Amateur Radio In Central Iowa

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The next meeting for Story County Amateur Radio Club will be at 7:30 pm, Thursday, September 4, 2008, at the 4-H building on the southwest corner of 13th Street and Stange Road in Ames.  A map showing the location is available here.  CyRide's Blue route runs past the building.  The program will be announce later.  Note: There is no August meeting.

View a powerpoint presentation (about 4.5 Mb) of our Field Day 2008 activities.


Getting started in amateur radio

Story County Amateur Radio Club

Fox Hunt

Field Day 2005

Field Day 2006

Field Day 2007

SKYWARN Business Meeting and Spotter Training 2008

Story County ARES


Event Updates

Central Iowa testing sessions

Amateur radio license renewal

Repeaters & nets

SKYWARN and Spotter Training

Brochure in pdf format for printing

Constitution of the Story County Amateur Radio Club

Prepared By


What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio, also known as "ham radio", is communication and experimentation. It is also a hobby and a service. "Hams," who are licensed by their governments, operate two-way equipment from their homes, cars, or other locations to communicate with other hams across town, in the next state, or around the world. Special sets of radio frequencies are set aside for use exclusively by amateur radio operators.

In the United States, hams are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. Amateurs communicate with each other through a wide variety of modes, ranging from morse code and voice transmissions that span the world on short-wave frequencies, to VHF/UHF voice modes through repeater systems in local areas, and even with digital modes and through satellites!

An important role of ham radio is emergency communications. Hams are well known for their role in providing communications during emergency situations.

Who are Hams?

Just about anyone can be a ham. There are no age limits. Many people with disabilities find a door to the world with amateur radio. Some famous people are hams, but most are people from all walks of life who enjoy making friends around the world.

Anyone with an interest in radio, computers, satellites, electronics or communications will find many opportunities in ham radio. Many people use amateur radio to keep in touch with friends and family members.

Find out how Hams help with Emergency Service or how they say Hello World.

How Can I Become a Ham?

Getting an amateur radio license is easier than you might think. In the U.S., the entry license for VHF/UHF communications requires passing a written test on basic electronics theory and FCC rules and regulations. No morse code test is required. High frequency, or short-wave operations, requires passing an additional written test.  While many hams enjoy using morse code, it is no longer required for the extra high frequency privileges. Several books and materials are available at local electronic stores or on the internet to help you study for your exam.  Testing opportunities in central Iowa are listed on this web page.  You can contact the person listed for any test for more information or you can just show up at the listed time and place and take the test.

Hamfests provide opportunities for amateur radio operators to get together for swap meets, seminars, and friendship. Most hamfests begin in the early morning and wrap up in early afternoon and sometimes sooner. Testing is often offered at hamfests, usually during the first few hours of the event. Hamfests & flea markets planned for 2006 in the central Iowa area can also found on this web page.

More information on Amateur Radio can be found by visiting the American Radio Relay League web site at or by writing to The American Radio Relay League, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111-1494.  Or, just come to one of our meetings – we'd be glad to help.

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The Story County Amateur Radio Club offers a wide variety of opportunities for persons interested in amateur radio. Among the yearly activities are programs on technical topics, radio operating activities, flea markets and sponsorship of ham radio classes.

The club generally meets on the first Thursday of each month, at 7:30 PM, at the 4-H building on the southwest corner of 13th Street and Stange Road in Ames.  A map showing the location is available here.

SCARC officers are: Arnold, AG3V (President); Bill, K0KT (VP); Ron, KN0R (Sec/Treas); Dave, KI0Q (Repeater Mgr); Suzanne, ND0D (Communications Mgr)

The club owns and maintains a repeater on 147.240 MHz. This repeater is funded by donations from users.

For information or questions about the Story County Amateur Radio Club, contact Ron Nelson, KN0R, at (515) 292-7223 or via email at .


Pictures and QSL cards from Iowa amateurs of the 1920s from the collection of Bill Smith, W0WOI, ex W5USM, a former member of SCARC.

Some QSL cards from early Story County amateurs from the W0WOI's collection.

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For amateur radio operators, a fox hunt is a search for a hidden transmitter.  SCARC fox hunting activities started with our first hunt (in a long while) on April 7, 2007.  Our plans are to have fox hunts once a month.  So, check out the SCARC Fox Hunt Info Page for results, more details about our plans, building antennas, etc.


Field Day 2007 ran from 1 PM Saturday, June 23 to 1 PM Sunday, June 24 at the American Red Cross office at 426 5th Street in Ames.  You can download a presentation, with pictures, about SCARC and CARC Field Day 2007 (this is a large file, about 2.6 Mb).


Field Day 2006 ran from 1 PM Saturday, June 24 to 1 PM Sunday, June 25.  SCARC had stations set up at the American Red Cross office 426 5th Street in Ames.  You can download a presentation, with pictures, about SCARC's Field Day 2006 (this is a large file, about 3.5 Mb).

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Field day 2005 set up began about 10 AM Saturday and FD operations went nearly as planned.

Preliminary FD results: fdsummary.htm

Field Day pictures. At least 1.68 MB of graphics: 2005fdpic.htm

We used the main floor conference room at Red Cross HQ on 5th street. Its at the east end of the building. We did exercise their generator. The Cyclone RC supplied an IC-746 and supply for this station. AG0BG rebuilt and tested SCARC antennas with many years of FD experience.

The RC station ran 80 and 40 with ONE station. All modes as selected by the operators. No one brought digital equipment so only SSB and CW were used. I completed the 10 MHz low pass filter for this station. 40 meters nearly always outperforms any other bands during FD.

The Airstream station was on the city hall parking lot west of city hall. The distance isolation and filters worked well. As far as I can tell neither station was detected at the other. The second station ran 20 and 15 meter bands. No signals were detected on 10 and 6. The FT-857D and Paul Doi's solar panels for daytime power with my 12 volt generator for night time power. worked part of the time though the added loads of the computer and a light and a fan demanded more energy than the cloudy Saturday and my neglected battery could supply. AG0BG's generator and a battery charger did nearly continuous service.

My 12 volt alternator worked OK when the antique engine would start.

I detected no city official visits, though a reporter from the ISU Student Daily did visit. The on-line version of his article is at:

Our own Peggy Murdock (KC0RYQ) represented the Red Cross Lincoln Way Chapter.

20 meters was dead a few hours between 3 and 5 or 6 AM. The RC station operated continuously for the 24 hours of the FD period.

There were just enough operators and loggers to keep both stations on the air. And the FD logging software acquired out by AG0BG and K0KT worked very well. Though I did see a couple anomalies when call signs were input suffix first. The software was N3FJP's Field Day 2.3. Go to for information.

The logs show a total of 751 contacts on 80, 40, 20, and 15 meters, with CW and SSB used on each of the bands.

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SKYWARN Spotter Training 2008

The March 6, 2008, meeting of the Story County Amateur Radio Club will be Storm Spotter Training.  For more information, visit the NWS Spotter Training web site.


Please mark your calendars for Saturday, February 23rd, 2008, 9:00 AM.  First the Mid Iowa Skywarn Association (MISA) will conduct a business meeting beginning promptly at 9 AM.  Mid Iowa Skywarn Association in conjunction with the National Weather Service will then present a Skywarn Spotter Training class.  This meeting and Skywarn Training will be held Saturday, February 23, 2008, 9:00 - 11:00 AM at the Johnston Supply Classroom, 11000 Justin Drive, Urbandale.  This class will be presented by the National Weather Service and will consist of the 2008 Spotter training.  This will not necessarily be "advance training" but will include the usage of Amateur Radio operators during severe weather.  There will be discussion of the KØDMX station and its function at the weather service.  We will also try to demonstrate or explain the various activities in the operational area of the National Weather Service Office (NWSO) during severe storm outbreak.   In addition to the KØDMX duties that you call "ground truth" reports to.  All Amateur Radio operators are encouraged to attend whether they are MISA members or not.  Anyone interested in severe weather spotting would be welcome.

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Story County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a group of SCARC members and other amateur radio operators who have voluntarily registered their ham radio stations for emergency service. For more ARES information, contact ND0D, Susanne Van der Valk, .

Many ARES participants serve as SKYWARN severe weather spotters in cooperation with the National Weather Service in Des Moines. The NWS will be conducting severe weather spotter training throughout Iowa in the Spring. For information, visit the NWS web page and click on Spotter Information.

The Story County Amateur Radio Club Annual Simulated Emergency Test with Boone and Greene Counties was held Saturday, October 28, 2006.  Reports for the 2006 SET are available in word and text formats.


Polk County ARES meetings for 2008 will be January 8, April 29, July 7, and October 14 at the Johnstone Supply Classroom, 11000 Justin Drive, Des Moines, Iowa.  Contact Dan Miller KC0FRL (515)285-7981 for more information.

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2008 Polk County ARES Public Service Events include (contact Dan Miller KC0FRL (515)285-7981 for more information)

February 24:  801 Grand Power Climb

May 17:  MS Walk

May 31:  Dam to Dam

June 8:  Copper Creek Triathlon

June 28-29:  Field Day

July 27:  Big Creek Triathlon

August 6:  State Fair Parade

August 23-24:  MS150

September 20:  Asthma Walk

September 27:  Head of Des Moines Rowing Regatta

October 19:  Des Moines Marathon

November 22:  Living History Farms Cross Country Race

SPECIAL EVENTS FOR 2007 (just so you can see what happened last year)

Please let me (KN0R, see below) know if you have any additions or corrections to the following information.

February 28:  Amateur Radio Operators will help with the American Lung Association's 801 Grand Power Climb.  See for more information and/or contact Dan Miller KC0FRL (515)285-7981 evenings (515)491-0186 Days or .

June 10:  GREAT AMES ADVENTURE RACE! sponsored by the Lincoln Way Chapter of the American Red Cross.  Most of the race is inside Ada Hayden Park and a number of radio operators are needed to help with the event.  Let Clint Miller, KC0JUO, or any SCARC officer know if you are interested – or come to a SCARC meeting.  There will be a pre-race meeting for this event at 7:00 pm on June 7, 2007, at the 4-H building on the southwest corner of 13th Street and Stange Road in Ames.  This is just before the monthly SCARC meeting.


Please let me (KN0R, see below) know if you have any additions or corrections to the following information.

January 26: Sheldahl Swapfest will start at o'dark thirty.  Bring your stuff, tables are free, and have fun, coffee, and donuts.  Contact Dave N0LVA, 515-266-2842 or, for more information.

March 15: Mahaska Hams Swapmeet at the American Legion Hall, 302 High Ave. East, Oskaloosa, IA.  Contact Vernon N0SJF, 641-622-2154 or, for more information.

April 27: DMRAA Hamfest at the 92.6 KJJY Event Center, 2100 NW 100th Street, Clive, IA.  Contact Tim WN0IFF, 515-240-7642 or, for more information.

May 2 and 3: 3900 Club Hamboree at the Marina Inn Conference Center in South Sioux City, NE. There will be flea markets, vendor markets, seminars, and more.  More details are available on the 3900 Club Web Site.

August 3: CVARC Summerfest 2008 at the Teamster's Hall, 5000 J Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA.  Contact Rick N0XZL, 319-396-8979 or, for more information.

September 21: BVARC 10th Annual Flea Market at the Eagles Club, 118 South 5th Street, Missouri Valley, IA.  Contact John AB0VX, 402-636-2001 or, for more information.


HAMFESTS/FLEA MARKETS that were SCHEDULED FOR 2007 (just so you can see what happened last year)

January 27:  Winterset flea market -- Madison County Fair grounds, talk in on 147.270. O dark early, coffee cold by 10:30 AM and tables put away by then.

February 10:  Montour Swap Meet, 8 to 10 am at the Montour Community Center.  See for more details.

March 20:  The annual auction/spaghetti dinner will be starting around 6:00 p.m.  Bring any ham/electronic equipment that you no longer need, want, or works.  The price of the meal is $4.00 which includes all you want to eat, drink, and those great meatballs!!!  The auction will start sharply at 7:00 p.m.  Call 515-490-6273 if you need more information.

 April 29:  DMRAA Hamfest -- 92.5 KJJY Event Center, 2100 NW 100th Street, Clive, IA.

June 16:  There will be a swap meet at Sheldahl early Saturday morning.  It will probably start at 7 am or earlier and not last past 10 if that long.  Contact Don Towers, N0QFK, for more information.

June 29, 30: 3900 Club Hamboree 2007/ ARRL Iowa State Convention at the Marina Inn Exhibit Center, South Sioux City, NE.  See for more details.

July 7:  75 meter picnic and CIRAS swap meet starting at 9 am at the Marshalltown Community College in Marshalltown.  VEC testing at 10 am (registration at 9 am).  See for more details.

August 5:  CVARC Summerfest 2007 at Teamsters Hall, 5000 J Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA.  See for more details.

August 18:  ARTS Pancake Feed/Flea Market, Sheldahl, 147.075 tone 114.8

September 8:  Story County ARC Flea Market, 10 AM at the Gilbert Elementary School Gym.  Talk in on 147.240.  To find it, come into Gilbert on E-23 from the east or west. Turn south at the flashing red light. The school is about half a block south and the gym is on the northwest corner next to the parking lot. Tables will be available. No charge to sellers or buyers. There might be coffee and sweets and a donations jar.

September 16:  Boyer Valley ARC Flea Market and Hamfest -- Eagles Club Hall, 118 South 5th Street, Missouri Valley, IA.

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Updates to amateur radio events when admitted, are posted at and announced on Iowa packet BBS and VHF nets.

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2008 Dates: Saturday, January 19 at 9:30 am and Tuesday, April 1 at 7:00 pm plus some other times later in the year.
Location: 296 Town Engineering Building, Iowa State campus
Contact: George Oster, NP2N, 515-233-3535,

2008 Dates: February 9, April 12, June 14, August 9, October 11, December 13
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: Kruck P&H Warehouse Office, 807 6th St., Boone, Iowa

Directions: Come into Boone on Story St. Turn West on 6th St. for 3/4 block, building on North side of street.
Talk-In: 146.850
Contact: Steve N0NEU (515) 432-4006 or

2008 Dates: January 20, March 16, May  18, July  20, September  21, November  16
Time: 1:00 PM, but registration starts at 12:30 PM (no admittance after 1pm)
Location: Johnstone Supply Company classroom, 11000 Justin Drive, Urbandale
Contact: Dan Miller KC0FRL, home = (515)285-7981 or cell = (515)491-0186 or email =


Other Iowa testing opportunities can be found on the ARRL Exam Sessions for Iowa page.


There will be a Amateur Radio General Class License Course taught in Des Moines beginning  at 7:00 PM Thursday January 10, 2008.  It will run for 10 weeks, the final class will be March 13, 2008.  The location is the Johnstone Supply Co. Classroom, 11000 Justin Drive , Des Moines , Iowa ( Urbandale ).  This requires "The ARRL General Class License Manual"  which is available from for $24.95 + S&H.  Or we can get these for you for $25.00, if you let Bill know when you register.  Deadline for registration is Jan 3, 2008.  To register, contact Bill Schemmel by e-mail at or phone 515 865 1066.

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The Federal Communications Commission changes the renewal rules every couple years. For details check their web page.

ARRL bulletin 10 dated April 12, 2004 on FCC form 605 and its use.

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AMES: 147.240 Story County ARES Net, Sunday 7:00 PM

AMES: 147.375 Cyclone ARC Net, Wed 9:00 PM

BOONE: 146.850 Boone County ARES Net, Sunday 9:00 PM, followed by a net on 443.900

DES MOINES: 146.940 (114.8 CTSS) Central Iowa ARES Net, Sunday 8:00 PM. Packet net follows

DES MOINES: 146.940 (114.8 CTSS) Polk County ARES Net, Thursday 7:00 PM;

DES MOINES: 146.820 (114.8 CTSS) ARCS Net, Sunday 9:00 PM

MARSHALLTOWN: 147.135 (141.3 CTSS) CIRAS Net, Sunday 6:00 PM

SHELDAHL: 147.075 (114.8 CTCSS)(linked to others)

WEBSTER CITY: 147.015 Hamilton Co Radio Club Net, Monday 7:00 PM


3.970 Iowa 75 Meter Traffic Net, Monday - Saturday 12:30/5:30 PM (6 PM in Summer)

3.970 Iowa Traffic & Emergency Net, Sunday, 5:30 PM (6 PM in Summer)

3.990.5 Iowa RACES Net, 1st Monday of each month, 5:30 PM


A list of Iowa Repeaters is can be found on this link.

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You can go directly to the SKYWARN website at the National Weather Service office in Des Moines for more information.  You can also find out about spotter training.  The March SCARC meeting is usually NWS Storm Spotter Training.

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Printable brochure in PDF format

2004broc.pdf Print on both sides of the paper and fold in thirds with the map on the cover. This does not contain the updates of this web page.

Constitution of the Story County Amateur Radio Club

The SCARC constitution is available here: newscarccon.htm


Website created by KB0JUL, maintained by K0CQ for several years, and last modified by KN0R.

Send email to KN0R at  for any updates to this page.  (Sometime, I'll get around to cleaning up this page.  Really!)

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