Category Archives: Other Events

Buffalo MN hamfest postponed. ARRL virtual meeting scheduled

Midwinter Madness, the hamfest scheduled for Saturday March 21st, in
Buffalo, MN, has been postponed.

Since most of us are going to hunkered down in our homes, I thought I
would host a Dakota Division virtual meeting on the Internet.
I will give an ARRL update and then share the highlights of my recent
trip to V4 St. Kitts and Nevis.
If you have a topic you would like to present to the amateur radio
community, please contact me about adding you to the agenda.

I plan to begin my presentation on Saturday March 21, 2020 at 9:30 AM
CDT.  Please sign-up to get specific connection instructions for
computers and telephones at

Let’s try to make the best of these unusual circumstances spend a little
virtual time together since we can’t meet in person.
Stay safe and I hope to see you can join the webinar.


Feb 22: AERO 101 and AERO 102 Courses

AERO Courses are written by the Amateur Emergency Radio Organization (AERO) of Minnesota. They are a written curriculum and hands on practice experience in operating amateur radios. The emphasis will be on basic operations with a focus on emergency communications. The Courses are as below:

AERO 101:  Introduction to Emergency Communications for the Amateur Radio Operator. Basic radio operations and communications skills, operating using a radio net, the role of amateur radio during emergency communications, and the basics of the Incident Command System (ICS) and ICS forms. This course is the prerequisite for all future courses. Offered Saturday, February 22, 9:00 AM at Woodbury High School ( 2665 Woodlane Drive, Woodbury, MN), Room 218 South side door 36.

AERO 102:  Advanced Emergency Communications for the Amateur Radio Operator. The Radio Operator will learn how to communicate information effectively to other radio operators, provide effective communications support during routine and non-emergency communications, demonstrate proper application of communications procedures and demonstrate proper use of communications equipment. Offered Saturday, February 22, 9:00 AM at Woodbury High School ( 2665 Woodlane Drive, Woodbury, MN), Room 218 South side door 36.


  1. You may register with John Regan, KA0HYR, ARES EC, at 651-491-6611 or .
  2. Or, You may walk into the room prior to the class and register on site. –

Additional AERO Courses will be offered this fall: AERO 201 and 202 on Net Control operations, procedures, and hands on practice. Tentative dates in August and October. Exact dates and times TBD.

Courses on Digital modes and operation are planned for the future. No designated dates as of yet.

Get Training and Event Alerts

Click here: ARESMN Metro Email List

Get the AERO training and participate in events you need to be a valuable volunteer for ARES, Emergency Management or a disaster organization. This list replaces the list sent by and You must sign up to be included in future mailings.

Dave Johnson, N0KBD, AUXCOMM(t), COMT(t)
ARES MN Metro District ADEC – PIO
AERO MN Vice Director
Maple Grove RC Board Director and MSW NCO Supervisor
Metro Skywarn Ex-Officio and Founding Board Director 

Metro Skywarn

March Skywarn Spotter Training Cancelled

The Bloomington Skywarn (and all other training sessions in March) have been cancelled. Below is the statement from Metro Skywarn leadership:

With the total number of COVID-19 cases now up to 9 people in the state of Minnesota and 5 of our 7 counties that we cover having cases in it, Metro Skywarn Board of Directors has decided to postpone the 3 remaining March classes until a later date.

The classes postponed are: 3/14 in Blaine, 3/25 in Maple Grove, and 3/28 in Bloomington.

Our next class scheduled is 4/2 in Richfield. Our class schedule is at

We will continue to monitor the situation and will make announcements regarding our next classes in April. When it is safe, we will attempt to reschedule the postponed classes.

We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we need to protect our hosts, trainers, and spotters.

Thank you!
Theresa Caspers
Education Coordinator
Metro Skywarn

Technician License Study Class

Get started in a fun hobby where you can communicate around the world or across town. This class is sponsored by the Maple Grove Radio Club – a service oriented club serving the Northwest suburbs by providing assistance to public safety, hospitals, parades, fun runs, bike tours, and antique car runs to mention a few.

This is a study class where we will assist you with your learning. That means that
you are expected to study between classes.

When: Monday’s starting February 10th. Class usually runs ten weeks. Class time 6:45 – 9:15 pm

Where: Life Assembly Church, 6900 West Fish Lake Road, Maple Grove, MN 55311
Cost: $20 registration fee due first night of class. You will also need to purchase the ARRL text book which is
titled The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, Fourth Edition for about $29. We have a limited number of manuals available for sale.

Details will be emailed to you after you register for the class.

To Register or get answers to your questions: Email
Please include your name, Address, and phone contact information as well as your email address.
The Technician License exam will be offered on the last night of class, April 13th, for an additional fee of about $15.

To learn more about the Maple Grove Radio Club, please visit:

Transmitter Hunt Practice Saturday 9/21

Weather Update

Despite rain in the morning, the activity is go for a 1:00 PM start time.


There was a lot of interest in the hidden transmitter hunt last week. At our monthly meeting, there were requests for a program on the final few meters of searching, covering both theory and practice. Accordingly, at 1:00 PM CDT on Saturday, September 21st we will have a hidden transmitter hunt (2-meter) practice session in Tarnhill Park (98th St. and Little Rd.) in Bloomington. The practice session will focus on on-foot techniques and relatively simple equipment. Bring what transmitter hunting equipment you have; there will be some extra gear available for use.

This is a fair-weather activity, and a final go/no-go decision will be made by 7 AM CDT on Saturday 9/21 and propagated on the BARA website post for this event.


  • Built-in attenuator
  • Polarization
  • Third (and other) harmonic hunting
  • Slight frequency offsets
  • Body fade
  • Triangulation
  • Hunting with an omnidirectional antenna
  • Step attenuators (PDF)
  • Offset attenuators


  • 146.565 MHz transmitter
  • 439.695 MHz 3rd harmonic
  • 293.130 MHz 2nd harmonic
  • 147.090 MHz (+600 kHz, no tone) voice repeater


Go/No-go weather decision has been made, activity is go for 1:00 PM start time.

Hidden Transmitter Hunt Thursday 8/29

With a stretch of nice weather in the forecast, it’s time to dust off the transmitter hunting gear! This Thursday (8/29/19), the Bloomington Amateur Radio Association will be hosting a transmitter hunt, beginning at 6:30 PM at Bloomington Civic Plaza from the parking lot on the west side of the building (near the southwest entrance).

The field of play will be the City of Bloomington, bounded on the west by US HWY 169, to the north by I-494, and to the south and east by the Minnesota River.

Format: Two hidden transmitters; one 500 mW to 1 W, the other 10-20 mW and in the general vicinity of the stronger transmitter. The transmitters will be on alternate 1-minute transmit windows.

Accessibility: A vehicle will be required for finding the transmitters, but at-home operators (in Bloomington and possibly surrounding municipalities) with omnidirectional or directional antennas can still contribute with coordinated hunting (see Resources below for tips from WB4APR). On-foot hunting is expected to take up to a mile of walking on sidewalks, dirt/grass paths, or over cut grass.

Difficulty: This is intended to be a beginner-friendly event, and those without directional antennas are encouraged to take part in a coordinated hunt (see Resources below). With sunset at 7:56 PM, the event will be complete around 8:00–8:15 PM.

Two hidden transmitters: 146.565 MHz FM
Safety and administrative: 147.090 MHz, +600 kHz, no tone, analog FM (KD0CL VHF repeater)
Coordinated hunting: 443.175 MHz, +5 MHz, DCS 047 (TX and RX), analog FM (KD0CL UHF repeater; repeater is Yaesu C4FM capable, but please use analog for this event)

Homing In, and specifically this page on first-time hunting techniques and equipment.
Bob Bruninga’s (WB4APR) Direction Finding Tips for those with Omnidirectional Antennas.
K6KN’s Presentation for SFARC on Transmitter Hunting.

Parks, roads, and lakes of Bloomington (PDF).

Bill; AE0EE[at]

8/26/19 0105z: Added K6KN presentation link.
8/26/19 1846z: WB9CFN looking for teammate.
8/28/19 1652z: Added printable map of Bloomington.
8/29/19 1746z: Corrected UHF repeater frequency, 444.375 443.175 MHz.
8/29/19 2105z: Updated printable map to be more grayscale friendly.

Further updates will be added to this post on the BARA website.

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.

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

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 and the Mountain Lake APRS propagation page.

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