #1.

Two, the state of Illinois (Winterfest is held at Gateway Center in Collinsville) continues to have restrictions on gatherings of over 50 people.  There is no evidence this restriction will be lifted before there is a vaccination with herd immunity.

Three, per the venue, the club had to make a decision by July 31 to hold Winterfest in 2021 or postpone.  If we continued with Winterfest and canceled at a later date, the club would be financially responsible for the full contract amount.  If we postponed Winterfest to 2022, our contract for 2021 would become void, the deposit would carry over and the club would sign a new contract for 2022.  The club would not be financially obligated for 2021.

Four, the committee was not getting any commitments from our regular vendors due to their concerns with the Illinois restrictions.

The Winterfest Committee has also postponed the Friday night banquet and the W9DYV Wes Schum Symposium until 2022.

Again, we are saddened to make this decision but we hope you can join us online on January 23, 2021, for Virtual Winterfest 2021. Watch for more details as we get closer to the date.


The Radio Boys: On Secret Service Duty

The Radio Boys: On Secret Service Duty, Gerald Breckenridge
In 1922 radio was cool enough to feature in a series of adventure stories.
"Mr. Hampton, a scientific man, enthusiastic over the development of radio telephony long before the radio craze swept the country... was licensed by the government to build a transmission station and use an 1,800-meter wave length for trans-oceanic experiment(s)..."

SLSRC “Mentoring Workshop”

SLSRC “Mentoring Workshop” Friday, August 7 on 146.850 repeater

SLSRC’s monthly series of “Mentoring Workshop” continues on Friday, August 7 on the 146.850 (141.3 -) repeater at 7 PM and will continue on the first Friday of each month through September.  We hope future workshops will once again be “in-person” but for the immediate future, we will be holding them on the repeater.

As with the “in-person” sessions, this is where YOU, the new amateur operator sets the agenda with any questions you have about equipment, what to buy, new operating modes, etc. Having the sessions on the repeater will also give “new” hams the opportunity to overcome any “mic fright” that might still exist.

Do you have a new radio that needs programming? Ask about it.

Are you thinking about purchasing new equipment and have questions about what to buy? Ask for opinions.

What is the best antenna for your situation? Ask about it?

How about grounding...where do you start? Ask about it.

These are just a few of some possible questions...YOU set the “agenda” as to what will be discussed, so put Friday, August 7, on your calendar and check into the 146.850 repeater at 7 PM.  

If you are an experienced amateur radio operator, please also join us and offer your knowledge and experience.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Buffalo Soldiers Special Event 2020

In honor of Buffalo Soldiers Month, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Buffalo Soldiers will take part of a world wide amateur radio special event. They will begin transmitting at 8am Saturday, July 25, 2020  and end 8pm Sunday, July 26, 2020.

For those without an amateur radio join them at 1pm on Facebook Live for participation and a chance at a special QSL card and commemorative certificate.

12th Annual 13 Colonies Special Event

Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 9.13.55 AM
Didn't get enough HF on Field Day? The 13 Colonies Special Event Starts today.

2020 Event Dates / July 1 (9AM Eastern) to July 7 (Midnight Eastern)
(July 1, 2020-1300 UTC to July 8, 2020-0400 UTC)

All HF bands will be in play, including the WARC bands, with the exception of 60 meters. Simplex on 2 meters and 6 meters is encouraged.

The SE stations are on the east coast and, are very close to each other. It will be harder for these states to contact each other so, use of 40m-160m is encouraged.

All modes of operation may be represented - SSB, CW, RTTY, Digital, Etc. - The mode of operation is up to the individual colony state station. Please refer to the State information pages for details.

The exchange for this event is:

ATTENTION SWLs: All Short Wave listeners (SWL). You will also qualify for the certificate. Follow the instructions on the Certificates page when you submit your log. A special SWL logo will be affixed to the certificate for you. One or all 13 stations logged qualifies you. Just log ALL of the 13 Colony states and you can get a complete set of custom special event QSL cards also! all 13 are different. QSL requests to be made to each individual Colony State Station with an SASE. Consider becoming a HAM too!


All information from 13 Colonies.


On the Air - July/August 2020

On the air
The July/August issue of On the Air starts mailing this week and will be available online to all ARRL members on Friday, July 3. The cover story, “Hitting the Heights with Summits on the Air,” introduces you to the SOTA program, in which hams earn awards by getting on the air from peaks. July/August also features information on how to buy the right coaxial cable for your station, a walk-through of the tools and materials you’ll need for soldering, an introduction to the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), and more.

Radio Shack HTX-202

IMG_2701When the Radio Shack HTX-202 first appeared in the RS catalog in the early 90s I knew I had to own one. I also knew I would have to finally get my ham ticket. 

I pestered the poor guy at the Carlyle Avenue, ‘Shack for months and finally bought the first one to hit the store.

It was my constant companion for several years. I loaned it to a new ham and never saw it again.

Never really gave it much thought, but here, 30 years later, I ran across an eBay listing for a near mint HTX-202. I used all my “bid-fu” to snag it for $76.00. Along with the radio was the original antenna, wrist strap, belt clip, a speaker mic,  and some photocopied documentation.

The seller did not have the Ni-Cad battery pack or wall charger, but sent along three AA battery holders.

I put batteries in the holder, turned on the radio - it came alive. In honor of the old PRIME/KN9G days I immediately programmed in 145.110. 

I forgot what a chore the original manual programing was. Jeez, we’re so spoiled by Chirp and RT Systems now… 

The radio has 16 memories, 1 Home channel and 3 priority memories. Power is selectable from 1 watt to 6 watts. The manual boasts the radio has "True" FM modulation.

The belt clip is a big piece of bent steel. Although not mentioned in the manual, it serves as the heat sink for the final transistors. Most of the radios I’ve seen online do not have the clip. 

Along with the manual was a document with technical information saved from a thread on CompuServe from 1995. That brings up even more memories.

The HTX-202 was built for Radio Shack by Maxon. It was based on a the Icom 02AT. So accessories and batteries for the Icom will work just fine on the ‘202.

It was designed by Radio Shack to be locked on the ham frequencies only. It cannot be modified to transmit on any other frequency.

After the introduction of the HTX-202, Radio Shack released the 70 CM version, the HTX-404. 

Now that I’m feeling nostalgic, guess I need an HTX-100, 10 Meter rig, and a copy of Now You’re Talking.