Cotton candy, a roller coaster, Tilt-A-Whilrl, 4-H exhibits, farm machinery are standards for the Winona County Fair. This year there was more including an amateur radio station operated by members of the Winona Amateur Radio Club. The club was invited to be a part of Public Safety Day at the fair Aug. 12. To represent Ham radio we set up two stations, HF and VHF, with antennas on the county’s tower trailer. We used the club’s IC-718 on HF and AC9TO’s FT-2900 on 2m FM. Amateur radio was were mixed in with all of the first responders: police, fire, sheriff, ambulance, and the National Weather Service.

Our tribander on the tower attracted attention, but not nearly as much as the police dog demonstrations.

The goal was not to make a lot of QSOs, but rather to “show off” a bit of what we do and how we provide public service communications for events and emergency situations. Having Morse Code playing on the speaker of the IC-718 attracted a fair amount of attention and, despite the tri-bander being aimed south, we made a handful of contacts in Europe and around the states on 20m CW and SSB. County Emergency Manager Ben Klinger, KEØTNM, was pleased with the way things worked out during the day, even though it was pretty slow going at first due to rainy weather. We have already been invited back again for next year.

Participants included: Marv Rodvold, AC9TO; Lance Tagliapietra, ADØUT; John Kowalik, K2OPT; Rick Kolter, KD9GVS; Mike Foerster, WØIH; Dan Goltz, WKØW; and Mike Cizek, WØVTT.