Author Archives: RARC Advisor

Repeater updates

We have replaced the antenna on our VHF repeater AKA 5.39 we like people to give reports of it’s improvement. Email Please compare to our UHF repeater AKA .475. This testing should only be on FM mode and not on C4FM. Digital mode will give a false reading.

73 KC0TJ Don

Important discussion…

How To Coordinate With Your Two-Way Radios For Major Events. An Opinion Article.

Recently, our group worked at three very large annual public events.

What was very obvious right from the start, was that no one gave a thought about coordinating two-way radio communications. Yep, not one thought.

Here are some of the problems that were encountered:

1) All different radio types where the owner had no clue how to operate it other than to; turn the power switch on and to use the push-to-talk button.

Remedy – Learn your radio! Don’t expect others to show you how to operate your own radio while out in the field during the actual event. It’s time consuming and a major waste of other people’s time. Learn your own radio.

2) All different radio bands being used at the event. Example; Amateur 2 Meters, Amateur 440 MHz, Commercial VHF Hi-Band and Commercial UHF.

Remedy – Bring at least two radios to the event. One for VHF Hi-Band (140 MHz – 170 MHz) and One for UHF (400 MHz – 470 MHz. If you have a dual band radio, all the better. This way you are flexible depending on what band the event is using for communications. Also; know the radio frequencies being used before hand at the event.

3) Radios that weren’t field programmable. Example, Motorola and other commercial radios.

Remedy – If your going to show up at an event with radios that aren’t keyboard programmable or are commercial radios, then carry a small computer or have some way to program them out in the field. Don’t expect other agencies or personnel to configure their radios to your now ‘brick radio’. Can’t configure your radio out in the field, then leave it home as it’s worthless during a major event.

4) Radios that were field programmable, but the operators have No Clue How To Program Them Without The Use Of A Computer.

Remedy – You should know how to program your radio without the use of a computer. Read the radio manual and practice programming out in the field without the use of the manual.

5) People yacking on their radios way too much, as though they wanted to hear themselves talk.

Remedy – No single transmission should last more than 10-15 seconds in length. Leave 4-5 second pauses between each transmission. If your transmitting more than 10-15 times during a 1 hour period, your talking way too much. Stay off the radio unless it’s absolutely necessary.

6) Incident Command. Some using it, some not.

Not enough personnel to effectively use it correctly. Something to be said for just using Plain English Communications.

Remedy – Get everyone on the same page. Either use Incident Command Structure or Don’t. Get everyone your working with on the same page and don’t have two different communications structures going at the same time.

7) Some people having loads and loads of certifications but never actually putting them to the test out in the field by actually using that knowledge during a major event. This was a huge problem…

Remedy – Train/Work with other groups out in the field as much as you can. Use what you know and have been taught with that certification you received. Book work means nothing unless you actually use it.

8) People having radio knowledge but no medical knowledge and visa-versa, but being located in a First Aid Tent.

Remedy – Be of more value. >>> Cross Train to do multiple jobs if possible, as your more valuable that way to other agencies and organizations.

9) Some using repeaters and others using simplex.

Remedy – Unless absolutely necessary, use simplex. You don’t need the entire world listening in to your communications at the event. It just invites hackers and jammers to cause problems with your radio communications. If the event activity is being held within a square mile, use simplex. If you need to get a hold of someone further away, then switch to a repeater temporarily to communicate with them or the dispatcher who is off-site from the event. ONLY use a repeater during a wide coverage event including multiple cities or involving long distances between two-way radio units.

On the bright side.

** Luckily, we carried enough extra radios to lend to the other agencies and operators so that everyone could communicate on the same frequencies and bands. But, this creates another problem if the radios get damaged or walk-away after the event. It can get expensive to replace radios.

It all comes back to the operator and ‘their’ responsibility to have good operating radio equipment, well charged radio batteries, knowledge of their radios, how it works and how to program them. Most of all, ‘common sense’ and ‘plain english language, no codes’ when communicating on those radios during an event.

Just my opinion from working hundreds of general public events and working with public safety organizations at events.

Dan W0EIB.

Corrections, Additions, or Comments all appreciated.

We all learn from sharing what we know ūüôā

Sub Notes by Don KC0TJ..

This definitely bothers me to see these challenges on an event day. As Pres & a member of RARC I have made a pledge to help all members to learn radio basics & radio programming every meeting & during most activities. This article is from a dear friend of mine and his personal experiences. I wish that all members of RARC set some time to ask me or other members to be more prepared for the what ifs events and activities. Our experiences will make the hobby grow by being involved in drills, events, and by asking questions to our members and Elmer’s. This is also is why Sept 19th RARC’S net is an “All call Net” to be more prepared and be better then the article above. We also support club events like Field Day, GOTA, and 4th Wednesday events to help practice and share our craft. Again, this is why we are a club is to help other groups and events with our hobby.

Last note.. This article has nothing related to any of our members at Dan’s events, but is to encourage our members to get involved by learning from others.

73 KC0TJ Don

May 15th meeting

TO All,

Our monthly meeting is this Wednesday, Topics are “NET Training”¬†This will have role playing examples of many variations of nets and being interactive. Our¬†goal is to have fun and know the different types of nets (formal (closed, or All Calls), informal (Normal Nets, or¬†Gaming Nets), & Round Tables (Tech Nets, informational, or Discussion Nets).¬†We will cover terms, the how to’s, & Q&A’s. We hope everyone feels comfortable to help us with our weekly nets by the end.¬†

2nd Part… Is¬†a brief look at the Field Day event. We need a (Go¬†To¬†Person)¬†or a (Go To Group).¬†Field Day in briefest summary is… The¬†biggest ham event¬†that happens annually. This year is on¬†June 22-23 weekend¬†that is a¬†Get-On-The-Air Event in a 24 hour period¬†and is¬†open to all.¬†We only charge people if they want a rib dinner made by one of our members for his expenses. We do many side activities including non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks donated by members. Most of our event is already setup.

12/97¬†members have finished our¬†club’s survey¬†This is¬†not tracking any emails.¬†We are trying to improve RARC by using this survey. We will be closing this survey Wednesday before the meeting. We are going to review the greatresponses at the meeting.¬†CLICK HERE!¬†
May 22nd @ 7pm…¬†4th Wednesday¬†is¬†our Informal Gathering¬†having 12 chairs set together¬†at Perkins (494 & France Ave.)¬†The 1st person arrives needs to¬†make the¬†setup.¬†We ask everyone orders a menu item.¬†Perkins doesn’t have any advance reservations, but will setup for 12 people anytime.¬†Please use RARC “Rock!”¬†when reserving a space¬†so people can¬†find us!Family’s are welcome, Next month we might change locations.
May 25th… Get-On-The-Air¬†needs a new location, or change to June 1st, but we will need someone to take¬†lead.

Finally remember every club meeting 
we will try to revisita Basic Ham Radio related topic that we might have forgotten or was not in the test, Help with your Radio Programming Questions, and an Emergency Preparedness minute.

I will see you soon, 
Don Pres KC0TJ

Nets every Thurs @ 6:30pm 444.475+ PL Tone 118.8

Formal Meetings every 3rd Wed of the month from 7-9pm (7000 Nicollet Ave S)

Informal Gathering every 4th Wed starting at 7pm at a restaurant (Must buy a menu item.)

RARC’s Calendar  This is a realtime calendar all members should join
RARC‚Äôs Reflector All members should join

RARC‚Äôs & BARA‚Äôs Free Study Group License Exam Study Group (Needs a new Chair) Our website Like us on FB Our club email

Post April meeting & events

TO All,

A couple updates & events…

Our Bylaws & Constitution was passed and will be updated to the web soon.

Still need more people to take our survey nets dates might change based on 6 members responses.

Richfield Historical Society still needs help with spring clean-up & boardwalk building April 27 starting at 9am. (6901 Lyndale Ave.) Please call 612-968-8074. (The Historical Society hosts our 1st permanent club station.)

We will meet at Perkins (4201 W 78th St, Bloomington) April 24th 7pm for a very informal gathering for all. We will setup for 12 people to sit together. We ask people to order a food or a drink item, & RARC will not be paying for anyone’s orders. We have no advance reservations, but ask for “RARC (Rock)” when entering to find us.

MAY 15th next meeting‚Ķ “Net Training and Pre-Field Day planning.” We need a Chairperson or Co-chairs for FD‚Ķ

Next “Get On The Air Event” will be on May 25th 10am – 2pm (Unknown Location)

Finally Happy Easter,

March 30th

We are doing our spring Get-On-The-Air event this Saturday March 30, from 10am till 2pm.

No alcohol or tobacco allowed during the event.

We will be at the Richfield’s Historical Society’s back shed. This is open to the public at no charge or no formal club meeting.

Please bring your own snacks and chair.

See you there.


Club meeting 3-20-19

To the RARC club members and friends of the RARC:  Please join us for the Wednesday, March 20th club meeting at the Richfield Community Center at 7:00 pm, 7000 Nicollet Avenue south, Richfield, MN 55423.  We will be presenting and discussing proposed changes to the RARC By-Laws to be voted on at the April 2019 meeting.  Also to be presented is an introduction to basic hand soldering.

RARC secretary

** Tonight’s meeting cancelled due to weather! **

To all,

¬†¬†Tonight’s meeting is cancelled per the weather.¬†We will have a net instead on 444.475 at 7pm. All are invited to join in.

   The link below has the proposed Bylaws and constitution changes. This location may be used for future shared docs for RARC so please save this link. I would like to vote on this on next meeting.

Click here for club shared docs¬†¬†RARC’s Member Files

Don President

***RARC’s Movie Nights Cancelled***

To Members, Friends, Family, & Guests,

Our Omni Theater events are cancelled
. I have had one person signed up other than me. So I am forced to cancel both days. I will be using Signup Genius  in future club sign-ups. All members must be ready for future opportunities using this tool including Field Day.  This is a free service and is used by many organizations and will be used by us.

We will still be having our next club meeting on the 20th as normal. Our Monthly meeting is reviewing the bylaws for changes & programming your Chi-com radios.

In the future we will have other weekend fun activities with no club business (However we may ask for future Ideas). We will be making time at every monthly meeting to help do a quick radio programing of all brands, an emergency preparedness minute, and we will be touching on the basics and reviews of what everyone should know added to every monthly agenda. 

Our leadership is committed to getting everyone on the air and doing hands on activities. we will be looking in to digital modes, soldering, antennas, goboxes, APRS, radio related videos with comments afterwards and many other ham friendly events this year. 

KC0TJ President

Remember this is your club and we need your help to keep it fun and relevant.