Northern Lights Radio Society

About Us.

The Northern Lights Radio Society is an organization of Upper Midwest amateur radio operators who are active in weak signal SSB, CW, and digital work on the VHF, UHF, and microwave bands. The majority of our members are located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, but we also have members in North and South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Canada.

The Northern Lights Radio Society is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

The club's call sign is W0AUS . This was the call sign of Robert (Bob) Wesslund (SK), a founding member of the the Northern Lights Radio Society. In honor of Bob's work with the NLRS, and in recognition of his mentorship and operating skills on the microwave bands, the NLRS adopted his call sign as the club's call sign in April 2009.

2018-2020 Club Officers:
President: Jon Platt, W0ZQ
Vice President: Dave Kleindl, N0KP
Secretary & Treasurer: Janice Hoettels, KA9VVQ

NLRS Constitution and Bylaws.pdf

Membership and Dues.

Membership dues are $5.00 per calendar year with a grace period that runs up until our yearly Aurora conference in April. Members typically pay their dues when registering for Aurora. If you wish to join the club and/or are paying your dues outide of Aurora, please print out the NLRS Membership PDF form below, fill it out, and mail it along with your check (CHECKS ONLY PLEASE) made payable to the Northern Lights Radio Society to:

Janice Hoettels, KA9VVQ
NLRS Secretary and Treasurer
7623 Teal Bay
Woodbury, MN 55125

NLRS Membership Form.pdf

***Please note: Dues for 2020 have been waived following the postponement of Aurora 2020 (see below) due to COVID-19 concerns. To become an NLRS member for 2020, please fill out the membership form and mail to the address above or send an email containing all the information on the membership form to Janice Hoettels, KA9VVQ, janhoett [at]***

NLRS Logo Artwork

Proudly display your NLRS membership on your QSL cards, websites, etc. with this NLRS logo graphic! :

NLRS Logo 1200x1200.gif

Aurora Conference.

Aurora, the largest annual gathering of weak-signal VHFers in the Upper Midwest, is the annual gathering of the Northern Lights Radio Society. The Aurora Conference was first hosted by Jon Lieberg, KØFQA (SK), in 1984.

In the morning hours, the club runs an outdoor antenna range from 0900 to 1130. The morning also allows for socializing, show & tell, and casual demonstrations. Members are then on their own for lunch. The technical programs start at 1300 and typically run until 1700 or 1730. If you have a weak signal VHF topic that is of interest to you, or that you would like to present, please contact our Technical Chairman, Jon Platt, W0ZQ, w0zq [at] If giving a technical presentation is not to your liking, Aurora also features a poster session.

If you have an interest in weak signal VHF please plan on attending Aurora! You will leave re-energized for this exciting aspect of our hobby!

Aurora 2020!

The 2020 Aurora conference will be held April 25 at the Community of Grace Lutheran Church, 4000 Linden Street, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. This is near the intersection of Highway 61 with County Road F. Linden Street is a service road for Highway 61. Full information will be added as we draw nearer to the conference date.

After discussions with the Aurora team, a decision has been made to postpone our April 25th Aurora'20 conference to a later date. The team will continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and will be working with our church location to find a future meeting date. With this postponement there is also a moratorium on collecting club dues .... dues will be collected at a later date.

Programs and Presentations from previous years can be found at the following links:
Aurora 2019
Aurora 2018
Aurora 2015

Wesslund Award

The Wesslund Award honors Robert (Bob) Wesslund, W0AUS (SK), for his many years of significant contributions to the Northern Lights Radio Society and for his continuous work with mentoring others in the World Above 50 MHz. This award is presented annually at Aurora to recognize those NLRS members who have assisted others in gaining knowledge and access to the bands above 50 MHz.
2004 W0AUS Robert (Bob) Wesslund
2005 WA2VOI Donn Baker
2006 K0FQA Jon Lieberg
2007 W0GHZ Gary Mohrlant
2008 N0HJZ Rich Westerberg
2009 K0AWU Bill Davis
2010 W0UC Paul Husby
2011 VE4MA Barry Malowanchuk
2012 W9FZ Bruce Richardson
2013 WB0LJC Gary Danelius
2014 N0KP Dave Kleindal
2015 N0UK Chris Cox
2016 KC0P Mel Larson
2017 W0ZQ Jon Platt
2018 N0NAS Doug Reed
2019 AC0RA Wyatt Dirks

Email Reflector.

The NLRS has an active e-mail reflector where news of local interest and meeting reminders are posted. You can subscribe, unsubscribe, change between regular and digest mode, put your subscription on temporary hold while on vacation, etc., all from a single account maintenance web page.

If you want the list members to see your messages, you MUST send them in PLAIN TEXT only.

You can also access the archives of the NLRS mailing list (and, for that matter, all other mailing lists hosted by from the URL In the top left frame window, enter NLRS for the mail list name, and then click on the button that selects which form of the archive you are interested in viewing. You can also search the archives by entering a search term in the appropriate window and clicking the SEARCH button.

Please direct any email reflector questions you may have to the reflector's admistrator, Bruce Richardson, W9FZ, w9fz [at]

Monthly Breakfasts.

NLRS members and guests informally gather for breakfast on the second Saturday of each month at 8:30 AM. The current meeting location is the Golden Corral located at 3000 White Bear Ave #4, Maplewood, MN 55109. The Golden Corral is located in the small strip mall east across White Bear Ave. on the north end of the Maplewood Mall. It is on the SE corner of White Bear Ave and Woodlyn Ave. Woodlyn is a block south of County Rd D. The Golden Corral is a bit hard to see, but the Aldi's Supermarket is very obvious and the Golden Corral is right next door to the east.

If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by! All are welcome!

***Due to COVID-19, the monthly breakfasts are currently on hold. Please monitor this web site and/or the NLRS email reflector for updates about when they will resume.***

Dates for 2020:
January 11
February 8
March 14
April 11
May 9
June 6 (A week early to avoid conflicting with the ARRL June VHF Contest)
July 11
August 8
September 5 (A week early to avoid conflicting with the ARRL September VHF Contest)
October 10
November 14
December 12

VHF+ Nets and Local Beacons.

Below are PDF documents listing regional beacons and nets:

Regional Beacon List.pdf

Regional Nets.pdf

2020 VHF+ Calendar.

Below is a PDF document of key 2020 VHF+ meetings, events, and contests:

2020 VHF Calendar.pdf

VHF+ Contesting Resources.

About the NLRS and ARRL VHF Contest Club Competition

As an ARRL affiliated club, the NLRS participates each year in the ARRL January, June, and September VHF contests and the 222 MHz and Up Distance Challenge. You are invited to join us. To have your score included in the club's aggregate score, you need to be: 1) a NLRS club member, 2) live within 175 miles of the club's designated center located at EN24xx, 3) be listed on the ARRL club eligibility list, and 4) when you submit your score, indicate in your log that your club is “Northern Lights Radio Society”. Our ARRL club eligibility list is maintained by our club's secretary and, if there have been any changes to the list since the last contest, it is updated with the ARRL just before each major ARRL contest. Please note that once the contest starts, the eligibility list is locked by the ARRL from further changes for that contest. To become a NLRS club member, see the section above about Membership and Dues. To determine if you live within 175 miles of EN24xx, please review the NLRS club circle PDF file. To determine if you are listed on the most current version of the NLRS ARRL club eligibility list, go to the ARRL Contest Club Eligibility List and type in your call sign in the search field.

About the NLRS and the CQ Worldwide VHF Contest

The NLRS also participates each year in the CQ Worldwide VHF Contest, which occurs each July. You are also invited to join us for this contest. As this contest is sponsored by CQ Magazine and not the ARRL, none of the rules discussed above about ARRL club competition apply. To have your score included in our club's aggregate score, simply indicate in your log that your club is “Northern Lights Radio Society” when you submit your score.

Getting Started in VHF Operating & Contesting Guides

An Introduction to VHF Operating and Contesting.pdf

VHF FM Contesting Quickstart Guide.pdf

Microwave Operating Information

Microwave Up North Presentation.pdf

NLRS 10 GHz Operating Sites.pdf

ARRL UHF Contest: NLRS Limited Rover Award:

Due to the change in this contest's format from the ARRL UHF Contest to the ARRL 222 & Up Challenge, the NLRS has suspended its NLRS Limited Rover Award. Past winners of this award can be found in the PDF document below. The future status of the award continues to be discussed. Please send any recommendations that you may have to w0zq [at]

NLRS Limited Rover Award Winners ARRL UHF Contest.pdf

Last Updated September 24, 2020