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Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA]

"Whiskey 8 Quack Quack Quack"    ~    Established: January, 1958 an ARRL Affiliated Club since 1961
IARU: 2 Grid Square EN72wx   Latitude: 42.9819 N   Longitude: -84.1164 W   Alitude: 760 ft.

Meets at: James P. Capitan Center, Lower Level; 149 E. Corunna Ave.; Corunna, MI 48817 Monthly: 2nd Tuesday @ 7:00 PM

You're invited to a SARA club meeting!  7:00 PM the 2nd Tuesday of each month in Corunna, MI.

Contact us at:   SARA / W8QQQ <Email>


    Page Last Updated: 17-Apr-2021

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Quick Information:


SARA Meetings Details


SARA Calendar from the W8SHI site.


Details: VE Testing.

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SARA Club Items

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Download SARA's Excel Files:

CONTACT US: SARA / W8QQQ <Email>

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A quick little bit of information on the Web and surfing our site, then details for someone starting in Ham Radio.

Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association

Web Surfing ~ General Web Item

This "Web Details" link will load a W8QQQ Web Design Page which spells out our thoughts on Web design and contains hints and warnings for our site and general internet browsing. Please take the time and review the page and you may find increased efficiency searching the web in general. The page contains content on improved internet security. Also, look at our Web Site Map {link} that may assist you in finding information that interests you on our site. Our 'search box' allows limiting searches to our site OR searching the entire Web, select the correct button choice as you desire.

W8QQQ Site Information ~ Design concepts used on our site! Your Internet S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y concerns are a high priority ~ know where you are and where you are linking to ALWAYS! Hover a link (on our site) and a box showing where you are linking to will appear ~ hovering is place the mouse over the link name. Spoofing a site and leading a person down a 'bad path' is the most popular method used by hackers to change your intent and stealing your idenity and money!

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Welcome to the SARA ~ W8QQQ Site

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. Our club station operates with the club call sign, W8QQQ. Members are allowed to operate the station on a scheduled basis. Listen for "Quack-Quack-Quack" on the air and give us a call!

For monthly meeting schedule information see: SARA Meeting Schedule.

Check out more club details on the 'top menu tab' labeled "SARA Club". That page links to various club details via additional links.

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 {For new licensee's - we give a period of 'no club dues' to all new licensees - come on in and check us out!}. You can join our group at any of our monthly meetings or by contacting Dennis Phillips, KC8ETW, Treasurer at KC8ETW (email) or email us at W8QQQ <at> arrl.net.

SHIAWASSEE County Hams ~ Please review and report your status for the SARA's ARPSC [ARES/RACES] Local Inventory Form.  We are keeping a log of capabilities and contact information for Emergency Management in Shiawassee County. This is for ALL Shiawassee County Hams (not just SARA club members). Email your data to:   W8QQQ <at> arrl.net. Shiawassee County Emergency Coordinator [EC] is Phil Bates, AC8FW, and he works with our Homeland Security contacts. Let Phil know if you would be willing to assist with county EMMCOMs. We have about 200 hams in the county, but only about 20 in the SARA club ~ and not all want to work EMMCOMS! We support the local area and NOAA with local weather spoting [Skywarn], you welcome to join us.

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SARA's Social Grouping

We have a Google Group that is open for all to join. SARA's Google Group is called "W8QQQ" and we invite anyone interested to join us. It is free to join. Click on the link to get started. If you join you will get notifications on some important 'local' ham information when it is published (meeting notifications, events, etc.).

... and a GREAT BIG 73! de W8QQQ   ~ Hope to see you at a club meeting soon!

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VE Testing Sessions

Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA] ~ W8QQQ

VE testing for ham licensing is generally the fourth Thursday of 'even' months, however June is held on a Saturday in alignment with Field Day operations at our 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.

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Ham Radio Beginner's General Information

Follow the links below for details that all beginners should be aware of and older hams should review:

SAFETY - Radio Frequency Exposure [RF Exposure]

RF Exposure can lead to safety concerns and you should use caution to protect yourself and others. See the following links for further details:

As part of an Amateur Radio Station, you must do and keep a copy of RF exposure analysis of your station. If you do not, then you are operating illegally! Ham Radio is no longer exempt in maitaining this information {effective 03 May 2021}.

SARA's Guides to get started in Ham Radio / License Assistance

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Miscellaneous Thoughts

To meet your needs going forward it may be easier if you start organizing materials and thoughts right from the start. Here are some of our thoughts on organizing when just starting out in this hobby. Amateur Radio is very extensive in topics and details. Thousands of books and web sites for you to keep organized.

ARRL Publications Online ~ Joining the ARRL will lead to many benfits - including online access to their four magazines ~ QST / QEX / On the Air / NCJ . The'online' access started in Jan 2020 and goes right up to current issues. Earlier publication information is available via other online paths, but details are a little harder to figure out. You will need an ARRL membership to properly use, but it is great to get a large amount of information quickly. As a 'beginner' we suggest start looking at the "On the Air [OTA]" magazine as a quick starter. The magazines: '73'; 'Ham Radio'; and 'CQ' are other ham radio exclusive magazines but that 'online searchiing' we leave up to you.

Library ~ What do you add to your personal library and in what form? (electronic or paper or both). Almost all hams have some level of library (printed and web based). We suggest you give the topic some thought right at the start. The voloume of materials can lead to the state: "I remember seeing that information, now where did I see it?". Organized properly you can avoid that state.

Workbench ~ Suggested equipment and thoughts about what/when to add equipment to your personal collection. Again, almost all hams have some tools for the hobby and find a place to work on things at some point. Define what/where you wish to work on actual equipment. A little fore thought will assist you in meeting your future needs.

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Ham Operating Aids

Knowing which frequency to operate on is important on our ham bands. Also, keeping communications coordinated with a proper phonetic alphabet and abbreviations is something we need to support. This keeps us 'legal' and helps prevent interference on our bands.

Why be a HAM?

SARA has a page on this topic. Go to Why be a HAM.

Where can I get local help?

You have found SARA. Contact us and attend some SARA club meetings as a guest. We can assist with an 'Elmer'. An Elmer is a person to assist you in a direct manner to help you get started and obtain your license (answering questions and providing information). We always welcome guests!

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Chasing DX and Logging

If you want to talk to many far distant stations, then you should start by becomming knowledgable about "DX Clusters" and spotting your contacts. Go to SARA' DX Clusters page to investigate the topic. You can become an expert with just a little effort and it will greatly add to your ham knowledge on propagation (for instance). Basically a 'cluster' is a real time database of amateur radio stations working other stations. Frequency, exact time of contact, location and some other information is easily displayed. With modern equipment and an internet connection, you can see what areas might be possible to find and with a 'screen click' you can have your station looking for that rare DX in a few seconds (real time). As you work stations, please send your information back into the network (sending a spot).

It is important for you to keep an accurate log of all your station's operation! Like many other areas of ham radio, computers have had a large impact on this ability. Search for "amateur radio logging" on the internet and you will be surprized how many results you will get. SARA uses N3FJP logging software in many of it's activities. The $24.99 registration fee (currently) is very reasonable for this level of software. It is a 'lifetime' registration, meaning register once and all future updates are free. The initial program covers general logging, contest logging, rig control and much more. There are many other programs for speciific operting situations, these are included with the initial fee. N3FJP can export data in several different forms, so you can share it with other software/network applications. Also, it allows networking computers to work on a single log file ~ great for Field Day logging. Come see SARA's FD site at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds on the fourth full weekend in June.

If you choose a different logging program - that is great. IMPORTANT: No matter which logging program you choose, USE IT ALWAYS to keep your data organized and available. This is especially important when you are starting out as it starts you using 'good habits'. This importance can not be over stressed. We advise noting operating equipment, antennas used, other notes to be added into you log. Over long periods of time this documenting can be very valuable to you. Keeping it one place will make later retrival easy.

 

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ARRL logo for when all else fails

 

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