Please note that I no longer have any affiliation with Bonner County. Although I did enjoy my time as trustee of the Schweitzer Mountain repeaters and would have gladly continued in that capacity, it is no longer possible. This was not my choice but that of Sheriff Wheeler without consultation or collaboration of the amateur radio community. For information about those repeaters please contact Marcus Robbins or Ray Miles. This is not a matter I care to discuss.
STARnet is another matter. These systems are not the property of any one individual, although some parts are owned by individuals. The systems do not belong to any club, although the people who use and support the repeaters may belong to one or more clubs.
STARnet exists for the benefit of our community. That includes those who are temporarily part of our community, the tourists and those who are here to recreate. They are open for anyone to use at any time.
Ham radio operators serve their community in time of need. This happens so frequently all over the world that hams have earned a reputation. Officials know they can count on amateur radio. They believe this to the point that amateur radio is written into disaster response and recovery plans at the local, state and federal levels.
Industrial Communications and J&R Electronics have contributed items. Much of the physical work required has been performed by a variety of amateurs who are too numerous to name here. And most of them wouldn't care about the credit anyway, they do it for their own reasons. The majority of system design, prototyping, programming and finally putting it all together to make it happen tends to be Josh Nelson (KE7MTF) and I. It's what we do, it's the hobby we enjoy.
How can you contribute? The best thing to do is use the system. By using it we know everything is in working condition or you'll let us know what we can improve and tweak. By using STARnet, you stay in touch with the community. As you use the systems, please imagine and think of ways in which we might improve the systems. Think of features we could add. Discuss these things on the air. When it comes time to actually add these things, be prepared to help with the work or purchase some of the necessary items. Or at least buy a round for the crew afterward.