Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
A leading Amateur Radio club based in Stillwater, Minnesota; SARA is made-up of ~100 members in Minnesota, Wisconsin, S. Dakota and Canada. We meet in Stillwater and are affiliated with the Courage Center Handiham System, American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). Recognized for continued achievement, SARA has the distinction of being one of only a few ARRL Special Service Clubs in the Midwest.
Membership is open to everyone – you do not have to be a licensed ham radio operator to join.
Meetings / Get-togethers
- ALL IN-PERSON EVENTS CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE! We’ll resume them once the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
- SARA is utilizing the WEBEX Meeting video platform for club meetings, biweekly Technical Topic Thursday sessions and Eyeball QSO Parties. Details are announced as sessions are scheduled.
- Regular club meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at
Boutwells Landing, 13575 58th Street North, Oak Park Heights (Stillwater)at 9:00 a.m. Meetings include a presentation about some aspect of ham radio and related to club member interests. Meetings are not normally held in June, July and August. Informal “Eye Ball QSO Parties” occur every Thursday evening at the Stillwater Public Library, 224 3rd Street North, Stillwater from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. SARA Breakfast Group gathers monthly on the second Saturday each month year-round. The Breakfasts are at Perkins Restaurant 2050 W. Frontage Road, Stillwater, MN 55082 starting at 7:30 a.m.
On-air Rag Chews
- Nightly (except Tuesday & Thursday): 8:00 p.m. Central, 160m LSB, 1.966 MHz (+/- QRM) (alternate: 3.961 MHz LSB or 21.316 MHz USB)
- Daily Monday thru Friday
- The Lunch Room – 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM: Wellness checks and friendly chatter on the SARA Repeater analog FM mode (147.060 MHz, + offset, DCS / DTCS 026 Normal)
- October – April: 9:00 a.m. Central, 75m LSB 3.856 (+/- QRM)
- April – October: 8:15 a.m. Central, 75m LSB 3.856 (+/- QRM)
- 7:00 p.m. Central, 2m FM via SARA Repeater (147.060 MHz, + offset; DCS / DTCS 026 Normal)
- ~8:00 p.m. Central, 160m LSB 1.966 MHz (+/- QRM) – HF Afterglow (Special schedule due to COVID-19 restrictions)
- Wednesdays: 9:00 p.m. 2m FM via SARA Repeater (147.060 MHz, + offset; DCS / DTCS 026 Normal)
- HF Digital Net (FLDigi) Sunday 7:00 p.m. 3.581.15 MHz – depending on mode, may be higher or lower. (Not active in late Spring thru early Fall)
Our 2m repeater is state-of-the-art, open to all hams and has excellent coverage in the greater eastern Metro area. It is a System Fusion (C4FM) repeater operating in AMS (Auto Mode Select). It will pass analog FM or C4FM digital transmissions.
WØJH repeater: 147.060 MHz (+ offset; DCS / DTCS 026 Normal)
Note: You must transmit with a positive offset (147.660 MHz) and enable a DCS ( or DTCS) code of 026 or 026N on your transmit signal.
SARA maintains two remote controlled HF stations through our Remote Base Project, on behalf of the Courage Kenny Handihams program. The stations, located in low noise zones, are: WØZSW (Woodbury) and WØEQO (near Park Rapids, MN) ~100 miles west of Duluth. The remote bases are accessible by using RCForb software through remotehams.com. All licensed SARA members may use these stations upon approval.
Amateur Radio plays a key role in communications during an emergency. We can provide radio communications assistance to state and local public service agencies during emergencies/disasters. In addition to home-based stations, many of our members have 2m and HF mobile/portable capabilities. Many in our club are registered Skywarn weather spotters and are ARES members.
Special Events & Activities
The club participates in the national Field Day operating event, which takes place on the fourth weekend in June every year. The club also sponsors special operating activities such as our annual “Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald” special event station at the Split Rock, Minnesota Lighthouse in early November. We’ve also operated from the ghost town of White Rock, SD, from a mobile train’s passenger car and an ice-fishing cabin on a frozen lake in Northern Minnesota. SARA has sponsored several hidden VHF transmitter “Fox Hunts” involving the use of Radio Direction Finding (RDF) techniques. As a club, we’ve built several radio-related kits and organized antenna construction sessions.
Training & Education
SARA regularly sponsors and teaches classes for those interested in obtaining their Amateur Radio license, and for licensed hams who wish to upgrade their licenses. We schedule Technician Class in the spring and provide General Class instruction each fall. We assist those interested in participating in Extra Class study groups. Each spring, SARA sponsors one of the best attended Skywarn Weather Spotter training classes in the Twin Cities. We work with the Boy Scouts of America to demonstrate Amateur Radio and several SARA members are merit badge counselors.
We help provide communications for walk-a-thon and bike-a-thon events each year. We also work with individual members of the Courage Center Handiham System to help them get and stay on the air.
Annual dues are $20. Additional Family and Associate membership (non-voting) dues are $10 per individual.
Many SARA members are actively involved in DXing (contacting distant stations). The club has a DX coordinator who can help members with information and advice about how to get the most out of DX activities. ARRL members can take advantage of our club’s free DX QSL forwarding service. We also have a member who is an Official VUCC(ARRL) verifier.
Member Assistance Program (MAP)
SARA has a Member Assistance Program to help its members get on and stay on the air. SARA volunteers help with equipment setup, assist with antenna installation, trouble-shooting and so forth. Many members have “McCoy Center-fed Zepp” (aka “OXB Special”) antennas as a result of this program.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions!!
We look forward to introducing you to our club, and the exciting world of Amateur Radio!