Split Rock Lighthouse 2012
2021 W0TBC Memorial Award
Ice Station WØJH 2014
Release to Listen Award 2013
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
2019 SARA Executive Officers
WØJH 2004
OXB Special Install
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
AGØH 2013



Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

1618 Pine Street West

Stillwater, Minnesota 55082

President:  Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order at 9:03 AM.

Secretary’s Report:  Steve KAØOBI standing in for Collin KEØIYN

The general meeting minutes from the May 12, 2018 meeting are posted on the website.  Please report any corrections to: Secretary@radioham.org

Treasurer’s Report:  Rich ADØSN

Beginning Balance:     5/1/2018         $2.949.53

Income:                                                   $580.50

Expenses:                                                $650.00

Ending Balance:          8/31/2018       $2,880.03 (Not including RBP income/expenses)

$17,043.30 (Including RBP income/expenses)

Education and Training:  Bob WØGAF (Not present)

The General Class License Course will be from September 13th to November 1, 2018.

The VE exam session will be held on November 8th at Boutwells.

An Extra Class License Study Group that is running at the same time as the 2018 General classes will be a participant-led cooperative learning also at the library.

Activities & Events:  Dave WØOXB

Thursday Night Eyeball Sessions are held at the Stillwater Public Library at 6 PM.

September 13th – SARA Board Meeting.

Tech Topics (a new feature) will be the 1st Thursday of each month.  The topic for the first meeting will be “RF Safety Analysis”.  A Topic Coordinator is needed.  Anyone can volunteer to be a Topic Leader.  Just pick a topic you want to learn about; study up; then lead the discussion.

Skill Sessions will be on the 4th Thursday of each month.  Anyone can suggest and lead a Skills Night.

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Split Rock Lighthouse Special Event:  Nov 2-4, 2018.  This will be the 14th consecutive year.  20 people have tentatively signed up so far.  The Thunder Bay group has already RSVP’d.   Please notify Dave by e-mail if you are planning to attend so he can send you a note with this year’s details.  We will have three stations this year – two in the activity center and the trailer will be set up for digital modes.  The Northern Lights Roadhouse (where we had our Friday night fish fry) had a dryer fire in June in a second floor apartment.  Their phone number is currently disconnected.  So we may have to make alternate Friday dinner plans.  Bob’s wife, Connie, has volunteered to cook meatball hoagies for the evening meal on Saturday.

M.A.P. – Dave WØOXB

This has been a very active year for new and replacement antennas.  A future projects list is maintained by Dave WØOXB and Joe KCØOIO.

Dave will be going deer hunting in Washington for 3 weeks in October so be sure to let him know about any antenna projects well in advance.

A community wire antenna will be installed soon at Hazelwood Park, just off Beam Avenue in Maplewood.  Anyone will be able to access the antenna by parking beside it and hooking directly to your portable or mobile rig.

Remote Base Project (RBP)

Both of the remote stations are currently up and running and are 160 meter capable.

Joe has a lead on another possible site near Luck, MN.  This may end up being an additional site or a place to move an existing site to.

Washington County ARES:  John KAØHYR

The ARES net takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.  September 19th will be the next net on 146.985 SEMARC repeater at 6:30 PM.

Washington County SET (Simulated Emergency Test) for 2018 will be held Sept 15-16 with a maximum push for participation.  9-11 AM check-ins on 146.5 and 146.985 repeaters.

September 13th at 7:15 on 60 meter Ch 5 5.403.5 MHz USB.  This is the same frequency the Feds would use for a real emergency.  8 PM will be Fldigi on ARES 3.853.5 MHz Olivia 8-500.

Check the web site www.mnwashcoares.org regularly for current events, net schedule, and other items of significance.

SARA Nets & Ragchews:  Joe KCØOIO

2 meter ragchew is held every Wednesday night at 9 PM CDT.  You can find us at 147.060 MHz DCS code 026N.

160 meters SARA Top Band Ragchew is at 1.966 MHz or close by depending on band conditions and interference.  They operate every night except Tuesday & Thursday at 8 PM CDT.

SARA Tuesday evening Round Robin RagChew – Will now be operating on 75 Meters 3.803 MHz LSB starting at 7PM CDT.

SARA Monday morning Round Robin RagChew – It will be operating at 3.856 MHz at 8:15 AM CDT.

The Digital Net will return in October on Sundays at 7 PM CDT.   The frequency will be 3.582.15 USB or as directed by the NCS.  The Net Coordinator will email details (mode, frequency, & NCS) on the day of the net.

Newsletter & Website:  Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

Thanks to Pat and Dave for putting together the newsletter!  Additional contributors are always needed. Deadline for the next issue is the last Saturday of September.  The September issue is over 16 pages and includes a report on the Antenna Shootout that took place during our Radios in the Park.  Collin KEØIYN’s article on this will be submitted to QST.

 DX News:  Mike NØODK (not present)

The VP6D – Ducie Island 2018 DX-pedition is on schedule.  The equipment is already in Tauranga, New Zealand.  They are expected to be up and running October 20th – November 3rd.  Ducie Island is an uninhabited atoll in the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

The ARRL VHF Contest will be held Sept 8-10.

The Collegiate QSO Party takes place 0600 local Sept 15 to 2400 local Sept 16th.

Check out www.ng3k.com for DX & Contest Calendar information.


SARA  wearables are available from www.hamthreads.com.  You can order individually just be sure to give the club name since they have all our logos prepared and on hand.


Program Schedule:

Sept:    Contest Station WØAIH with Paul Bittner WØAIH

Oct:     System Fusion with Chris K9EQ

Nov:     What’s with this FT8 –Joe KCØOIO

Dec:     Electronic Keyers – John W9LHG

Jan:      S.W.E.E.P.

Currently taking suggestions for February through May 2019

Old Business:

SARA coffee mugs are on sale for $3 each – See Keith AGØH.

The SARA Oval Sticker/Decals are on sale for $1 each or you can get the reflective one for $2 from Rich ADØSN.

SARA Repeater Changes –

Yaesu System Fusion DR1X-FR Repeater was upgraded and installed on June 11th.

Special thanks to the following for underwriting the upgrade: KCØOIO, AAØU, KEØIYN, KDØOTB, ADØSN, KØZZT, AGØH, KEØIYF, WØGAF.

After Henry KØHAS gets back from vacation there will be additional troubleshooting and testing to clear up the receive signal. The retired ICOM repeater has been cleaned and updated to DCS and is being held as a back-up.

New Business:

The purchase of a new dual band Yaesu System Fusion radio was proposed.  A motion was made, seconded, and approved to purchase a Yaesu FTM-400DR radio for $529.95 plus tax at Radio City.  The existing dual band radio will be repurposed for APRS.

Good of Association:

SEMARC Meeting – their next meeting will be Sept 25th at 7 PM at the Zion Lutheran Church located at 8500 Hillside Trail in Cottage Grove.

The SEMARC monthly breakfast is scheduled for September 15th at the North Pole Restaurant in Newport at 7:30 AM.

SEMARC’s VE session is held on the third Saturday of month (except December) at 9 AM at the Zion Lutheran Church, 8500 Hillside Trail in Cottage Grove.

A metro-wide HAMS in the Park will be on the 2nd Saturday beginning at 12 noon.  The North location will be at Long Lake Park, 1500 Old Highway 8, and New Brighton.  For more info go to www.hamoperator.com/park.  The South location will be at Farquar Park, 13266 Pilot Knob Rd, Apple Valley.  For more info go to Minnesota Ham Radio 147.5 MHz Group on Facebook.

Upcoming Hamfests:

Lake Elmo Hamfest – Sept 15 at QTH of KØIKV, 8247 27th Ave No., Lake Elmo.  Talk-in on 146.85 repeater.  Or check https://saintpaulradioclub.org.

SMARTSFEST – Sept 22nd 8AM to noon at Cologne Community Center, 1211 Village Parkway, Cologne – $10 admission.  Talk-in on 147.165+ repeater.  Or check smartsfest.org.

Last Chance Tailgate Swapfest – Sept 29th at West Medicine Lake Community Club, 1705 Forestview Lane North, Plymouth.  Sellers – 7 AM setup ($10).  Buyers – 8AM Open ($5).  Talk-in 146.76 repeater 114.8 tone.  Or check https://tcfmc.org.

50/50 Drawing:

$57 was collected.  N9EZC won $28.50 and donated the winnings back to the club.

Program – The Farm Multi- Multi Contest Station – Paul Bittner WØAIH

Paul has been on the air for nearly 70 years with the same callsign.  When he lived in downtown Eau Claire, WI he put up a 120 foot tower.  Those were the days when you could confidently do that and not have to ask for permits and endure city hearings.  He has the distinction of owning a 120 acre farm in Fall Creek, Wisconsin that undoubtedly has more towers and antennas than anywhere else in the USA.  The exact number of antennas and towers is unknown but it is safe to say it is in excess of 75.  Originally, his goal was to buy a small portion of the farm to set up 4 towers for his contest station.  The seller didn’t want to break up the parcel so he bought the entire farm for $35,000.

As time went on, other towers were added as broadcast stations upgraded and made great deals to get rid of their existing ones.  He was able to accomplish this by designing his own methods of transporting and re-erecting the towers on “The Farm”.  When you have the extreme passion for a hobby and the salary of a Lutheran minister you learn to be inventive and industrious.  He has repurposed single door refrigerators into large antenna tuners, converted a wooden outhouse into an antenna switch building, and built rotators from spare parts out of dumpster diving at a local electrical utility.  Miles and miles of radials, grounding wires, and feedlines emanate from the tower bases.  None of the towers are required to have aviation lighting since they are all below the 200 ft AGL (above ground level) FAA requirement.

Paul’s favorite band is 160 Meters.  If he had to only have one antenna it would be a 5 acre rhombic which would also be fine for 80 thru 10 meters.  The farm’s location is excellent for avoiding destructive storms.  Lightning hits have not been an issue since his equipment has been well grounded at the time of installation.

Paul is well known to hams all over the world.  He prefers to stay with other amateur radio operators in foreign countries than the local hotel.  He recently went to WRTC (World Radiosport Team Championships) 2018 in Wittenberg, Germany and was able to inspect the 56 identical antennas that had been erected that all tested with the same signal strength.

Don’t underestimate Paul, at age 84 he still has plenty of energy and enthusiasm to enjoy staying up 24 hours to run a great contest.  When asked what would happen to “The Farm” when he becomes a Silent Key, he imagines a wealthy ham will purchase the entire station as is.  Such a turnkey operation would be nearly impossible to duplicate nowadays with all the regulations and restrictions that have been put into place in the last 35 years.  Paul’s final request would be that his prized circa 1940’s J-38 straight key stays with him.

The program and meeting concluded at 10:35 AM.

Meeting attendance: 30