SARA Field Day 2011
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
OXB Special Install
SARA Work Party 1
2017 SARA Officers
2021 W0TBC Memorial Award
SARA Does Skywarn
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
SARA Work Party 2
May 14th Fox Hunt! What Fun!

SARA This Week: Aug 30 – Sept 5


Due to the current and fluid situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, SARA is continuing to eliminate nearly all of our in-person activities, including the Eyeball QSO Parties at the Library, monthly meetings at Boutwells Landing and 2nd Saturday breakfasts.

ANNOUNCING: Radios in the Park returns for one evening on Thursday Sept 3 at Valley View Park. BYOC (bring your own chair)! We will follow all state and national health and safety guidelines, including face masks and practicing social distancing. Brian NØBJE has offered to present his QRP/Portable Operations Thursday Technical Topic on-site that evening. Expect to see equipment and antenna ideas to make such activities successful and enjoyable. We’ll be at the park from about 5:30 PM CDT to 8:00 PM CDT. Information will also be provided for the Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event Station weekend in November. There may even be a perk for those who plan to operate as WØJH or WØF for the Special Event!

SARA will resume monthly 2nd Saturday meetings September 12th. The meeting facilities at Boutwells Landing remain unavailable. For the foreseeable future, the monthly meetings will be virtual on-line teleconferences via the SARA Webex conference room. I am planning to open the Webex room up early around 8:15 Central for “Morning Coffee” with your fellow hams. The club meeting will begin at 9:00 AM Central. The program topic for the September meeting is to be “Choosing your first radio” moderated by Mark KEØQQN. ARRL Dakota Division DIrector Matt Holden KØBBC has been invited to give us an update on recent ARRL activities including the election of new CEO Dave Minster NA2AA; the hiring of Paul Gilbert KE5ZW as Director of Emergency Management; recent board actions, the FCC NPRM regarding license fees; and your comments on Field Day 2020.


We will be resuming the Technician License Class, halted this spring by the pandemic, with virtual class sessions online via Webex on Thursday September 10th. They will run weekly through October 8. We’re working with the SEMARC VE Team and have allocated examinee seats for the Saturday Oct 17 VE Session in Cottage Grove. If you know someone interested in getting their Technician License and won’t mind joining the in-progress class, have the contact Bob WØGAF at his callsign for further details.


Our Thursday Technical Topic sessions continue this Thursday. We will be taking a break as the Technician License class resumes online via Webex on September 10th. Here’s the line-up through September 12 along with additional suggested topics to be scheduled:

Thursday Technical Topic Suggestions                     Moderator                     Date
QRP/Portable Operations (SOTA/POTA)                Brian NØBJE                3-Sep
Choosing your first radio                                             Mark KEØQQN           12-Sep
SARA Technician License Classes                             WØGAF et al                10-Sep to 8-Oct
Digital Modes & FLDIGI Primer                               Joe KC0OIO                  TBD
Do’s & Don’ts when setting up your shack              TBD                                 TBD
MFJ-259/269 Analyzer Training                              TBD                                 TBD
Setting up digital voice hotspots                               TBD                                 TBD
Grounding & Bonding your station                          TBD                                 TBD
Station Electrical Power considerations                  TBD                                 TBD
Optional but useful shack accessories                     TBD                                 TBD
Working DX                                                                  TBD                                 TBD
CW: Ways and tricks to learning, setup paddles, keys, keyers      TBD      TBD

Many of the topics can be group discussion sessions. Others may require a little research. Dig into it a bit and share what you learn. There is no better way to learn a topic than preparing to lead a session. See something of interest or that you have some knowledge and experience, please volunteer to moderate the session. Email me at if you are interested in moderating a session. You can also email me with additional topic suggestions.


The working group for SARA’s 2020 Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event has laid a base course. A comprehensive “distributed operation” is the plan for this year’s Special Event. The Special Event will run Friday Nov 6 through Sunday Nov 8, planned for 9:00 AM CST (1500 UTC) 5:59 PM CST(2359 UTC). SARA’s Special Event coordinator Dave WØOXB emailed out an initial briefing along with a request for indicating your interest in participating to SARA members on Wednesday Aug 26. Respond early and you’ll have a chance to collect one of a limited quantity of Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event Station operator commemorative tokens! Come on out to Radios in the Park Thursday evening to see the commemorative token.


New Contest for Portable Stations to Debut in October = A Chance for friendly SARA competition? A new amateur radio contest for portable operators — the Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge (POC) — will debut October 3 – 4. The event is aimed at leveling the competitive playing field between fixed stations and portable stations. Scoring for the POC, based upon a kilometers-per-watt metric, will be handicapped in favor of the portables. The contest is the brainchild of Frank Howell, K4FMH. Sponsors include National Contest Journal (NCJ) — an ARRL publication — but the POC will not be an official NCJ or ARRL contest.

“NCJ’s role is to encourage hams who don’t contest to give it a try,” NCJ Editor Dr. Scott Wright, K0MD, said. “It will encourage activity by operators who are limited by real estate and do not have a full-blown contest station. Events like this stimulate more interest in contesting, and this will have an international scope to give chances to snare some new DXCC entities.”

Other sponsors include the UK DX Foundation (CDXC), the Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia (HARAOA), and the South African Radio League (SARL).

“I think the [POC] steering committee, consisting of both veteran DX contest participants and some of the best portable operators in the world, has come up with something worth giving a go,” Howell said. “With this scoring metric, it’s more about radiosport than radio gear.”

According to the contest rules, scoring will be calculated using the distance between stations (Maidenhead grid squares) in kilometers divided by power output in watts. Fixed (QTH) stations will compete against portable (P) stations on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Allowable modes include phone, CW, and digital. For the 2020 event, the number of transmitters concurrently in use will be restricted to two. Portable stations may not make use of permanently installed amateur radio equipment or facilities but may use ac mains power. The exchange is call sign, station class (P or Q), consecutive serial number, and four-character grid square.

Is there interest in a friendly match for SARA members to compete against each other for the the kpw (kilometers per watt) challenge?


SARA’s on-air activities (listed below) remain a great way to stay connected with others, boosting the overall wellness of all involved. Those on-air activities provide healthy social contact while maintaining personal distancing.

Here’s this week’s activities!

1. SARA Top Band Ragchew
Nightly Time: 20:00 Central
Frequency: 1.966 LSB +/- QRM
Alternates: 1.966 USB 3.960 MHz +/- QRM (LSB) 21.316 MHz +/- QRM (USB) 50.166 MHz +/- QRM (USB)

2. SARA Monday Morning Ragchew Aug 31
Time: 08:15 Central (13:15 UTC)
Frequency: 3.856 LSB +/- QRM

3. The Lunch Room Daily (Monday thru Friday)
Time: 12:00 Central
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)

4. SARA Two Meter Tuesday (TMT) Round Robin Ragchew Sep 1
Time: 7:00 – ~8:00 pm (or until we finish!)
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)
The Tuesday evening on-air round robin ragchew An HF Afterglow follows on 160 meters at 1.966 MHz LSB +/- QRM

5. SARA Two Meter Wednesday Round Robin Ragchew Sep 2
Time: 9:00 PM
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)
The Wednesday evening SARA Ragchew on the SARA repeater

6. SARA Radios in the Park – One night only! Sep 3
Time: ~5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Valley View Park located at 5421 Osgood Ave N in Oak Park Heights, MN 55082
BYOC! (Bring Your Own Chair) – have an Eyeball QSO with SARA friends you haven’t seen in better than 6 months – catch Brian NØBJE’s QRP/Portable operating technical topic show-n-tell. Although we will be outdoors, please follow state and national health & safety guidelines including social distancing and face masks in group settings.

7. SARA Eyeball QSO Party & Happy Hour “Manhattan Project”
Time: 7:30 pm
SARA Webex meeting room –

Programming note: The new season of the SARA HF Digital Net will launch in late September – watch this space for details!