Some 'Quick Notices' below:

VE Testing {for Amateur Radio Licenses} ~ NOTE: New Location! Watch the dates, as well.

No Testing February 22, 2018

Testing Sessions ~ ARRL Team in Corunna {LINK} ~ Testing is on the fourth Thursday on even numbered months at Corunna's James P. Capitan Center, 149 E. Corunna Ave., Corunna, MI 48817,(lower level) except June which is at the Field Day site (Fair Grounds).

The Testing Coordinator for our ARRL testing is: Tom Carpenter, AI8AS, whose email is: ki8as at (replace 'at' with @) or Phone: (h)[517] 802-1259 or (c)[989] 472-4208. [See the link above for complete details... SARA Club/Testing Sessions]

Shiawassee County ~ Storm Spotter Class 2018 March 17

9:00 AM till Noon at Owosso Township Hall, 410 S. Delaney Rd, Owosso.

  • Reserve March 17, 2018, Saturday, from 9:00 AM till Noon for the Shiawassee County Storm Spotter training. Location is the Owosso Township Hall; 410 S. Delaney Rd., Owosso, MI. The NWS will be on hand to teach the course. It is open to all Shiawassee county residents so "spread the word". We need to insure that club members are current on training in this area. We will be making an effort to better SARA's recent past performance, so please help support the effort.

Emergency Management System [FEMA] §ICS-300 & §ICS-400 Courses

Prerecquiste courses required - you will need your certificates: §ICS-100, §ICS-200, §ICS-700 & §ICS-800.

You can take these prerecquistes 'online', see the general course training list found at: National Incident Management System (NIMS).

You need to 'Preregister' for each class at Michigan Train - Course Registration Site.

  • ISC Courses §ICS300 April 13, 2018 6 PM ~ 10 PM at Perry City Hall. We need to insure that club members are current on training. Please attend if possible.
  • ISC Courses §ICS300 April 14, 2018 8 AM ~ 5 PM at Perry City Hall.
  • ISC Courses §ICS300 April 15, 2018 8 AM ~ 5 PM at Perry City Hall.
  • ISC Courses §ICS400 April 20, 2018 6 PM ~ 10 PM at Perry City Hall.
  • ISC Courses §ICS400 April 21, 2018 8 AM ~ 5 PM at Perry City Hall.

SARA Members ~ Capitan Building Access Cards

The following dates and times have been established for Photo ID badge picture taking at the Sheriff's office; 201 E. McArthur St., Corunna. If you had turned in the background check sheets, then you should be able to stop in and have them process the cards for building entry. You will need a photo ID (driver's license).

     Sunday,  Mar 18 from 2-4 PM

     Monday,  Mar 19 from 6-9 PM

     Tuesday, Mar 20 from 6-9 PM

Michigan Simulated Emergency Test [Mi - SET]

Michigan's SET will be held, Saturday, April 28 in the morning (probably about 9:00 AM for about 2 hours - details will be posted here when avaiable). The operation is a 2 meter FM net with simulated message and response types from various other locations (EOCs and state level EOC center). Lets plan to put Shiawassee County on the list with operation at the EOC. We need to verify the EOC antenna system before that date.


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The ARRL Maidenhead Grid Squares Contest ~ Off to a start

  • The ARRL contest started 01 Jan 2018 with the goal to work as many maidnhead squares as possible. See the ARRL contest site for details. It runs the entire calendar year of 2018. See general maidenhead information near the bottom of this page to get better prepared.

Volcano Sensor Video

"To the Heart of the Earth" video on volcano sensing network as discussed by Dennis Phillips, KC8ETW, at SARA Club meeting(s). Brief view of setting up Geological Sensors (4 minutes).

FT8 Operating Guide

FT8 digital operating mode has seen a very rapid growth since it's mid 2017 introduction. Gary Hinson, ZL2IFB, has a nice operating guide of about 40 pages that will give you some hints on a quick start with this new mode. Check it out: ZL2IBF FT8 Operating Guide.


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SARA Club Information

Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] ~ W8QQQ

Welcome to the Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] site. We are a non-profit amateur radio organization in lower central Michigan 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.

We meet at Baker College ~ Center for Technical Studies, Building 16 ~ Room 1632 (or there abouts), Owosso, MI 48867.

Check out the club detailed information on menu tab labeled "SARA Club" at the top of the page for more club information.

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. You can join our group at any of our monthly meetings or by contacting Dennis Phillips, KC8ETW, Treasurer at KC8ETW or email us, W8QQQ.

See our SARA MEETING SCHEDULE ~ Click here.

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 2017 will mark 58 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 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 finally to Baker College Bldg 16 (room 1632). Our current station trustee is: Tom Carpender, KI8AS. We are working on removing the club station from Baker College. Moving to the Capitain Center (early 2018).

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). More history to follow later.

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


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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.

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

... and a GREAT BIG 73! de W8QQQ  


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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". For additional online license study, check out this site:

Ham Test Online-- A GREAT site for Beginner's study and any License Upgrade study. 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 test on 'even numbered' months at Baker College, reserving June for Field Day and Testing at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds.


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

  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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Links "Quick Find" Area:

Some of the links that appear to be frequently viewed by visitors and 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.

  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

Web Site Language Translation(s)

If you need to display a website but it's not in your language, try using Google Translate ( Just type {'copy & paste'} the URL into the Google Translate page, and you can choose the target language if it is not detected automatically.




Special Links and Widgets of Interest:


Amateur Radio Time!

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