Amateur Radio Clubs and Organizations

The organizations and clubs I have been a member of include Elgin Amateur Radio Society (EARS) which was disbanded in the early 2000’s. I was a member from 1971-1985 when when I moved out of Elgin into McHenry County.

McHenry County Wireless Association When I moved to Lake in the Hills IL I was now in McHenry County and I became aware of the McHenry County Wireless Association ( which I have been a member since 1985. Currently we are meeting via Zoom on the 1st Tuesday of the month. We were meeting at the Crystal Lake Bank but have since outgrown that space and are currently looking for a larger venue to host the meeting space. When we were meeting at the bank, some of the members would meet at the Crystal Lake IL Portillo’s for a pre-meeting dinner. Since Covid, no in-person dinners or meetings. MCWA participates in Field Day every year. There is also a FaceBook page

The 415 Amateur Radio Club (N9WH) The 415 is a group of like minded conservative hams who gather on 146,415 simplex. Even though most of us 415ers are member of the MCWA we have our own Field Day at Gary W9GD 15 acre farmette and usually operate 3A (CW/Digital/Phone/VHF). We became an official ARRL club in 2020. We only gather together as a club for Field Day. We also have a FaceBook group of which I am the admin. We currently do not have a website.

Badger Contesters (KB9C). Since I live in northern McHenry County I am only 8mi from the border and close enough to become a member. Badger Contesters are usually active on 6m and above. Lately we have been meeting on Zoom every week and is normally well attended and we get to see the contesters we interact with during VHF contests.

Society of Midwest Contesters is a regional contest club. Members must be within 175 mi from the center of the SMC member map (EN50pt) in order to join.

The Society of Midwest Contesters formed early in 1985 with the goal of uniting Midwest contesters into a competitive group and to further the idea of radiosporting in the Midwest. From 51 charter members in the summer of 1985, we’ve steadily grown to a membership of over 200 contesters, mainly in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. We launched our first major club effort in the 1985 November Sweepstakes, winning the Unlimited class. We repeated in the 1986 SS, and were on our way. We have claimed one or more club victories in ARRL contests every year since 1999, including a 3-peat as SS Unlimited champs in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

For the past several years SMC has increased participation in VHF/UHF contesting. Many of the best VHF operators in the nation are members of the SMC, and have won many national and division VHF titles over the years. Beginning in 2003, the club focused on increasing both the quantity and quality of VHF log entries submitted by SMC members. The effort culminated in the club winning the Unlimited Club Competition in the 2007 June VHF QSO Party. SMC is the only club to ever achieve the Unlimited category in the June contest, and may be the only club to have ever won Unlimited club titles in both HF and VHF contests.