We Communicate!

Olympia Amateur Radio Society, "OARS"

And the winner is.......

OARS, the Olympia Amateur Radio Society, NT7H, is an ARRL Special Service Club dedicated to promoting and supporting Amateur Radio in the Olympia Washington area as well as all of Thurston County.

We meet weekly every Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM on the OARS Repeater system (see the "OARS Repeater" section on this site) and on Zoom, 216 944 109, no password.

The monthly meeting is the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM at Tugboat Annie’s, 2100 West Bay Drive, Zoom 435 905 935 password 147360. Come early, order dinner and enjoy the meeting.

Note; You have reached the site of the Olympia Amateur Radio Society in Thurston County, Washington.  If you are searching for the Clallam County Amateur Radio Club their address is  https://olyham.com/

Alpine Hills Community Park Shelter

Alpine Hills Community Park open picnic shelter

NOTE: Time Change Effective January 2024
Beginning January, 2024 the OARS exam sessions will be held at Tugboat Annie's, 2100 West Bay Dr. Olympia WA from 4:30 to 6:00PM on the third Wednesday of each month except for December, the 1st session at the new location will be on Jan 17, 2024. This is the same night as the OARS meetings, so walk-ins will be welcome, appointments/reservations will no longer be required.
Klaus, AC7MG

The remaining 2023 sessions are by appointment only, register at oars-ve@comcast.net.  The test session is held on the second Wednesday each month, the next one is Nov 8, 2023, at the Alpine Hills Community Park at the intersection of Westhill Dr SW and Northill Dr SW, near the Delphi Golf Course. Remember you need a federal registration number available for free on the FCC website, https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/support/knowledge-base/universal-licensing-system-uls-resources/getting-fcc-registration

Also remember to dress for the weather since we are in an open picnic shelter. Candidate numbers have increased so testing is starting at 5 pm to accommodate everyone. 

Follow this link for more information:

OARS VE Testing Results 2023
















OARS Officers and Key Personnel

Call Sign
Frank Hamilton
360 951-1174
Vice President
Lee Chambers
360 951-2538
JC Armbruster

Howard Lim

Duane Braford
360 412-1902

Committees and Key Contacts

Call Sign
RFI Committee
Club License Trustee
Duane Braford
360 412-1902
Repeater Committee
Ken Dahl
360 534-9357
Information Net
Lee Chambers
360 951-2538
ARES Net Manager
Eric Messelt
360 529-1300
ARES Liaison
Steve Tomlin
360 970-6850
Newsletter Editor
Frank Hamilton
360 951-1174
Lee Chambers
360 951-2538
License Exams
Klaus Neubert
360 280-2428
Web Developer, Historian
Phil Cornell
360 515-1263
Director of Marketing
Doug Grover
360 402-2968

At the October 2023 OARS meeting, the club elected by acclamation the following officers whose terms start in January 2024:
President                    Eric Messelt W8ESM 

Vice President          Howard Lim W1COL          

Secretary                    Ben Featherston K7BCF          

Treasurer                    Dan Bivens KJ7LXU          

Member at Large          Duane Braford  WB7ROZ

2018 ARRL Field Day!  Skylar, K7STT, and Noah, who is still working on his license, took advantage of the great weather and worked together to log contacts!   

You studied, you passed the test, you got your ham license!  Now what?

Helpful links:

Introduction to Ham Radio

License Exams and test aids

CW Training Net

Also read the Welcome Pamphlet located in the Articles section of this website.

These are important things to help you get started. Most experienced hams are so used to this info that they often don't realize that new hams may struggle to find this basic info. 

The three top items needed by new Hams are VHF/UHF simplex frequencies, a list of local repeaters, and a list of local nets. Also there should be some amount of introduction given to new Hams for these topics. Unfortunately, new Hams are rarely provided with these. This page is intended to take a small step toward bridging that gap.

Simplex frequencies...

sim·plex       adjective;  technical adjective: simplex

  1. composed of or characterized by a single part or structure.

Simplex communications is just you and the other ham, one on one, talking directly to each other over the radio without the aid of a repeater.
Simplex frequencies can vary by area. The best bet is to search for the band plan for your area. The band plan for Western Washington is maintained by WWARA.(pdf) Look for "Simplex" in each band.
For example, looking at the 2-meter band, you'll find that 146.5200-146.5800 and 147.5200-147.6000 are listed as simplex frequency ranges. Great, now that only leaves you to determine the spacing between the channels.
Unfortunately, WWARA isn't very good at consistently indicating the channel spacing. There are a couple of clues, however.
The first is that the band plan does indicate that spacing between repeater channels is 20khz, so it's likely that the same spacing would apply to simplex.
The second indicator is that the simplex frequency ranges end in nice pairs of zeros. There are no fives in there. So that would tend to reinforce the idea of 20khz spacing. Unfortunately, this author has never actually found anything that specifically makes it clear, so we probably have to just assume that the spacing on 2-meters is 20khz. 

To make things easier for you, here are the FM Voice simplex frequencies from the current (2016) WWARA Band Plan.
Go ahead and program these into your radio, for whichever of these bands your radio supports.




Note: It's important for you to learn how to program both simplex frequencies and repeaters into your radio without the use of the manual or Youtube.
While it's ok for you to use software such as Chirp to program your radio, you'll need to take the time at some point to teach yourself how to program your radio manually and to practice doing so. If you were ever called upon to join and assist on a Net, it's likely that you won't have your computer, radio manual or both.

Repeaters in your area...

Well, you'll need the list of repeaters in your area, and here in Western Washington State, the Mike and Key Amateur Radio Club in Renton does a great job of maintaining a list of repeaters.
Unless specifically indicated otherwise, repeaters are open for public use by licensed amateurs.
When using repeaters, remember to wait a second or two after keying your mic before you begin to speak.

Local Nets...

Mike And Key Amateur Radio club also maintains a list of nets.
Most nets are held via repeaters, (unless the net is listed as 'simplex') so you'll need to set your radio appropriately for whichever repeater the net is using. Go ahead and listen in. They can be quite educational. You'll notice that most nets will ask for guest check-ins. That's you! Once you've heard enough to know how to check in, and if you feel that you're close enough to the net or repeater to be heard, give it a try.


The realm of HF, 3-30MHz, opens up the world for you. ARRL has a couple of slideshows introducing the world of HF at http://www.arrl.org/tutorials 

Watts News July 2023

Watts News July 2023

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Watts News Archive

Past Watts News issues

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Watts News August 2023

Watts News August

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Watts News Sept 2023

Watts News Sept 2023

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Watts News October 2023

Watts News October 2023

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Watts News November 2023

Watts News November 2023

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TCARES Every Tuesday Evening beginning at 7:00 PM on the OARS Repeaters.

OARS Information Net Every Tuesday Evening beginning at 7:30 PM on the OARS Repeaters.

PL tone
Call sign
147.360 MHz
Crawford Mt
224.460 MHz
Crawford Mt
441.400 MHz

All three repeaters are linked for greater coverage of Thurston County.

OARS, TC-ARES 2023 Calendar 2023 Calendar *=confirmed ?=not confirmed or virus uncertainty https://www.contestcalendar.com/contestcal.html 

Tuesday is net night with all invited to attend on the OARS repeater system. 7 pm is the Thurston County ARES net that starts with a formal member roll call but is followed by an invitation for visitors to check in. At 7:30 begins the OARS Information Net with organized informal checkins, reading of the radio calendar, discussion of club business, q&a and swap and shop. Nets, meeting, Zoom, testing information at Olympia Amateur Radio Society (www.olyham.org) Testing information at OARS Exam Page (www.oars- ve.duckdns.org) Thurston County ARES information at Thurston County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (www.wa7oly.org) 

An expanded list of regional events is at: Pacific Northwest Hamfairs (n7cfo.com) 


*25-26—CQ Worldwide DX Contest CW 


*1-3 ARRL 160m Contest             

*1-2 CECE23—Catastrophic Event Communications Exercise             

*3-Skywarn Recognition Day             

4-Lacey Parade of Lights            

??—Olympia Jingle Bells Parade             


*8-ARES meeting             

*10-11--ARRL 10 meter SSB contest             

*17—ARRL Rookie Roundup CW             

*20-OARS meeting             

*30—ARES 5th Saturday exercise 

This list is best viewed along with the WA7BNM contest calendar for a more complete list of world wide contests. WA7BNM Contest Calendar: 12-Month Calendar  The ARRL also has a contest calendar at ARRL Contests           

This is an AI free zone

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Are you a ham?

Are you a ham radio operator

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Joe Walsh from the Eagles

Joe Walsh on becoming a ham radio operator.

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Welcome Pamphlet

Written by our own Dr. Eric S. Messelt, W8ESM, this pamphlet will strive to answer many of your questions about ham radio.

Read More  

Lightning Protection Basics for the HF Station

With spring (hopefully) just around the corner, late winter is a great time to evaluate our station lightning protection arrangements prior to lightning season.

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Smith Charts

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A Brief History of the Amateur Radio EmComm Organization

In the early days, amateur radio and hams were considered irritations and nuisances to the "real" communicators -- the commercial sector and the military.

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HT Antenna Improvement

A simple improvement on your HT antenna

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Olympia Hams Thwart Burglary

Olympia Hams Thwart Burglary

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What is RFI?

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Learning Morse Code Increases Neuroplasticity

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FT-991A tuner

How to fix the "Hi SWR" issue after tuning.

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The National Association for Amateur Radio®

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Welcome to the WA7BNM Contest Calendar. This site provides detailed information about amateur radio contests throughout the world, including their scheduled dates/times, rules summaries, log submission information and links to the official rules as published by the contest sponsors.

Learn More


Amateur radio news, swap meet, articles.

Learn More
  • Olympia, Washington, United States

Olympia Amateur Radio Society PO Box 2861 Olympia, WA 98507 Contact the Web Developer, Phil Cornell W7PLC, at w7plc@arrl.net

These rules apply to the www.olyham.org/swap-n-shop web page only.  These rules do not apply to other OARS business practices.

1.0 Purpose 

The purpose of these rules is to promote fairness for both buyers and sellers and to help prevent fraudulent and illegal activity. This web page serves to connect OARS members and the general ham radio community wishing to buy and sell amateur radio gear. 

There is a separate category for General Merchandise which may be used to list any non-amateur related merchandise of any kind (except as noted under Prohibited Items below). For this document, amateur radio gear is defined as equipment that is used in the regular operation of a station, including radio equipment, antennas, power supplies, cabinets, test equipment, parts, supplies, and literature. One notable exception to this list is computers. Computers and non-RF specific computer parts (including computer power supplies) are NOT considered amateur radio gear by these rules and therefore must be offered only in the General Merchandise forum. In addition, furniture and household items, consumer electronics, vehicles, and real estate, shall be listed in the General Merchandise Section. 

1.1 How it works

  1. Write up your ad in MS Word or Libre Office Text (.pdf’s will be declined) following the rules outlined in this document.  If using Libre Office text, save as a .docx.  See section 6.0 in this document.    
  2. Send the ad to w7plc78@gmail.com, include photos separately (do not embed the photos in the text of      your ad)     
  3. I will review the submission and report back to you either accepted, or declined (I will detail the reasons for any declined ad so that you can make corrections and resubmit).     
  4. I will post all accepted ads on the Swap-n-Shop page of www.olyham.org.

2.0 Prohibited Items Prohibited Items that may not be offered for Sale or Trade on the OARS Swap-n-Shop include but are not limited to:

  1.     Any merchandise that is illegal to possess or sell in the United States.           
  2.     Radios or amplifiers that may not be offered for sale per government regulations.           
  3.     Services or other non-tangible goods.           
  4.     Commercial sales.           
  5.     Weapons and/or firearms.           
  6.     Items that are not family friendly, i.e. no adult material.           
  7.     CB Radio Amplifiers and/or manufactured amplifiers that are not type accepted by the FCC will not be listed.

2.1 Item categories

  1. Radios     
    1. HF          
    2. VHF/UHF          
    3. Receivers     
  2. Antennas     
    1. HF          
    2. VHF/UHF          
    3. SWL     
  3. Accessories     
    1. Soundcards          
    2. Microphones          
    3. Antenna tuners          
    4. Power Supply’s          
    5. CW keys          
    6. Cables, (usb, computer to radio, etc.)          
    7. Transmission line          
    8. Parts     
  4. General Merchandise     
    1.           CB Radios & other clearly CB gear, GMRS, aircraft/air-band and marine Transceivers.                    
    2.          Computers and IT/computer parts and/or non-radio related peripherals (printers, monitors, etc.), home stereos & stereo speakers and related, AM table and console radios, or any radio not           designed primarily for ham radio use.          
    3.          Homebrew amateur radio amps.                    
    4.          Other items that do not fit into any of the above categories.     

3.0 - OARS Role

  1. OARS takes no fee, percentage, or revenue of any kind that arises from the sale of merchandise between participants in person-to-person transactions.     
  2. If you are purchasing an OARS owned item, payment can be made through the “Payments to OARS” link on the “Links of Interest” page, (https://www.olyham.org/links-of-interest).  DO NOT USE THIS PAYMENT METHOD FOR PRIVATE, PERSON-TO-PERSON, NON-OARS TRANSACTIONS.          
  3. OARS will not be held liable or responsible in any way for any transaction that takes place between the participants.           
  4. OARS does not provide a satisfaction guarantee of any kind, nor does it offer any warranty on any merchandise sold here.           
  5. OARS will respond to and cooperate with law enforcement when requested by officials.      

4.0 - Listing Policies

  1. Listing Title
    The title will contain the Brand and Model only, nothing else.  Don't include the words "For Sale" in your listing title. It's unnecessary. Don't include decoration eBay words like "L@@K", "new", "NOS", "NIB",      "Mint", "cleaning shack", "Shack in a box", etc. as these will be rejected by the webmaster. No prices,      "radio specifications", serial numbers or shipping details in the title - no superfluous adjectives or      descriptions. No "LOWERED PRICE" etc. Keep the title simple and as clean as possible.    
  2. If the web developer edits your title to conform to these rules, please do not be offended. And please: don't use "ALL CAPS" in your titles. It's internet yelling, and just doesn't look good.           
  3.     Photos are required for all items listed that clearly show the actual item, (items in sealed boxes are allowed but discouraged, many buyers will reject the ad. It's always best to open the box and clearly show the item for sale).  Compose your photo to show only the item for sale, a cluttered background makes it      difficult for potential buyers to make a decision to buy your item.  All photos must clearly show your call sign or the ad will be rejected.     
  4.  Expiration of Ads     
    1. All ads expire after 90 days and will be removed if unsold.                    
    2. If an ad has expired and you wish to re-list the item, it must go through the submission process described in section 6.0 of these rules               
  5. Item Status     
    1. Sellers are responsible for notifying the web developer (w7plc78@gmail.com) of the status of their listing, “SOLD”, “Canceled”, etc.   This status notification allows the web developer to maintain a current and accurate list.        
  6. Preferred Method of Contact     
    1.  Sellers should always state their preferred method of contact in the ad.                    
    2.  OARS will not assist shoppers or relay any messages in contacting sellers as it is the seller's responsibility to provide clear contact information.               
  7. Third-Party Sales     
    1. Third-party sales are prohibited.  All sales must be made in the first person, by the owner of the gear. Parent/child relationships are not subject to this policy. Silent Key gear is also exempted from this rule as long as the seller has control of the items.              
  8. eBay Listings     
    1. Listings that exist on other sites, such as eBay, Craigslist, QTH.com, or elsewhere, may be simultaneously listed on OARS; however, the OARS listing must be a complete listing with photos and a description, and not merely a link to another site.              
  9. Solicitation of Payments     
    1. Sellers should not request or suggest payment methods that avoid the payment of transaction fees such as, but not limited to PayPal Friends and Family.                    
    2. Sellers may not request payment via Paypal Friends & Family.  Not only is it a violation of Paypal policy, it deprives buyers of all buyer protections that they think that Paypal offers so is misleading to buyers as well. Ads asking for F&F (regardless of how it's written or expressed) will be rejected.               

 5.0 OARS Right to Refuse

  1. OARS reserves the right to refuse to publish any posting, by any participant, at its sole discretion. If your listing is rejected, you will be notified by email of the reason for the rejection.      

6.0 Method of submitting an ad

  1.     You do not need to be a member of OARS to submit an ad.           
  2.     Send your ad via email to w7plc78@gmail.com.     
  3.     Write your ad in plain text, no bold or italics, no embedded photos, save as a .docx file.           
  4.     Include asking price and price flexibility.           
  5.     Include detailed contact information, email, phone, etc.           
  6.     Include photos as a separate attachment in .jpg format.           
  7.     Allow up to 72 hours for your ad to appear on the website.           
  8.     If the final ad is not to your liking, email me your desired adjustments.           
  9.     When your ad is posted, you will be sent an email with the ad’s expiration date.

A significant portion of these rules are borrowed from QRZ.com. I would like to recognize QRZ.com as one of the premier ham radio websites and thank them for the inspiration for these rules. Sent to the OARS Board of Directors for approval on June 29, 2023 

Not Quite What She Meant
One day a boy asked of his grandpa “Grandpa,
make a frog sound.”
The grandfather asked “why?”
The boy said “Grandma says when you croak we are
going to Hawaii.”

from the August 2015 Watts News

Teacher: What does your father do for a living?
Student: He is a magician.
Teacher: what is his favorite event.
Student: He cuts people in two.
Teacher: How many brothers and sisters do you
Student: One half-brother and one half-sister....

from the Oct 2015 Watts News

Culinary Obituary
Did you hear about the Italian chef who died?
He pasta way. We cannoli do so much. His legacy
will become a pizza history. Here today, gone
tomato. How sad that he ran out of thyme.
Sending olive my prayers to the family. His wife is
really upset; cheese not over it. You never
sausage a tragic thing. It’s such a shame good
people have to die fusilli reasons.
It was a farfalle from grace.

from the April 2017 Watts News

Changing Times
We took the kids to one of those restaurants
where the walls are plastered with movie
memorabilia. I went off to see the hostess about
reserving a table. When I returned, I found my 10-
year-old granddaughter staring at a poster of
Superman standing in a phone booth.
She looked puzzled. "She doesn't know who
Superman is?" I asked my wife.
"Worse," my wife replied. "She doesn't know what
a phone booth is."

from the April 2017 Watts News

"Electricity originates inside clouds. There, it forms into lightning, which is attracted to the Earth by golfers. After entering the ground, the electricity hardens into coal, which, when dug up by power companies and burned in big ovens called 'generators,' turns back into electricity...where it is transformed by TV sets into commercials for beer, which passes through the consumers and back into the ground, thus completing what is known as a "circuit"........Dave Barry