Club History - More About Us!

The Michigan City club goes back to the 1930’s when a group of Amateurs, working at Dage Television and Hayes Corp. and Television Associates formed what was then the Michigan City Amateur Radio Club. During WWII many of the members went to fight the war, and the group was not active. After the war, the group formed again, and it wasn’t until the late 1950’s the club formally was formed and has been around ever since. Willis Linderman, SK, held the call W9LY. He was one of the original members back in the 30’s. A short time after Willis’s passing, the club voted to honor Willis by changing the club’s call sign from W9CSF to the current callsign of W9LY.

Adam Keller K9SGZ (later became W9EF) built the club’s first repeater in 1970. Since that time the location of the repeater has moved, but it has always served Michigan City, LaPorte County, and Southwest Lower Michigan.

In February (or March) 1960, the LaPorte Amateur Radio club was formed at the LaPorte High School by sophomore Glen Zook K9STH, senior Jim Conrad K9LHC, Dave Osborn K9BPV, Bob Palmer W9IVZ, along with K9PYL, K9EXE, K9TZS, K9WHF, W9VW and K9JSI.

K9BPV was the President, K9EXE Vice President, and K9STH was the Treasurer. Meetings were held in the math room, at the high school. They were very active teaching code and bringing new hams to the hobby. One of the first awards issued was the WALP Award, or worked all LaPorte Members. Michigan City had a similar award called the W9CSF Award. Allen Jones, W9DZ, earned his W9CSF Award back in 1961 when his call was K9DZE.

The first Field Day for the LaPorte Club was held in 1961. They used the call sign K9STH because it was the easiest to send in code. Copies of the logbook from this first Field Day can be viewed here on our website: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9.

The LaPorte Amateur Radio Club had a repeater that was separate from the one in Michigan City. The first repeater was a split site with one of the sites (possibly) located at Jim Conrad's (K9LHC) parent's house. The other site may have been located at Garry Decker's (K9WHF) house, but it is not certain. The second repeater, in a single cabinet, was a Motorola B53AKY-1100A that Glen K9STH furnished to the LPARC. That was in May or June 1971. At the time, Glen owned the Motorola reconditioned equipment center for the south-central United States which was located in Plano, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas. Also at the time, Glen was the first FM Editor of CQ Magazine. Glen's employees built and tuned the repeater which was then sent by truck line to LaPorte. The B53AKY-1100A repeater consisted of a "Sensicon A" receiver and a "K" type transmitter which used a 5894 in the final amplifier. The power supply was a Motorola P8464. The repeater did not include a duplexer and the LPARC had to supply such to put the repeater in operation. Because of the contribution of the repeater, Glen was made a lifetime member of the LPARC.

Both clubs continued to grow in membership and activites during the 60’s and 70’s.

In 1978, the LaPorte Amateur Radio club was incorporated by Garry Decker, Randall Rockwell and Rich Dugger and the K9JSI repeater was on the air shortly after. The call K9JSI was selected to honor one of the orginal members of the club.

In the 80’s both of the club’s memberships were steady, then in late 90’s both clubs started to see a decline in membership. Between the years 2000 and 2010 membership of both clubs leveled off with several members being members of both clubs. In 2011, discussion between the two clubs were being held, in regards to merging the two clubs. It was noted that both clubs had a rich history. Both clubs were already sharing events like Field Day and the Annual Christmas Party.

On January 1, 2012 the two clubs merged into the LaPorte County Amateur Radio Club.

Today the club operates and maintains three repeaters and remotes on the 2 meter and 70cm bands, still using the call signs W9LY and K9JSI. You can also find us on Echolink.

The club has over 60 members.

Thanks to contributors for this article: Glen Zook K9STH, Allen Jones W9DZ, and Ken Osborne N9ZIP