Club Announcements

MDARC elections are coming up! See the right column of the home page for a list of candidates. If you're interested in running for the Board, or know someone who may be, contact one of the Election Committee shown.

COVID-19 Note:
Unfortunately the  COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, but fortunately MDARC members are reminding each other to take recommended precautions and stay informed with the latest state and county guidance for public safety. Even as we have refrained from our once-were-normal  person-to-person meetings, we are still going strong using easily accessible teleconferencing software.  Check out our website for our Board Meetings where attendance is available to all club members. Our General Membership Meetings are preceded by a pre-meeting special interest topic followed by a short business meeting and a speaker. Check this website for more information . Guests are certainly welcome to join us. 

Link to Contra Costa Health Services:

Link to the Alameda County Public Health Department:

Link to the Solano County Public Health Department:

Stay safe.
On behalf of the MDARC Board and myself,
LarryB KK6QPE; MDARC President

COVID-19 Note:
It is no news that we are definitely not yet ”out of the woods” for this COVID-19 pandemic.  MDARC is reminding its members to stay informed with the latest state and county health guidance that provides common sense guidelines for avoiding infection to our members and their families.  This link helps us to stay current with these guidelines. Please refer to it often.

As MDARC follows these guidelines, it shows that we are committed in doing what we can to keep our members safe. This has meant curtailing events that in the past we had taken for granted, however, many of those in-person meetings are now being conducted using various teleconferencing platforms. This includes our monthly General Membership Meeting with a shortened business meeting agenda and offering some great speakers.

Stay safe.
On behalf of the MDARC Board and myself,
LarryB KK6QPE; MDARC President

Our General Class license upgrade course will begin Tuesday, Aug. 4. It will be completely online, via Zoom. If you're thinking of upgrading, go to our Class Details page and register right away.

There will be a Getting-on-the-Air (GOTA) class for the recent candidates of the Concord license testing sessions, and for any other hams that would like to get started in using their amateur handheld radios.

The classes will be held on the Zoom format on Friday, July 17, at 6:00 PM, and in-person, with masks and social distancing, on July 18, at 6:00 PM.

Please contact Larry Loomer, KI6LNB, at <> for further information and to reserve a spot in the classes.

COVID-19 Note:
Many of the shelter-in-place directives have been lifted or mitigated to allow for limited public social interaction, but the risk remains and even more so for those in our hobby who are on the upside of 65 years old.

MDARC will continue to act in accordance with the governor and Contra Costa County Executive and Health Orders and we will be taking a conservative approach as restrictions are lifted. So even though we can now take a “peek” to the outside world, we still need to be mindful that our “normal” today is not what it used to be.

Therefore, as is prudent and common sense, please continue to observe all the health recommendations to prevent the spread of this virus, not only to yourself, but to your family and friends as well.Check out this link for the latest information regarding the lifting of shelter-in-place restrictions.

On behalf of the MDARC Board and myself,

LarryB KK6QPE; MDARC President 

The video recording of Friday evening’s Club meeting and presentation is now available on MDARC’s YouTube channel, at:

It’s also available on the Club’s web site Speaker’s page, under the description of the presentation.

The Field Day page has been updated with the latest information about how it will work this year. Take a look and get ready!

COVID-19 Note:
Looks like we are still in the shelter-in-place phase of the Executive Order, but with some lifting of restrictions. Yes, certainly we are still in this for the long haul, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we will get through this tunnel as we continue to follow the governor’s Order and the health officials for Contra Costa and neighboring counties. MDARC’s Board is committed to adhering to the current regulations and routinely reviews the provisions indicated on the Contra Costa Health Service website. Please take the time to review this website so you are aware of what we can and cannot do, and what actions to take when in public.

Please mark your calendar for our General Membership Meeting on June 19th and plan to join us for our virtual business meeting and speaker.

Speaking of speakers: you will not want to miss hearing Alan Thompson’s , W61WN presentation: Phones, Fires, and Radios For The Rest of Us.

And if you heard him at Pacificon last year, you will want to hear it again with even more information and slides.

New to Zoom meetings: Not to worry because we have all the information you need in this website, so please take a look at the “Communicating With You” and “Zoom Guidelines” articles by clicking on the link to the left of this COVID-19 Note. You are also encouraged to join the email reflector on because that is currently the only way of sending you an invitation to join a Zoom meeting. There is a link in “Communicating With You” that explains how easy it is to join, but if you need help, please contact Mike N6JGA who would be happy to assist you.

Prefer not to use the video options in the Zoom meeting? That’s fine and you can join us by just using the audio.

As is prudent and common sense, please continue to observe all the health recommendations to prevent the spread of this virus, not only to yourself, but to your family and friends as well.

On behalf of the MDARC Board and myself,

LarryB KK6QPE; MDARC President

The abstract and biographies for our June meeting presentation are now on our Speakers page. Take a look.

Remember that this will be a Zoom videoconference meeting only, and the access information will be sent out via our forum. So if you're not a member of the forum, join now.

COVID-19 Note:
It is certainly not new news to our members that we are still adhering to the guidelines required by Executive Order N-33-20 as well as those required by Contra Costa County. Like you, the members of the Board are wondering when this will “all be over” and like you, we are waiting for direction from the state and county’s public health officials.

Even during this time of sheltering in place, the Board and some committees continue to meet using the Zoom video conferencing software and at least 43 members got together virtually for our General Membership Meeting on April 17. This was a positive and heartfelt time to see our friends,  conduct club business, and share during our open forum. By the way, some preferred to join the meeting without video which is perfectly okay and they could still share using their device’s built-in microphone.

This was so successful that we are planning to continue this virtual format for the May 15th meeting and sincerely hope that even more members will participate.

I encourage each member to read the information in “Communicating With You” and “Zoom Guidelines” by clicking on the link to the left of this COVID-19 Note. You are also encouraged to join the email reflector on because that is currently the only way of sending you an invitation to join a Zoom meeting. There is a link in “Communicating With You” that explains how easy it is to join, but if you need help, please contact Mike N6JGA who would be happy to assist you.

As is prudent and common sense, please continue to observe all the health recommendations to prevent the spread of this virus, not only to yourself, but to your family and friends as well.

On behalf of the MDARC Board and myself,

LarryB KK6QPE; MDARC President

Our Annual Auction is canceled, but we've not giving up! We're hosting a Virtual Get-Together on our normal meeting night; this Friday, April 17 at 7:00 on the Zoom videoconferencing system. See our Speakers page for details.

Did you know there are 13 ways the Club has for communicating with you, our members and the ham community at large? Yes, 13. See our new Communicating With You page for the list.

Our Pacificon 2020 web site is Live!
Attendee registration will open in early May; and we have much to add as we get closer to this event. So check it out now and come back for updates. See it at

COVID-19 Note:
The Board promised our members that we would keep you informed about the Club’s future meetings as we learned more about our ability to “gather.” Currently, pursuant to Executive Order N-33-20 and its requirement for citizens to shelter-in-place, it has become very evident that MDARC should not hold any face-to-face meetings where we are in harm’s way by either catching or spreading the COVID-19 virus. That being said, all such face-to-face meetings have been cancelled until the rescinding or lessening of the gubernatorial executive order. In which case the membership will be notified via multiple methods that such meetings can resume. Be on the alert for notification on this webpage, club email, club Facebook page, and W6CX announcements.

The Board will continue to conduct virtual Board meetings using the Zoom video conferencing software and prior to the next Board Meeting on 04/06/20, the membership will receive instructions for use via our email. Members who so choose can participate in the audio only option and not have to install a webcam.

As is prudent and common sense, please continue to observe all the health recommendations to prevent the spread of this virus, not only to yourself, but to your family and friends as well. 

On behalf of the MDARC Board,

LarryB KK6QPE; MDARC President

COVID-19 Note:
Certainly by now we are all aware of the continuing international advance of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the recommendations by local, county and federal agencies to minimize contagion by limiting gathering in large groups.

The MDARC Board met in special session last Monday (03/09/20) to review the Club’s stance on meeting cancellations. Although the majority voted to continue with our Club meetings, it became clear with developments during these last few days, that it would be prudent for MDARC to cancel all Club meetings for the remainder of March. This will include the General Membership meeting on March 20th, 2020, the two VHF/UHF GOTA sessions (March 12 & 19), and (most likely) Session One of the General Class License Course (March 26).

You should consider that all future MDARC meetings will remain cancelled, including those in April,  until the Board has met to re-evaluate the situation and sent an email announcement. Therefore, please watch for future emails. If you are not yet a member of MDARC's email distribution group, send an email to, which will automatically request membership, to receive future messages.

Updates will also be posted to this web site. If you have any questions, please send them to

Remember, our Club meeting this month will be held this Friday night, at Pacificon in San Ramon. It will not be at our usual location in Lafayette. See our Club Meetings page for the full year's schedule. And see our Speakers page to see what the presentation is about.

Also, there will be no license testing Friday, but we will have extended testing sessions at Pacificon on Saturday and Sunday. See you there.

October 5, 2019
To accommodate a need by our long-term Banquet host, Zio Fraedo's; our Banquet date for this year has been changed from Sunday, December 8, 2019 to Saturday, December 7, 2019. See our Banquet page for details on the evening and remember to update your calendar with the new date.

July 7, 2019
Two more pages have been added to our web page. Our Club's two vehicles, a van and a trailer, now have their own pages, and the main Vehicles page has been revised. Have a look, starting at our Vehicles page.

July 5, 2019
Our web site has a new page; Latitude, Longitude, UTM. It's a summary description of two major geographic coordinate systems often useful for hams. Check it out.

June 19, 2019
Field Day is this weekend! We'll be at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek again this year. Come on down! See our Field Day page for details.

June 7, 2019
Our June speaker has now been announced.  Ed Muns, W0YK, will give us a good education on the new protocol, FT8. See our Speakers Page for details.

The Pacificon web site and registration is now Open! Get your registrations in and see what happening this year. More details will be added as we have them, so check back occasionally.

We now have our Speaker for the May Club meeting. Marcel Stieber, AI6MS will tell us about "ARKnet - Wireless Emergency Intranet". We'll post details on our Speakers Page shortly after the Auction, April 26.

The annual MDARC Campout has been scheduled. Capacity is limited, so sign up early. See the Campout-2019 page for details.

The Club's bylaws were amended by a vote of the membership to allow voting electronically. See the amended bylaws on the Bylaws page.

Several new pages have been added to the web site over the last several weeks., as well as updates to others. Here's the list of new pages.
    * About Us > History of the Club > Charter Members
    * About Us > History of the Club > Honorary and Lifetime Members
    * About Us > History of the Club > History Summary
    * About Us > Store
    * About Us > Official Documents > Articles of Incorporation
    * Resources > Basics
    * Resources > Equipment > Dipole Length Calculations
    * Resources > Equipment > Dipole Tuning
    * Resources > Equipment > HF Equipment
    * Resources > Getting Started in Ham Radio > 4A. Getting On The Air
    * Resources > Getting Started in Ham Radio > 4B. Getting on the Air with HF
    * Resources > Regulations > Spectrum
We hope all of you had a Merry Christmas, and wish you a Happy New Year.

A couple of notes about upcoming meetings. Our next meeting, January 18, 2019, will be upstairs, in the sanctuary; as our normal room is being used by another group.

Also, the April Auction will be a week later than usual, on April 26, 2019; as our normal 3rd Friday is Good Friday this year.

We've added another new web page to our Getting Started in Ham Radio series. this one is called Getting On the Air, and provides a lot of good information for everyone, but especially new hams.
We have a new page on the web site, providing "a few of the most fundamental concepts that all amateur radio operators should have seared into their brains." Have a quick review on our Fundamentals for Amateur Radio Operators page.

Registration is open for our 2019 license training courses. We're teaching two Technician Class and one General Class course next year. The first course starts Jan. 10. See the details and register for one or more on our Class Details page.
Congratulations to our 2019 Board of Directors! After the close of balloting tonight, the following were declared the winners:
President - Larry Bradley, KK6QPE*
Vice-President - Ed Morales, KJ6KYT*
Secretary - Larry Loomer, KI6LNB
Treasurer - Cathi Walton, K3CJW*
Emergency Coordinator - Ron Bunch, K4FEK*
Dave Piersall, N6ORB  Year 1 of 2
Mike Warren, W6MEW Year 1 of 2

They will join these incumbent Directors, who were not part of this year's election:
John Primus, AF6RJ*  Year 2 of 2
Trevor Hall, WA6JAU*  Year 2 of 2

[Those with an asterisk (*) following their call signs are incumbents.]

Be sure to register for our annual HOLIDAY BANQUET, to be held Sunday, Dec. 2. See our Holiday Banquet page for details.

The abstract and bio for the speaker at this month's Club meeting was delayed for awhile, but is now on our Speakers page. Have a look and we'll see you at the meeting.

The Auxiliary Class tentatively planned for this Thursday, Nov. 1, will not occur. You may remove that from your calendar and go on a pub crawl instead.
We've added a web new page to our Getting Started in Amateur Radio section under Resources. It's called Upgrading Your License. Take a look.

A new Digital Systems sub-section has been added to the Activities section of our web site. It gives brief explanations of most of the more popular types of digital communications, both voice and data; with links for more information. Check it out!

The Palo Alto Amateur Radio Association (PAARA) is hosting a tour of the SS Red Oak Victory ship; and MDARC is invited! So mark your calendar for Nov. 10 and check this page for details.

The California Radio Historical Society is hosting Radio Day by the Bay 2018; its annual auction and action day; on July 21st at its home in Alameda. It's a major fundraiser, with special events of many sorts scheduled. See the CHRS web site for details and plan to be there.

Our July speaker information is now available on the Speakers page. It looks to be a fascinating presentation. Have a look.

Remember that Field Day is coming up in just two weeks! Join us at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek for MDARC's annual Field Day, June 23-24. See our Field Day web page for details.

For those of you that went on the annual Camp-out; or wish you did; here's a link to a YouTube video of the highlights of that weekend:

We have new Auxiliary Classes coming up this summer. Check them out ans sign up on the Auxiliary Classes-2018 and Red Cross Disaster Communications pages.

Check out a new section of our web site, called Getting Started in Amateur Radio. It has lots of information for the new (and not-so-new) ham.

The Pacificon web site is live and registrations are open! Sign up now, save some coin and avoid the rush.

Presented by the Knights of the Megahertz & MDARC. It's coming up June 1-3. A bunch of us go every year. See for details.

Know someone that wants to get their Technician License? Can't wait until Pacificon? Both the Benicia and USS Hornet clubs are hosting one-day sessions next month. As it happens, both are on May 5. See these flyers for details:
* USS Hornet flyer
* Bencia Amateur Radio Club flyer

Now, you can Stream our 2 meter W6CX analog repeater from the comfort of your own computer, smartphone, or tablet. Check it our and listen in.

If you attended Pacificon 2017, please take our Pacificon Survey, to help us make Pacificon 2018 even better. Thankx!

Reservations for our annual Holiday Banquet are now available! See our Banquet web page to reserve your spot. See you there!

Membership renewal for 2018 had begun! See our Membership page to renew or change your information for the directory.

A new sub-section has been added to the About Us section of this web site. Called "Official Documents", it contains copies of our Bylaws, Operational Polices and other documents. Check it out.

In response to the Northern California fires, some response groups may be using our 2 meter repeater, and possibly other systems, as part of their communications services. Note that fire-related traffic has priority over all other non-emergency traffic until our systems are no longer needed for this emergency. Please understand the urgency for these services and yield the channel when needed for fire-related traffic.

We've added a new page to the web site, describing our Club's committees. Check it out and let us know how you'd like to help. See the Committees page.

The 48th Anniversary Campout Party, organized by Knights of the Megahertz & MDARC, will be on June 2nd-4th this year. They'll be at the Sugar Pine Dam Recreation Area in the Forbes Creek area. They're
limited to 50 people at this site so get your reservations in early. See the Campout Party web page for full details and to register.

Our web site has a new page on Radio Operating Procedures. A great reference for new hams and a good review for veterans. Check it out.

The PowerPoint slides from yesterday's presentation on DMR by Tim Barrett, K6BIV, is now available from a link at the end of his description and biography on our Speaker's page.

We had planned to have Chris Wilson from Yaesu talk to us at the February meeting to give us a System Fusion Demonstration.  Unfortunately, Chris is no longer with Yaesu and is unavailable. No worries! Our own Tim Barret, K6BIV, will be here to answer the question "So You Got a DMR Radio, Now What?" See our Speakers page.

Have you seen something called an "IP rating" in the specs of your new radio or cell phone? Wonder what it means? Check out our new web page on IP Codes, in the Resources section under Equipment.

We're kicking off the year at our January 20 meeting with a wonderful presentation by a true expert in the area. Michelle Paquette, AA6MP, will teach us the Basic Antenna Principles we need to know. See the details on our Speakers page.

Remember to SAVE THE DATE. Our annual Holiday Banquet will be on December 2nd at Zio Fraedo’s, 611 Gregory Ln., Pleasant Hill. More details soon.

Earlier this month, MDARC became the proud owner of an electronic News Gathering (ENG) van, donated to us by KGO-TV in San Francisco. Check it out on our Vehicles page.

We now have a wonderful Pacificon 2016 Introductory Video, prepared by none other than Randy Hall, K7AGE, famous for his hundreds of ham-related videos and his YouTube channel.Take a look at it.

The first ad for Pacificon 2016 is in the August edition of QST, page 148. A beautiful full-pager. Check it out!

Our August meeting will have a "Don't Miss" presentation for anyone interested in passing traffic, especially during emergencies. See our Speakers page for details.

Wednesday, July 20, is the Round Table Pizza fundraiser for MDARC. See our Fundraiser page for details.

Our web site's Technical Resources section has a new page, on Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS), which uses the Fldigi software. Check it out.

Our Field Day this year turned out to be very good, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Field Day Chair, Larry Loomer, KI6LNB; and the head chef, Misa Siemons, KJ6BUE. The bands didn't open up very well for us, but we had a number of people come by to chat and operate.

If you weren't there Saturday, you missed a great dinner, with tri-tip, baked potatoes, salad, the works. Diana Sage brought some outstanding brownies and strawberry shortcake.Also, the Walnut Creek CERT held a display and demonstration session in an adjacent room with a very good turnout.

Looks like we'll be doing this again.

A new page has been added to the Resources section of our web site, in the Technical category. It describes the Decibel and how it's used. See the Decibels page.

The club is having a Fundraiser at Round Table Pizza in Pleasant Hill on July 20. See the Round Table Fundraiser page for details.

The Pacificon 2016 brochure is now available for distribution. Download a copy from our Brochure page.

The 47th Anniversary Camp-out Party, sponsored by the San Francisco Amateur Radio Club & Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club, will be June 3-5. A great get-together with a long tradition.
See for details and to register.

Our speaker for the May meeting has been announced! See the details on our Speakers page.

We now have detailed instructions on our web site for obtaining an official copy of your ham license, thanks to John Primus, AF6RJ. See the License Copy Acquisition page. Thankx, John!

The Keynote Speaker for Pacificon's Banquet has been confirmed. New ARRL CEO and Secretary Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, will be here with a great presentation. See the Banquet page for details.

Public Service events for 2016 are now on our web site. Check them out and sign up on our Public Service page.

The PACIFICON 2016 web site is live! Check it out at The conference registration section isn't ready yet, but will be soon. Keep checking back, as we will be updating the site frequently.

We're swapping our agenda at the General Meeting this month. The speaker will address us first, at 7:30pm, followed by the business meeting, rather than our usual other-way-around. So be sure to get there on time!

Our D-Star system is now sharing the antenna up on the tower with our 2-meter system, higher than ever. If you're a D-Star user, give it a try and see how the reception has improved.

A Glossary for Amateur Radio has been added to the Resources section of our web site. Check it out.

The PACIFICON committee meeting for February has been cancelled. We'll see you in March.

The Board meeting was postponed a week. It's tomorrow night. Y'all come! See our Club Meetings page for the location & details.

General Class upgrade course starts in March! See Classes-2016 for details.