Posted by Barbara Beagle on Apr 26, 2021
Using funds donated by the Rotary Club of Silverdale, the Kitsap County Amateur Radio Club (KCARC) just completed the installation of a new antenna, repeater, and camera on the City of Bremerton’s 180 ft commercial radio tower on Cheryl St in East Bremerton.  Why? To take advantage of modern communications technologies, specifically Digital Mobile Radio (DMR). 
The Rotary Club of Silverdale was happy to grant funds for this project: first was a $3,500 grant last year from 2019 Duck Race proceeds, plus an additional $1,000 in 2021 in our Operation Duck Drop where Duck Race Sponsors Steve and Elayne Burton from EHB Supply directed the funds to KCARC, the local nonprofit of their choice.
Pictured: on left is the SUNBA PTZ 25X optical Zoom Camera, on the mast in the middle is the new Amphenol Procom Dual band VHF/UHF antenna, and on the right is one of two Mikrotik 5.1 GHz dishes, connected to the network.
Jamie Hughes WA7JS, KSARC Repeater Project Manager, wrote to say, “A HUGE thanks goes to the Rotary Club of Silverdale, as without the $4,500 donation, the project would not have been completed.”
A bonus addition to the project is a new camera which is streamed to YouTube at  See photo below.
Why should we care about ham radio?  KCARC envisions post-COVID community outreach to include:
  • Training - KCARC offers free licensing classes several times a year, conducted via Zoom since the pandemic, for anyone wanting to become a ham radio operator. Their students have a 90% + pass rate.
  • Education – KCARC has a relationship with Bremerton School District and will pursue (post-COVID) demonstration of radio and worldwide communications, as their repeater is connected to the BrandMeister worldwide radio network.
  • Community Engagement – They plan to grow their relationships with the Scouts and similar organizations, and they will hold their Field Day event where their new repeater’s global connectivity will be on full display for the community.
  • Safety for Hikers - Hikers can use hand-held ham radios for safety and emergency communications while hiking, one of the things that this new repeater installation on the very tall tower will improve.
  • Silverdale Rotary Turkey Trot – KCARC will continue to provide communication services for the annual 10K running event.
  • Emergency Communications – the repeater can be used for emergency communications and become a means for the community to reach out to loved ones elsewhere for welfare updates, while at the same time supporting those working to mitigate the situation.  Some KCARC members are members of the Kitsap Auxiliary Radio Service, Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management.
Thanks to the generous sponsors of the Silverdale Rotary Duck Race and everyone who purchases Duck Tickets, community support like this is possible!