31st Annual Mid Minnesota 150 Dogsled race

On a very crisp Saturday morning (February 9, 2019), a group of amateur radio operators from the Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club (BAARC), along with a large number of other volunteers helped Mid Minnesota 150 Dogsled race.

Al Doree W0RC and Shirley KC0DCW once again chaired the event and provided coordination of the event.

Once again we were able to partner with the Crow Wing County Sheriff to help with net control communications.

The following is list of operators and locations.

Net Control: Shirley KØDCW and Terry KIØFW


A – John WØWY / Alan AAØAS– Start Line – Outing

B – Al WØRC – South shore & Lawrence Lake Rd

C – Mark KEØLFQ / Nancy – Hwy. 58 Crossing

D – Steve NØCRM – Pikus Road & Power Line

F – Ron KØGOP – North Windy Lake & Hwy 57

G – Doug WØDWB – Tee on Hwy 57 & Hwy 20 (318th St.)

H – Hwy 57 & SOO Line Trail

I – Leon KEØAFY – SOO Line Trail (88th Ave. NE) & Hwy 200

J – John WØWY / Alan AAØAS – Finish Line in Remer






President: Steve Mott NØCRM
Vice President: John Luce WØWY
Treasurer: Doug Bergsnev WØDWB
Secretary: Ron Finger KØGOP
Past Presidents: Charles Lane W5CCL, Al Doree WØRC
Director At Large: Lyle Amundson KØLFV
Director of Emergency Communications: Dave Schuldheisz KØISZ
Repeater Trustee: Mitch Ahrenstorff ADØHJ
Community & Special Events Coordinator: Mark Cross KEØLFQ

Attendees: LYLE KØLFV, Doug WØDWB, John WØWY, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, Shirley KØDCW, Mitch ADØHJ, Mark KEØLFQ and Dave KØISZ. The Vice President opened the Board Meeting at 420 PM following a mapping session with Dan Levno for the Mid-MN 150 Sled Dog Race on February 9th.

Secretary’s Report: 

  • Membership roster: 69 members with 31 unpaid for 2019. The Club roster can be found on the Club website under the“Resources/Members Only”  Current paid members can request an individual password for access via the “Contact Us” form.
  • Minutes: The November 2018 Executive Board and Membership Meeting minutes were posted to the“Baarcer” area.
  • Correspondence:
  • Documents: Updated Club membership roster and Gmail contacts database.
  • Membership ID’s: No new Club ID’s.
  • Club Website: New banner graphics for December: “Santa Tracker”, January: Ice-Fishing Extravaganza” and February: “Mid-MN 150 Sled Dog Race”.
  • Motion to accept: Mitch ADØHJ, SecondJohn WØWY,  

Treasurer’s Report: The President presented the Treasurer’s report that was forwarded to the board showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. Doug has been able to process incoming membership renewals over the holidays with less Club expenditures.

  • Motion to accept: Al WØRC, SecondJohn WØWY, Passed

Membership Meeting Programs: 

  • The Vice President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. Al reported that the Forestview High Altitude Balloon Class has finished, and they are looking for a launch date in the near future. Other repeat programs discussed were “Grounding” by Pat Goff, Crow Wing Power and “Wild Animal Tracking” by Brian Dirks, MN DNR.

Recent / Upcoming Events: The following events were discussed:

Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza

  • Saturday, January 26, 2019 Hole in the Day Bay on Gull Lake
  • 6 Club operators braved the cold for a successful event.
  • The Sheriff’s comm trailer was disabled, but the Dive Team trailer was a workable and available alternate.

Mid-MN 150 Dog Sled Race

  • Saturday, February 9, 2019
  • Al will chair the event. Our base of operations will remain at the Village Inn, Outing. Organizer Dan Levno was at the Board Meeting to go over the route map changes for this year.
  • John will contact John Bowen to verify the operation and use of the Sheriff’s comm trailer.

Digital & Emergency Communications: 

Crow Wing County EOC:

  • John reported that work is continuing on the new CWC EOC facility, and will include a training room that could possibly serve as a back-up Club meeting location.

Old Business: 

Repeater Sites: Mitch reviewed the list of repeater projects on the 2019 calendar.

  • Gull Lake:
    • UHF coax work
    • APRS Node
    • Approval of VHF frequency pair.
    • New Rackmount PC
  • Crosby:
    • No new items.
  • Crow Wing Power:
    • No new items.
  • Cross Lake:
    • No new items.
  • High-rise Site:
    • No new items.

New Business:

  • With the recent closing of Radio City, the board discussed other possible vendors and attractions for our spring Hamfest. Digi-Key of Thief River Falls was of interest, and Al will pursue this possibility through his contact there.
  • John started a discussion regarding the changing role of our Club and amateur radio in general, in regard to providing communication support for local events. It was noted how events like the recent Jaycee Ice Fishing Extravaganza have changed over the years. In the beginning we carried an important role in providing communications over that expansive venue using many operators. Since then they have tried cell phones, then FRS and GRMS radios, and finally this year were using ARMER radios within the public safety system. It was noted that other events like the Sled Dog Race still have a real need for our skills, but that our role for other event groups may be changing over time.

The Board Meeting was adjourned at 4:42 PM.


The Vice President called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Following the business meeting reports and break, several presentations were made:

  • “Winter Field Day Operations” presented by Lyle KØLFV
  • Updates on the Jaycee Ice Fishing Extravaganza” and “Mid-MN 150 Sled Dog Race” presented by Al WØRC
  • “MARS, the Military Auxiliary Radio System” by John WØWY, Al WØRC and Ron KØGOP

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

January 26th, 2019 Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza

The Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club again provided emergency communications for this big-draw charitable event. As in recent years, the Crow Wing County Sheriffs office provided their communications trailer for our use. However, due to a last-minute electrical issue, we were switched to the dive team trailer, which worked just fine.
We want to thank Mark, KEØLFQ and Shirley KØDCW for providing net control duties, John WØWY for transporting operators from the parking areas to the lake access, Ron KØGOP for providing safety watch at the bus drop off point, Terry KIØFW for staffing the First Aid tent and Al WØRC for providing transport to center ice.
Things went smoothly this year, with only minor issues in the First Aid tent.  A truck did break through the ice behind the workers tent, but was quickly recovered without problems. The weather was sunny and moderate for January and the Jaycees again provided a hot lunch for all workers.

All Things HF: December 2018

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year.

The past 30 days or so of HF band conditions have been whatever one wanted to make of them. Some bands were open, some bands were so-so and some bands were closed. There was some good DX to be operated 12 and 17 meters then the following day…nothing. Good openings into Europe were plentiful on 20-meters if you looked, listened and called CQ. We seem to be stuck in the doldrums of the minimum of sunspot cycle 24. The band conditions seem to be the main focus of our QSO’s these days.

I still continue to maintain a positive attitude when I sit down at my station that there is always something worth working out there in radioland. I make it a habit to turn on the station in the afternoon with the antenna beaming west to take advantage of greyline propagation…I am seldom disappointed. I also make use of my favorite DX spotting website (DXscape) which is a Japanese operated spotting system with excellent reporting of present DX operators worldwide in real time.

As the minimum of cycle 24 continues, and it will for quite some time to come, good old fashioned rag chewing will be the dominant factor which is really the backbone of what this hobby is all about. My feeling is that most of us active operators consider ourselves to be somewhat technically inclined so allow me to stray a bit from radio to the subject of robots.

Robots are dominant in the manufacturing sector. Robots build our vehicles with precision, they build the circuit boards in our radios. Robots do it all. I’ve been fascinated by robots since the early days when they were considered ‘boy toys’ and not respected self programing operational robot systems that have landed recently on the planet Mars. Sure, I’m building up to something here that I would like to share with you. I purchased an iRobot for me and my wife’s anniversary (mostly for me). The robot is the 900 series Roomba for cleaning floors and carpeting. This amazing robot leaves its docking station on demand then proceeds to clean the floors in every room all the while programing and reprograming itself with the use of an onboard camera that sends it photos back to the robots systems to correct or re correct its plan of travel. Should Roomba sense its batteries are getting low even though the cleaning job is yet to be completed…she heads directly back to her docking station for a recharge. When the batteries have been recharged, she heads directly back to her unfinished cleaning from where she left off. I am totally impressed, my wife is totally delighted and…that iRobot is scary as she returns to her docking station until called upon to clean the floors again. Life is sweet!

Remember to sit down at your station and call CQ because someone somewhere is listening, don’t disappoint them. The best 73 es gud DX from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it is. So long for now and once again, Merry Christmas, Happy New year as Santa drives through the skies of our radio frequencies bringing joy to the world…de Bob WØZPE