SARA Work Party 2
OXB Special Install
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
2017 SARA Officers
Ice Station WØJH 2014
SARA Work Party 1
Kilo Parks Award
Ice Station WØJH 2014
2018 WØTBC Memorial Award-NØDRX

SARA This Week: Sept 27 – Oct 3



The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our in-person activities, including the Eyeball QSO Parties at the Library, monthly meetings at Boutwells Landing and 2nd Saturday breakfasts.


The virtual Board meeting is Wednesday Sept 30 beginning at 6:30 PM. Board meetings are open to all SARA members. A WEBEX invite will be sent to all members via separate email.


The SARA HF Digital Net returns this evening! This weekly digital modes net meets at 19:00 Central (00:00 UTC (until DST ends Nov 1st then 0100 UTC)). The net meets on 80 meters at 3.584.15 USB Look for the net up 500-1000 Hz +/- on your waterfall. The mode is announced every week in the “SARA This Week” broadcast email.

The primary goal of the SARA HF Digital Net is to engage for those interested in operating or trying digital modes with a casual and supportive environment. Most participants use FLDIGI as their digital modes software. FLDIGI can be found at The current general release of FLDIGI is version 4.1.14. The website still lists it as 4.1.13 but when you click on the download link it takes you to 4.1.14 downloads. FLDIGI is available for Windows, MAC, and Linux operating systems. Start with FLDIGI and consider adding FLRIG for rig control. You can expand your digital capabilities by adding FLAMP, FLWRAP and FLMSG as you get familiar with FLDIGI.

The plan for the HF Digital Net this season is to add some technical discussion on digital modes, continue trying different digital modes, and develop additional confident Net Control Stations as we continue to explore the capabilities of the various digital modes.

See you on the waterfall!


The Technician License Class continues with virtual class sessions online via Webex on Thursday evenings. They will run weekly through October 8. The SEMARC VE Team has allocated examinee seats for our students 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. WEBEX session details will be sent when they are scheduled.


Our Thursday Technical Topic sessions will resume once the online Technician License class via Webex wraps up.

Thursday Technical Topic Suggestions         Moderator      Date
SARA Technician License Classes                  W0GAF et al  9/10 – 10/8
Choosing your first radio                                  KEØQQN       10-Oct (special to SARA Monthly meeting)
Digital Modes & FLDIGI Primer                     KCØOIO         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.


SARA’s 2020 Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event will be 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). This year’s unique operating plan is creating an opportunity to expand our band/mode presence. The SARA callsign WØJH is sought after every November and we will have that call on air as Phone stations. The special event callsign WØF has been secured for our use and it will be the CW and Digital modes callsign.

We’ll be using SignUpGenius, an online service, to manage band/mode time slots. An email inviting you to sign up for operating slots and the link to the signup page will be sent in the coming days. Although we recommend some experience in handling “pile-ups”, we welcome everyone to operate as the special event station. You can choose an operating band and mode slot that is likely to have a slower pace on Phone or work in digital modes such as PSK31 or FT8. All we ask is that you have a logging program capable of exporting to an ADIF so that all the logs can be combined into a central log for QSL confirmations.


Don’t forget the challenge for SARA members during the upcoming new amateur radio contest for portable operators — the Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge (POC)? The contest debuts 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.

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.

SARA members can compete for the SARA Kilometer per watt (KPW) title of Kilometer King! Submit your contest log according to the Portable Operating Challenge, and then send your official final scores and greatest kilometer per watt result to kc0oio @ A certificate suitable for framing is to be created and presented to the SARA Kilometer King when the results are finalized.


“Signals from SARA” is nearing publication for the October issue. Contributions are welcome and requested. Share the story of your experiences in amateur radio. Contributions can be sent to Pat WAØTDA (wa0tda at or Dave WØOXB (w0oxb at at any time for inclusion in an issue of “Signals from SARA.” Deadline for the October issue is October 1st.


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

Here’s this week’s activities!

1. SARA HF Digital Net Sunday Sept 27
Time: 19:00 Central (00:00 UTC)
Frequency:  3.584.15 USB Look for the net up 500-1000 Hz +/- on your waterfall.
Mode: THOR16
Topic: Welcome back to the waterfall!

2. SARA Top Band Ragchew
Time: 20:00 Central (01:00 UTC)
Frequency:  1.966 LSB +/- QRM
Alternates:            3.950 – 3.980 MHz +/- QRM (LSB)
21.316 MHz +/- QRM (USB)
50.166 MHz +/- QRM (USB)

3. SARA Monday Morning Ragchew Sept 28
Time: 08:15 Central (13:15 UTC)
Frequency:  3.856 LSB +/- QRM

4. The Lunch Room
Daily (Monday thru Friday)
Time: 12:00 Central
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)
– anyone can open the Lunch Room if the usual host is not there.

5. SARA Two Meter Tuesday (TMT) Round Robin Ragchew Sept 29
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

6. SARA Virtual Board Meeting Wednesday Sept 30
Time: 6:30 PM
SARA WEBEX virtual meeting room (email invite will be sent to all SARA members)

7. SARA Two Meter Wednesday Round Robin Ragchew Sept 30
Time: 9:00 PM
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)
The Wednesday evening SARA Ragchew on the SARA repeater

8. SARA Virtual Technician License Class Thursday Sept 24
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SARA WEBEX virtual meeting room
This week’s session is on Operating Regulations

9. SARA Virtual Eyeball QSO Party “Manhattan Project” Friday Oct 2.
Time: 7:30 PM Central (8:30 PM Eastern)
SARA WEBEX virtual meeting room (email invite will be sent to all SARA members)