SARA This Week Feb 11 – Feb 17
Here is your SARA update for this week! Be sure to scroll through the full bulletin!
Tech Topic Thursday: POTA Q&A Feb 15
Following the very entertaining SARA POTA Challenge 2023 Awards Ceremony yesterday, I was approached by WD9GYT about having some sort of Q&A / Tips & Tricks / Getting Started session during an Eyeball QSO Party. And I replied “how about this Thursday?” We will have a Tech Topic Thursday “POTA Q&A” hybrid (in-person/livestream via Zoom) forum beginning about 6:00 PM. Space is limited in the conference room at the library so we will also livestream via Zoom. Your POTA questions, answers, tips, tricks, and other guidance are welcome. Activators and Hunters will both benefit from this Tech Topic Thursday.
Ice Station WØJH Feb 17 – 18 – 19, 2024
The Ice Station WØJH will be on the air once again in February, regardless of the condition of the ice on Lake Elmo. The weather forecasts do not bode well for any ice that is presently on the lake!
The 2024 planning crew is coordinating logistics for the event on Lake Elmo, MN. TNX to our gracious hosts Dave (KØAIF) and Anne (KØVOB), their lake-front property and QTH on Lake Elmo Avenue is the location for the event. This is the ninth year for the event and occurs over President’s Day weekend.
We’ll be setting up and operating from the shore this year due to poor ice conditions. Lakeside operations will be conducted from the storage shed at the lake’s edge. A portable ice fishing, tent-type shelter will be deployed for extra shelter lakeside. Although we will not be out on the lake, access to the lakeside station is still not very handicap-accessible. The inland station will operate from SARA’s self-contained communications trailer. Both stations are kept cozy with portable heaters. The shelter and all gear will be secured each evening.
The stations will be on the air each day from around 10:00 AM (16:00 UTC) to 4:00 PM (22:00 UTC).
We’re looking forward to having this year’s newly licensed hams and recently upgraded Generals and Extras participate. At least stop by to see our portable set-ups. We can almost guarantee you’ll come away learning a bit about portable HF operation!
Technician License Class starts Feb 29
SARA’s Technician License Prep Class begins Thursday February 29 and continues for 8 weeks through April 18. Classes convene at 6:00 PM. They will be held at the Stillwater Public Library, 224 3rd Street, Stillwater.
SARA’s instructors utilize the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual 5th Edition as the study guide for the class. The book is available for order online from the ARRL, Ham Radio Outlet, DXEngineering, Gigaparts, and Amazon (print & Kindle eBook versions).
A license exam session by SARA’s Volunteer Examiner team will be held on April 25th.
To register for the class, email Bob WØGAF at bobajensen at me dot com.
Amateur Extra Class License Study Group
SARA facilitates an Amateur Extra Class License study group when there is sufficient interest. The current Amateur Extra Class license exam question pool expires at 11:59 PM June 30, 2024, so now is the perfect time to pursue that goal. SARA’s Extra Class license study group is a peer-led study program. Using the ARRL Extra Class License Manual, participants work through the license manual together, with a member of the group taking the lead each chapter/week. This has been a successful practice in the past. Mentors from SARA may join the sessions to add some real-life experience and technical knowledge to the session.
Are you interested in joining an Extra Class Study Group? SARA is considering facilitating a Study Group this spring starting Feb 29. If you are interested in joining fellow hams pursuing the top-level license, please email Bob WØGAF at bobajensen at me dot com. We have at least 4 interested so it looks like the study group will proceed!
The SARA POTA Challenge
The SARA POTA Challenge 2024 is off to a great start. January results were shared as part of the POTA Awards Ceremony and will be posted to the radioham.org website soon.
The SARA POTA Challenge 2023 Awards Ceremony was a lot of fun. 60 members qualified as SARA POTA Rangers, hunting at least one POTA activator. 35 members qualified as SARA POTA Explorers, activating at least one POTA. Activity totals for 2023 are impressive! SARA members logged 44,811 Hunter QSOs and made 921 qualified (at least 10 QSOs) activations from 473 parks logging a total of 35,343 QSOs! The full Awards Ceremony slide deck has been posted to the radioham.org >> Click Here << to review the results.
SARA members who have registered on the POTA website https://parksontheair.com/# (sign up is under the Help/Getting Started tab) are included in the SARA Challenges.
A thorough source of information for those that want to get started POTA hunting or activating is found on the POTA website. The https://docs.pota.app/ page is a great resource of all info for POTA. Start with the Getting Started with POTA page and go from there.
MN Parks on the Air Day is Saturday June 8, 2024, from 10:00 AM (15:00 UTC) to 6:00 PM CDT (22:00 UTC). Organized by SARA, the objective is to activate as many MN POTA entities as possible during that day. There will be no scoring. The brand new mnpota.com website is live!
MHR in the park: Parks On The Air MasterClass Saturday March 2
Note: This event is open to any and all amateur radio operators.
Join Minnesota Ham Radio for an exciting and informative event, MHR In The Park: Parks On The Air MasterClass! Sean Ihde (WI0O), an accomplished amateur radio POTA activator with over 500 POTA activations, will share his expertise and guide you through the intricacies of Parks On The Air activations. Whether you’re new to POTA or looking to refine your skills, this MasterClass has something for everyone.
You’ll get the chance to participate in a practical demonstration and learn how to set up your radio equipment, antennas, and logging systems efficiently for POTA activations. Bring your questions and curiosities about POTA, and Sean will be available to answer them during this interactive event. Attendees can bring their equipment to try and set up after Sean’s demonstration if they wish – but this is not required.
This event is also a great opportunity to connect with fellow amateur radio operators who enjoy portable operations, exchange stories, and make new friends who share your passion for ham radio.
MHR In The Park: Parks On The Air MasterClass promises to be an enriching experience for both beginners and experienced operators alike.
This MasterClass is being held at Fort Snelling State Park from 12:00 Pm to 3:00 PM.
For more information and exact location, go to https://www.minnesotahamradio.com/event/mhr-in-the-park-parks-on-the-air-masterclass/
This week’s SARA activities
SARA’s on-air, in-person, and virtual activities are a great way to stay connected with others.
- NO “Sunday Fusion” Digital Voice Hangout Feb 11 (due to the Big Game)
19:00 Central (01:00 UTC)
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)
or connect via WIRES-X to the W0JH-Room 63969
System Fusion digital voice hangout to expand use and familiarity with the digital voice capabilities available on the WØJH repeater.
- SARA Top Band Ragchew
20:00 Central (02:00 UTC)
160M on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays: 1.966 LSB +/- QRM
80M on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays: 3.813LSB +/- QRM
Alternates: 21.316 MHz +/- QRM (USB) 50.166 MHz +/- QRM (USB)
- SARA Monday Morning 75-meter Ragchew Feb 12
08:15 Central (14:15 UTC)
Frequency: 3.856 LSB +/- QRM
- SARA Two Meter Tuesday (TMT) Round Robin Ragchew Feb 13
7:00 – ~8:00 pm Central (or until we finish!)
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)
1stTuesday is Emergency Power Night – participants are encouraged to operate the stations on emergency power.
The Tuesday evening on-air round robin ragchew
Featuring the “Ask the Elmer” segment
The group leaders focus on encouraging any and everyone, especially those new to the airwaves, to join the session via the repeater.
- SARA Eyeball QSO Party “Tech Topic Thursday: POTA Q&A” Thursday Feb 15
6:00 PM – 7:50 PM Central
Stillwater Public Library, 224 3rd Street, Stillwater
POTA Q&A + Tips & Tricks + How-to information