Ham Radio

Lost Echo Ham Day

October 10th has been declared official WA7LEH Day. It was in 2019 our local club, the Lost Echo Hams, became WA7LEH. That is our club callsign. This might not seem like a big deal, but prior to 2019 we did not exist and most of us did not even have ham licenses. Not only did the FCC grant individual ham licenses, but also recognized the club with it's own call sign. That callsign will be used during club activities and special events. While it is a source of pride, it also recognizes our efforts as being bigger than the individual. We stand ready to assist the community with communication and other services not possible without the federal recognition. We sincerely hope our numbers grow, to include other hams in the area. We are stronger together and enjoy the micro community of local hams. If you are a local ham and want to be part of our activities, nets and camaraderie, contact us at lostechohams@echolakecommunity.org.

Lost Echo Ham Nets

The Lost Echo Hams strive to stay connected not only to each other but the county as well. To accomplish that they maintain two ham nets weekly with distinctly different purposes. Both nets occur on the Clearview repeater; 442.975 Mhz, +5 Mhz offset and 'tone' of D172.

Weekly Social Net

This net happens every Thursday (except the second Thursday) at 1900 hours (7 PM). The purpose of the net is to test radios and share stories of interest to the group. While they follow a script, which can be found HERE, it is a relaxed time to keep in touch. They invite anyone to join in.

Weekly OPS-3 Net

This net happens every Tuesday at 0900 hours (9 AM). The purpose of this net is to test radios and verify emergency response readiness for the Echo Lake Community operations. The results of this net are reported to Snohomish county at 0930 hours the same day. During an actual disaster, this net is periodically activated as part of the county resource assessment and situational reporting. All hams living within the Echo Lake Community are encouraged to participate. The short duration net follows a script which can be found HERE.

Monthly Meeting

On the second Tuesday of each month the Lost Echo Ham club meets to discuss current and future events and share educational information. During the Covid-19 period the meetings occur on Zoom. These meetings are open to anyone. To add your name to the invitation list please Email, lostechohams@echolakecommunity.org. They would love to have you on board.

Lost Echo Ham Club

The Lost Echo Hams is a group of individuals that were inspired by the community need to communicate especially in times of emergencies. This need grew in response to the formation of the Echo Lake Community Group. Initially most of these individuals acquired their Amateur Radio License having no background in the technology. This dedication led to the creation of the Lost Echo Ham club with the club call sign of WA7LEH.

The Lost Echo Hams now conduct a weekly net every Thursday at 7pm, on the local Clearview repeater; 442.975 Mhz, with +5.0 Mhz offset and a tone of D172.

This group will respond to emergencies within the community, providing communications, damage assessments, wellness checks and rescue in support of the Emergency Response Command. Training to support these functions is in progress.

This group has a Google Group blog that keeps everyone up to date with interesting news. To participate with this blog please contact lostechohams@echolakecommunity.org or vicepresident@echolakecommunity.org to be added to the group.

If you are interested in becoming a member of Lost Echo Hams or would like more information please Email us at: lostechohams@echolakecommunity.org

Getting your Technician Ham License

Have you wanted to get your Ham Radio License. Well it is not difficult to reach that goal. You do not need to know Morse Code. This was a disincentive in years past, so that requirement has been eliminated. The process is quite easy and the results are many. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic virtually all in-person classes and testing sessions have been suspended, however there are online opportunities that make the process even easier. In general you want to study for the exam, take the exam, buy a radio, get involved and have fun.

Training:

Ham Test Online – this is an on-line resource I used to get my current license. It was great at getting me to remember the material. It uses the actual questions/answers you will see on the test. This system provides tests, using actual questions/answers you will find on the final FCC exam. You keep taking the tests until you are consistently getting good results. Then you are ready to go elsewhere to take the actual exam. The magic with this system, it learns your weak areas and provides more questions in those areas to improve your overall score.

Ham Study – I have not used this resource, but have heard good things.

Ham Test Book – One of the most popular books is the Gordon West study guide.

Quick study guide – This guide is not intended to replace the above study material, but provides information seen several times in the test.


Testing:

Regardless which training course you choose, the testing is totally independent and uses questions from the same question pool. There are no surprise questions. Testing schedules, costs, registration and other information can be found HERE.

Lake Washington Ham Club – This local club is providing on-line testing with discounts.


New Amateur Radio Hams!

In June 2019, sixteen people from our community completed a two day class culminating in the FCC Technician Class exam. Everyone successfully completed the exam! Congratulations to AJ Baxter, Denise Deacon, Keith Deacon, Marion Douglas, Robert Earle, Linnea Evans, Germaine Fitzgerald, Jan David Hettinga, Jeremy Hettinga, Suzette High, Janet Macher, Richard Pierce, John Stelfox, Richard Williams, Jill Williams and Evelyn Woods.

For most it was their first exposure to the technology, rules and techniques of radio and the technology that makes it work. With strange terminology, weird relationships and enlightening concepts, they absorbed the information required to pass the FCC exam. While it may have been a challenging course for some, it was a joyful relief in the end to have completed the course.

They learned the theory of how radios work, the rules of operating a radio, basic electronics, antenna design, wave propagation, and safety measures among several other topics. The other thing most learned, was that it is still possible to tackle a very different subject, and retain the information.

What this means to the Echo Lake community is that during an emergency or disaster we are much better equipped to handle the adverse conditions with the knowledge that we can all communicate with each other and the region through these key people. Communication will help ensure safety and likely save lives.

With the creation of these new licensed communicators, we will continue to develop a network and skill set to better unite our community in preparation for any disaster that may occur. We will work to form an Echo Lake communication plan to enhance safety, security and resilience.

We are thankful for the time and effort of Scott Honaker and Erik Robins, the volunteer teachers that taught the course and answered the many questions during the weekend.

Scott is the Snohomish County DEM Communications Coordinator, IT Consultant, and Regional Communication Leader, lead instructor for FCC Amateur licensing and advanced ACES courses. In addition, Scott is leading and directing many radio related working groups and developing regional and state policy relating to Emergency communications. Scott is also part of the ICOM national sales team, highly respected for his knowledge of radio systems, protocols, rules and challenges to all radio system engineers.

Erik is the Snohomish County ACS administrator and event organizer for many Amateur radio events throughout the county. He has taught technology for decades, and continues that extensive effort locally with FCC Amateur licensing classes and advanced ACES courses. In addition, he is intimately involved in many system installations around Snohomish County. Even in retirement, Erik is a full time volunteer, making the world a better place.

We are also thankful for the examiners Dick Beach, Gary Nevius, Ann Wright, Wayne Connell, and Erik Robins that made certification possible.