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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VEC Testing This Weekend, May 9, 2015

VEC testing will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Red Cross, in Dubuque, IA. The testing will start at 9:00 AM and the exam fee will be $15 payable in cash or check. The Dubuque American Red Cross is located at 2400 Asbury Rd.

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May’s Club Meeting

Our program for the month of May will be Paul Dewitt, K9OT and Peg Haesse, KB9LIE who will be talking about their DX expeditions to different remote islands in Canada.

May’s club meeting will be held on Monday, May 11th at the:
Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Facility
14928 Public Safety Way,
Dubuque, IA 52002


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Dubuque County ARES Net

The Dubuque County ARES net is held every Thursday @ 7:30 pm. This meeting is open for all to join in. ARES members will be called first. ARES news/traffic will be handled and then any late check-ins or non-members may check in. Please note the format may change as the ARES net is new and still developing.
AREScolorlogo copy

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Club Meeting, Monday, April 13

Our program for Monday’s meeting will be Harry Styer and the Tri State Modelers. They will be showing us their home built RC, radio controlled airplanes. They will also explain the radio end of their hobby and possibly they will be bringing a small drone.

Also at this meeting will be discussion of the special event station we will have on the William M Black at the NMRM commemorating the NMRM’s special Titanic exhibit. The NMRM is very enthusiastic about us operating from the William M Black. We have to work out the details and agree on a workable date.

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Getting Started With The HackRF, Hak5 1707

HackRF One from Great Scott Gadgets is a Software Defined Radio peripheral capable of transmission or reception of radio signals from 10 MHz to 6 GHz. Designed to enable test and development of modern and next generation radio technologies, HackRF One is an open source hardware platform that can be used as a USB peripheral or programmed for stand-alone operation.

  • 10 MHz to 6 GHz operating frequency
  • half-duplex transceiver
  • up to 20 million samples per second
  • 8-bit quadrature samples (8-bit I and 8-bit Q)
  • compatible with GNU Radio, SDR#, and more
  • software-configurable RX and TX gain and baseband filter
  • software-controlled antenna port power (50 mA at 3.3 V)
  • SMA female antenna connector
  • SMA female clock input and output for synchronization
  • convenient buttons for programming
  • internal pin headers for expansion
  • Hi-Speed USB 2.0
  • USB-powered
  • open source hardware

HackRF One has an injection molded plastic enclosure and ships with a micro USB cable. An antenna is not included. ANT500 is recommended as a starter antenna for HackRF One.

HackRF One is test equipment for RF systems. It has not been tested for compliance with regulations governing transmission of radio signals. You are responsible for using your HackRF One legally.

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The Great River Amateur Radio Club is renewing it’s commitment to the Emergency Responders of Dubuque County, and we are announcing the first session of the G.R.A.R.C. ARES net. Anyone interested in ARES is welcome to participate. The net will take place on the club’s 2 meter repeater.

Please join us on Thursday, March 26th at 6:30P.M.


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April’s Club Meeting

April’s club meeting will be held on Monday, April 13th at the:
Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Facility
14928 Public Safety Way,
Dubuque, IA 52002


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Weather Forecast

Today is forecast to be nearly the same temperature as yesterday.
Friday 05/22 0%
High 74° / Low 53°
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High 74F. Winds light and variable.
Saturday 05/23 0%
High 75° / Low 58°
Cloudy. High around 75F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Sunday 05/24 90%
High 69° / Low 65°
Rain. Thunderstorms possible...mainly in the afternoon. High 69F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 90%.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Monday 05/25 60%
High 77° / Low 64°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Scattered thunderstorms in the morning. Cloudy skies late. High 77F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Tuesday 05/26 60%
High 77° / Low 62°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 77F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

VEC Testing

G.R.A.R.C VEC Testing Dates
May 9, 2015
August 8, 2015
October 10, 2015