W8BNZ – Amateur Radio Public Service Corps (ARPSC)


H e l l o   and   W e l c o m e


This site supports the efforts of amateur  radio

ARES/RACES   operators in Benzie County

by providing a link and in-sight of public service,

communications and disaster preparedness.












Frankfort now sports 2 Repeaters

After no working repeater for a number of years in Frankfort. Thanks to Bob Barrons, and Bob Braveheart, for carrying  things up and down 3 flights of stairs many times. And also a big thankyou to Fred Craigin from Pall Oliver hospital for loaning us equipment and working with us to get things on the air. At this time we have both a UHF repeater and a VHF repeater on the air.

The VHF will allow us to use the commercial Radios we have in Frankfort  seeing how they are VHF radios and would not work on the UHF system. I have attached some photos that Bob Barrons took up there.

I can hear the VHF from my house on a low 10 foot off the ground antenna.  I believe the goal is to see which system works best and adapted that as full time.  Were still pending for a replacement fusion repeater.  This would allow us to link all 3 Benzie county repeaters on C4FM.  The Benzonia and Crystal Mountain are currently running thanks to Dave.




W8BNZ’s 442.600 repeater back on the air 






Chris KD8MTT, Bill AA4R and Mike KG8CW replaced the non working new antenna put up last July.  Were currently only running the UHF repeater.  Linked to Crystal mountain on C4FM.


Dave KJ4KFJ, Bob KB8SVJ, Don KI8KR and Mike KG8CW made a step closer to bring the 442.600 repeater to full strength .  Dave tuned cavities to allow both VHF signals from APRS tracking and Packet Digi to use the new Diamond Antenna.  He also designed the rack to proved a great balance of space versa equipment. The  repeater will use the UHF side all making the Benzonia a GREAT  SYSTEM for ARPSC and the every day Ham.  The repeater has a 4 bay antenna below the new diamond since its toast. APRS and packet digi are up and running on a mag mount antenna inside the room at the base of the tower.  





Tuning up Crystal Mountain W8BNZ Repeater











Dave, KJ4KFJ working to realigned the duplexers for the 147.040 repeater while we close it up for winter.




July Install of the new Benzonia Repeater








Tower Crew installs new repeater/APRS/ Packet digi antenna.  Special thanks to AT& T for allowing their tower crew to lower old antenna and replace with the new one.  Thanks to Bob, KB8SVJ for reworking the base and updating the mechanical interface.  Our is next to crane cable.







Major Flooding in Midland

US 10 closed from Clare to Midland.  Two Dams have opened up causing 10,000 people forced from their homes and 6,000 are without power.  A State of Emergency has been declared.




Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

From the CDC  Current US cases here.

Learn More here!     How to disinfect here!

Stay tuned for new information.  We are reopening the state of Michigan beginning May 22, 2020 from about Clare north including the UP.   




Cherryland Ham Fest 2020








A good year to ham fest!  The morning started out at 12 above zero and not a blizzard.  I attempted to talk to KI8KR, Don on 04 but he was in a hole on a ht in honor.  We did connect up on 86 a while later.  While enjoying some catch up at Burger King, Bob KB8SVJ joined us for the round table.  Meanwhile Jared KA8RMA showed up braving the cold in a kilt.  An enjoyable day and people stopping by the table, Ernie K8RCT was next to the BARF Table and Don KI8KR on the other side.  Jared had a table behind Don’s so it was a BARF showing.   The ride home was met with sunshine and had to break out the shades.  See everyone next year.




Christmas Party 2 0 1 9  a warm and friendly dinner

No pictures were snapped this year guess the talking over rode the mind to take them.  There were 10 attending in a fierce snow shower.  Visibility was hood far for several on the way into dinner.  After a reconfiguring the two separate area’s to a L shape we were able to convers with ease.  I saw several with steaks including me with the rib eye, which was very good and hot.  We talked about the current state of events like the kitty and Cherryland swap fest.  This is the only money maker for the year and last year was down.  We have a large donation from Bill AA4R for this years two tables.  The offer to join me at 6am burger king at mejers then over the the fest to set up at 7:00am.  The ride home was quiet since there is no radio in the new truck.  73 and Merry Christmas.



Benzie Rotary Sunrise Bike Ride 2019



This may well go down as the coldest and rainest ride in Benzie County.  Waking up to 40 degree’s and rain, very little changed though out the day.  We had record number of people requesting to return to Crystal Mountain.  The SAG/communications team was busy going from one end of the ride to the other.  Some folks had excess of 300 miles logged.  Having the comm van at Crystal Mountain helped Bill, AA4R  stay out in the hub of requests.  The ride folks could communicate direct with KG8CW in the van.  Many thanks were received from the ride sponsors.  Bill extends a BIG THANK YOU to the team and look forward to next year, I’m hoping for some sun and warmth.




Get your ham radio license




  Not a Amateur radio operator or you have your amateur license but not your ARES/RACES certifications.  Find out how to earn your  license and certifications from the ARRL link above under training and join the Benzie County ARES/RACES team.  Get Started here.






The Benzie County office of Emergency Management’s  FaceBook Page Link  click here 

 The Benzie County office of Emergency Management’s WebPage  click here







2 0 2 1    Area  Ham Fests


W8QQQ Area Hamfests   click here  

Feb   08   Cherryland Ham fest 

May 02             Cadillac  ARC 

May 15-17       Xenia Hamvention

Sep                   Finlay Ham fest

Sep 20             Adrian ARC  

Nov                  Fort Wayne