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Ham Radio is
Quack Quack Quack Logo

Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA]

Established: January, 1958 an ARRL Affiliated Club since 1961

"Whiskey 8 Quack Quack Quack"

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

Club station located in the James P. Capitan Center - Lower Level.
IARU: 2 Grid Square EN72wx   Latitude: 42.9819 N   Longitude: -84.1164 W   Alitude: 760 ft.

Contact us at:   SARA / W8QQQ <Email>

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


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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 it and you may find increased efficiency searching the web in general. It has 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.

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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 - 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>

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 club members). Email your data to:   W8QQQ <at> 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!

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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, 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.

Beginner's Information

Follow the links below for details:

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!

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

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Some needs going forward may be easier if you start organizing now. Here are some of our thoughts to assist when just starting out in the hobby.

Library ~ What do you add and in what form? (electronic or paper or both).

Workbench ~ Suggested equipment and thoughts about what/when to add equipment.

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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. Tis 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 start coming to club meetings as a guest. We can assist with an 'Elmer' to help you get started and obtain your license. We always welcome guests!


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Chasing DX and Logging

If you want to many far distant stations, then you should start by becomming knowledgable about "DX Clusters" and spotting you 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 and some othe information is 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. 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 is very reasonable for this level of software. It is a 'lifetime' registration, meaning register once and all future updates are free. The program covers general logging, contest logging, rig control and much more. N3FJP can export data in some 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.

ARRL logo for when all else fails


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