Congrats Mike...35 years a long time, and I see you went all the way with the "Extra" also..A BIG THAT A BOY FOR THAT!! I waited 25 years so we share the same experiences there and what a great Ham community we have!! I would hope that some of these links and this information will help you. If this does not help you email me direct or maybe we can make a contact via 2 meters/40/80. 73's and good luck and would like to hear from you anytime as I too am fairly new into this and love it all and if you look around you will find there is too much to do!! hihi Would be happy to talk shop with you...de KB9UMT Don Peoria http://www.harcnet.org/clubs.htm#Illinoishttp://pw1.netcom.com/~ckuter/kb9rtm.htmhttp://www.chicagofmclub.org/http://www.mcwa.org/http://www.area-ham.org/library/orgs/orgs.htm#illhttp://www.qth.com/w9dxcc/http://www.wafar.org/net/http://www.starsradio.org/
This is a great site below..bookmark it!http://www.ac6v.com/http://www.ac6v.com/nets.htm
If you are looking for a nice group of hams that welcome everyone on 80 meters then check into the Freewheeler net on 3.916 Sun-Fri 11pm-1am..Great Bunch of guys!! Mike your repeaters on 2 and 440 are full up from what I have heard and the Michigan Repeaters have a great system tied around the great lakes so many many possiblilties there on VHF. Look around and Jump in as most Nets are happy to have you at anytime during the net...those that are not I would say are Hams and Nets that you should steer clear of...GOOD LUCK!