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K9MCE Participates in Illinois QSO Party! 
Temperature in the upper fifties, sunny skies and a calm wind. Sunday, October 19th promised to be a good day to participate in the Illinois QSO party sponsored by the Western Illinois ARC.

Jimmy, WX9DX and his bride, Joyce, KA9UBJ spent the night on the farm bordering the intersection of Macoupin, Greene and Jersey counties. Jimmy erected a 40 meter loop and planned to be QRV on that band. Jim, N9LQF arrived early in the morning to set up the generator. Ron, KO0Z and his bride Debbie, KC9ULA arrived around 9:45 and began to set up the multi-band inverted vee and the 20 meter bazooka antennas.

"K9MCE ran two stations. One on 40 meters and the other on 20 meters."  

The QSO party began at noon and soon everyone was logging contacts. Mark, WD9HBF and Greg, KC9UFZ arrived shortly after one pm. Steve, W9CZ drove down from Springfield and operated CW. Skip, WS9V also visited the station and assisted Steve. Tommy, KD9BMO visited and made some Qs for the club. Two K9MCE club members, John,KD8KVO and Lou, KC9YFU, made contact with K9MCE. Mark, WD9HBF and Greg, KC9UFZ both made FM 2 meter simplex contact with the club station. Skip, WS9V tried from near Springfield, but we just couldnít establish a two-way. Thank you gentlemen for the points! For most of the

QSO party, K9MCE ran two stations. One on 40 meters and the other on 20 meters. Towards evening, a third station was added and Mark and Greg dominated 80 meter phone! So how did K9MCE do in the QSO party? Hereís the stats: K9MCE/WX9DX contacted 37 states and 3 Canadian provinces. We worked 79 of Illinois 102 counties!

WX9DX made 366 Qs and K9MCE made 240 Qs. Out of the 240 Qs, 74 were CW and RTTY.

All said and done the club racked up 65,118 points and our logs will be submitted to the Western Illinois ARC. Well done K9MCE ops!

K9MCE was fortunate to use the farm that borders Macoupin, Jersey and Greene county lines. Jim knew the owner and asked her permission over the summer and once again about a month before the QSO party if it was still okay that we spend Sunday afternoon on her property. She was fine with the proposal. About a week before the actual QSO party, we made a trip out to the farm to check out antenna placement and we found that the owner had passed away four days earlier from old age. She was 95 years old. Fortunately for us, she had told her family about us setting up for the QSO party and they kindly allowed us to still use her farm. In fact they came by during the event and marveled at our ability to make distant contacts. They thought that ham radio was a thing of the past.

NorthMac Middle School Com-Tech Club Update
NorthMac Middle Schoolís Com-Tech club is supported by the Macoupin County ARC. Itís been over twenty years since a Technician class was offered by the club, but that all changed in October when nine students undertook a five week Technician Class license course offered by Debbie, KC9ULA and Ron, KO0Z.

On Saturday, November 1, the ARRL VE team of Bill, W9FJ, Bill, KJ9Y, Lou, KC9YFU and Ron, KO0Z administered FCC Element 2 to seven students.

These students gave up five Saturdays from 9:00 am to Noon to learn more about Amateur Radio. As time progressed two students dropped out, but seven stayed the course. Element 2 can be a challenge as these seven young men found out. One passed his exam and Jake is now a Tech! Debbie and Ron will continue to work with In addition, many of them participated in the School Club Roundup which was held the third week of October. NorthMac Middle School operated on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon on 20 meters. The school club made 31 contacts with 18 states, 1 Canadian province, 6 school clubs and three university club stations for a claimed score of 1, 984 points! This will be the score to beat in the February School Club Round-Up.

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  Updated: Friday, 07 November 2014

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