Main Menu


Latest Newsletter

Become A Ham
Club Officers
Member Roster
About Us

Area Nets

Macoupin County ARES Net

Thursday 9:00PM



Macoupin County ARC Net

Thursday 8:30PM

444.250 103.5+


Okaw Valley Net

Sunday 9:00PM

444.250 103.5+


W9VEY Memorial Net

Monday 8:30PM


Bill Ogle, W9FJ Retires as Macoupin EC
Last month Bill Ogle, W9FJ celebrated his 94th birthday! Congratulations Bill and happy, happy birthday! Earlier in the month, at the February K9MCE club meeting, and after serving 15 years as Macoupin County ARRL Emergency Coordinator and ARES net control, Bill decided it was time to turn over the reins and to hang up his spurs as EC and ARES Net Control.

For fifteen years, W9FJ served Macoupin County citizens as the ARRL Emergency Coordinator. Bill is also known as the voice and net control behind the weekly, Thursday night ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) net on 147.480 simplex.

At the club meeting, Macoupin County EMA director, Jim Pitchford, N9LQF expressed his deepest thanks and gratitude to Bill for all of his faithful service to the citizens of Macoupin County.

For readers new to Amateur Radio, The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) consists of Amateur Radio licensees who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. The local ARES Emergency Coordinator can provide specifics.

Skywarn Net Forming!

Last month, Ron, KO0Z visited the Montgomery County Amateur Radio Emergency Corps meeting and presented the idea of forming a tri-county SkyWarn Net. KO0Z wanted to know if there would be any concerns using the 146.82 repeater for SkyWarn nets during severe weather events. Members in attendance didn’t think there would be any concerns , outside of the repeater needs more maintenance, and said, "that’s one of the reasons for the repeater!" With that in mind, Ron would like to establish a SkyWarn net using the Montgomery club’s repeater.

The rationale is that the St. Louis NWS office uses a link into the WS9V repeater system. It relies on traffic passed on this system because it covers virtually all the Illinois counties included in the St. Louis office’s area of responsibility. Obviously, idle chit-chat and non-threatening weather related traffic need not be on the WS9V repeater during weather alerts. Hence, the popular phrase you may have heard, "If it don’t spin, don’t turn it in." Having spent ten years as a SkyWarn net control at the St. Louis office that adage is not quite right. There are times when you’ll hear the NWS net control ask for weather related information from a particular part of a county. Often times, the request comes from the meteorologists because they’ve received a severe weather report from some other source, or the area is question is beyond the "resolution" of the WSR-88D Doppler radar. As you may know, the Doppler radar, due to curvature of the Earth, is unable to resolve what is going on at the altitudes where tornadic development is more pronounced which in our case happens to be in Macoupin and Montgomery counties. Therefore, NWS net control is interested in confirming that only light rain is falling at such and such a location to verify that they checked their system and to get ground truth reports.

That’s where the 146.82 SkyWarn net will come into play. Amateur Radio operators are encouraged to report rain, wind , and hail reports of any size on the net. Events DO NOT have to be of a severe nature only. SkyWarn net controls will monitor both the 146.82 and the 444.450 repeaters. Theoretically, if the SkyWarn Net gets regular weather reports from Amateurs throughout our tri-county area on either repeater, and if the information is current, when NWS Net Control asks for a report from a particular area, pertinent information can be quickly and accurately passed to the NWS by QSYing to the WS9V/R system!

So who can be a SkyWarn member? If you’re a licensed Amateur Radio operator, and if you’re reading this article, and you have an interest in weather and public safety, then YOU can be a member. Interested hams pse contact KO0Z at or catch him on the 444.250 repeater system.

Remember: YOU are SkyWarn!

Ron, KO0Z Newly Appointed Macoupin EC  
Late January, while returning back from visiting grandchildren in Missouri, Macoupin County EMA director, Jim Pitchford, N9LQF contacted Ron Ochu, KO0Z and told him that Bill, W9FJ wanted to retire as Macoupin County ARRL EC (Emergency Coordinator). Jim’s next question was would KO0Z consider filling-in for Bill as the next Macoupin County ARRL EC.

Ron agreed to take the position, but he has big shoes to fill. KO0Z plans to build on the firm emergency communications foundation that Bill and Jim have built and maintained in Macoupin County.

Ron, KO0Z just picked up a Cushcraft 4 element 2 meter beam to put on top of his tower to increase his 2 meter simplex communications ability throughout the county.

KO0Z plans to update Macoupin County ARES member-ship at the March meeting. Plans also include creating a positive ARES ID badge. Contact Ron Ochu, KO0Z at 217-481-5821 or with comments or for more information.

Live Webcams

Litchfield Illinois


St. Louis Missouri


  Updated: Sunday, 13 March 2016

Best viewed 1280x1024 screen resolution

Please send all question or comments to