The Hermiston Amateur Radio Club evolved from an informal coffee break in the late 1970’s. The group met to discuss amateur radio topics and to support the 147.03 repeater. It was located at Ernie Netter’s on Loop Road. Originally the group called themselves the Hermiston Amateur Radio Association, but somehow during the process of getting organized the name was changed to the Hermiston Amateur Radio Club. Over a period time the club grew and became what is now an incorporated, tax exempt, ARRL affiliated club.
The first officers elected were; Dave Mull WA7FJT President, Ernie Netter K7RYE Vice President and Phil Bondurant WA7ZWD Secretary. Phil resigned in early 1980 and Doug Paine KA7AHG was elected to fill that position. The first regular meeting place was AEF Mfg., a major CB antenna manufacture no longer in business (Tom Wilson, then WB7AEF).
Novice classes and code practice were a big part of the clubs activities in the 80’s. Special Event Stations were operated in 1981, ’85, ’88. The club has participated in many ARRL Field Day operations since it was organized. The Club has also assisted in a few Hermiston Watermelon festivals over the years.
A crashed tower was purchased in 1983 and became part of a 40 ft. crank-up tower mounted on a trailer which the club still owns. John Trumbull WA7LUF designed a logo which became the official club emblem in 1983. The group participated in a “mass casualty drill” with several local agencies in 1984.
The 147.03 was given to the club by the estate of Jay Gamble K7UXK. It was moved to Sillusi Butte on the Washington side of the river in 1986 and it was changed to 147.02 to comply with the 20 kHz spacing. Hassle Shard K7QEG (now a silent key) donated the 147.16 repeater to the club in 1984. In 1985 it was moved to it’s current site on Carney Butte. Good Shepherd Hospital donated a 450 MHz repeater to the club in 1984 and put into operation on 449.325 on Sillusi Butte in 1986. The 3 repeaters were made tone linkable and phone patch accessible. This was accomplished using a “hub” linking system. The 146.64 and 147.22, John Day repeaters, were added to the system in the early 90’s. They were control operator linkable.
The group was very active with some members involved in nearly every aspect of the hobby. Most of the active members also participate in the local ARES/RACES (UMESRO). They provided communications for 2 parades, dog sled races and occasional walk-a-thons.
Club meetings were held on the Second Monday of each month except July and August. Most meetings were held in the basement of the Hermiston Library and started at 7:30 PM. Breakfasts were on the Sunday proceeding the second Monday, normally at the Eagles Lodge at 8:00 AM. The club VHF net was on Monday, except meeting night, at 7:30 PM on the 147.16 repeater. An unofficial Nite Owl Net was held on Fridays at 12:00 Midnight, also normally on 147.16. All interested people were invited to the meetings, breakfasts and other activities. All licensed amateurs were encouraged to check into the nets.
Thanks to Bill, KK7CG, for most of the input to this history page.