VE Testing Sessions - Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] ~ W8QQQ

The testing is generally the fourth Thursday of 'even' months, however June is held on a Saturday in alignment with Field Day operations at the Field Day Site. Februrary is not scheduled, as many of our 'snowbirds' are in the south for warmth (a sign our club average age is rising). Also, December can be difficult due to Christmas - so watch our schedule for details. The please see details on SARA's VE testing page.

SARA Officer Elections

Annual Officer Elections will be held at the next club meeting on Tuesday, November 13th. PLEASE ATTEND and Vote!

Also, get ready for the December Special Meeting on December 11... we are working on door prizes!


'Quick Member Notices':

CoCoRaHS   Wx Reorting Network ~ Posted 09 Nov. 2018

In July, 2008 Michigan joined a National Weather Community called: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network [CoCoRaHS] which is a network of volunteers who measure and report precipitation amounts.

The CoCoRaHS program needs Michigan volunteers. They would like urban coverage of one reporter per square mile and rural reporters one every 6 square miles.

The Michigan CoCoRaHS site is at

National Page for CoCoRaHS is: Or Facebook "Like" CoCoRaHS Headquarters.

There four steps to become a part of the network:

  1. submit a completed application.

  2. use an official 4" rain gauge (about $40 off of the National CoCoRaHS site w/ shipping).

  3. watch a 90 minute training video (online).

  4. an internet or phone connection for doing the reporting.


2018 Fall Spotter Newsletter   New ~ 10 Oct. 2018

NOAA Federal issued NWS Detroit/Pontiac Fall newsletter is out. Click 'this link' to open a pdf of the newsletter.

Smart 911 ~ For use by everyone in Shiawassee County!   New ~ 13 Sep. 2018

To sign up for 'Smart 911' text alerts from Shiawassee county dispatch and others - 'Nation Wide', text "smart911" to 67283 or go to: Smart911 Homepage" and select "Sign Up Today" button. If you ever need 911 support, the information you provide will be instantly available to the dispatch center and Emergency Responders. Information you can supply is: People & Household Info; Medical Information; Address and Location (includes GPS if on a supported cell phone; and Other Info you may wish to share. It is quick and accurate method to provide information to 9-1-1 for support to you.

Movie Alert - "Hunter Killer" by Don Keith, N4KC  New ~ 26 Oct. 2018

The movie is being released this weekend and was adapted from 'Firing Point' a novel by Don. It is an 'Action Flick' about a submarine and it's battle to support freedom. You can check out Don's website for some other ham items of interest: N4KC Web Page ~ Don Keith, N4KC, is an author of some radio topic books and a fictional writer.

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American Radio ~ History Site   New ~ 10 Oct. 2018

If you want to look through older electronics magazines then check out the American Radio History. It has Electronics Illustrated, Popular Electronics, and many other 'heritage' electronic magazines for your reading pleasure (pdf files).

Special Event Station K7NRA   New ~ 24 Oct. 2018

A special event station by Yavapai Amateur Radio Club (W7YRC) to be on the air 17 November 2017 using K7NRA call sign to celebrate NRA's 146th birthday. Operation is from Gunsite Academy's 3,000 acre campus in Prescott, AZ. See NRA Special Event Station K7NRA (AZ) details for time and frequencies. (Thanks Chuck Dafoe, K8DZH for the link info.)

The Sun, The Earth, and Near-Earth Space   New ~ 08 Sep. 2018

"A Guide to the Sun-Earth System" by J. A. Eddy is a very readable and accessible textbook that explains the dynamics of the Sun and its interaction with the Earth's ionosphere. It's available as a free download, courtesy of NASA and the International Living with a Star Program. Anyone using the ionosphere as a medium for radio wave transmission and wants to better understand propagation should find this book very interesting. (from the ARRL Contest Letter).

N3FJP Logging Software

N3FJP has released a new ACLog version. See N3FJP News, has links to releases with the latest adding features for Flex Radio (Amateur Contact Log 6.3). Also, new QSO party software for Alabama and Arizonna. See N3FJP News for 29 Aug 2018.

Hint: Wikipedia Searching

Use for data searches... it has almost anything you may desire to lookup!

For example, want to learn about a particular radio band? Try 40-meter band or 60-meter band. Be sure to checkout the 'External links" at the bottom for further detailed information. Bet you had not run accross those. We'll let you explore others as you desire.

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Club Information for SARA

Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] ~ W8QQQ

Welcome to the Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] internet Web site. SARA is a non-profit amateur radio organization in lower central Michigan (Shiawassee County) dedicated to public service, emergency communications, and the advancement of amateur radio through education and technical excellence. We have a club station and operate with the club call sign, W8QQQ. Members are allowed to operate the station on a scheduled basis. Listen for "Quack-Quack-Quack" and give us a call!

For the meeting latest information see: SARA Meeting Schedule.

Check out more club details on the top menu tab labeled "SARA Club". That page link has various club details listed.

SARA invites anyone with an interest in amateur radio or public service to come to a meeting and/or join our club. Meetings are generally the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM (check meeting schedule link as we do not always meet on all months). Dues are $15.00 a year prorated at 1/2 year intervals. You can join our group at any of our monthly meetings or by contacting Dennis Phillips, KC8ETW, Treasurer at KC8ETW or email us, W8QQQ.


You can email us at: W8QQQ at {replace the "at" with the @ symbol}

Find SARA's ARPSC [ARES/RACES] Local Inventory Form {Keeping a log of capabilities and contact information.}


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SARA Club History

The Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] was founded in January, 1958. The club received the call W8QQQ in 1958 in honor of Richard Sternaman of Owosso. Richard passed away shortly after the club was founded. The callsign, W8QQQ, was the call of Richard Sternaman in the fall of 1952 through 1956 (probably until his death).

Emergency Communications and Public Service were important to the SARA club in the 1960s. In 1961, the club was contacted by the State of Michigan to provide communications for the dedication and opening of the freeway M78/M69. Also in 1961, the club was granted affiliation with the ARRL (national organizat6ion) and SARA incorporated as a non-profit organization by the State of Michigan. 20 Nov 1961 SARA became an affiliated club with the ARRL, thus 2018 marks 59 years! In July, 1964, SARA members were on hand to help county health officials distribute the Sabine polio vaccine. In a project called SOS, over 300 messages were handled for recipients of the drug.

The 1970's the club participated in the First Annual River Daze Event (later to become the 'Curwood Festival). SARA held it's first Swap and Shop in 1975. In January, 1978, a very bad snow storm hit the mid-Michigan area and SARA emergency communcations assisted several county and local government agencies communicate. On the first night of the storm word was passed through SARA's communication system that a kidney dialysis patient in Owosso needed transportation to Flint for a treatment. While trying to arrange that transportation, a second patient was found to need similar transportation. In trying to work through the system it was decided that SARA members would take the lead in getting action. Ground transportation was provided to get both patients to Durand, where a special 'snow train' had been setup for transportation to Flint (by the SARA group). The patients got to Flint for their treatments and were spared facing the threat to their lives. SARA members were very proud of getting through this experience.

The 1980's brought SARA to the forefront in fighting for amateur radio rights. Members stood firm in the opposition to restrictive tower and antenna ordances and had them removed from the books. This was a year before the FCC issued it's ruling on PRB-1. PRB-1 was a ruling limiting local authority from imposing restrictyions on amateur radio antenna's. Also, SARA was involved when local cable TV companies started broadcasting on amateur frequencies. SARA was able to force the cable companies to 'clean up their act'. At one point the FCC was in the area to make sure the signals were legal based on SARA's inputs.

The 1990's and 2000's brought addtitional challenges to the group. The use of personal cell phones and home computers utiling the internet have greatly changed the communication needs of the general public. The terror attack on the World Trade Center and a revised focus on emergency communication coordination resulted in Homeland Security being formed. SARA continues to train and work with the Depeartment of Emergency Management to retain coordination and support for communications.

SARA works with the NOAA and National Weather Service in the 'Skywarn' program to provide weather/storm spotting and severe weather evaluation programs. So the club still retains a focus on community communications support. We help support the local repeater networks that have continued to progress with digital processes and connection to world networks through use of the internet. We hold our annual Field Day to protice setting up in emergency conditions and demonstrating the ability to communcate. So, Sara is sixty plus years old (2017) and still doing good things for our local community. If you have a desire to assist, come join us.

We meet at the County EOC / Homeland Office in Corunna (James P. Capitan Center) the second Tuesday of each month (except December). We know that in the Fall of 1962 Club was at 219 W. Exchange St. (downtown) and then in the Fall of 1969 at the Red Cross; 1302 W. Main St. The Red Cross moved to 708 Corunna Avenue, Corunna in 2000, SARA went with them and the club had an operating station room at that location (W8QQQ). The club was asked to exit the Red Cross building (2015) and moved first to a county facility for a few meetings and then to Baker College Bldg 16 (room 1632).

At the October 2017 meeting the club voted to move the club meeting to the James P. Capitan builing in Corunna, the EOC building (lower level). Starting in November of 2017 we have been using the James P. Capitan Center location for meetings. Our current station trustee is: Tom Carpender, KI8AS. Moving W8QQQ to the Capitain Center (early 2018) allows our operation from the Shaiwassee county EOC.

We are going through the older minutes files for more information and we hope to post more when complete.


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"Quick Find" Member Links

Links that appear to be very frequently viewed by club members:

  Hamfests & SWAPS - SARA's list of ham swaps for club members - about 100 miles from Owosso, plus Dayton/Findely SWAPS - due to local interests.

  VE Testing - SARA's VE Testing Information.

  SARA Minutes Index - SARA's minutes listings.

  Michigan Ham Clubs - SARA's list of Michigan Ham Clubs (not every Michigan Club is on our list, but a good sample for lower peninsula).

Ham Call Lookups:

  QRZ Home Page (Callsign Server) - Ham Call Sign Lookups

  HamCall - World-Wide Hamcall Callsign Server

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Owosso VHF/UHF Repeaters:

The repeaters are not club owned or operated but are used by many members who do assist with the repeater operations. Get "On-The-Air" / stop by / say "Hello".

  • Analog - N8DVH ~ 147.020 MHz +offset (100 Hz) C4 Fusion & Analog/ 442.400 +offset (100 Hz) Analog Only

    This page also has some D-Star and C4FM Fusion Information and is the SARA page for 'voice repeater' information in the local area. It has some details about the N8DVH repeater.

  • DStar - W8SHI ~ 145.240 MHz -offset / 444.30 MHz +offset

    This link is direct to an 'External Page' for the Owosso D-Star Repeater [W8SHI] website.

SARA's Social Grouping:

We have a Facebook page that is open for all to join. Just search for us!

SARA has a Yahoo Group called "W8QQQ" and invites anyone interested to join us (it is free to join). We have photos of various SARA events posted, automatic emailing of club meeting reminders and information, club file postings & notices, etc. You must register to join the group which you can do on the 'enter group' link for our group. We do not spam but if you sign up for email notifications we do send meeting notices and items occasionally. Your ultimate protection is based on Yahoo's protection level. NOTE: We are transitioning to 'Google Groups' in fall of 2018 ~ look for changes.

Go to our group page here. W8QQQ Yahoo Groups Page.  You can join our group from that page.

We have an annual restaurant dinner in place of the December meeting with spouses and guests invited. Recently we have given out door prizes for some of the attendees.

... and a GREAT BIG 73! de W8QQQ  

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Ham Information Links - from Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] ~ W8QQQ "Quack-Quack-Quack"

New Interest in Ham Radio or want to 'upgrade'?

Please see the SARA's "Ham License Help" for detailed information on getting a "Technician License" which many links with further information. Drop in on one of our club meetings and ask for assistance, we have members who can guide your learning and assist you in the licensing process {We call these people 'Elmer'}. We support an ARRL VE team for administrating amateur radio exams. See our 'Testing Link' for precise details, "VE Testing". We usually test on most 'even numbered' months at our meeting location. No Testing in Februrary, reserving June for Field Day and Testing at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds (Saturday), and flexibility for December (Christmas) ~ check the link for current details!. Another online license study, check out these sites:

Ham Test Online-- A GREAT site for Beginner's study and any License Upgrade study.

AA9PW Morse Code Site - links to Practice Exams and a good site to start CW training for all the classes of amateur radio licenses.

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To get an 'Official Copy' of your Ham Radio License, follow these steps:

You can use this to check on your new license or upgrade status!

  1. Go to FCC ULS system.
  2. In the box on their form just type in your hamcall and hit 'enter'. Make sure you are searching "By Call Sign".
  3. When it finds your call in their database it will be a form with your call displayed as a 'hyperllink', then click your call.
  4. At the top of the next form {near the top in small print}, click on the "Reference Copy" link.
  5. The ULS will then send your browser a PDF file that contains a copy of your license as originally mailed to you {a 'download'}. Write down the downloaded file name.
  6. Find the file that was downloaded and print, email, etc. as you please.
       Hint: Rename the file so you can later locate and use it on your computer easily.
  7. Hint: you an look for any call in the US system.

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Maidenhead Grid Square

The globe has been divided into 32,400 grid squares of 1 degree latitude by 2 degrees longitude in size. Finding the correct value can be done with an online Grid Square Calculator by K2DSL, David Levine. You can enter a postal address, zip code, or a call sign to find the correct grid square value. A call sign returns the 'home address' and maybe different if they are operating portable / mobile. The first two field characters (capital alpha characters) give a defined field location, the 3rd and 4th characters are the count number of the square. The next two (5th & 6th characters) will establish a sub-square position. Two locations within the same 'sub-square are always less than 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from each other. In degree terms, a sub square is 2.5 minutes of latitude) by 5.0 minutes of longitude, these usually shown as 'alpha small characters'. For even more precise measurements/mapping, two more digits have been approved as extended locator (making it eight characters in length). Usually the square and sub-square precision are all that are used, thus six characters is the 'norm'. Check 'Wikipedia" using "Maidenhead Locator System" for lots of additional detail. You will need this basic knowledge for the 2018 ARRL Maidenhead Contest.

A new ARRL contest starts 01 Jan 2018, to work as many maidnhead squares as possible. See the ARRL Grid Chase Contest for details. It runs the entire calendar year of 2018. You need just the first four indicaters, the club station value is 'EN72', you can follow the link on the ARRL site to a calculator to find yours. Good Luck!

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W1AW's Phone Bulletin Frequencies:

Listen to W1AW's phone bulletin 0145 UTC on 1.855, 3.990, 14.290, 18.160, 21.390, 28.590, and 50.350 MHz (SSB), as well as on 7.290 MHz (full-carrier, double sideband AM), and on 147.555 MHz (FM simplex). There are CW, Digital transmissions as well. The CW practice transmissions are very popular for those wanting to learn and improve their CW skill sets. See the W1AW operating schedule for more details.

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Web Site Language Translation(s) Hint

If you need to display a website but it's not in your language, try using Google Translate ( Just type or 'copy & paste' the URL link into the box on the Google Translate page. You can choose the 'targeted language' if it is not detected automatically.


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Special Links and Widgets of Interest:


Amateur Radio Time!

   UTC           Owosso


Current Solar Conditions

Solar Data


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Local Weather

Click inside below to get detailed local weather.

Find more about Weather in Owosso, MI
Click for weather forecast

Free Software

Completely FREE software, has a five doves award.

Used for Our Site Web Link's Checkout:

Xenu Link Sleuth finds broken and dead WEB links.


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