Clark County Amateur Radio Club
Vancouver, WA USA


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Ham Basics are held once a year and are intended to cover a variety of technical or procedural subjects of interest to the amateur radio community in general.  Some years will have specific themes and some will just be a potpourri of subjects.


Events scheduled or have been held are shown below.

Hyperlinked class titles below will open a pdf of presentations given and any handouts for the classes.



Ham Basics 2012


17 November 2012, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – POC is Delvin/N7QMT

      Ridgefield LDS chapel, 21720 NE 29th St, Ridgefield WA 98642


For the schedule of classes click here…


Subjects covered (alphabetically) and presenters: 


·         ARES and ICS – Steve/WA7PTM:  The FEMA IS-100 course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System (ICS) which is used by the agencies served by the Clark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group.


·         ARES and NIMS – Steve/WA7PTM:  The FEMA IS-700 course introduces and overviews the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations (like the ARES) to work together during domestic incidents.


·         Basic antennas – Dave/WB7ESV:  Learn about basic antennas to improve your radio signal and improve your station performance.


·         Beginner’s guide to making antennas (761Kb) – Lonny/ KE7JJK:  Experiment with making your own antennas that improve your station performance.


·         Logging, Contesting and Computers (6.9Mb) – Rick/KT7G:  Improve your contest fun using computers to log your contacts.


·         Mobile installation – Dave/WB7ESV:  Learn ways to successfully install a station into your vehicle


·         NVIS antenna – Delvin/N7QMT:  How to build a low 40/80 dipole.


·         Operating simplex – Chuck Jones/KE7ZWP:  Simplex FM can be fun and useful during emergencies.  Learn how to succeed.


·         Portable Station Considerations (3.5Mb) – Gary/K7GJT:  Portable station considerations will be presented to include equipment capabilities, power alternatives, VHF/UHF and HF antenna options, shelters, equipment and personal support kits, and more will be covered.


·         Power your station, portable and fixed – Phil/AC7NB:  Determine how much power your station needs, and discuss different ways to provide the power.


·         Single point station grounding – Dave/WB7ESV: Learn about basic antennas to improve your radio signal and improve your station performance.


·         Survival kit for deployments – Karen/KE7NYH:  Gain some ideas on what to take when you are deployed for an emergency assignment.


·         Survival kit for your car – Karen/KE7NYH:  Learn ideas on how to create a mobile survival kit for your vehicle.


·         Working HF station – Clay/KF6SNF & Linda/AA6MR:  Operate at a working HF station just before and during the premier HF contest, Sweepstakes.



Ham Basics 2011


19 November 2011 – POC is Delvin/N7QMT

Event Flyer |  Class Schedule & Outline | Opening session Presentation | Event Pictures



Subjects covered and presenter:


·         Antennas for the HF Ham; How, What and Why? - Mike/W7VO:  In this class we will be discussing the theory and comparative characteristics of several common varieties of HF Amateur Radio antennas, including; wire antennas, horizontal arrays, and verticals. Also, we will be discussing and demonstrating antenna modeling software, and antenna analyzer hardware.


·         Basic Test Equipment - Bob/WA6NFJ:  The basic test Equipment that all hams should have plus some more advanced test equipment for those who want to build gear.


·         Contesting - Rick/KT7G:  The Benefits, Reasons and tools to succeed at Radiosport.


·         DC Electricity - Dick/N6ZQ:  Learn the basic principles for working with DC electricity.


·         Emergency Communication/ARES – Jerry/K7KWO & Gary/K7GJT:  Orientation session for Amateur Radio Emergency Communications and particularly ARES/RACES.   Trained and certified operators in our area will provide communications support for government and some non-governmental organizations. 


·         First Station - Ken/ K7ICY:  Now that you have your license, what kind of station should I build?


·         GPS and Ham Radio - Mike/W7VO:  In this class we will peek behind the curtain and learn how the US Global Positioning System (GPS) works, then discuss various practical ham radio applications for GPS. This will include details and a demonstration of the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS).


·         Ham Radio Geography – Delvin/N7QMT:  Learn how ham radio is organized geographically.


·         Handheld Radio Setup – Delvin/N7QMT:  How to set up your handheld, ideas about equipment, and fun activities you can do with your handheld.


·         HF Radio Demo – Linda/AA6MR & Clay/KF6SNF  : Learn how to get started with HF communications and talking with distant stations


·         HSMM-Mesh Radio – Gary/K7GJT & Don/ND7P:  Learn about High Speed Multi-Media Mesh (HSMM-Mesh) technology; the hardware needed and what to do with the mesh system once it’s up.


·         Logging Your Contacts – Bob/WA6NFJ:  Why you should keep a log and how to use LOTW and eQSL.  Also other logging programs.


·         Mobile Installations – CANCELLED


·         Portable operation - Rick/KT7G:  How go to somewhere rare, and be successful at talking to folks that need it


·         Portable Power – Geoff/K7GCW:  Power away from the grid provides numerous challenges.  Discuss options including solar, generators, and batteries.


·         Public Service – Barbara/AC7UH & Lisa/KE7HPW:  What you need to know to prepare for being part of a ham radio communications team:  a discussion of basic radio preparation and the information necessary to participate effectively in a public service event.


·         RF Propagation – Tim/KD7RUS:  Learn the basics of RF propagation. Knowing how radio signals travel and when to operate on a band can add to your enjoyment in amateur radio. It will also help your contesting experience and may make difference if you have to communicate in an emergency.


·         Simple Antennas – CANCELLED


·         Station Grounding – Al/K7ABL:  Lousy ground, lousy signal.  Learn ways to improve your signal with a workable ground.


·         What is Ham Radio? – Delvin/N7QMT:  Overview of this hobby we call ham radio.  Includes lots of time for Q&A.


·         YL and Radio - Barbara/AC7UH & Lisa/KE7HPW:  Discussion of the many aspects of ham radio and YL participation:  Having fun as you put your license to good use.  Other resources.





Ham Basics 2010



18 September 2010 – POC is Delvin/N7QMT

Event Flyer |  Class Schedule & Outline | Opening session Presentation | Event Pictures


Subjects covered and presenter:


·         Alternative Power Basics - Dean Wagstaff/KC7IOW:  Learn how to get started with alternative power sources that can keep your batteries charged.


·         Antennas for HF - Bob Hardwick/WA6NFJ:  Learn about basic and advanced antennas for HF.  Wire antennas work well at modest cost, while towers can cost much more whle offering more selectivity.


·         Antennas for VHF/UHF - Dave Phemister/WB7ESV:  The stock rubber duckie antenna for your handheld illustrates compromise between portability and usability.  Learn some simple ways to improve your signal when you need it.


·         APRS - Howard Foreman/KC7IZH:  Amateur PACKET Reporting System (APRS) offers many ways to communicate, including position reports, weather data, and text messages.  Learn how to get started with this useful mode.


·         Beginning ARES – Gary Takis/K7GJT & Jerry Schue/KD7KWO:  Basic training session for Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and for those just interested in the program.


·         Beginning Contesting - Kevin Bier/K7VI:  Learn how to get started with contesting, how to participate, what you need to know.


·         Beginning HF -  Larry Bloomquist/W7HGC:  Beginning HF is for those who are new generals that aren't sure what they need to get/do to get on the air and start enjoying this facet of the hobby.


·         Digital Communications - Gary Takis/K7GJT:  Digital Communications will cover Amateur Radio Digital Mode History; the two basic digital technologies; TNC technology, modes & software; soundcard technology; modes & software; accuracy; making the connection without wires; making the connection with wires; digital messaging systems; and making the “over-the-air” connection with radio.  Here is a chance to learn and share your experiences with this fascinating aspect of Amateur Radio.


·         Family Communications during an emergency - Al Lewey/K7ABL:  Learn how you can communicate with your family during an emergency or disaster.  Learn how to set up a communications plan.


·         Handheld Radio Operations - Delvin Bunton/N7QMT:  How to set up your handheld, ideas about equipment, and fun activities you can do with your handheld


·         Keeping a Log, Paper-Chasing - Rick Smith/KT7G:  Logging, or computerizing your station for general dx/paper  chasing, operating and contesting. 


·         Mobile installations - Dave Phemister/WB7ESV:  Mobile radio installation procedure, RFI issues, VHF/UHF Dual Band antennas and Mobile antenna installation.


·         Events for Beginners - Larry Bloomquist/W7HGC:  Events for beginners is a fish eye view for those that are considering volunteering at a public service event but don't know what to expect and hopefully this class will answer their questions.


·         Operating Portable - Kevin Bier/ K7VI:  Field Day, Salmon Run, mountain-topping, and general fun can come from operating portable, perhaps on a picnic table in the mountains or at the beach.  Learn what you need to succeed at this kind of fun.  This method also prepares you for emergencies.


·         PACKET Radio, IRLP, EchoLink - Rob Haller/K7JAO & Tom Barton/WB7TZD:  Learn what you need for packet using a TNC.  Also learn how to use the VOIP modes, IRLP and EchoLink.


·         Powering your Station - Dean Wagstaff/KC7IOW:  The magic does not happen without power.  Batteries power your handheld, portable, and mobile stations.  You can use that method at home, too.


·         Station Safety/Grounding - Al Lewey/K7ABL:  Learn what grounding is and what it is not and what you can do to protect your station from lightning and other hazards.





Ham Basics Workshop



12 September 2009 – POC is Delvin/N7QMT

Event Flyer  |  Class Schedule & Outline | Opening session Presentation | Event Pictures


Subjects covered and presenter:


• Care and feeding of Batteries – Dean/KC7IOW:  When the grid power goes off, or you want to operate portable, batteries become your primary power source. Solar can fill in the gaps when used properly.


• Communications during an Emergency – Rick/KE7FHK:  During the onset of widespread communication outages, chaos will reign. Learn how to communicate during these emergencies.


• Connectors and Grounding – Dave/WB7ESV:  Connectors allow the electrons to flow smoothly, and grounding keeps the radio safe and happy.

           PL-259 installation       Single Point Grounding


• Digital Communications – Rob/K7JAO: This session will show how you can get started with digital (meaning text) communications, including equipment and communication methods.


• Getting started with HF communication - Jerry Schue, KD7KWO:  Many hams like talking to distant hams. HF can provide reliable regional communications with the right equipment; discussion includes how to contact other stations and operating etiquette.


• How to get the most from your Handheld – Delvin/N7QMT: Properly programming your handheld will improve your chances of pleasant contacts. Set the offset, frequency, simplex/duplex, and tone. Learn about programming software, basic signal enhancement techniques, and radio etiquette.


• Operating in a Contest– Kevin/K7VL: Contests can be a fun way to improve your operating skills. Just how do I get started talking with others during a contest? What do I need to know?

                            Sound file


• Operating Mobile and Portable – Kevin/K7VL: Operating from your car can be fun and useful. So can operating from a picnic table or an emergency shelter. The session will discuss how to assemble usable mobile and portable stations, how to contact other stations, and radio etiquette.


• Simple HF antennas – Steve/KE6NUE: Review of various simple HF antennas for your home and portable station.


• Simple VHF/UHF antennas – Dave/WB7ESV: Simple VHF antennas usually cost little to build and improve your signal.


• Station types from Handheld to HF – Delvin/N7QMT:  Review of various kinds of stations you might consider assembling and what you can do with the various types.


• Using your radio for Community Service – Don/N7DY: Parades, community walks, emergencies, and other opportunities can be fun and help you gain radio experience. Nets provide a way to manage the activity.




Antenna Seminar


October 11, 2008 – POC is Delvin/N7QMT
Specializing in Emergency Communications


o Ward Silver/N0AX, presented "Antennas 101".  Ward is a nationally published author who has written extensively on ham radio subjects and presents a fast-paced program. One of Ward's books is entitled, "Ham Radio for Dummies".


o Ralph Javins/N7KGA, has extensive experience with many antenna types over many years. His talk was entitled, "Portable antennas for EmComm". Ralph will show several antennas that work in a variety of circumstances, and you can even carry them easily.


o Panel for Questions and Answers. There was several experienced antenna folks that fielded questions from the floor.



6 Meter Repeater
(tone 94.8) Yacolt

(Note: 6M Offset is -1.700)

2 Meter Repeater
  147.24+ (94.8) Livingston

125 cm Repeater
  224.36- (94.8) Livingston

70 cm Repeaters
  443.125+ (94.8) Yacolt

  443.825+ (94.8) Mem Hosp

  443.900+ (94.8) Larch   

  443.925+ (94.8) Livingston

23 cm Repeater
  1292.50- (94.8) Livingston



The Clark County Amateur Radio Club, Providing Community Service


Contact us today and join us at a meeting!


updated 11/09/2020 gjt