The Detroit Lakes Amateur Radio Club (DLARC) began as informal meetings of area hams. The actual beginning is hard to pin down but many place the late 1950’s as the most likely start of these informal meetings. No written records are available of these early meetings but it is thought they took place at local restaurants or the homes of area hams.
During the 1970’s the use of 2-meter repeaters began to appear. In 1975 Robert John N9FHH (ex WBØFVL) of Detroit Lakes, assembled a 2-meter repeater. By profession Robert John was a repairman for Motorola communications equipment. Pictures of this repeater are to be found in the DLARC photo gallery. In 1977 the repeater was at home in the Becker County Sheriff’s radio shack with a vertical antenna on top of a wooden pole. Gordon Fevig WØQQK climbed the pole and installed the antenna. Others using the repeater were Elwood Orner WBØLTG, Eugene Krause KØRJ and Carl Mann WØEMZ. Later Robert John was thinking about moving to Florida so he communicated with several area hams that agreed to form a repeater club in the Detroit Lakes area for the purpose of maintaining the repeater.
M.J. Buchhop, KCØVM, a Lutheran Pastor in Detroit Lakes did much of the club organizational work. Bill Wilson, KØCDJ, developed a club constitution. Written minutes of club activities date from 1978 to present and are available on this website. Carl Mann, WØEMZ, became the repeater control operator and his call sign was used on the repeater until his death in 1993. At that time the repeater call became that of Vern Van Wey, NØMVN. In 1999 application for a club call sign was made and the call sign of Carl Mann, WØEMZ was obtained and has been used since that time.
The current repeater is a Yaesu Vertex VXR7000 but the duplexer is the same one used by Robert John. The repeater is meant to be an asset to the community in the event of an emergency and provide necessary communications around the Detroit Lakes area. Both Robert John and Carl Mann were granted life membership in the Detroit Lakes Amateur Radio Club.