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  • May 21 / 2018
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Field Day 2018

Press Release
For Immediate Release

For Additional Information please contact: Clair Franzen, BCARC Secretary / Treasurer
Email: clair@c2place.com, Phone: (563) 932-2099

Public Demonstration of Emergency Communications at Field Day

The Buchanan County Amateur Radio Club (BCARC) will demonstrate Amateur Radio at the Emergency Services Annex, 2109 205th Street, Independence on Saturday, June 23 from 1-4pm. This is during the ARRL annual Field Day event. They invite the public to come and see new ham radio capabilities and learn how to get an FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes. Local hams who wish to participate are also welcome. The objective of this year’s Field Day is to work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions.

Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been amateur radio. These radio operators, often called “hams,” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. Local “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend. Members of BCARC regularly provide communications and other support to Buchanan County Emergency Management.

This annual event, called “Field Day“, is the climax of the week long Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan,”When all else fails, Amateur Radio works” is more than just words to hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without using phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

To learn more about amateur radio or how to get started, contact BCARC on the web at www.bcarc.net, or e-mail info@bcarc.net. They can even help you get on the air!


When All Else Fails Amateur Radio Works

  • Jan 20 / 2017
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New Indee DMR Repeater

At the January 2017 meeting it was decided that BCARC will purchase a DMR repeater to replace the current 442.900 voice repeater. The budget is approx $1,300 for the repeater and the hardware needed to extend the internet access from the club station at “Green Acres” to the tower site approx 0.4 miles away.

This new DMR repeater will be linked via the Brandmeister DMR Network. This will allow communications across Iowa, the USA, or even worldwide. As of this posting (1/20/2017) there are 4 DMR repeaters in Iowa, with 3 more “Coming Soon”. You can access these DMR repeaters with the Tytera MD380 radios among others. There is a Facebook Group called Iowa DMR DMR Users Group 3119 that has much more information as well as the radio “codeplugs” to get started.

A Motorola XPR8300 Repeater has been ordered and will be delivered to the club once we’ve reached the $1,000 mark of our funding goal.

**UPDATE** As of March 16, 2017 we have fully reached our funding goal!

Motorola XPR8300 DMR UHF repeater, with its duplexer, ready to go to Buchanan County Amateur Radio Club

The repeater is now on the air, but there is a problem with the antenna on the main site and we are using a temporary antenna on the Green Acres tower at 50′.

Last update: 4/19/2017


  • Aug 16 / 2016
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442.900 – KC0RMS/R Independence Repeater

BCARC has added a second Independence Repeater.

The KC0RMS/R 70cm repeater was activated on August 14, 2016. It is located on the same tower NE of Independence as the 2m repeater. The frequency is 442.900 with a CTCSS of 103.5.

Currently we do not have a repeater controller for this, so there is no hang time after you unkey, no courtesy beep, and no ID. If you use it, please ID it. We are currently researching the best low cost option for a controller for this repeater. As we hope to replace this with a better repeater soon, we want to keep the cost minimal.

This repeater is currently running on a pair of Motorola M1225 radios.


Independence Repeater

  • Dec 03 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Radio Room

Radio Room

In 2013 we finished up our new ham radio room, which was then utilized for Field Day.

  • Apr 01 / 2013
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Radio Room Construction

A few pictures from the radio room construction that took place last summer at Green Acres.

  • Mar 29 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Portable Tower

Portable Tower

Here are some photos of our US ARMY “lightplant”, which will become our new portable tower. It has an unusable generator that runs 3 big floodlights. The generator and wiring will need to be removed.  The trailer, tires, and tower are in very solid, usable condition.
It needs a new tongue, new winch, and 4 outriggers to make it safe to erect. I did erect it a bit. It goes to about 35 feet.