Dubuque County ARES Drill

Saturday October 3rd, 10 am will be our next Dubuque County ARES Simulated Emergency Test.  This coincides with the ARRL SET exercises that will be occurring all across the U.S.

For this drill read the document: Dubuque County ARES Simulated Emergency Test and print out the file: ICS 213 GENERAL MESSAGE. Fred, KB9JTD  is revising our Emergency Call-up list and it will be sent to you this week or next. You will need this call-up list for the drill.

After reading the document, let me know if you have questions.

The SET goals are:

  • To learn and text our abilities to use the call-up list (incidentally, save  this list for actual emergencies)
  • To gain experience in filling out and using the message form
  • To test our abilities to be deployed to a specific area for damage assessment (a hypothetical area for this drill)
  • To test our abilities to convey a message using the message form
  • To again test our capability to use simplex for emergency incidents

This all sounds  simple enough but let’s practice now and not when we have an actual emergency incident.

NB: Also note that we will be using our County ARES simplex frequency for this drill of 146.475, so program it into your rig.

Thanks for your assistance,

Colin, W9UPK, Dubuque County ARES EC

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GRARC Special Event Station – August 21, 2015

On August 21st to 22nd the GRARC operated a special event station aboard the Wm M Black, a Missouri River dredge now based in the Ice Harbor adjacent to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa. The special event celebrated the Titanic Exhibit at the NMRM.

Fred Miller, KB9JTD created a beautiful certificate for stations working us. Being aboard the Wm M. Black, there was a lot of tourist traffic and we had fun explaining that we were operating from the old ship radio room. Thus on Saturday, Ed, W0OIC, assumed the duties of the official spokesman, telling the tourists about the equipment and how amateur radio works. The club members putting up the vertical looked like a reenactment of the flag raising over Iwo Jima during WWII. Gary, W0GRY, found a star observatory in the restroom; at least he saw stars for a few seconds when he banged the top of his head on a window fan. Saying that the propagation was poor would be an overstatement; nonetheless, we made almost seventy hard won contacts. Maybe it was beginners luck but Jordan, KE0EMI sat down at the radio and within a few minutes made his first HF contact with a QRP station in Colorado. He went on to make two more. On the Friday, the 21st television station KWWL carried the event on their evening news, so Gary, W0GRY, Colin, W9UPK, Bob, WB0WSE and Dorothy, K9GRD, became immediate, if not fleeting, television stars. The club had good participation and loads of fun.

The club thanks the NMRM and Mark Wagner, Director of Education, for hosting us aboard the Wm. M. Black.









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GRARC Meeting August 2015 – Presentation

At the August club meeting, Kent Scheuerell, K9ZMU presented an interesting program on how to work satellites with a handheld. Before recently retiring, Kent taught school for 38 years in Platteville, Wisconsin. He comes by his interest in amateur radio naturally; his father and other family members are hams. He is presently the President of the Hidden Valleys Amateur Radio Club. Everyone enjoys his effusive humor and love of amateur radio.

Working satellites with an HT he has twenty-three states confirmed and is working towards his WAS. He stated, you have to know when the satellites are passing overhead, their approximate trajectories and the up and down frequencies. Oh, and it’s important to know your own grid location, all part of the exchange process. Since the contacts are quick, he also records the conversations on a small recorder. From Wisconsin it’s not uncommon to make contacts with the US East Coast, Cuba and Venezuela.





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Lunch Bunch

The schedule for the lunch bunch has been updated! Check it out!

Lunch Bunch Schedule

Anyone interested is welcome! Please feel free to join us!

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Club Meeting – Monday Sept. 14

Our next club meeting, on September 14th, will feature Scott Scheuerelle (N9HDE) speaking about contesting. He is a regular and ardent contester with a lot of background. It should be an excellent program!

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July 13 – Club Meeting

July 13 club meeting is a tour of the Dubuque 911 center.
7 pm, 770 Iowa Street, DLEC Building. Afterwards we will go to the Shot Tower for coffee, pizza, etc.

We are not first meeting at the Emergency Management Bldg., where we have our usual monthly meeting.

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Field Day 2015 – GRARC Info

Who can participate?
Everyone, even if your not a licensed amateur radio operator! Anyone interested is welcome to come and visit us! This is a national event with stations operating from all over the United States and Canada.

When is it?
June 27th and 28th!
Setup will begin Saturday morning around 11 a.m.
(after the usual 8 a.m. breakfast at Sunshine Family Restaurant, at 4th & Central)

The stations can operate continuously from 1 p.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. Sunday, including throughout the night. Anyone wishing to camp out or sleep in their vehicle is welcome to do so.

Restrooms inside the building will be accessible.

Where is it?
This years field day will be held at the Peosta NICC Campus. Here’s a map of how to get there. (click to enlarge)

Directions From Dubuque
Head west on Highway 20
Take the Peosta exit 308 toward County Rd/Community College
Turn right on Peosta St.
Take the next right onto Enterprise Dr.
Enter the parking lot at the end of Enterprise Dr. and go to the very end of the lot on the right.

For more information check out this flyer!
GRARC Gears Up for Field Day 2015

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GRARC Gears up for Field Day 2015

GRARC’s Field Day committee met Thursday, May 14th, at the Northeast Iowa Community College campus in Peosta to evaluate locations there. The altitude, “lay of the land”, and nearby indoor facilities make the selected site an ideal Field Day location. We’ll have several HF antennas (or do you say antennae?), with far-ranging DX propagation, exciting station operations, and relaxing leisure time hamming it up with friends old and new! Please stop on by to join in the fun and check out this unique and interesting new location, Everyone Welcome!

For more information, click the image below.

GRARC Gears Up for Field Day 2015

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DX Expedition to Saint-Pierre Island


Our May 11th GRARC Meeting program was presented by Paul De Witte, K9OT and Peg Haesse, KB9LIE from Shullsburg, Wisconsin. Paul and Peg live on a sheep farm where the raise sheep and grow antennas, Paul being an avid DXer.

They showed us slides from their 2011 DX expedition to Miquelon on St. Pierre and Miquelon Island off the coast of Newfoundland. Canada.

As their DX expedition call signs FP/KB9LIE and FP/K9OT indicate, the island belongs to France and not Canada. This was often confusing to stations working them who insisted they must be on one of the French islands of the Lesser Antilles and not near Newfoundland; but this island does belong to France and is not in the Caribbean.

Paul and Peg have been to this island many times over the years and work from a small hotel. The three vertical antennas are on the beach near the hotel and apparently the signals benefit from the salt water. They simply run a coax cable out the door and to the antennas. They used to bring all their equipment with them as they flew from the US to Sydney, Nova Scotia; then to St. Pierre and finally Miquelon but now they store much of it there because they know they will be coming again. The site is also used by other amateur radio stations as a contest site. During their visit Paul made over 8,000 CW contacts and that’s in addition to the SSB contacts being made by Peg.

Paul and Peg are not on the radios all they time and have gotten to know many of the local inhabitants of the island and have many friends there. It’s not hard to know them since Miquelon has only four hundred inhabitants. The two local stores are run out of homes, the airport has one small fire truck and electricity is generated at the Miquelon power plant. As might be imagined, the wind blows constantly and there is a wind farm. The wind generators are guyed and can be laid on their sides for repairs and maintenance. Because of the salt air and the lack on trees all the power poles are all made from concrete.

During the summer, Miquelon is a tourist site. Tourists come to watch the seals and enjoy the beach. There is a ferry to some of the other islands and Newfoundland.

Paul and Peg certainly conveyed the experience of working from a small island and the interesting local flavor.

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Tower Repair


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Dubuque Forecast

Today is forecast to be Cooler than yesterday.
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 10/13 0%
Partly Cloudy
Sun and clouds mixed. High 63F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.
Wednesday 10/14 0%
Sunny skies. High 67F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Thursday 10/15 10%
Partly Cloudy
Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. High 69F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
Friday 10/16 0%
Sunny along with a few clouds. High 53F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.
Saturday 10/17 0%
Sunny skies. High 51F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.