Thanks for taking the time to take a look at the Bloomington Amateur Radio Association.

We are a group of amateur radio operators based out of Bloomington, MN. Monthly meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month (except July and August).

KDØCL (2-Meters)

Status: Online
Transmit: 147.0900 MHz
Receive: 147.6900 MHz
Tone: 100.0 Hz

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Become an Operator

Looking for information on how to become an amateur radio operator? Find information on upcoming classes, exams as well as study information for all levels here.

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2018 Club Officers

President: Bill Mitchell (AEØEE)
Vice President: Martha Lamas-Krogstad (OA4ABC)
Secretary: Dan Royer (KEØOR)
Treasurer: Steve Huntsman (AAØP)

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UHF System Fusion Repeater On The Air

443.1750+ is an open repeater supporting analog FM and Digital C4FM modes.
You need to send DCS tone 047 when you transmit on FM mode.  Digital mode doesn’t require tones and CTCSS (PL) tones are not supported.
DCS 047 is sent, by the repeater, on the downlink to help keep interference out of your radio and squelch out digital transmissions if your radio doesn’t support them.

A big thank you to Randy “Max” Wendel and Andrew Laventure for their effort to return this repeater back on the air after 18 months of sitting in a closet.

Effective output is about 35W on an antenna 100 feet up the Logan Avenue tower.

February Meeting Cancelled, Replaced by Net

With the bad weather and road conditions, there will be no in-person meeting for the Bloomington Amateur Radio Association tonight. At 7:30 PM, we will instead host a net on the 147.090 (+600 kHz, no tone) repeater.

If there is interest after the net on our primary repeater, we may move to the 443.175 (+5 MHz, DCS 047) repeater, although its coverage is not as large.

The next in-person meeting will be Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

January VHF Contest 2019

Bill, AE0EE, operates 2 m FM on a wintry day.

Bill, AE0EE, operates 2 m FM on a wintry day.

The ARRL January VHF Contest is coming up this weekend! There are three FM focus times (on 146.550 and 446.00 MHz simplex; times CST): 4:00-4:30 PM Saturday, 8:00-8:30 AM Sunday, and 9:30-9:59 PM Sunday (after the net). We have a 2-page quick-start guide and a 10-page introduction to VHF+ contesting if you want to read up on how to participate, and the Northern Lights Radio Society has a spreadsheet with the upper midwest VHF+ activity. The exchange is your grid square (EN34 for Bloomington and other south metro areas, EN35 in the north metro). Participating in the VHF contest is a great way to get a few contacts in the log and try out some simplex communications.

January 8 Meeting: Contesting 101

Bill, AE0EE, in a portable UHF operation.

Bill, AE0EE, in a portable UHF operation.

With New Year’s Day falling on a Tuesday, the January BARA meeting has been postponed to Tuesday, January 8, 2018, but will still meet in the Haeg Conference Room in Bloomington Civic Plaza at 7:30 PM. Use the entrance at the southwest corner of the building. If you need help finding or getting into the building, please call on the 147.090+ (no tone) repeater, or simplex on 147.090 MHz.

The program for the evening will be Contesting 101, and will cover the essential information needed to get started in contesting—be that VHF and above for contests like the ARRL January VHF contest, or HF for events such as the North American QSO Party or the Minnesota QSO Party. Contests are a great way to have fun, gain operating experience, test station capability, and establish good logging habits.

Can’t wait to learn more? Check out our Resources page!

September VHF Contest 9/8-9

This weekend is the American Radio Relay League’s September VHF
Contest, which runs from 1:00 PM CDT Saturday through 9:59 PM CDT
Sunday. There is going to be a lot of rover activity near the Twin
Cities, so be sure to hop on—especially if you can run SSB or FT8 on
6 m and 2 m. Even if you’re FM-only, listen on 146.550 FM simplex
and 446.000 FM simplex. Full rules here.

To make things more interesting for FM-only stations, I recommend
focusing on 4:00-4:30 PM Saturday, 8:00-8:30 AM Sunday, and 9:30-9:59
PM Sunday—or rather immediately following the Bloomington Amateur
Radio Association’s Sunday night net at 9:00 PM that takes place on
the 147.090+ repeater.

For the contest, you need to exchange and log callsigns and grid
squares, as well as recording frequency, mode, and time of the
contact. Bloomington and the south metro is in EN34 (echo november
three four), central and north metro should check here.
The pace of the
contest is usually slow enough that paper logging is a reasonable
choice—but you will probably want to enter it into a computer (e.g.
here) to submit for log
checking.

Sample exchange:
* 146.550 FM *
[K0BBC/R]: CQ contest, kilo zero bravo bravo charlie rover!
[W0ZQ]: Whiskey zero zulu quebec
[K0BBC/R]: Whiskey zero zulu quebec, echo november two five
[W0ZQ]: Echo november three four. Move to 446?
[K0BBC/R]: Sure! Kilo zero bravo bravo charlie rover
[W0ZQ]: Whiskey zero zulu quebec to 446.000
* Switch to 446.000 FM*
[K0BBC/R]: Whiskey zero zulu quebec, kilo zero bravo bravo charlie, rover!
[W0ZQ]: Kilo zero bravo bravo charlie rover, echo november three four
[K0BBC/R]: Echo november two five, thanks for another band, see you in
the next grid!
[W0ZQ]: Thanks! Whiskey zero zulu quebec
[K0BBC/R]: Kilo zero bravo bravo charlie rover, anyone else on frequency?
[K0BBC/R]: Kilo zero bravo bravo charlie rover back to 146.550

Coordination via non-amateur means (internet, cell phones, etc.) is
explicitly allowed for this contest as long as all necessary
information is exchanged over the air. That means you can phone or
text someone and choose a frequency and time (generally “now” or “in
five minutes when I get this thing set up”) to have a contact. This
is particularly useful with stations that have directional antennas or
if you want to make sure you get a contact with.

One place to look for activity is the Northern Lights Radio Society’s
activity spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet shows the bands and modes of both fixed stations
(first tab) and rovers (second tab), as well as the rover location
plans and contact info.

Another good place to go is the W0UC spots page.

If you have 6 m capability and can run WSJT-X, get on FT8! Make sure
you enable the VHF/UHF/Microwave features and check the “NA VHF
Contest” box. There should be some FT8 activity throughout the day.
Early in the morning (5-7 AM) you might also try WSJT-X’s MSK144 mode
to bounce signals off the ionized trails of meteors.

Want more action? Hop in your vehicle and join the Saturday
afternoon/evening rover pack near Winsted, MN! Even with just a
handheld, you will be able to work several other rovers at the corner
and run up a big score.

Using APRS or looking for rovers? Check out aprs.fi and the Mountain Lake APRS propagation page.

Some VHF contest resources can be found in Membership section of this website.