Sawnee Amateur Radio Association

An amateur radio club for the Forsyth County Georgia Area
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Welcome to the Sawnee Amateur Radio Association

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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.

March Meeting

Our March meeting, on Monday March 13, features Alan Adamson, W7QO, the guy who holds the record for the:

  • Longest duration balloon flight (over 197 days)
  • Longest distance  balloon flight (over 500000 km – which is to the moon and about half way back)
  • Most number of circumnavigations – just about to finish 13 and start 14, still counting
  • Lightest trackable payload
  • Most number of days of consecutive received report by a non-satellite system

The Topics

  • What started all this Balloon stuff (for me)
  • Overview of the pieces required to join the fun
  • Early flight learnings
  • Current long duration flights
  • How to get involved/started
  • What to expect
  • Records to be attained

The Speaker

- Alan has more than 30 years of Design, Development, Management, and Delivery of High-Tech communication and security products.

- Designed a variety of microcontroller, ARM based solutions including a frequency agile, fully programmable, RF radio/GPS tracking platform, a 3 axis camera stabilization system, a multi-axis, multi-motor, flight controller, and various small projects targeted at the internet of things environment

- Successful management of an RF consulting business, with focus on rooftop management of RF spectrum, communications technologies, public exposure and RF safety training issues.

- Held engineering and product management positions with BellSouth, BellSouth.com, Hayes Communications, and Symantec.

- 30+ year Holder of an Extra Class Amateur Radio license.

His professional career included working and retiring from BellSouth (before it was AT&T).  As a result, my communications background, about 13 years ago, he left working for someone else, and started a couple of consulting businesses.

 He chose a different approach to developing his own hardware and software technologies.  He was tired of the lack of flexibility surrounding the AVR, and specifically the Arduino platform.  At this time the ARM was just starting to take shape and the technology curve vs. cost was dropping dramatically.  He switched to the ARM platform then and has never looked back.

He’s designed and developed the following

- an Arduino feature/function/pin compatible STM32F1 and STM32F3 version of what Arduino calls the pro-mini

- a 3 axis gimbal controller for camera stabilization, built on either the STM32F105 or the STM32F405 processor.

- Working for a large West Coast company, he designed and developed the hardware and firmware for a balloon tracking system based upon a satellite modem

- a Silabs Si4463 radio module that can mate to either the Arduino Pro Mini or his ProMini32

The latter is what was used to prove and develop the radio module that he uses on his balloon controller.

Meeting Location

The meeting is at 7:00 on Monday March 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.

Eating Before Meeting

cue barbecue logoThe location is ‘Cue BBQ, http://www.cuebarbecue.com/cumming.php, 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.

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Posted in Amateur Radio 1 year, 4 months ago at 9:00 pm.

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