March is Member’s Choice!

The SPA Amateur Radio Association will meet at 6pm Tuesday night (March 10) at the Garland County Emergency Management building. It’s Member’s Choice! You get to choose the topic. Jump over to Facebook and leave a comment with your choice from the list of topics and we’ll see you there!

UPDATE: The votes are in. We will be discussing Parks on the Air at this month’s meeting. Come join us for the discussion!

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February Meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 11 at 6pm. We will continue our discussion about DMR, and how we can expand our capabilities in Hot Springs. The meeting is open to all regardless of whether you are licensed or not. Make plans to attend and we will see you there!

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Winter Field Day 2020 Rewind

For 2020, SARA’s winter field day gathering was held at Entergy Park just above Carpenter Dam. Attendance was outstanding with a total of seventeen people checking in. For a “winter” field day, the weather cooperated nicely with a sunny day and temperatures in the mid 50’s. The club operated as One Oscar (one transmitter, working outside) for approximately 3 hours making a total of 30 voice contacts. Bonus points were garnered for working outside, away from home, using no commercial power for transmitting. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Station details:

Drawing a crowd
Operating off of the grid
Operating position
QSO Map
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January Meeting – Digital Radio

SARA started 2020 in style with an overview of digital radio modes by Greg (KG5QYM). Discussion covered digital modes including DMR, Fusion, DStar, and P.25. Greg gave a demonstration of his Pi-Star hotspot and how he can use it to connect to users literally around the world.

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Happy New Year!

Our first meeting of 2020 will be held on Tuesday, January 14 at 6pm. The meeting is open to all regardless of whether you are licensed or not. Make plans to attend and we will see you there!

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Winter Field Day 2020

UPDATE: SARA will be participating in Winter Field Day 2020 from Entergy Park located near Carpenter Dam in Hot Springs. If you will be in the Hot Springs area, join us! How many stations we operate will be driven by how many turn out to participate. Setup will begin at noon on Saturday, January 25. Operating hours will be from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (approximately). Our talk-in frequency is 146.880- (PL 114.8).

Field Day is not just for summertime anymore. Winter Field Day, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA), will take place over the January 25-26 weekend. The annual event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter, but it’s also an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. According to the WFDA, getting ready for emergency communication in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that take place each June during ARRL Field Day.

Several members of SARA will likely be gathering on Saturday afternoon, January 25, to participate in Winter Field Day. Stay tuned for updates to this post for details concerning time and location. Any questions or input may be forwarded to Chris (w5tcb at outlook.com).

Links:

Winter Field Day website

Winter Field Day rules

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‘Tis the Season

The annual club Christmas party will be held at 6pm on December 10. The party will be held at Smokin’ in Style located at 2278 Albert Pike Road in Hot Springs. All are welcome, regardless of license status. It will also be a good opportunity to either join the club or get ahead by paying 2020 dues. Rumor has it that there might even be prizes… Come join us!

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September Meeting

Due to the ‘special election’ on Tuesday utilizing the meeting rooms, the Spa ARA meeting is cancelled. We will look forward to seeing everyone in October!

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August Meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 13 at 6pm. Discussion will include a recap of Field Day and other topics of interest in amateur radio. Meeting is open to all regardless of whether you are licensed or not. Make plans to attend and we will see you there!

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Field Day Fun

A handful of local hams came together at Entergy Park from 1pm until 6pm on Field Day to operate under the WB5SPA call sign. The weather was miserably hot and the radio conditions were tolerable, but good fun and fellowship was enjoyed by all in attendance. Participating hams included Frank (N5WEM), Drew (KG5UFU), Daniel (W1HDL), Kevin (K5MOH), Pat (WV5Y), and Chris (W5TCB).

The club operated as 3A (three transmitters, club or group operation). Bonus points were claimed for:

  • 100% emergency power
  • Operating in a public location
  • Completing a minimum of five (5) QSOs using alternate or natural power
  • Youth participation (participant under 18 completing at least one QSO)
  • Entry submitted via web

All total, the completed six (6) voice QSOs, five (5) CW QSOs, and seventy-one (71) voice QSOs, for a grand total of 756 points claimed. Thanks to all who participated for their efforts. By the way, Field Day is scheduled for June 27 & 28, 2020…

WB5SPA Field Day HQ
Map of WB5SPA Field Day QSOs
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