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To receive or upgrade your Ham License requires you to pass a test administered by 3 Volunteer Examiners or VEs. The VEs report to an FCC recognized Volunteer Exam Coordinator or VEC.

At the last Club Meeting I presented an alternative to using the ARRL as our Volunteer Exam Coordinator. Laurel VEC, from Laurel Maryland, is the third largest of the 14 FCC approved VECs, and has two main advantages over the larger ARRL and W5YI:

  • Tests are FREE, the others charge $15
  • Test packages are submitted electronically, so the testee receives their callsign within 24 Hours instead of 5-7 days.

Because of these advantages, Dayton Hamvention switched from ARRL to Laurel as their VEC in 2007.

Today San Juan County WA received accreditation to become a Laurel VE Team by Diane Zimmerman, AA3OF, the Chairman and Region 7 Coordinator. We’ve been placed under the management of Corey Johnson, NQ1E, the Seattle VE Team leader and manager.

Kenny Richards, NU7M, is our team leader and he is working with Corey to get us set up. Kenny is a ARRL, W5YI and Laurel VE already.

I will report to Kenny as San Juan Deputy and Basil will be the Lopez Deputy. We are looking to add a deputy for Orcas.

If you are interested in participating; join the sjcve google group.



This was our Christmas Potluck and annual officer elections meeting.


Highlights include:

• An overview of San Juan County ACS and a vsit with SJC DEM director

• Revisiting WSPR

• Dan’s trip to Pacificon 2018

• SJC has a connection to HamWAN


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I am very careful not to use the Club for promotion of our products at NW Digital Radio, the company that Basil and others are involved with.

OTOH This video from Julian, OH8STN in Finland, went Viral and we sold out our latest product release; the Digital Radio Amateur Work Station:


We’re starting our next build now. If you’re interested, follow our blog at NW Digital Radio

Website Updates

I have updated the website:

ARES Reports have moved to the AUXCOMM Google Group. Wednesday night Nets no longer need to be reported.

The 2m Digipeater  on Orcas has changed frequency to Net-16 144.910

The 2m RMS Gateway on Lopez also changed to Net-16 144.910

Report from Brian K7BLS:

The Lopez contingent of the club conducted their first VE session on November 3 with a great outcome. All candidates except one participated in two study sessions led by Corky.

Fifteen people took the test and we now have thirteen new Hams! 

Those earning new Tech licenses:

  • Zach Anheman
  • Brenda Asterino
  • Wade Clark
  • Bill Clemens
  • Chyanne Escalante
  • Peter Garlock
  • Jim Ghiglione (Retired Lopez Fire Chief)
  • Mark Herrenkohl
  • Monico MacKinnon
  • Lou Prey
  • Joel Ray
  • Kai Underwood
  • John Waugh

All have been encouraged to take advantage of the SJCARS generous offer of one year free membership for new hams by signing up online.

The VE testing team:

  • Basil Gunn (N7NIX) VE
  • Clark Johnson (K7LRK) VE
  • Corky Searls (AF4PM) VE
  • Brian Silverstein (K7BLS) VE
  • Page Read (KI7ABB) Assistant

Basil and Brian had a great experience participating in the October 6th test in Friday Harbor.

On November 17 we will have a Get On The Air session for the new Hams. For those who wanted, we ordered HTs and will program them. Several others have radios or will purchase one.

Highlights include:

• Visits via Skype with candidates for ARRL Northwest Director

• A successful test of HamWan connectivity between San Juan Island and Victoria



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