Wednesday, April 6, 2022

2022 2nd Annual Kamiah Hamfest

The 2nd Annual Kamiah Hamfest is scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2022, at the Kamiah American Legion Hall, 618 Main Street. There will be live and virtual speakers, vendor/swap tables, food and drink available (some for cost/some free), and conclude with a VE test session for all license classes.

See the ARRL even listing here:

http://www.arrl.org/hamfests/kamiah-hamfest

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Highlights from Club Meeting (October 7, 2021)

Upcoming Training Milt (AH6I)
General Upgrade Class, Kamiah, October 23 & 30
Tech Class, Peck Fire Station, November 13 & 20

Elections @ Club Meeting November 4

49 Repeater
In the absence of available repeaters for order, Club President, Don (W7PJ) is working on building one with the hopes of installing on October 16, if possible. The new repeater will have a transmit tone of 123.0 Hz that users can program into their HT's receive side, if desired, to cut down noise from another repeater  signal on the same frequency that sometimes reaches our area. HTs will continue to work, with or without adding the tone. 

Milt (AH6I) will also be installing a GMRS radio repeater at the 49 location for users in the valley.

North Central Idaho Auction Site
Steve (W7HAT) shared the Grangeville-based North Central Idaho auction site GoBidToday. Keep an eye out for useful items for your ham radio hobby, as well as other interesting farm-related items.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Results of our Fund Raising Raffle are in!

 Time to announce our Raffle winners! As you know, the raffle was held on July 4th, 2021 at Harvest Foods in Orofino. None of the winners were present but were later contacted by phone and soon received their prize. 

The winner of our $100 cash third place prize was Jeremy of the Weippe area.

The winner of our 800 rounds of .223 ammo was Leroy of the Orofino area.

The winners of our 1st place prize of the Ruger rifle and Nightforce scope is Loren and Linda of the Kamiah area. I say winners because Linda filled out the tickets in her husband Loren's name so we'll let them sort out who the actual winner is! They are both new hams, getting their ticket earlier this year after passing their technician exam following one of Milt's training sessions. I do remember meeting them and recall them to be very friendly and personable. I welcome them both to the ham radio family and look forward to hearing them on the radio as members of the local Kamiah club.


Enough cannot be said about our local businesses who provided goods and services in support of our club's fundraiser.

Olives Auto Parts (and more) provided a substantial cost reduction for our purchase of the Ruger firearm. They additionally waived the firearm transfer fee as well! 

Tony at Harvest Foods in Orofino allowed us to set up a display indoors on multiple dates during which we sold more than half of the 2000 tickets!

Kelly at Krystal's cafe kept ticket booklets on hand and promoted the sale by selling close to 250 tickets herself!

Kamiah businesses Cloninger's and Ted's Valley Auction permitted us to sell tickets at their locations as well.

But most certainly the substantial selling point of this raffle was the Nightforce scope mounted on the rifle. Local business Nightforce is a world renown manufacturer of rifle optics and DONATED the premier optics for this raffle. There is little doubt this had a substantial part in the success of this raffle!

I personally thank each one of these businesses for their support and shall do my best in further promoting their business. Additionally, I thank all members of the Clearwater Valley Amateur Radio Club for their support in this fundraising effort. We met our goal and now the true work begins.

de Steve w7hat

Monday, June 28, 2021

2021 ARRL Field Day

June 26, 2021, Orofino Pierce Gun Club

Members begin arriving and setting up equipment at 0800 for the even, which began at 1100. We had three stations operating on alternative power. There were a few comical, and a few frustrating, snafus. Quite active listening, but not many contacts made. There's plenty of room for improvement and plenty of time before next field day to come up with ideas!

More club and family members arrived after noon tremendous [make up] Christmas dinner, hosted by Lillie (N7KAC), who brought the main courses, with sides and desserts shared by others, and enjoyed by all! Dinner was followed by a door prize drawing and a small auction.

The auction was in support of the 49 repeater power bill. It was lively and comical. Steve (W7HAT), our resident pro auctioneer, got us started, then handed off auctioneer duties to random attendee novices. Those of us who played at auctioneer were pretty nervous, but Steve didn't leave us hanging. He provided plenty of support and humor.

It was good to see everyone.

Here is W7HAT demonstrating our most effective method of making those long-distance contacts!




Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Dream Team Strikes Again!

Norton Knob

CVARC owns, operates, and maintains two repeaters in the Clearwater Valley. The 76 repeater is located on Norton Knob with numerous other repeaters and antennas, including local emergency services and regional National Public Radio.

Each year, the club pays its "rent" for housing and powering our repeater and antenna at Norton Knob by weed eating at the site each June, both to improve the appearance and to create a much-needed fire break around the building, antennas, and power lines.

We have always had a pretty good turnout of club members and equipment, and we usually complete the job in under two hours. Thanks to the turnout of eight members on June 5, 2021, and to Doug (KG7ZLE) bringing along his rider mower, the work was completed in just about one hour! 


Pictured left to right: Don (W7PJ), Kelly (KE7LY), Fabien (KJ7YXJ), Randy (KI7AVF),
Greg (AI7FM), Dave (KG7SRR), Doug (KG7ZLE), and Steve (W7HAT).

This also gave Don (W7PJ) and Steve (W7HAT) a chance to work together to remove a number of pesky wild rose bushes and treat the stumps in hopes they won't be there next year, as well as for Kelly (KE7LY) to give some attention to moss and lichen growing on the little sidewalk and building foundation.

Thank you to the Dream Team for this year's work! A special thanks to those who come up every year for this effort, and a warm welcome and thanks to first timer Greg and brand new ham operator Fabien for jumping in so readily and contributing. It was a good and productive time for all.

This year, we were treated by the visit of site owner Neal Johnson. Neal brought the Dream Team a cooler of water and sodas for refreshment and lent a hand here and there. Thank you, Neal.


Saturday, February 6, 2021

CVARC Raffle is in progress! (Drawing July 4, 2021)

CVARC has initiated its first fundraising raffle, and we have some tremendous prizes. Take a look!

To purchase tickets, ask any CVARC member, email cvarc.idaho@gmail.com, see Kelly at the Krystal Cafe in Orofino or visit one or our public sales. Next public sale is:

Cloningers Harvest Foods on Main Street, Kamiah  Saturday March 6th, 2021 10am-2pm

For those who purchase tickets, thank you for your support of amateur radio in the Clearwater Valley, and good luck! Ticket purchaser must pass all federal and state requirements owning a gun.

Click here to view/print Raffle Poster.

1st
PRIZE
RUGER 556 RIFLE
with Nightforce C599 riflescope
(.2 Mil-Radian * ILLUM * PTL * FC-MIL)
and 200 rounds of .223 ammunition



2nd
PRIZE
800 ROUNDS of .223 AMMUNITION

3rd
PRIZE
$100 CASH

With the goal of raising enough funds to replace the 76 repeater on Norton Knob, CVARC has initiated its first fundraising raffle. Line up and get your tickets to buy or sell!

The 76 repeater has been hosted on Norton Knob (site owned by Neal Johnson, where numerous emergency response repeaters and antennas are located) has been there for 20-some years. The model repeater is no longer manufactured, and it is difficult to get replacement parts. In addition, only one individual in the region has the knowledge to repair this repeater when it has problems. The time has definitely come to upgrade.


Secure(r) Communications for Ham Operators

Amateur radio communications is not a private or secure method of communications. Anyone with a scanner that will pick up signals in the amateur bands can hear our conversations.

However...

According to FCC rules, operators are not allowed to encrypt their radio signals for the purpose of disguising the content of the message, with only the exception of sending control signals (vs person-to-person messages). The use of spread spectrum transmissions is allowed in certain bands, but again, not with the intent of obscuring the meaning of the communication; it is primarily a method for reducing interference and providing multiple uses within the band.

So, can amateur operations be secure? Technically, no. But there are ways operators can decrease the likelihood that unsavory listeners will glean information we don't want them to have. 

One of these practical methods is to use the same precautions when conversing as you would when using social media. That is, don't discuss personal, personally identifiable, or otherwise sensitive information on the air. Don't talk about your upcoming vacation, when your house is likely to be empty and unguarded. Don't share anyone's personal address, phone number, date of birth, etc. Let caution be your guide.

One bit technology available to amateur operators that is essentially private is Winlink, which is a worldwide radio messaging system that uses amateur-band radio frequencies to provide radio interconnection services that include email with attachments, position reporting, weather bulletins, emergency and relief communications, and message relay. This operation method is also great for getting messages out to loved ones who are not hams during an emergency when other forms of communication may be cut off.

Using any email, including Winlink, you can also send a text (or Short Message Service - SMS) to a cell phone, which is likely to result in messages being more timely received. To send an SMS message, you need to enter the recipient's cell phone number and their carrier's SMS domain in the To: line of your email. You can reference the Text Message Via Email document for carrier email domains. You can also ask your contacts to send you an email via their SMS application and keep record of it for future use.

But even then, keep in mind that there are entities that may be able to gain access to these stored communications via security breaches or through court orders. The only true secure communications are private face-to-face conversations.

Side note: The FCC recently published Enforcement Advisory FCC Public Notice DA 21-73"to remind licensees in the Amateur Radio Service...that the Commission prohibits the use of radios...to commit or facilitate criminal acts.

Presented by Don W7PJ at the regular monthly club meeting on February 4, 2021.