2014 SARA Officers
WØJH 2004
SARA Work Party 3
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
2017 SARA Officers
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
Release to Listen Award 2013
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
SARA Work Party 1



Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

Virtual membership meeting held via Webex due to the COVID-19 and the unavailability of Boutwells Landing meeting room.

President:  Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order at 9:06 AM. 

Joe KCØOIO welcomed all to the on-line virtual membership meeting using Cisco Webex.

As members may recall, at our last membership meeting it was discussed shifting the order of the meeting around by having the Program precede the business session of the the monthly membership meeting.  We have taken that suggestion and beginning this month we will begin with the program.

Consequently, Joe welcomed this month’s speaker Don Wilbanks AE5DW to the meeting.  Don joins us from Picayune, Mississippi, just across the border from New Orleans, Louisiana.  Don has had a long career in broadcast radio, beginning in Oklahoma and, for many years, New Orleans.  He has also been active as a reporter and anchor for Amateur Radio Newsline and can be seen regularly as a contributor and co-host on Ham Nation.


The Story of Amateur Radio Newsline

Don AE5DW began his hamming career back in 1995, although he had started studying for his license when he was 15.  But, like many of us, he was sidelined by girls and cars for many years.  As a kid he had been intrigued by broadcast radio, telling his parents that one day he would be a voice on the radio, which led to his pursuit of a successful career in the industry.  Don started in Oklahoma and later moved on to New Orleans, where he held numerous positions in the broadcast radio industry.

Amateur Radio Newsline, and bulletin and information service for amateur radio enthusiasts, was started in 1976 by the Bill Pasternak SK WA6ITF.  Bill had a long career in the broadcast industry out in the Los Angeles environs.  The Newsline typically ran, and runs, fifteen to twenty minutes.  In Bill’s words, the service provided “relevant news from the amateur radio perspective.”  The original newscast was done on tape, and distributed by dial-up answering machines, and was typically broadcast on repeater systems.  The service was, and still is, a volunteer service.

Bill always pushed to get young folks involved in the hobby.  This lead to his establishing the Young Ham of the Year Award in 1986, which is now known as the Bill Pasternak WA6ITF Memorial Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year.  It is awarded annually at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama.

The Newsline is now prepared digitally, which avoids the days of cutting tape with a blade and taping it back together for editing purposes.  Bill used to do all the editing himself.  One change in the Newsline since Bill’s passing is that the preparation of reports has been decentralized, which allows all contributors easily edit their own contributions.  The report is distributed digitally every Friday morning.  It can also be found on the ARNewsline.org website, is available for podcast, and can be heard on shortwave radio.  You can also go to ARNewsline.org to hear Newsline EXTRA reports – extended interviews and reports not included in the official broadcast.  Go to the EXTRA page for those reports.

Don now produces a short video entitled Newsline Today, which contains a headline-version of the broadcast for viewing on the Ham Nation program.

The program was concluded at 9:51 AM.

Business Session:

Joe KCØOIO called the Business Session to order at 9:52 AM.

Secretary’s ReportDave N9JNQ

The general minutes from the March Membership and Board meetings are posted on the SARA website.

Please report any corrections or additions to: Secretary@radioham.org

Treasurer’s Report:  Rich ADØSN

Beginning Total Balance:   03/01/2021     $18,466.20

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $5,661.15

Income:                                                   $120.00

Expenses:                                                $0.00

Ending Balance:      03/31/2021              $5,781.15

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $12,805.05

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance:    03/31/2021          $12,805.05

Ending Total Balance: 03/31/2021       $18,586.20

Joe KCØOIO reports that the financial state of the club is good.  The income includes dues payments and the sale of a SK-donated bitX40 for $20.  We had two new members join, and currently have a total of 115 members.  A recent expense, not reflected in the March financial report, was for the registration of the SARA web domain name; the club paid for a 9-year registration for a little more than we had previously paid to another provider for one year.

Activities & Events

Webex Sessions

There will be a Board meeting on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 6:30 PM.  All are welcome to join in.

A Virtual Eyeball QSO “Manhattan Project” is scheduled for Friday, April 23, 2021, beginning at 7:30 PM.  Everyone is welcome.

A Virtual Eyeball QSO “Q&A Night” is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, 2021, beginning at 7:00 PM.  

The featured speaker for Tech Topic Thursday on May 13, 2021, beginning at 7:00 PM, will be Joe Eisenberg KØNEB discussing “Kit Building Techniques For Success.”

Next month’s Membership meeting program welcomes Frank Howell K4FMH of ICQ Amateur/Ham Radio Podcast fame for an analysis of amateur radio HF radio gear prices v. performance v. satisfaction.  It should be an interesting discussion.

There will be the first of the year “Radios in the Park” session taking place on Thursday June 10, 2021, and it will be streamed live from Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights, MN, as a part of Tech Topic Thursday (“TTT”).

If you missed it, or want a refresher, most if not all of the Membership Meetings and Tech Topic Thursdays/TTTs can be found on the unlisted SARA YouTube Channel playlist found at youtube.com/ playlist?list =PLoaYHzHAObWTib9y95HDRybbRIw cfiMW.  The Yaesu System Fusion” presented by John Kruk N9UPC at the April 8, 2021, session is now up and available on the TTT Playlist.

And do not forget SARA’s social media presence on Facebook (SARA-Stillwater Amateur Radio Association) and Instagram (@sararadioham).

Field Day 2021 – Bob WØGAF

Bob WØGAF reported that SARA’s Field Day operation is scheduled June 26 and 27, 2021.  The club may have an “in the field” presence with a small gathering at the park as COVID permits and we can secure our usual park location.  The specifics will be forthcoming.  As done last year, the bulk of the activity will be club members operating from home using their own call sign.  Logs can be submitted to ARRL referencing SARA-MN to add to the cumulative club score.

Member Support Initiatives:  M.A.P. & Ham Resource Group (HRG) & More

Joe KCØOIO notes that we have dropped the “New” from the Ham Resource Group name as the Group is providing aid to more than just new hams.

M.A.P. – Joe notes that M.A.P. antenna projects are on hold due to the weather, but are expected to resume soon.  Keep in mind, M.A.P. provides services other than antenna construction, including setting up shacks, getting on digital modes, etc.  And under current conditions, we can provide member-to-member assistance via non-contact methods, such as email, video chats, and on air discussions.  Please contact Dave WØOXB or a SARA officer if you need help, antenna or otherwise.

HRG –  The HRG provides outreach and mentoring to SARA’s newly and not-so newly licensed members.  Remember that we have loaner equipment available, including a couple Fusion HTs and two HF stations available.  Drop HRG a line at newhamhelp@radioham.org.

Groups.io – Joe KCØOIO was happy to report that the a new SARA email reflector group is now online at https://groups.io/g/StillwaterMNAmateurRadioAssoc.  This reflector is available to SARA members only, so you should apply at the groups.io site and you will be given access by the site moderator.  There have been a number of postings already.  This is a great place to keep in contact with members, ask questions, and climb up on the soapbox.  Greg KØGW has posted a draft of possible ground rules for the group, based upon those used by ARRL for its groups – comments are welcome and encouraged.

Radios in the Park 2021

Radios in the Park will be back in action this summer and shoulder seasons with eight sessions, with the first scheduled for April 29, 2021.  Brad VE3MXJ suggested that a sked be set up to see if he can connect with the group on one of the bands at the April session.  Additional dates are: May 20; June 10; July 1 & 22; August 12; and September 2 & 23.  As in previous years, they will be held in Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights, MN.  The eight events will be starting officially at 5:30 PM (although feel free to arrive at or any time after 5:00 PM) and run until approximately 8:00 PM.  It is planned that the May 20, 2021, session will include a tailgate swap meet – a chance to clean up your shack.  We will be following all CDC/ State Health Department guidelines for masking and distancing.  Rumor has it that one ore more Icom 705 stations will be on display at the April 29 session.

DX News:  Mike NØODK

Mike NØODK reports that there is promise for a Bouvet Island DXpedition.  Bouvet is Number #2 on the most wanted DXCC list.  As many recall, the Glenn Johnson W0GJ attempt in January 2018 failed due to engine problems on the transport ship.  There is now a Rebel group 3YØI planning to make it to Bouvet this December 2021.  Mike does not believe you should hold your breath for success of this DXpedition.  The Intrepid-DX Group 3YØJ has announced an attempt at Bouvet for January/February 2023; Mike holds more hope for the success of this attempt.  Mike did note the fact that the latter DXpedition is proposing raising $764,000 for the attempt, not including the $20,000 posted by each one of the 14 hams taking part in the DXpedition.

Get the latest DX news by subscribing to the ARRL DX News www.arrl.org/contest.  Also check out www.ng3k.com for DX.  For contests try the WA7BNM Contest Calendar contestcalendar.com.

Remote Base Project (RBP):  Pat WAØTDA

Pat WAØTDA reports that the remote bases are now up and running.  He reports, however, that the Icom 7300 used by WØZSW station blew a final.  As the rig is still under Icom warranty, Pat sent it off to the Icom tech services shop in Michigan at Icom’s direction.  Pat understands that it is already on its way back, arriving April 13, and will be put back into service.

Bill NØCIC, our WØEQO station administrator up in Park Rapids, MN, has mentioned that he would like to have an remote system administration software package that would be more reliable and would allow him to tackle more issues from his living room rather than having to head out to the Scout Camp to address issues.  Eliot KEØN has suggested Splashtop as a remote software package, which Pat has been using it for quite some time, and both have found it to be quite good.  Pat will raise the issue at the upcoming Board meeting for further consideration.  All agree that it would be helpful for Bill and save him time.

Newsletter:  Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

The deadline for the May issue of SARA Signals, the last issue of the season before the summer hiatus, will be May 2, 2021.  However, get submissions in as early as possible address any formatting issues that may arise.  A continuing thanks to Pat WAØTDA and Dave WØOXB for their work on the newsletter.


Do not forget that SARA-labeled hats, shirts, jackets, and other wearables are available from www.hamthreads.com.  SARA members will receive a discount on all orders.

Club Business:

SARA Signals For Sale Page:  Bob WØGAF reports that the SARA website “for sale” page is about ready to go live, and expects it to be up on the website next week.  Members with items they would like to list should send Bob an email with the the item described, pricing, etc., and he will post it.  There will be a time limit for the listing, something like 60 days, so the listing does not become outdated.

Sunday Digital Fusion Net on the SARA Repeater:  To take advantage of the SARA Fusion repeater’s digital capabilities, Bob WØGAF will be leading a new Sunday Night Digital Voice Net on the SARA repeater beginning at 7:00 PM.  All are welcome to join in.

On the motion of Greg KØGW, seconded by Dave N9JNQ, the business portion of the meeting was adjourned at 10:14 AM.

Meeting attendance: 23