Featured Member Profile: Deb KK7DEB and Eli W7ELI

by Eli W7ELI on 2014-05-08

When we joined the Corbett NERT team in 2005, the group was in desperate need of ham radio operators. We signed up with the Clark County Amateur Radio Club for technician class. We walked out of the exam with our PASS slips and wondered, “Now what?” Off we went to HRO pleading total ignorance of all things electronic but professing an interest in emergency communications. The very patient salesman recommended a Yaesu VX6R HT. We each bought one and they turned out to be a good choice.

The CCARC put us to work right away, partnering us with an experienced ham, Jack (now a silent key) for the Diabetes Walk. We quickly learned that a rubber ducky antenna doesn’t get very far, so back to HRO for a quarter-wave for the HTs and a mag mount for the car.

The only ham we knew was our friend Jerry who lives on San Juan Island. A little experimenting with linked repeaters and we were talking almost to Canada! We scanned the two meter band listening to anything we could find and stumbled on the Northwest Traffic and Training Net. We listened a long time and learned the basics of message handling, then finally got up the courage to check in and try sending a message to Jerry. Back to HRO. 5 watts even with a better antenna still wouldn’t get us out of Corbett. But 50 watts did! We grew up as hams on the NTTN.

However, we still wanted to get into emergency communications. We went to a couple of Multnomah County ARES meetings but there were only three or four other folks in attendance and there was no apparent training going on. At the EmComm Conference in Seattle we met David Kidd KA7OZO, then EC for Clackamas County and District 1 EC. He encouraged us to come to Clackamas County and we were again put to work on drills, SETS, and public service events. We upgraded to General class in 2008 so we would be able to operate HF at a served agency if needed.

When Multnomah County got a new EC in 2009, Dave asked us to help rejuvenate the group, so we returned to our home county ARES to see what we could do. Three years ago we moved from Corbett to Fairview and left the NERT team behind. Now all our volunteer time and energy is devoted to Multnomah County ARES. It has been so exciting to be a part of the growth and development of this great team of hams. We are fast becoming the best in the state thanks to the entire leadership team and all of you!

Previous post:

Next post: