Sawnee Amateur Radio Association

An amateur radio club for the Forsyth County Georgia Area

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.

June 11th Meeting – Field Day June 23 & 24

June 11, 7 pm You’ll recognize this as our regular SARA meeting time. We always call this the planning meeting, but a whole heck of a lot of people have been doing some great work behind the scenes for several months now, and this is really hearing their accomplishments. Again this year, Mike Stephens, KW3D, has been cracking the whip, and things are looking really good. So come on out and hear the plans, ask questions (remember, the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask when you need to know), and sign up for times you’d like to be part of it. 

The Event Itself


A new feature this year will be a GOTA station, a Get On the Air Station, operating under the call WX4EOC, a call Jerry grabbed for us when it came available. It will be manned (or the feminine version thereof) by experienced amateurs expressly to let people without ham licenses and people with technician licenses, who may not have experienced the excitement of high frequency (HF) communications, to try their hand in the contest. You’ll have an experienced person there to help you. So if you’re part of CERT or ARES, or just someone who wants to kick the tires on HF operation, come on out. The GOTA station will be on the air from about 2:00 pm Saturday when the contest starts, until approximately after dinner Saturday evening. If you feel like operating the regular phone contest station after that, we can make that happen too.

We’ll also have a 6 meter station set up in case we have a good opening on that band.

Set-up will start at 10 am Saturday, and we can use help with that. Set-up and tear-down (about noon on Sunday) are great times to learn more practical things about hem radio.


The venue will be the Cumming Fairgrounds, and specifically the camping section. Enter at the last entry toward the south on Castleberry Road and follow the orange line in. There will be plenty pf parking spaces, and bathrooms are close by.

So here’s the scoop from Mike:fieldday
· June 23-24 2018 ARRL Field Day
· Cumming Fairgrounds camping area (see map) (34.201632, -84.148359) — EM74WE

Setup Start Time: 10:00 AM Saturday morning June 23
Start Transmission: 2:00 PM (1800 UTC) Saturday
End Transmission: 12:00 PM (1600 UTC) Sunday
>> Field Day Coordinator: Mike Stephens – KW3D – 404.219.3000 –

We will have a Class of Entry Category 2AC

· This means two stations on commercial power; one on SSB and one on CW – with the ability to ‘flex’ the SSB station to CW at times when more CW operators wish to operate (a CW QSO is 2x points)
· Plus a GOTA station WX4EOC (one possible additional ‘free’ VHF station >50 MHz)
· There are many Bonus Points we can earn: – and we will discuss this in more detail at our June 11 SARA meeting – but I am looking for volunteers NOW to lead some of these specific areas
o 100% Emergency power (will not attempt in 2018)
o Media Publicity
o Set-up in Public Place
o Information Booth
o Message to ARRL SM/SEC
o W1AW Field Day Message
o NTS/ICS-213 messages handled
o Satellite QSO completed
o Natural power QSOs completed
o Site Visit by invited elected official
o Site Visit by invited served agency official
o Educational Activity Bonus
o Youth Element achieved
o GOTA Bonus
o Submitted using the applet
o Safety Officer Bonus
o Social Media Bonus

· We also need portable canopies, tables and chairs (preferably delivered to and picked up from the site) – please contact me directly with what you can loan the event
· We also need volunteers to bring coolers of iced soft drinks and water bottles – please contact me directly with what you can loan the event
· Ryan has set up an online signup for us at :
· We will have Saturday Lunch from Lenny’s Subs and Saturday Supper jambalaya (pizza if more food is needed)
· We will operate as long on Sunday as we have operators – but no later than 1200 EDT
· The main message for now is this:
o Mark this on your calendar and plan on participating!
o Please sign up for operating times online at
o Please consider volunteering to lead one (or more) aspects of the Bonus Points
o Please contact me directly if you can loan shelters, tables, chairs or supply soft drinks or bottled water

So Where Does All This Take Place?

The meeting is at 7:00 on Monday, May 14. 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 behind the reception desk to your left as you enter the 1400 building. Of course, you don’t have to be a member of SARA to come, but if you live in the area we’d really appreciate your membership.

A Ham’s Gotta Eat

If you can, join us at 5:30 or so at Marie’s, It’s in the Publix shopping center on the north side of GA 20 (GA400 Exit 14), 580 Atlanta Rd, Cumming, Ga. 30040. Marie’s is in the 2nd building to the left of Publix, just past the Humane Society Thrift Store and the monopole cell tower. Here is a Google Street View of the restaurant front to show you what to look for: Look for us maybe at the big table in the front.