20 Year Anniversary
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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.
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.
2nd - 7:30pm Net W9GWG
9th - 7:30pm
14th - Meeting
Balsam Lake
16th - 7:30pm
23rd - 7:30pm
30th - 7:30pm

Rick W9WS
Vice President
Bill WY9E
Greg N9CHA
Chris KC9NVV
N9XH - Polk County Amateur Radio Association - 1732 Forest Circle - Balsam Lake - WI - 54810 - Info@N9XH.org