PCARA
POLK COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION
PCARA
Archives of the N9XH.org Front Page
2015
 
Fusion Experiment - Allowing FM Users Access to Digital Features
John N9UPC Fusion Presentation
Photo: Rick W9WS
December 12, 2015 - John N9UPC has been very active experimenting with System Fusion. He's developed a method which will allow FM users access to the digital Fusion features. By combining the analog signal path of an FM repeater with the C4FM Fusion Repeater, an FM user can both listen and talk through a digital Fusion path. John brought with him 2 Fusion repeaters, a couple of Fusion capable radios, a mobile FM repeater and his custom interconnects. The demonstration spirited a lively discussion and was met with much enthusiasm at the December club meeting.
 
Carlos N9GIM Donates Equipment to PCARA
N9GIM Antennas
Photos: Rick W9WS
December 12, 2015 - Several members of the PCARA lowered a tower and removed antennas from the QTH of Carlos N9GIM. The December weather permitted the activity to take place in light jackets and no gloves! December is Wisconsin? Chris KC9NVV, Joe KB3WYL and Rick W9RGS are shown working on to the the Cushcraft A3S antenna during disassembly.
N9GIM Tower
December 12, 2015 - The tower was supported by a ladder during antenna disassembly. Special thanks go to Rick W9WS, Mark W9GWG, John NØTCN, Joe KB3WYL, Rick W9RGS, Steve NØXC, and Greg N9CHA.
N9GIM Tower Legs Cut
December 12, 2015 - By cutting the back let, and half-cutting the two forward legs, the crew was able to safely lower the tower to the ground. Safety is always the first concern when completing a task like this. The crew had the tower and antennas safely ready for transport in about an hour.
 
PCARA December Breakfast Location Change
Gandy Diner - Location for December 2015 Club Breakfast

December 7, 2015 - The location for our club's December breakfast has been moved to Centuria. The Main Street Cafe in Balsam Lake will be closed due to vacation.

Gandy Diner
101 State Road 35
Centuria, WI

 
Amp Installed - N9XH 147.195 Repeater
TPL Amplifier 147.195
Photo: Rick W9WS
November 18, 2015 - A new TPL amplifier was installed at our tower shack providing a much-needed boost to our signal. The Yaesu DR-1X repeater output is set to 5 watts, providing for cooler operation and hopefully longer life.
 
Mark Wien WM9E - SK
WM9E SK
Mark WM9E - January 12, 1956 - November 15, 2015
November 16, 2015 - Mark Wien WM9E (sk) died at Region's Hospital in St. Paul on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at the age of 59. Visitation will be at the Williamson-White Funeral Home in Amery on Wednesday, November 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at New Life Community Church in Amery. Burial will be at the Amery Cemetery.
 
SET2015 - Rick W9WS Receives Recognition for Net Control Duties
Rick W9WS receives an ARRL Local Net Certificate from Greg N9CHA EC Polkk County.
Rick W9WS receives ARRL Local Net Certificate from Greg N9CHA, EC Polk County
November 14, 2015 - Congratulations to Rick W9WS for receiving an ARRL Local Net Certificate during the PCARA meeting held today. Rick was recognized for his contributions to our ARES/RACES annual SET event. The certificate is signed by ARRL WI Section officials.
 
W9WS "Top Band" Operations
W9WS series capacitor for his 160 meter inverted L antenna
Photo: Rick W9WS
November 11, 2015 - Have you operated on the Top Band? Shown above is a series capacitor used by Rick W9WS to match his Inverted L antenna to the 160 meter band. Rick, along with many other PCARA members, have not operated regularly on 160. Rick's discussions on the repeater regarding his construction of his Inverted L prompted several others to put up something similar. In the future there will be many PCARA members joining Rick on the Top Band. Is there another Net in our future? Staye tuned.
 
Annual Wisconsin ARES-RACES Conference - 2015
Mark N9MEA Wisconsin Section Emergency Coordinator presents during the annual ARES-RACES conference.
October 17th, 2015 - The 17th Annual ARES/RACES State Conference was held in Wisconsin Rapids and hosted by Wisconsin Section Emergency Coordinator, Mark N9MEA. This year's conference featured presentations by Jefferson County EC Dan KC9IKI, a demonstration of NBEMS and an introduction to MESH. Also an explanation and examples of Go Kits was presented. Six hams from the PCARA attended: DEC Chris KC9NVV, EC Greg N9CHA, Jack W9JET, Tom AC9LG, Kevin KC9EMJ and William KD9DIV.
KC9EMJ and KD9DIV look over the logo wear presented at the ARES/RACES conference.
October 17, 2015 - On display this year was ARES/RACES logo wear. Winnebago County EC, Kyle KC9SDK had several jackets, shirts and carry bags displayed. Kevin KC9EMJ and his son William KD9DIV review the various products.
Bill KB9ENO, President of WECOMM presented an overview of the amateur radio network.
October 17, 2015 - Bill KB9ENO, President of WeComm, Ltd. presented an updated overview of the WeComm voice network which has been developed over the past 10+ years. Additional repeaters continue to come on-line throughout the State. Two more systems, one located near Coloma and another near Irma will be installed soon, helping to fill in coverage gaps along the Wisconsin River in the center of the State.
Go Kit developed by Greg N9CHA and Chris KC9NVV.
October 17, 2015 - One of the featured attractions at the ARES/RACES conference were Go Kits. Several different kits were on display. Greg N9CHA and Chris KC9NVV brought a Kit that featured a Fusion Repeater set up as a Remote Base, a Fusion FTM-400DR transceiver, a Fusion FT1DR HT with camera microphone, an Icom IC-2820 capable of FM and D-Star and the Icom IC-7000 HF/VHF/UHF all-mode transceiver. A Penninger Radio tire-mount tipper complete with mast and dual-band antenna were also a part of the display. Working examples of how a Fusion digial photo can be taken and transmitted was demonstrated.
 
Jamboree on the Air - William KD9DIV
William KD9DIV JOTA 2015
October 16, 2015 - William KD9DIV at the controls of the N9XH ham station participated in the 58th Annual Jamboree on the Air event. William is a Boy Scout and achieved his ham radio license this year. Club President, Rick W9WS supported the operation and activated the club station. William reported, "I had a great time operating JOTA and made several contacts on 20 meters, especially to the east coast."
 
Eagle Scout - Ben Jacobs KC9ROI
KC9ROI Ben Jacobs Eagle Scout
October 11, 2015 - Ben Jacobs KC9ROI celebrated his achievement of Eagle Scout with fellow scouts, leadership, family and friends during a ceremony held in his honor. Ben and his father Steve NØXC are members of the PCARA and enjoy ham radio and building various projects. Ben's Eagle Scout project utilizing GPS data and a specially developed app helps the public enjoy the Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy property along the St. Croix River near Osceola.
 
Club Meeting Fun: Tape Measure Yagi Build & Fox Hunt
Members of the PCARA build tape measure yagi antennas during the October 2015 club meeting.
Photos: Rick W9WS & Greg N9CHA
October 10, 2015 - Club members enjoyed a construction project during their October meeting. The 2 meter tape measure Yagi antenna, generally used for fox hunting, was the scheduled event, followed by a walking fox hunt in a local park.
Rick W9RGS, the newest member of the PCARA looks over the plans as he uses a soldering gun.
October 10, 2015 - With soldering gun in hand, Rick W9RGS, PCARA's most recent member, looks to tin the leads on the coax cable which will be attached to the driven element.
Nolan KD9DIN and Dennis KD9DIO work together on the tape measure Yagi project.
October 10, 2015 - Nolan KD9DIN (seated) and Dennis KD9DIO work together to mark the mounting position of the driven element.
John NØTCN smiles for the camera duirng the October club meeting building project.
October 10, 2015 - Smile John! NØTCN, Tom AC9LG, Thomas KD9DIW and William KD9DIV work to put together their two meter yagi projects.
John NØTCN trying to find the elusive hidden transmitter.
October 10, 2015 - With his completed antenna in hand, John NØTCN tries to find the elusive hidden transmitter. The club members walked around Pine Park in Balsam Lake on a wonderful October day. Sunshine and 65 degrees.
Tom AC9LG out hunting the hidden transmitter.
October 10, 2015 - Where is that fox? Tom AC9LG is out hunting with his new directional antenna. Using triangulation and introducing as much attenuation as possible, Tom narrows his search to a weather proof box which the "fox" was using as his home.
The hidden transmitter or "fox" was hiding in a "little library" enclosure.
October 10, 2015 - Hiding in a "Little Library" structure at Pine Park, the "fox" curled up with a good book and was going to spend the winter in cozy surroundings. Well, that is until the PCARA club members came along and disturbed him.
The hidden transmitter or "fox" inside the little library.
October 10, 2015 - Nestled in between books, and hiding inside a "peanut butter" container, the "fox" was found by everyone who went looking. The exercise is proof that a directional antenna is useful for several applications including DF'ing a transmitter.
 
Simulated Emergency Test 2015 - Thank You!
PCARA Simulated Emergency Test 2015
October 3, 2015 - Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator, Kathy Poirer and Polk County ARES/RACES EC, Greg Braun N9CHA work together during the Simulated Emergency Test conducted Saturday, October 3rd. A very special thank you to all the hams who helped out this year: Rick W9WS, Chris KC9NVV, Tom AC9LG, Kirk KD9AKU, Duana KC9UVK, Mike KK9MC, Kevin KC9EMJ, William KD9DIV, Nolan KD9DIN, John NØTCN, Steve KC9WKY, Bill WY9E, Mark W9GWG, Paul KB9TYC, Rick W9RGS and Nick WBØPTO/N9PHS. 73! de Greg N9CHA
 
N9XH/R VHF Reinstalled and On The Air
N9XH/R VHF Repeater in new rack
Photos: Rick W9WS
September 25, 2015 - The N9XH/R VHF repeater was repackaged into an aluminum open rail rack system. With the new 50 amp power supply at the bottom along with a back-up battery, the new configuration allows for maximum air flow and accessibility.
N9XH/R VHF Repeater was reinstalled and checked using a service monitor
September 25, 2015 - All of the deviation levels were checked using a service monitor. The new installation means the return to our Taylor's Falls and Barron County links.
N9XH/R VHF repeater installation crew.
September 25, 2015 - The installation crew consisted of Rick W9WS (behind the camera), Chris KC9NVV, Greg N9CHA and Bruce N9BLU. Thanks to the entire club for their patience while we repaired the previous repeater equipment in order to bring this new system on line.
Getting Carlos N9GIM Back On The Air
W9WS standing next to a temporary antenna for N9GIM
Photos: Greg N9CHA
August 30, 2015 - Long time PCARA club member, Carlos N9GIM has been suffering poor health for the past few years. Much of it due to his heart. Just a few weeks ago, he underwent heart surgery where the VA surgeons replaced one of the valves in his heart. He's now looking great! Currently he's recovering at the Good Samaritan Society Home in St. Croix Falls. Located adjacent to the Fair Grounds, the home has good elevation. However, Carlos' location is a bit shadowed to our repeater.
N9GIM temporary antenna using magnets.
August 30, 2015 - To the rescue... Rick W9WS installed a mag mount antenna on top of a air conditioner unit just outside Carlos' room. However, the building blocked most of the signal. Greg N9CHA and Rick came up with another plan, to mount a short 8' mast to the side of air conditioner using magnets. A dual-band vertical antenna was then mounted to the mast and coax run down through a window. We all hope to hear the familiar "hello radio!" from N9GIM soon.
 
One-Tube Transmitter - How It Works
W9DKB one-tube transmitter using a 6L6.
Photos: Rick W9WS
August 8, 2015 - Dale W9DKB holds up his one-tube transmitter during the August PCARA club meeting. The tube used is a 6L6 and is designed as a 25-watt transmitter (input). A crystal is used along with an output coil to determine the frequency. The variable capacitor tunes the output circuit allowing plate current to flow.
W9DKB
August 8, 2015 - Using a bench-top power supply, Dale W9DKB applied voltage to the filament and high voltage to the tube. An 80 meter crystal and end-coupled coil combined to create a CW signal which was heard across the room on a receiver. The demonstration showed how a simple one-tube transmitter could be constructed. High voltage was increased to about 400 volts, resulting in an output of about 5 watts as measured on the watt-meter.
W9DKB
August 8, 2015 - Need more power? Dale W9DKB brought along this power amplifier, also of the one-tube design built on a bread board. The tuned circuit consisting of the variable capacitor and coil define the band of operation.
W9DKB
August 8, 2015 - Another example of a one-tube transmitter. This model uses a pi-network consisting of two variable capacitors and a coil. The light bulb in the foreground is used to limit the voltage going to the crystal. As the bulb heats up, the resistance rises, lowering the voltage in the crystal circuit. All of these designs were common in ARRL handbooks and other publications in the first several decades of the 1900's. The transmitters are still being built and used on the air today by a group in the Midwest called the Glow Worms.
 
Field Day 2015 - N9XH 2A Fun!
Joanna KD2CTA at the controls with Bill K9WEN looking on.
Photos: Rick W9WS & Dan KB9OBF
June 27, 2015 - Joanna KD2CTA at the controls during Field Day 2015 searches for a contact. Bill K9WEN is looking on as she spins the VFO. There were 8 operators and 5 guests this year at the PCARA FD event. Most of the N9XH 2A contacts were made on 20 and 40 meters. Participants and visitors were; Bill K9WEN, Dan KB9OBF, Rick W9WS, Jon KC9PJG, Mark WM9E, Chris KC9NVV, Joanna KD2CTA, Tom AC9LG, Duana KC9UVK, Missy WAØCUK, Rick W9RGS, John NØTCN, Denise Sanford and Chris Genesis.
The N9XH Field Day site this year incorporated campers and a pop-up canopy.
June 27, 2015 - The club's Field Day site this year was hosted at John NØTCN and his wife Denise's home near Centuria. Their wide-open spread easily accommodated a couple of campers and a pop-up awning. Above are Jon KC9PJG, John NØTCN and Bill K9WEN taking a break.
40 Meter operations were conducted in Dan KB9OBF's camper.
June 27, 2015 - The 40 meter operations were conducted in Dan KB9OBF's camper. A little rain covered the area during the night. Dan reports a couple of small leaks were discovered and patched. However, mosquitos were everywhere making sleeping a bit miserable. The bands were fairly active through the event. A local noise source (battery charger) was discovered causing some QRM, but after that had been disconnected, the conditions at the site were great.
Dan KB9OBF searching for a station on 40 meters.
June 27, 2015 - At the controls of the 40 meter station, Dan KB9OBF searched for a station to call. His Icom IC-706 and auto tuner was connected to a dipole strung between trees. Dan operated as long as he could before taking a short nap during the night. N3FJP logging software was used by both stations.
John NØTCN and Jon KC9PJG look over a radio.
June 27, 2015 - John NØTCN looks over a radio with Jon KC9PJG observing. There were plenty of trees to hang antennas. Several club members pitched in to help get things going by the time the event started at 1300 local on Saturday.
Bill K9WEN pulled his camper into position for use during FD. His multi-band verticle can be seen attached to the hitch of his truck.
June 27, 2015 - Bill K9WEN pulled his camper into a nice spot and set up 20 meter operations. A multi-band vertical can be seen attached to the hitch on his truck. A generator supplied power for both stations.
A dipole was hung using an air-launcher provided by Mark W9GWG.
June 27, 2015 - A dipole antenna was strung up by using an air-launcher and tennis ball provided by Mark W9GWG.
Mark
June 27, 2015 - Mark WM9E and Rick W9RGS get a chance to discuss the days events. Trees on the property also provided nice shade for the busy hams.
Duana KC9UVK takes a turn at the radio with Dan KB9OBF coaching.
June 27, 2015 - Duana KC9UVK is at the controls of the transceiver as Dan KB9OBF provides some coaching. Learning how to make contacts is a big part of FD and our club members are always available to provide help when needed.
Bill K9WEN prepares some sausages for the hungry hams.
June 27, 2015 - Bill K9WEN prepares some sausages for the hungry hams. Eating together during FD is one of the best parts of the annual event.
Pancakes were available for breakfast. Dan KB9OBF mixes up some batter.
June 28, 2015 - Pancakes! Dan KB9OBF stirs up some batter and helps to feed the morning crew. Operating through the night and into the next day takes lots of energy.
Jon KC9PJG takes his turn at the controls during the N9XH Field Day 2015 event.
June 28, 2015 - Taking his turn at the microphone is Jon KC9PJG.
N9XH bio relief station.
June 28, 2015 - While this "station" is not counted for points, it sure comes in handy.
Ben KC9ROI operating FD from a scout camp south of Osceola.
Photo: Steve NØXC
June 27, 2015 - Ben KC9ROI and his father Steve NØXC also participated during this year's Field Day event. They set up their portable station in a wooded area south of Osceola.
 
Amateur Radio Week - June 22nd - 28th
Amateur Radio Week June 22nd - 28th

June 19, 2015 - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a Proclamation to all residents of the State of Wisconsin that June 22nd through the 28th is Amateur Radio Week.

The Proclamation highlights the continued dedication hams have demonstrated during times of need, including Skywarn reporting.

This week is an especially active time for Wisconsin hams as Field Day is June 27th & 28th. Thanks to WI NW DEC Chris KC9NVV for sharing this announcement. Click on the Proclamation or click HERE for your own copy.

 
Field Day 2015 - June 27th & 28th
Field Day June 27th & 28th.

Field Day 2015:

NØTCN QTH & FD Site
2054 200th Ave., Centuria, WI 54824
June 27th & 28th
1:00pm Saturday to 1:00pm Sunday
N9XH 2A WI

June 13, 2015 - Field Day 2015, the annual operating event which PCARA club members enjoy by gathering up their rigs, antennas, cables and lots of food and get on the air. This year, Bill K9WEN and Dan KB9OBF will be setting up operations.
 
PCARA Net Manager - Bill K9WEN

June 13, 2015 - Bill K9WEN is now our clubs new Net Manager. Bill is an outstanding member of the PCARA and has volunteered for many work details and taken on several projects. He takes over the Net Manager responsibilities effective today. President Rick W9WS congratulated Bill on his new appointment during the June club meeting. Special thanks go to Mike KC9JIK for his efforts over the past many months as the clubs former Net Manager. Mike and his wife are soon to have their first child thus he had to relinquish his duties to make more time for family life.

Bill K9WEN announced he is looking for additional net control operators for the Monday Night Net. He also set the net times: During Central Daylight Time, the net will be at 9:00pm. During Central Standard Time, the net will roll back to a 7:00pm start. For more information, please check the NETS page.

 
Ben KC9ROI "Smart Cartography - Dynamic Mapping" Project
Ben KC9ROI Boy Scout Project
Photo: Michelle Jacobs (Ben's Mom)
May 7, 2015 - Ben KC9ROI, member of the PCARA has been applying his technological skills to a special Boy Scout project using GPS tracking data and Google Maps. Working along with Steve Rassler, president of Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy, Ben developed a smartphone app and programming to define the various public access trails through the wooded environment along the St. Croix River, south of Osceola. The project includes special points of interest which can be accessed using the app. Ben asked his fellow Scouts to assist him by walking the trails and collecting GPS data which he later used to develop the project. Completed in March about the time of his 17th birthday, Ben's "community service" project is part of his Eagle Scout application. The Osceola Sun newspaper May 6th edition features Ben's project on its front page.
 
Chuck Braun WD9GWG - SK
Chuck WD9GWG died April 22, 2015. He was one of the founders of the PCARA.
Chuck Braun WD9GWG SK- November 5, 1930 - April 22, 2015
April 22, 2015 - Chuck Braun WD9GWG died April 22, 2015. He was 84 years old. First licensed in 1977, he and his son Dale W9DKB wrote their ham tickets together at a small radio store in Minneapolis. Chuck was born in Beaver Dam, WI, and after high school enlisted in the US Navy where he served as a radioman from 1948-1958. He reached the rank of Chief Petty Officer and served on the Admirals Flag Ship in the Atlantic theater.
He is the father of three hams, Greg N9CHA, Dale W9DKB, and Glen KE7FZX. For many years Chuck worked for RCA Service Company where he serviced teletype machines for UPI, then became an electron microscope technician. He worked until the age of 78, owning and operating his own company who specialized in electron microscopes. In 1995, Chuck was instrumental in starting the PCARA ham club. He was able to work with Polk County Emergency Management to adopt a county drafted recognition of the club.
Chuck loved ham radio, operating the local repeaters, IRLP, PSK31, CW and phone. He had a special love of packet radio and kept encouraging the mode to his fellow club members. Chuck held many positions with the club including president and most recently, emergency coordinator.
 
Skywarn Classes - Milltown
Skywarn training in Milltown. Charlie, Steve, Ben and Chris.
Photo: Greg N9CHA
April 9, 2015 - Skywarn Training Classes were offered in our area again this year by the National Weather Service. Charlie, Steve NØXC, Ben KC9ROI and Chris KC9NVV attended. The program was hosted by the Milltown Community Center. The audience was largely Boy Scouts from the local troup. The club was represented by Steve and his two sons who are also very active in Boy Scouts. Chris, our clubs Skywarn net control operator also helped represent the PCARA.
 
Fusion Breakfast Part Deux
Fusion Breakfast - Chuck KØORK
Photo: Greg N9CHA
March 22, 2015 - The Fusion Breakfast is an informal group of hams who install and maintain repeaters, or those interested in the new Yaesu System Fusion line of ham equipment. Chuck KØORK is the person who organizes the group and introduces the topics and hams who attend. This was the 2nd of such meetings held at Matthew's Family Restaurant in Circle Pines, MN.
Fusion Breakfast K9EQ
March 22, 2015 - Using the Rigol DSA-815 Spectrum Analyzer is Chris K9EQ as he fine-tunes a set of UHF pass/reject filters. Many who attend the Fusion Breakfast get a chance to have their technical questions asked and answered. Chris is the trustee of the WØMDT 444.525+ repeater which is also a test site for System Fusion.
Fusion Breakfast N9CHA W9GWG W9WS
Photo: Chris KC9NVV
March 22, 2015 - Four members of the PCARA attended the breakfast. Greg N9CHA, Mark W9GWG, Rick W9WS and Chris KC9NVV (taking the photo). At this point, the PCARA is the only Wisconsin group represented. However, the informal meeting is open to all regional hams and more are expected to attend. During the summer months, the group holds a monthly "Hams In The Park" gathering. More information can be found at the HamOperator web site.
 
N9XH VHF System Fusion Repeater ON!
n9xh_fusion_on
March 12, 2015 - The club's System Fusion repeater is on the air. At 11:45am, Thursday March 12th, 2015 the repeater was put on the air. The first digital C4FM QSO was at 11:50am between Chuck WD9GWG in Osceola, and Mark W9GWG near the tower shack in Balsam Lake. Pictured above are Mark W9GWG and Chris KC9NVV turning the repeater on.
n9xh_fusion_repeater
March 12, 2015 - The repeater shack layout includes the rack for the Yaesu DR-1X, CAT-250 Controller and link transceivers. Battery backup is included for all equipment including the packet radio and APRS, as well as the N9XH UHF IRLP repeater.
 
Ham Radio Supports American Birkebeiner 2015
Birke racer 2015
Photo: Rick W9WS
February 21, 2015 - Off to an enthusiastic start, the participants of the 2015 American Birkebeiner stop for a refreshment at "Powerline" one of the many aid stations along the Cable to Hayward trail. Ham radio operators from all over the area, including those from the PCARA lent a helping hand to make the race come off smoothly.
Ham radio briefing
Photo: Greg N9CHA
February 21, 2015 - Drinking their early morning coffee and eating breakfast are the group of volunteer ham radio operators. Wally N9VAO, EC Sawyer County, hands out information packets containing race maps, parking passes, ID badges and a volunteer pin. The briefing started at 6am at the McDonald's in Hayward. Hams who particpated included: Tom KC9RIK, Rick W9WS, Skip W9JRW, Tom KC9UWA, Duana KC9UVK, Greg N9CHA, Chris KC9NVV, Wally N9VAO, John N9UPC, Steve WAØOAT, Mario KD9MAR, and Bill KBØNJA.
Closing OO at the Birke2015
Photo: Greg N9CHA
February 21, 2015 - One of the many preparation steps to get the Birke course ready is to close several roads to traffic. Above the crew is using s specialized snow machine in order to prepare the "OO" crossing. Skiers wear RF ID tags on their ankles, and as they pass over sensing equipment their position is registered. You can see a grey case and the sensing wires in the bottom left of the photo.
Volunteer briefing Birke2015
Photo: Greg N9CHA
February 21, 2015 - Hundreds of volunteers line the course and assemble aid stations along the 50K trail. Race Chiefs are responsible for briefing their group of volunteers who hand out water, sports drink, energy packets, bananas and also provide first aid.
OO aid station Birke2015
Photo: Greg N9CHA
February 21, 2015 - The skiers pass through rows of tables as volunteers offer refreshment in their out stretched arms. Many simply grab some water, drink it then throw the empty paper cup to the ground. An army of volunteers equipped with lawn rakes, quickly dispatch the cups and load them into a waiting waste container.
Greg N9CHA at the Birke2015
February 21, 2015 - Volunteer ham radio operator, Greg N9CHA holds his HT and clipboard ready to log any who might want or need to drop out of the event. Three general categories were logged, fatigue, equipment issues, or medical reasons. Once a racer drops out, Greg then radioed their bib number into net control.
Net control, Wally N9VAO and Chris KC9NVV
Photo: Greg N9CHA
February 21, 2015 - The nerve center for the ham radio operation was in the Birke offices in Hayward. Left is Wally N9VAO logging the dropped out racers, and behind him is Net Control, Chris KC9NVV. The hams used the Hayward repeater on 147.255. The information was "live" and usable by race officials in order to notify friends and family the whereabouts of their racer along the course. Busses hauled those who needed transportation back to Hayward.
Sled for picking up racers at the Birke2015
Photo: Rick W9WS
February 21, 2015 - A special sled assembled by the Namakogon Volunteer Fire Department was on the course ready to pick up a racer in case of an accident or exhaustion. Ski Patrol volunteers also swept the course regularly looking for anyone who may need assistance.
Racers leave the Powerline aid station on to the remainder of the course during the Birke2015 event.
Photo: Rick W9WS
February 21, 2015 - Racers are off to the rest of the course from the "Powerline" aid station. Freestyle or "skate" racers to the right, Classic skiers off to the left. Keeping track of the 10,500 participants is a logistical challenge. Ham radio played an important role by tracking drop outs, keeping the aid stations supplied, and backing up public service communications.
 
System Fusion Interface About Complete
cat 250 controller and arcom adr interface
Photo: Rick W9WS
February 14, 2015 - Shown above are two vital components being installed to the new Yaesu System Fusion repeater which will go live later this month. The larger of the two boards is a CAT-250 repeater controller, and the other is the ADR interface by Arcom Controllers. The current 2 meter repeater utilizes the CAT-250, but for proper bench testing an additional board was purchased to properly test the new DR-1X in our club's configuration.
 
Bringing Back the Swan 500C
Swan500c_3
Photos: Rick W9WS
February 2, 2015 - Rick W9WS heated up his soldering iron once again and repaired this vintage Swan 500C owned by John KB9ODW. The receiver is "hot" says Rick, and is putting out a nice 200 watts into his dummy load. Early advertising had this rig listed as a "500" watt transmitter, sure, if you calculate PEP output!
Swan500c_2
February 2, 2015 - Built in the late 1960's in Oceanside, CA, the 500C and it's matching power supply speaker became widely accepted as a popular amateur SSB transceiver.
Swan500c_1
February 2, 2015 - A look inside the power supply reveals a glass-epoxy board with rectifiers and filter capacitors.
 
PCARA Welcomes Yaesu System Fusion
System Fusion Intro to membership
Photos: Rick W9WS
January 10, 2015 - The new Yaesu System Fusion DR-1X repeater was introduced during the January club meeting. In November several members contributed money to purchase the new repeater. It was received on the 26th of December and reviewed for its functionality and ease of integration. Fellow hams from Burnett, St. Croix, and Barron Counties attended the meeting in order to get a first look. The repeater is capable of transmitting voice, data, and photos in the C4FM modulation scheme. The unit can also switch back to FM.
System Fusion introduction at January 2015 PCARA meeting.
January 10, 2015 - Chris KC9NVV and Wayne KC9RBL review the new System Fusion DR-1X repeater. The new rig allows for UHF or VHF operation with a maximum output power of 50 watts. There is an internal controller, however the PCARA will be utilizing an external CAT-250 which will integrate well with the current multi-site and Echolink inputs.
System Fusion repeater DR-1X introduced at the January PCARA meeting.
January 10, 2015 - The DR-1X repeater comes as pictured above. Features include an internal speaker, touch screen input interface, internal power supply, battery backup connections, front panel microphone connector and connections for an external controller and WIRES-X Internet linking interface.
 
2015 PCARA Leadership Team
PCARA Leader Team
Photo: Jack W9JET
January 10, 2015 - The leadership team is ready for the new year. L to R - Vice President, Bill WY9E; Secretary, Greg N9CHA; Treasurer, Chris KC9NVV; and President, Rick W9WS.
 
N9XH - Polk County Amateur Radio Association - 1732 Forest Circle - Balsam Lake - WI - 54810 - Info@N9XH.org