PCARA
POLK COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION
PCARA
Archives of the N9XH.org Front Page
2010
New Shack Layout - KC9QXN
KC9QXN_Shack
November 30, 2010 - An efficient shack layout was completed by Josh KC9QXN after he received a new desk and shelving unit from a relative. Now his power supplies, tuner, rigs and computer equipment are all easy to reach, leaving lots of desk space for projects. Josh has contributed a lot to the club by running various nets and helping others with their antenna projects. Photo: Josh KC9QXN
KC9SLN - New Tower Installation
KC9SLN_FeedPoint
November 28, 2010 - A new tower went up at the QTH of Diana KC9SLN. Rising up some 40 feet above her and her husband Len's home is a Rohn 25G. Mounted on top of the tower is a fiberglass mast, Diamond X50A dual-band, and an 80 meter ladder-line fed inverted vee. Photo: Rick W9WS
KC9SLN_Attach_Antenna
November 28, 2010 - Organized by Mark W9GWG, the crew assembled for the tower raising consisted of: PCARA President Rick W9WS, Marv KC9IRT, Fred AB9LV, Josh KC9QXN, Ruth KDØLUL and Greg N9CHA. The dual-band antenna is being mounted in the photo above. A Penninger Radio 2" mast clamp, pulley block and 2" fiberglass pipe were mounted to the top section of the tower. LMR-400 Flex coax was installed to feed the dual-band antenna. Photo: Rick W9WS
KC9SLN_FeedLine
November 28, 2010 - Stretching out the feed line is Josh KC9QXN (left) and Fred AB9LV (right). A concrete base was poured a couple of weeks ago using a Rohn tilt-up base section. After new coax connectors were installed, the antennas were tested. Diana KC9SLN made her first contact using the new tower installation with fellow club member Mark KC9GHQ. Photo: Rick W9WS
Happy 80th Birthday Chuck WD9GWG!
WD9GWG_80th_Birthday
November 13, 2010 - A birthday greeting from the Polk County Amateur Radio Association was extended to Chuck WD9GWG, a founding member of the organization at the November club meeting. A large sheet cake complete with Chuck's call sign and a "radio" were part of the cake decoration. The first snow fall of the season also hit which made travel treacherous in the county. Even though Chuck could not attend the meeting today, he graciously accepts the elaborate cake and the birthday card with well-wishes from those who attended. Chuck's birthday is November 5th. Photo: Greg N9CHA
WD9GWG Antennas Flying High
WD9GWG_New_Antennas
November 4, 2010 - The new tower and antenna system is flying high above Chuck's WD9GWG QTH. The 40' Glen Martin tower, Hazer and 10' mast were raised today with a full complement of antennas: dual band vertical, vhf vertical beam, uhf vertical beam, vhf horizontal beam, six meter beam, and tri-band beam. There are two pulleys on a yard-arm for hoisting up dipoles for 80 and 40 meters. Thanks to all who helped with this project, your help was very much appreciated!
Digging In The Coax
WD9GWG_TrapRock
November 2, 2010 - If you're going to bury your feed lines in Polk County, chances are you're going to have to deal with trap rock. This igneous, bluish-gray basalt is so hard it's used by NASA to test their drills. Needless to say, Joe pictured above, knows only too well how hard this boulder was to remove from a trench he dug at Chuck's WD9GWG QTH. His father Mark, W9GWG also helped dig the 40' trench between the earth-station (satellite antennas) and the house. Photo: Greg N9CHA
WD9GWG_Trench
November 2, 2010 - While the earth is still soft enough to dig, Chuck WD9GWG decided to go ahead with burying the feed lines and rotor control cables between the house and his satellite antenna system. Mark W9GWG and his son Joe came to help, bringing their own pickaxe and shovels. The trench will accommodate a 4" PVC pipe. For several years the lines running out to the earth station have been laying on top of the ground. Photo: Greg N9CHA
WD9GWG "Hazer" Preparation
WD9GWG_Hazer
November 1, 2010 - What's a Hazer? It's a method for raising and lowering antennas without having to climb your tower or tilt it over. Made by Glen Martin, it slides along the outside of your tower. At WD9GWG's QTH the 18" x 40' aluminum Glen Martin tower is being installed. A Yaesu rotor and Kenpro thrust bearing are mounted to the side of the Hazer. In addition, an aluminum pipe with pulleys was added for HF dipoles. The vertical mast is made from an 2" x 8' aluminum 1/8" wall pipe, a Penninger Radio mast clamp, and a 2" x 4' section of 1/8" wall fiberglass mast. The completed assembly slides over the tower, stays at the bottom until the antennas are mounted, then is lifted into place using a cable and winch. Photo: Greg N9CHA
WD9GWG Tower Project
WD9GWG_Tower
October 30, 2010 - A new tower will be installed at the QTH of Chuck WD9GWG, so the old crank-up tower has to go. Members of the PCARA got together to safely lower the 38 foot tower and to remove the antennas. If you look very closely you'll see a mag-mount antenna stuck to the tower section protruding from Mark's truck... Mark never lets an opportunity get by without trying to get a signal out! Thanks to all who helped get the old tower removed! Shown above are (L to R) Bruce N9BLU, Chris KC9NVV, Mark's son Joe, Mark W9GWG and Josh KC9QXN.
Photo: Greg N9CHA
WD9GWG_Antennas
October 30, 2010 - Josh KC9QXN is on the ladder removing the antennas while Bruce N9BLU and Chris KC9NVV help at Chuck's WD9GWG QTH. Lowering the tower and stowing the antennas took about an hour. The 30 year old tower is being replaced with an all aluminum 40 foot tower manufactured by Glen Martin. A Hazer will be employed to raise the A3S tri-bander, VHF beam and dual band vertical. Provisions will be made for dipoles to be raised as well. Photo: Chuck WD9GWG
"Closet" Shack Neat and Tidy
W9GWG_Shack
October 13, 2010 - Nice things come in small packages! Take a look at this wonderful use of space. Mark W9GWG has completely revamped a closet in his home and turned it into his ham shack. Complete with power, feed line entrance, adjustable shelves and a nice desktop, he's all ready to go! To keep his XYL happy, all he needs to do is close up the closet door and everything is out of sight!
Photo: Mark W9GWG
Practice Makes Perfect
PL259_Oct_2010
October 9, 2010 - After the PCARA business meeting, Rick W9WS demonstrated his method of installing a PL-259 UHF connector to a section of RG-8 coax as members looked on. One of the basic ham radio tasks when building and installing antennas and feed lines is to have the proper RF connectors and know how to install them. Rick has had many years of practice and is passing on what he's learned from experience. Photo: Greg N9CHA
Simulated Emergency Test - All About Power!
WD9GWG_SET2010
October 2, 2010 - Chuck WD9GWG operates from his home QTH during the Simulated Emergency Test on Saturday morning. This annual event gives ham radio operators a chance to use their communications skills during a "simulated" emergency. This year, the test required hams to have emergency power capabilities as all commercial power was "unavailable" to northern Wisconsin counties. Chuck's ham shack was 100% operational on emergency power provided by a gas generator. HF, VHF, UHF and Winlink2000 RMS Packet Radio were all used during the SET. Photo: Greg N9CHA
Northwest Wisconsin SET Net Control
KC9NVV_SET_Coordinator
October 2, 2010 - Chris KC9NVV was chosen to fill in as the Northwest Wisconsin Emergency Coordinator this year by Ed KB9KJE ARES District Emergency Coordinator who was out of town. The HF Net Control Operator was Rick W9WS. All HF communications for NW Wisconsin were handled through the N9XH station shown above. Photo: Rick W9WS.
Polk County Hams Participate in SET 2010
KC9JIK_SET2010
October 2, 2010 - Mike KC9JIK handled the VHF net control duties using the club call N9XH today during the 2010 Simulated Emergency Test. Polk County EC Fred AB9LV was unable to participate so he designated Mike as the coordinator for Polk County. The club's repeater was placed into the "emergency power" mode at 7:15am. The SET began about 9:00am and was called to action by Mike. Several PCARA members checked in and participated in the SET. Photo: Rick W9WS
Osceola Medical Center - Checking In
KC9SLN_2010SET
October 2, 2010 - Diana KC9SLN, one of the newest members of the PCARA participated in the 2010 SET by checking in from the Osceola Medical Center. Ruth KDØLUL also used the radio at the hospital to check in. This was their first time participating in a SET, and it was Ruth's first time on the air! A third OMC employee, Lisa KC9SLO was not present but was the third of the three women to achieve her Technician Class license earlier this year. Photo: Greg N9CHA
Packet Antenna Installed
Packet_Antenna
September 11, 2010 - Rick W9WS looks up at the newly installed dual-band antenna (Cushcraft AR-270) mounted to the side-arm on the ham shack tower in Balsam Lake. The club utilizes two Icom IC-2720's, one used primarily for voice, and the other on packet. For more information about the club's packet radio system, click on this link. Photo: Pat WØERP
J-Pole Project - Quick - Easy - Effective
N9CHA_J-Pole
September 8, 2010 - Looking for a quick and easy project? Build a dual-band J-Pole like Greg N9CHA did. This "ribbon" wire antenna is easy to build from supplies you probably have laying around the shack. For more information about this project, click here or visit the "projects" page. Photo: Mark KC9GHQ
New Web Feature "QSL Members"
Mike_KC9JIK
August 9, 2010 - Meet our club members! A new link can be found on the left side of this page which will take you to our new membership pages: "QSL Members" Starting with our youngest ham, Mike KC9JIK who enjoys farming as well as various other activities. He has several pictures of the farming operation he works on and describes some of the chores he is responsible for. Check it out! Photo: Mike KC9JIK
Severe WX Puts N9XH Repeater To The Test
July 28, 2010 - Storm damage was found in the Balsam Lake area early Wednesday morning after a severe WX event the evening before. Mark W9GWG snapped this photo showing how the top was snapped off this pine tree. PCARA club members were activated by a Skywarn weather net shortly after 7 pm Tuesday. Most of the damage found in Polk County was in or near Balsam Lake, the county seat and home to the clubs repeater and ham shack. To see more of Mark's photos, click here. Photo: Mark W9GWG
Balsam_Lake_Storm_Damage
Battery Back-up: Nearly 6 Hours And Still Running!
N9XH_PowerBackUp
July 28, 2010 - Just five days after a new "power-revert" back-up supply was installed in the club's MSR-2000 repeater, a severe weather event caused a power failure in the Balsam Lake area. A Skywarn net was brought up by Chris KC9NVV shortly after 7 pm on Tuesday the 27th in response to a NWS request. Then, at 7:19 pm, the black-out occurred. Chuck WD9GWG and Greg N9CHA traveled to the repeater shack to check the battery voltage. At 10:19, 3 hours after the power outage, the battery was at 12.4 volts. The power was restored to the area at 1:05 am Wednesday morning, nearly 6 hours after the black-out. Photo: Greg N9CHA
N9XH Repeater Upgrade - Battery Back-up
July 25, 2010 - Our repeater now has battery back-up capability. On July 23, Greg N9CHA installed a new Motorola power supply which includes both a battery charger and power revert option. If for any reason we experience a power failure, the repeater will continue to operate on battery. (4 hours minimum expected) When this occurs, you will hear a tone burst every 3 seconds when someone is talking. Please write down the time you hear this tone so we can record the duration of the power failure.
Thanks go to Carlos N9GIM for donating the large 90 amp-hour lead-acid battery, Dan KB9OBF and Rick W9WS for help during installation, and Chuck WD9GWG for testing and side-tone level adjustment.
Field Day Score Summary
July 25, 2010 - Thanks to our Field Day chairman, Dan KB9OBF, our scores have been recorded and posted to the web site. We had a total of 1324 points this year. To see the results, click here. The score summary is listed below the photos.
Field Day Photo Gallery - On Line
July 1, 2010 - Photos submitted by Dan KB9OBF, Mark KC9PJJ and Rick W9WS are now available in a photo gallery located on the Activities Page. Be sure to scroll down the page and click on the Field Day Photo Gallery 2010 link. Enjoy!
Field Day 2010 - It's In The Log!
Chris_KC9NVV_FD2010
June 27, 2010 - Setting up antennas, putting ham radio equipment on the air and good food combine to provide great fun during Field Day. Chris KC9NVV secures the tri-band beam antenna to the mast on top of the communications van used by the PCARA. Click here for complete Field Day results and more pictures.
Photo: Rick W9WS
N9XH Packet System Now Dual Band
N9XH_DualBand_Packet
June 23, 2010 - The N9XH packet radio system is now dual band offering cross-connects between VHF and UHF. Alinco DR-135 VHF and Alinco DR-435 UHF radios were put into service along with a Kantronics KAM XL dual-port TNC. The RF passes through a cross-band coupler and is then attached to the Hustler dual-band antenna on the tower. Please see the Packet page for more details.
ARRL Central Division Vice-Director Visits PCARA
W9XA_PCARA_Membership
May 8, 2010 - For the first time in club history, a Central Division ARRL representative has come for a visit. Vice-Director, Kermit Carlson W9XA attended the May 2010 PCARA club meeting held at the Justice Center in Balsam Lake. Kermit received an "Honorary Membership" as a thank-you for providing the club with an excellent program describing the current events the League is working on, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of Headquarters. Kermit W9XA is shown holding his honorary membership certificate next to PCARA club President, Rick W9WS. Photo: Rick W9WS
W9XA_PCARA_Meeting
May 8, 2010 - Kermit W9XA, ARRL Central Division Vice-Director is shown above talking to Carlos N9GIM during the May meeting. Kermit lives in Batavia, IL and drove the 7 hour trip through Wisconsin only to be met by freezing temperatures, snow and ice along Hwy. 8 in Polk County. The strange and surprising weather did not hamper his enthusiasm as he provided the club with an engaging presentation and personal anecdotes about his job at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory where he works as an Engineering Physicist. Photo: Rick W9WS
W9XA_ARRL_Display
May 8, 2010 - A professional table-top display of ARRL publications met club members as they entered the Multi-Purpose room at the Polk County Justice Center on Saturday. A special offer was made to those who joined or renewed their ARRL membership. The PCARA is an affiliated ARRL club. Photo: Rick W9WS
May Meeting Location: Justice Center
Special Guest, Kermit W9XA from ARRL

May 5, 2010 - ARRL Central Division Vice-Director, Kermit Carlson W9XA will be the guest speaker at the PCARA monthly meeting on May 8th. Kermit was elected to this position earlier this year and has made several appearances around the Division. Kermit will present an informative discussion about the League and answer questions about the ARRL and it's role in amateur radio today.

The PCARA will meet at the Justice Center on Saturday at 09:00 in the Multi-Purpose Room.

Kermit_W9XA
PCARA Members Visit National Weather Service Office
NWS_PCARA_Visit
May 4, 2010 - Shown above are several amateurs from various clubs around our area, including the PCARA. Mike KC9JIK, Dan KB9OBF and Mark KC9PJJ attended the special event at the Chanhassen National Weather Service Office. The special invitation and visit occurred on May 1st. Thanks to our members for taking the time to attend this special meeting.
NWS_PCARA_ControlRoom
May 4, 2010 - Members of the PCARA attended a special Skywarn event at the NWS in Chanhassen. Several net control operators of the KØMPX amateur radio station were there as well to explain the communications set up. PCARA members learned about weather balloon launches, the hub-and-spoke ham radio reporting system and how and when to start a weather net. It was also reported that our 2 meter repeater, N9XH, can easily communicate through the KØMPX station now that we've made significant improvements. Photos: Dan KB9OBF
Electrical System Repaired at Tower Shack
AB9LV_KC9IRT_N9CHA_TowerShack
April 12, 2010 - This photo was taken after the new power distribution panel was installed. A light switch and utility outlet are mounted to the box. L to R - Fred AB9LV, Marv KC9IRT, and Greg N9CHA. John NØTCN and Chris KC9NVV were also a part of the work crew. Our repeater is on a separate circuit with additional circuits added for the packet and APRS equipment, plus future equipment. All of the wiring and outlets were replaced. The crew was able to re-use the existing conduit and some of the electrical boxes. Photo: Chris KC9NVV
AB9LV_N9CHA_TowerShack
April 12, 2010 - The packet radio and APRS equipment sit on a newly installed counter top in the tower shack. This work was completed after the power distribution system was repaired. Thanks to Chuck WD9GWG for donating the counter. Photo: Chris KC9NVV
PCARA Gets Visit from Eric K9LGE
K9LGE_N9CHA
April 10, 2010 - Eric K9LGE from St. Charles, IL, member of the Fox River Radio League visited with members of the PCARA on Saturday, April 10th during the monthly club meeting. Eric was in the area on business. He had visited Barron High School where he met Mike KC9JIK who introduced himself as a fellow ham and member of the club. Eric and Greg connected on the N9XH repeater and coordinated the Saturday Eyeball QSO. Photo: Chris KC9NVV
Net Check-In Table Developed
April 6, 2010 - Thanks to Mike KC9JIK and Josh KC9QXN, the PCARA web site now includes a table listing check-ins to the Monday Night Net. The net is held every Monday night at 21:00 local time on our 2 meter repeater. For more information, and to review the new Check-In Table, click HERE.
CQ CQ CQ de KC9JIK Tractor Mobile
KC9JIK_Tractor_Mobile
April 5, 2010 - KC9JIK tractor mobile! Anyone who has been on the PCARA repeater lately has heard Mike KC9JIK out doing farm chores. He's been spreading liquid gold over the fields getting ready for spring planting. His tractor-mobile ham shack utilizes a Yaesu FT-60 hand-held, speaker microphone and quarter-wave mag mount. Thanks for the pictures Mike!
Repairs Completed - Installation Successful
KB9OBF_Antenna_Repair
March 13, 2010 - An antenna repair and installation project was undertaken at the QTH of Dan KB9OBF and Missy KB9YZY. The crew of PCARA members above are removing a defective dual-band antenna and replacing it with a new one. Pictured left to right are: Chris KC9NVV, Dan KB9OBF, Mike KC9JIK (behind), Marv KC9IRT, Mark KC9GHQ, and Fred AB9LV. The team of helpful hams gathered after the morning's membership meeting to give Dan a helping hand with the project. Photo: Greg N9CHA
KB9OBF_Antenna_Mast
March 13, 2010 - After the dual-band antenna repairs had been completed it was time to push the 30' mast back up into position. In just a few minutes, the mast was erected and the guy wires reinstalled. Temperatures were in the low 40's allowing the crew to work without gloves and heavy jackets. Dan KB9OBF tested the new dual-band antenna and reported excellent results. Photo: Greg N9CHA
KC9JIK_BowArrow
March 13, 2010 - Taking careful aim at a notch between two tree limbs, Mike KC9JIK pulls back on his bow and arrow to launch an antenna line. Mike is an avid hunter and has hours of practice using his sophisticated bow setup. With a single shot, he was able to place the monofilament line into a tree in order to secure one end of an 80 Meter dipole for Dan KB9OBF. Photo: Greg N9CHA
New Ham - New Antenna
KJ4SXN_J-Pole
March 13, 2010 - George KJ4SXN stands proudly holding his new dual-band J-Pole that he and his brother-in-law Mark KC9PJJ built today. Mark is our club's Vice President and is currently visiting family in Florida. Congratulations to George for getting his Technician license on the 11th of March! Maybe he can check into an IRLP node and talk to Mark from time to time after he returns to Dresser? Good going guys!
WIQP Sunday March 14
March 9, 2010 - Sunday, March 14, from 13:00 to 20:00 local (CDT) is the annual Wisconsin QSO Party operating event. Hosted by the West Allis Radio Amateur Club, this 7 hour contest is fun to operate! Both phone and cw contacts are allowed; you exchange your signal report and your County. For more information, be sure to download the 2010 WIQP rules from the WARAC web site. And don't forget fellow club members, list the PCARA as your home club when you submit your logs. Good luck and have fun!
Eau Claire ARC Hosts Auction
March 2, 2010 - The 22nd Annual Amateur Radio Equipment Auction, hosted by the Ear Claire Amateur Radio Club is being held on March 13, 2010. Starting at 8:30, the Auction is being held at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. For more information, click HERE.
Can You Spot the Cage Dipole?
K8HLM_Huron_LightShip
February 24, 2010 - On a recent business trip, Greg N9CHA passed through Port Huron, MI and noticed the cage dipole stretched between the masts of the "Huron Lightship." The Huron Lightship Amateur Radio Club K8HLN runs special event operations from this permanent museum. A detailed explanation of the Lightship can be found on the K8HLN QRZ listing.
General Class Completes Week 3
PCARA_General_Class_Week3
February 20, 2010 - Using an NPN transistor as a switch was one of the circuits the members of the General Upgrade class completed on Saturday. Scott KC9IUM (center) is shown above measuring the Base to Emitter voltage of the circuit put together by Ed W9ABA (left) and Dan KB9OBF (right). Photo: Greg N9CHA
Half_Wave_Rectifier
February 20, 2010 - Inductance, reactance, impedance and digital components were the topics during the General Class on Saturday. With only one more week to go, the students are getting anxious to take their tests. A half-wave rectifier is shown above on the oscilloscope. Placing a diode in series with the output from a transformer illustrates the concept to the students. Photo: Rick W9WS
Skywarn Spotter Classes - April 8, 2010
February 15, 2010 - Two Skywarn Spotter Classes have been scheduled for Polk County in April. In an announcement by Kathy Poirier, Director of Polk County Emergency Management, one of the classes will be held at the Justice Center in Balsam Lake, and the other will be held at the Amery High School. Both classes are scheduled for April 8th. For more information, click HERE.
PCARA Treated to "High Altitude" Presentation
Rick_K0BR_ARHAB
February 13, 2010 - A fascinating and well organized presentation about Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning was the featured program at the PCARA February meeting. Rick KØBR from the Stillwater Amateur Radio Association (SARA) brought a payload along called SARA POD II (above). This small styrofoam container houses an APRS transmitter and GPS receiver, digital camera and a high-volume siren (used during recovery). Details regarding Rick's presentation can be found HERE. If you'd like to download Rick's presentation, click HERE.
Photo: Rick W9WS
Notice: Breakfast Location Changed
February 12, 2010 - We have been informed that the "Thirsty Otter" in Balsam Lake will not open until 9am Saturdays. Since many of our club members like to first have breakfast prior to the club meeting, the new spot for the time being is "Angler's Inn" 111 Main Street, Balsam Lake. We hope to see you there!
Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning - Feb. 13th
K0BR_Presentation
February 11, 2010 - Rick KØBR from the Stillwater Amateur Radio Association (SARA) was first licensed in 2004. Since then, Rick has been very active in his club, and was elected club President in 2008. He searched out and found an activity that he has become very active; Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning. Near-space photographs (above) are just the beginning in providing exciting adventures in ham radio. Rick will inform the members of the PCARA about his contributions to the University of Minnesota Near Space experiments and how his club, the SARA have gotten involved with each flight. Photo: Rick KØBR
Hands-On Workshop Fun & Educational
KD0HKR_Brian_Digital_Workshop
February 6, 2010 - Members of the PCARA gathered to take part in a Digital Workshop featuring sound card modes, packet radio, amateur television and D-Star. Brian KDØHKR is shown above transmitting PSK31 from the clubs hamshack. Other modes were demonstrated as well including RTTY, MFSK16 and SSTV. Fred AB9LV demonstrated ATV and Mark KC9GHQ demonstrated packet radio and several software programs available for sending Winlink messages. To learn more about the Digital Workshop, click HERE.
Photo: Rick W9WS
Digital Workshop - February 6th
February 1, 2010 - The Digital Workshop will feature: Packet Radio, Amateur TV, Sound Card Modes and D-Star. Examples of each will be demonstrated and available for experimentation. The workshop starts at 09:00 and will conclude at 12:00. We will meet in the Lunch Room at the Polk County Government Center in Balsam Lake. If you have ever wanted to experience some of the more popular digital modes, here's your chance!
PCARA_Digital_Workshop
"High Altitude Balloon Presentation" February 13th
January 25, 2010 - We are having a special guest at our February club meeting. Rick KØBR from the Stillwater Amateur Radio Association (SARA) is going to present "Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning." Rick says the presentation will last about an hour with Q & A after. He is bringing a Power Point presentation which will highlight some of the ARHAB projects he's been involved with.
General Upgrade Class - Week 2 Completed
KC9PJJ_Looks_At_Resistor
January 23, 2010 - How do you add resistors in a circuit when they are in series? How about if they are in parallel? That and several other hands-on examples were used as illustrations during the second week of the General Upgrade Class. The students used an oscilloscope to measure the RF peak-to-peak voltage coming out of a transceiver, used their VOM's and an RF probe, and discovered what happens when you use a capacitor in a DC circuit and an AC circuit. Photo: Rick W9WS
N9CHA_General_Class_Instructor
January 23, 2010 - PCARA club member Greg N9CHA uses a digital white-board to record the calculated and measured values of resistors in series. The students used the proper formulas to calculate the expected total resistance of a circuit, then actually built the circuit using 1/4 watt resistors and a breadboard. The General Upgrade Classes continue on February 20th. Photo: Rick W9WS
General Class Study Guide - Lessons 9 - 12 Available
January 22, 2010 - General Class students can now download the Study Guide for Lessons 9 thru 12. The Study Guides are used during class. We cover two lessons in the morning, and the other two in the afternoon. Click HERE for more.
"Great Time During NAQP!"
W9WS_Shack
January 18, 2010 - The North American QSO Party is a fun contest to participate in. Rick W9WS put his hamshack (pictured above) in "contest mode" this past weekend and made several contacts. Rick is now using a new logging program called "AETHER." It is written for Max OS X and includes many features that are very handy during a rag chew or a contest like the NAQP. Photo: Rick W9WS
General Upgrade Class - Week 1 Completed
January 17, 2010 - The first week (out of four) of the General Class Upgrade sessions has now been completed. Six students wishing to get their General license participated in the class. They are: Ed W9ABA, Dennis KB9SOX, Mark KC9PJJ, Dan KB9OBF, Jon KC9PJG, Scott KC9IUM. The next class is scheduled for January 23rd. For more information, click HERE.
PCARA_General_Class_011610
January 16, 2010 - General Class students participate during the first class session. The classes are being held at the Polk County Justice Center in Balsam Lake. Thanks to the County and Kathy Poirier, Polk County EMC for making the facility available and supplying the AV equipment. Photo: Rick W9WS
N9CHA_Instructor
January 16, 2010 - Greg N9CHA, a PCARA member and ARRL Registered Instructor coordinated the General Upgrade classes. An Icom IC-7000 transceiver, sound card interface and CW paddle were on display to help illustrate some of the course materials. A Power Point presentation and Study Guide is available for each of the 16 lessons. You can view or download these materials. Click HERE for more information. Photo: Rick W9WS
General Class Study Guide - Lessons 5 - 8 Available
January 15, 2010 - General Class students can now download the Study Guide for Lessons 5 thru 8. The Study Guides are used during class. We cover two lessons in the morning, and the other two in the afternoon. Click HERE for more.
KC9NVV Participates in 11th Annual SKYWARN Activity
KC9NVV_Skywarn2009_Certificate
January 14, 2010 - Last December, Chris KC9NVV participated in the 11th Annual SKYWARN Recognition Day by contacting 18 different stations. Using Echolink, Chris was able to conduct QSO's with National Weather Service amateur radio stations.
KC9NVV_WX0GLD_QSL
January 14, 2010 - Next year Chris hopes to make the contacts using HF. The sponsors for the event are the National Weather Service WXØGLD and the ARRL. Congratulations Chris!
New Web Page Link: PROJECTS
January 13, 2010 - Did you notice the new link? It's just above this text in the navigation bar at the top of our web page. The "PROJECTS" link highlights various club member efforts to build amateur radio equipment. The first project listed is a VHF/UHF antenna built from copper pipe and fittings. There's even a how-to video you can watch.
Do you have a project you'd like to share? Are you working on something now that you can photograph and write a how to guide or review of what you're working on? Be sure to let Greg N9CHA know what you're up to!
Click on the link above to visit the "PROJECTS" page, or click HERE.
General Class Study Guide - Lessons 1 - 4 Available
January 12, 2010 - Those participating in the General Upgrade classes beginning this coming weekend should download the Study Guide now. This guide will be used during class and will help you prepare for Lessons 1 thru 4. It's also a great document to use for self-study. Click HERE for more information.
General "UPGRADE" Classes Start This Weekend
PolkCounty_JusticeCenter
January 11, 2010 - The General Upgrade Classes begin this weekend at the Polk County Justice Center starting at 8:30 Saturday morning. Please use the Visitors parking lot and enter through the main entrance. We will be using the "Multi Purpose Room" which is just off the main lobby. Look for the signs! Need more information, click HERE.
N9XH-10 APRS/Packet Update
N9XH_Battery_BackUp
January 11, 2010 - Got cables? Yes we do! Pictured above is the battery back-up system installed at the repeater shack to keep both our Packet (WIPOLK) station, and our APRS (N9XH-10) stations on the air when the power goes out. The 26 Amp/hr battery was supplied by Mark KC9GHQ. The PowerGate, RigRunner and cables were supplied by Greg N9CHA. Even though the battery is used, tests showed it still has nearly 70% capacity remaining. It is estimated that both the APRS and Packet Radio stations will remain on the air for 6 hours if the power goes out. More information about our packet station can be found HERE.
N9XH-10 APRS Station On The Air
January 2, 2010 - The N9XH-10 APRS system is now on the air. Thanks to Len N9QIP who donated the TNC and FM Transceiver. The power supply was donated by Bud KB9ZAZ (SK) estate. You can watch the APRS activity of our N9XH-10 node by clicking HERE.
Happy New Year.... brrrrr -26 degrees!
N9XH_Repeater_Packet
January 2, 2010 - Pictured above is our N9XH repeater and N9XH (WIPOLK) (BALBBS) packet equipment inside the insulated tower shack near Balsam Lake, WI. At approximately 22:30 January 1, 2010 our radios lost power due to a localized outage. As of now, we don't have a power back-up system. Just before midnight the power was restored, however our packet system failed to come back on-line. Later discovery showed the power supply, radio and TNC were all powered up and on frequency, but for some reason the TNC was not decoding data. Greg N9CHA put the TNC on the bench and found nothing wrong! Was it just too cold for it to come back on-line after the power outage? Time will tell. For more information about our repeater, click HERE. For more information about our Packet system, click HERE.
 
N9XH - Polk County Amateur Radio Association - 1732 Forest Circle - Balsam Lake - WI - 54810 - Info@N9XH.org