Sawnee Amateur Radio Association

An amateur radio club for the Forsyth County Georgia Area

February 13, 2017 Meeting

February Meeting

Jim Sorenson KA4IIA

Jim Sorenson KA4IIA

Our meeting is all about fox hunting. For those of you new to the hobby, rest assured that no real foxes are harmed in a fox hunt, but some radio waves get pretty perturbed. Someone hides a transmitter (the “fox”), and everyone else tries to find it.

Our speaker, Jim Sorenson (KA4IIA), is a Senior Program Manager with Scientific Research Corporation (SRC) – a privately held DoD contractor based in Atlanta, GA. For the past 20 years Jim has worked to support USAF programs and most recently has focused on providing engineering reach-back for the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) in support of US and multi-national military training exercises.
Jim has had a passion for transmitter hunting (T-Hunting) for over 27 years and has been involved in building several types of T-Hunting equipment. In 1990, Jim developed and successfully tested a switching amplifier modification for the Roanoke Doppler that was featured in the March 1996 73 Magazine – Homing In column.

When Jim isn’t experimenting with new T-Hunting equipment and techniques, he active in his church. Jim is married and has two children.

Presentation Summary:
History of T-Hunting
Application of T-Hunting
Antennas, Receivers, etc.
Advanced Equipment
Phases of a T-Hunt
T-Hunting Techniques
Question and Answers

The Meeting
The meeting is at 7:00 on Monday February 13. We are at Northside Forsyth Hospital’s Bennett Center, 1400 Northside Forsyth Drive, Cumming, GA 30041. This is off GA-400 Exit 14. Enter from Ronald Reagan Blvd. (extension of Marketplace Blvd.) The Bennett Center is on the first floor of the 1400 building, directly across the drive from the (free) parking garage. The conference center is directly behind the reception desk to your left as you enter the 1400 building.

The Eating
cue barbecue logoOur culinary consultant, Bryan, suggests trying a new (for us) place this month. The Friday group has been meeting there, so hams may have a bad reputation with them, but we’ll see. The location is ‘Cue BBQ,, 1370 Buford Highway, Cumming, GA 30041. That’s Highway 20, also GA 400 Exit 14, about 2 miles east of GA 400 on the right. For those who can, let’s meet about 5:30 so we have time to eat and skedaddle to the meeting by 7:00. If you have to be a bit later, that should work.

Posted 2 years, 5 months ago at 1:08 pm.

June 13, 2016 Club Meeting

Field Day Planning

As always, our June meeting is in the more than capable hands of our field day coordinator, Randal, N4AC, and this year we are going to hold it at the field day venue, Fowler Park.  Since we’re in the park and it’ll surely be a hot evening, let’s have some ice cream!

The Meeting Scoop
(Hope you caught the pun.)  So for this meeting and this meeting only, we will not be at the hospital, but rather we will be at the Fowler Park Main Pavilion, the same place we will hold field day in a couple of weeks.  This is the same place we have held it for the last several years.  Now the County charges to reserve the pavilion, and being hams, we’re way too cheap to pay for it, so we are just going to show up and hope no one else has it reserved that evening.  If we get unlucky, we’ll move to the two small pavilions, and if we are still unlucky, we’ll just stand on the hill somewhere.
Fowler Park
I didn’t get any takers for home made ice cream, so Kroger will benefit.  I’ll put out some sort of container, and ask you to drop in a contribution (US dollars only, please :-) ) to help defray the cost.  If the money received exceeds what the ice cream, drinks, etc. cost, the difference will go in the club’s general fund.  If we don’t get enough to cover the cost, I’ll go home with my tail between my legs and beg mamma to take me back anyway.  She may make me sell my ham gear to make up the difference. :-)

Posted 3 years, 1 month ago at 8:22 pm.

Welcome to the Sawnee Amateur Radio Association


SARA is one of the premier clubs in the North Georgia area. Presently, we have over fifty active members. The club and its members are actively involved in many different amateur radio activities. Some members enjoy just rag-chewing, or operating CW, SSB, VHF SSB, or QRP. Others enjoy chasing DX, or working satellites, or building equipment and antenna systems.

The clubs main emphasis is to assist local communities with special events and their communications needs. We also like to promote the public awareness of the ARRL Field Day event held every June. SARA has been honored with two national “First Place” finishes in our class, during past Field Day events.

If you are just starting out in amateur radio, we invite you to one of our upcoming events or meetings. Let us introduce you to our hobby while you visit one of the best clubs in the area.

February 11th Meeting - Kids and Ham Radio…AND Contesting

As we’ve discussed a lot, it is vital that we get more young people into the hobby in order to keep it strong. We have some of the money that we raised from auctioning K1VBM(SK)’s generous donation of all of his ham gear, which is earmarked for this purpose. We have a Board-level committee which has a plan to use this gift wisely.
But we’re not the only ones thinking this way. Our guest speaker has been putting action to words for some time. Furthermore, I have top secret communications from my buddies at the Gateway Club (White Co.) that he is one heck of a great speaker.
Craig Bailey (KN4DLS) has been the Band Director at Gainesville Middle School for the past 19 years.  During his tenure, the program has grown to over 400 members.   He is the trustee and sponsor of the schools amateur radio club, N4GCS.
Growing up as a kid of the 70′s, Craig was always interested in technology, but “life” never really pointed him in the right direction to get on the air.
Fast forward to 2016 when his then 13 year-old son, Carter, watched an Alabama radio club setting up a temporary repeater in support of a bicycle race he was participating in and he became very interested in the technical side of the hobby.  One thing led to another and father and son licensed together on the same day.
Craig’s wife of 27 years, Rhonda, is unbelievably supportive of the crazy amount of time that he and Carter (KN4DLY) spend playing in the ham world

Presentation Overview——

“Git-Along Little Dogies”: Recounting the ARRL School Club RoundUp
This presentation gives a glimpse into the N4GCS club’s first foray in contesting.  What went well, what needs to be better next time and why the kids can’t wait to do it again!
The Venue
Remember, our new meeting place is Beaver Toyota, 1875 Buford Hwy, Cumming, Georgia 30041. That’s Highway 20, exit 14 from GA 400, down the road (to the east) a couple of miles or so from the hospital. It’s on the north side of the road. If you approach it from the west, turn left on the street right after the dealership, then turn left into the dealership and drive around back to the assigned parking area.
IMPORTANT: Park behind the collision center. If you park elsewhere, someone may trade in your car while you are in the meeting. The collision center is the western-most building at the dealership.
The meeting will be in Beaver’s community room, on the second floor. They ask you to check in at reception when you arrive. Stairs and an elevator are to the left of, and behind, the reception desk. The community room is upstairs and to your right, then down a long hallway and through the next door. We’ll try to have signs out directing you.
Because of a hard stop time, we’ll dispense with the usual preliminaries and get into the program almost immediately at 6:30. If we have time, we’ll make some announcements at the end. Otherwise, we’ll send out an email after the meeting. We will pass around an attendance sheet if I remember it.

The Time and Date

We’re back to our regular date, Monday, February 11. We have a new permanent start time, 6:30. The reason is that we have a hard exit time of 7:45 – if you want to talk longer, please go out to the parking area behind the collision center. We encourage you to come about 6:00 if you can, for an eyeball QSO. No dinner before due to the early time. I’m going to be hungry after the meeting, so I’ll stop at Steak and Shake on Highway 20 to the west. Join me if you can.

The Re-up

Yeah, you knew I’d get to this. It’s time to re-up with SARA if you haven’t already done so. Dues are $24.00 a year unless you passed your licensing test at one of our classes in the past year and didn’t take advantage of this last year: in that case your dues are $0.00 the first year only. You may pay at the meeting – checks are preferred; if you need to use cash please ask for an envelope that I should have, and write your name and call on the outside. You may also pay using paypal, starting from our website at Or you can send your payment to SARA at POB 1773, Cumming, GA 30028.
for us maybe at the big table in the front, or on the right side of the restaurant, depending on what’s available when we get there.

Posted 3 years, 8 months ago at 9:00 pm.

May 11th Club Meeting

Our Speaker Chuck Catledge, AE4CW is presenting “The Magic of Antennas and Some Practical Ones You Can Build”. His presentation will cover a range of topics including: Current and voltage on an antenna (including Ohm’s law), Electromagnetic waves – the “real” magic, Basic antenna configurations (dipoles, verticals, loops and more), and antennas you can build and how they perform.

The meeting begins at 7pm, please join us for a meal at 6pm. Directions can be find here.   Chuck was first licensed in 1957 Continue Reading…

Posted 4 years, 2 months ago at 10:00 am.

April 13th Club Meeting

2015 is SARA’s Year of the Antenna. To kick off this series of meetings, club member Brian Dunn, W3CP will present An Introduction to Antenna Modeling.

Antenna modeling has become a popular amateur radio activity. If you
browse any recent amateur radio magazine, online antenna design
articles, or commercial antenna specs, or you will see many antenna
plots derived from antenna modeling. Fortunately, with the advent of
fast PCs and low-cost (including free) antenna modeling software, fast
and accurate antenna modeling is within your reach! Hams can now
effectively model many kinds of antennas, and the result will be
better understanding of antennas in general as well as your specific
antenna’s performance. In this introductory presentation, Bryan,
W3CP, will introduce you to the modeling process and available software
tools. His goal is to provide enough information and coaching to enable
you to get started modeling your own antennas! Continue Reading…

Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 6:00 pm.

March 9th Club Meeting

This months meeting begins with a special feature: W4CBA is getting a brand spanking new 440 YAESU repeater on Sawnee Mountain. SARA Members Randal DePriest, N4AC and Ferrell Brown, KE4QDC fresh from helping with the installation will give us a tour complete with pictures of the new repeater.

SARA’s President Jim Farmer, K4BSE will lead a discussion of The Amateur’s Code, an outline of who we are and how to operate properly. Join us at the meeting and learn to be a better operator and vent some steam at those who don’t hold to the Code’s high standards.

This will be followed by an open discussion of how to apply The Code’s principles today – and you are welcome to argue the finer points of proper operating, as there is room for disagreement. You can vent about those who don’t follow good operating practices, and brag on those who do.

We look forward to seeing you Monday night for food at 6pm and the meeting at 7pm. Location and directions can be found here.
Continue Reading…

Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 3:30 pm.

February 9th Club Meeting

SARA’s own membership chair Ryan Kovacs, KK4OSG will demonstrate Amateur radio related apps for your phone or tablet. Ryan will review some of his favourite and helpful apps in use on his phablet. If you are a cheap ham and hate to spend money you will not want to miss this. Never before have hams been able to get on the air for Free until now, come and see how! As a door prize we will be giving away a 2 meter roll up J-pole kit!

We look forward to seeing you Monday night at 7pm. Additional information including location of the meeting can be found here.

Posted 4 years, 5 months ago at 12:00 pm.

November 10th Club Meeting

Club member Bryan Dunn, W3CP presents “What is the optimal HF antenna height?”.  Conventional wisdom is higher is better.   However, that is not always the case?  The “optimal” height depends on your local terrain and the bands you want to operate on.

Fortunately, publicly available terrain and propagation data enables hams to perform a QTH-specific analysis and make informed decisions about antenna height when planning their antenna system.  Bryan will introduce us to the theory, walk us through the analysis process, and share some actual analysis results for some local hams’ QTHs.  One of the QTHs that Bryan will analyze is that of your program chair.  Come see just how badly Jim has screwed up.    Continue Reading…

Posted 4 years, 8 months ago at 7:06 am.

August 11th Club Meeting

Our August program will feature Ned Mountain, WC4X, discussing the BevFlex receiving antenna. The BevFlex is a new Beverage antenna developed by Ned and Geoff, W8GNM, two engineers with long, distinguished careers in broadcast equipment engineering, with roots as hams since before their teens. Take a look at their QRZ pages!

Ned will describe the antenna, and if we can keep Dr. Murphy at bay, a live demonstration of BevFlex at his home on the side of a mountain in Sautee-Nacoochee. Ned will be controlling a radio and switching the antenna via the Internet. Continue Reading…

Posted 4 years, 11 months ago at 10:42 am.

July 14th Club Meeting

Our featured speaker is Chris Batch, KS4MM of Balch Law Group. As an Amateur Extra class licensee and ARRL Volunteer Counsel, he understands the science and art that is Amateur Radio. Chris will be speaking on the legal issues surrounding our hobby including antennas.

We look forward to seeing you Monday night at 7pm. Additional information including location of the meeting can be found here.

For those who would like to grab a bite with fellow hams before the meeting, there will be a group meeting at 5:30pm in Dicky’s BBQ at 415 Peachtree Parkway #255, Cumming, GA. (This is near the intersection of 141 and Ronald Regan Parkway, in the area of Starbucks.)

Posted 5 years ago at 10:39 am.