May 14th Fox Hunt! What Fun!
Fitzgerald Crew 2012
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
SARA Work Party 3
2023 Simonet Memorial Award
2014 SARA Officers
2021 W0TBC Memorial Award
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
SARA Work Party 1

SARA This Week: Sept 6 – Sept 12


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.

SARA resumes our 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. ARRL Dakota Division DIrector Matt Holden KØBBC will join us to share 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; your comments on Field Day 2020; and introduce new MN Section Manager-elect Bill Mitchell AEØEE.

The previously announced program topic  “Choosing your first radio”  moderated by Mark KEØQQN has been rescheduled for the October meeting as it will be a good follow-up for the Technician License class wrapping up a couple of days before the meeting.


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. WEBEX session details will be sent when they are scheduled.


Our Thursday Technical Topic sessions will be taking a break as the Technician License class resumes online via Webex on September 10th.

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 on Wednesday Aug 26.


New Contest for Portable Stations to Debut in October = A Chance for friendly SARA competiton?

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.

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  kpw (kilometers per watt) challenge?


SARA’s on-air and virtual activities (listed below) 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 Top Band Ragchew
Nightly      Time: 20:00 Central       Frequency:  1.966 LSB +/- QRM
Alternates:  3.960 MHz +/- QRM (LSB)
21.316 MHz +/- QRM (USB)
50.166 MHz +/- QRM (USB)

2. SARA Monday Morning Ragchew Sep 7
Time: 08:15 Central (13:15 UTC)
Frequency:  3.856 LSB +/- QRM

3. The Lunch Room
Daily (Monday thru Friday) (NO session Monday Labor Day)
Time: 12:00 Central
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)

4. SARA Two Meter Tuesday (TMT) Round Robin Ragchew Sep 8
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 9
Time: 9:00 PM
SARA Repeater 147.060+ MHz (DCS/DTCS 026 Normal)
The Wednesday evening SARA Ragchew on the SARA repeater

6. SARA Virtual Technician License Class Thursday Sept 10
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SARA WEBEX virtual meeting room
This week’s session is on Propagation & Antennas and Antenna Systems

7. SARA Virtual Club Meeting Saturday Sept 12
Time: 9:00 AM  (WEBEX opens ~8:15AM for “Morning Coffee”)
SARA Webex meeting room – invite will follow separately.

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