I’m Joe Erlewein, N8CN.

About this page:

Here, I will (attempt to) document my musings, fumblings and forays into electronics, communications, and computer projects and experiments. I’ll also announce things about the systems I maintain, and systems maintained by the Houghton County Communications Authority.

I operate (among several) one small, experimental low range repeater in downtown Traverse City on 444.400+ (PL 114.8). It has echolink capability and a remote base link to the Cherryland ARC’s long-range 146.86- (PL 114.8) repeater. It is based on two MaxTrac units and controlled by an SvxLink-based controller running on a Raspberry Pi. Soon it will be a quad-mode system supporting D-Star, P-25, SystemFusion and Analog using a Raspberry Pi-based controller and a modified DR-1X repeater system. Its call is N8CN.

The Houghton County Communications Authority operates a MotoTrbo DMR-MARC linked repeater on 442.2875+ in downtown Traverse City. It’s call is N8OUZ.


About Me:

I was first licensed at age 14, just exiting the 8th grade. I waited for my license to arrive in the mail, and when it came I learned my new callsign would be N8OUZ.

I was the first “No-Code Tech” amateur in the Traverse City area. People hated me for it.

Eventually I passed my General written test and both 5wpm and 10wpm code tests. I was reasonably fluent at 20wpm and planned to write the exam before it was announced that it was no longer necessary.

My Father, David L. Erlewein (Ex N8CN) got me into the hobby after seeing my interest in computers, electronics and CB radio. He soon saw that I was having more fun than he was having. He was licensed shortly after me and became N8QVP.

While in college, I focused on study, and he focused on Radio. He upgraded to Extra and when he was able to applied for and received the vanity callsign N8CN.

My Father and I enjoyed many years of Amateur Radio together. When he passed away in 2012, I knew I should honor him by studying for the Extra and applying for his old callsign. So I did.

I went to College at Michigan Technological University and was very involved with the Husky Amateur Radio Club, W8YY. At college and after college, a small, close-knit group of friends and I formed a separate club called the “Houghton County Communications Authority” and it received the callsign of KC8PBX. We would meet online and on the radio regularly, culminating with a yearly face-to-face meeting at the Dayton Hamvention.

The MotoTrbo repeater in Traverse City is linked to the DMR-MARC network and operated under the club callsign KC8PBX.. until Dayton 2016 when members of the HCCA suggested I should apply for my old callsign for the club callsign. We laughed, thinking it a joke. It came up again, later, and I gave it some thought. Everyone seemed OK with it. Since it wasn’t really my idea and ego was not involved, and everyone seemed cool with it (shorter callsign!), I applied in 2016 to change KC8PBX to the vanity callsign of N8OUZ. It was approved.

I’m currently the Vice President of the local Cherryland Amateur Radio Club and consider most of my personal radio projects secondary to the club’s interests; my Father was the editor of the club newsletter for years, and we were both long-time active members in the group. I consider it a privilege and an honor to be able to represent the largest and most fun Amateur Radio group north of Grand Rapids. I currently write the club newsletter and maintain the CARC’s social, web and email presences. More information can be found at www.CherrylandARC.com.