Speakers at our
Club Meetings

April 17, 2020:
Annual Auction!  Cancelled.

See our Auction Page for details. No presentation this month.

[Note:  Our April auction has been canceled, due to concerns with the COVID-19 virus. Please see our note on the Home page and on the Announcements page.]

Coming Up:
May 15, 2020:            TBA
Marcel Stieber, AI6MS (tentative)

June 19, 2020:            Radio for the Rest of Us
by Alan Thompson, W6WN

July 17, 2020:            The Next Chapter for DATV in Northern California
                                        by Joel Wilhite, KD6W

August 21, 2020:       All About Batteries
                                        by Andy Record, KF6TJR

September 18, 2020:    Solar Power and Storage
                                        by Charles Henry, KG6PHZ

October 16, 2020:        TBA

November 20, 2020:    Morse Code Keys (and Keyers)
                                        by Matthew Vurek, N4DLA

December 18, 2020:    No meeting in December.
                                        We have our Holiday Banquet this month instead.

Past Presentations:

To review our previous speakers not on this page, see the following pages:
*    Speakers-2015 & 2016

*    Speakers-2017 & 2018

March 20, 2020
    Our March meeting has been canceled, due to concerns with the COVID-19 virus. Please see our note on the Home page and on the Announcements page. Joel has been rescheduled for our July meeting.

The Next Chapter for DATV in Northern California
by Joel Wilhite, KD6W

February 21, 2020
The CARLA Network
        A History, Overview and the Challenges of Running a Large Analog Network
by Tom Naso, N6MVT

An overview of the origins, evolution, daily operation, challenges and pictorial history of the CARLA network.
Tom Naso, N6MVT
Tom is one of the co-founders and Directors of the CARLA radio network. He’s been licensed for 35 years and devoted his entire amateur radio ‘career’ to building out and maintaining the CARLA network.

January 17, 2020
MDARC's Repeater Systems
by Trevor Hall, WA6JAU

His presentation will explain the basic operation of the South Peak repeaters. He also has a set of pictures showing the repeater equipment.

Trevor Hall, WA6JAU
Trevor has thirty Five years of radio maintenance experience at PG&E. He managed maintenance of analog and digital microwave equipment. He's currently the radio maintenance technician of the W6CX repeater system.

December 7, 2019
MDARC Holiday Banquet.
     See you there!

December 20, 2019
No meeting in December.
    We have our Holiday Banquet this month instead. See above.

November 15, 2019:

The Race to Crack the Nazi Code
by Ralph Simpson

The Enigma machine was a cunning invention and major advance in cipher technology, which gave the Germans confidence in the secrecy of their messages during World War II. Their confidence that the Enigma was unbreakable was a reasonable assumption, but proved to be wrong and eventually fatal. The story of the Allies beating the overwhelming odds against breaking the Nazi code is a story of ingenuity and intrigue. Alan Turing led the Allies efforts to break the Enigma, which significantly shortened the war and ushered in the age of computers.

The success of cracking the Enigma was kept secret for 29 years after the end of WW2, despite 15,000 people working on the effort in the UK alone. This secrecy is especially incredible for us living in the age of the internet, WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden. Over 35,000 Enigma machines were manufactured, but only 350 are known to exist today. You will see one of these rare machines and have a chance to type in your own secret messages.

Ralph Simpson
Ralph worked in the computer industry for 32 years, at IBM and Cisco Systems. He is now retired and volunteers at a local museum, History San Jose. He wrote a book on cipher history called, Crypto Wars: 2000 Years of Cipher Evolution. He is also an avid collector of cipher machines, which you can see on his website, CipherHistory.com. Ralph lives in San Jose in a restored Victorian house, which is also home to his Cipher History Museum and a very understanding wife. They have three grown children.

October 18, 2019

The Camp Fire; Phone, Fires and Failures

by Alan Thompson, W6WN
Click on the link in the presentation title above for details.

Remember, the October meeting will be held at Pacificon in San Ramon, not in Lafayette.

September 20, 2019:
Communications Support for Feb 2018 Brigada Médica Honduras & Suitcase DX Expedition
by Clay Couger, N5YJZ

Join us to hear about Clay’s suitcase DX expedition and communications support for International Health Services (IHS) work in Honduras. Founded in 1982, International Health Service is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) medical organization that provides medical and dental care to the impoverished people of Honduras. Each February approximately 100 people from all over the world head out on teams to various regions of Honduras and spend two weeks helping the people of Honduras and Nicaragua. IHS uses Pactor III & amateur radio as the main communication link for the field medical teams as they are often working in locations that are outreach of phone / cell service. Ham radio is used to arrange transportation, housing and schedule surgery or other medical service that the field team is not able to provide.

The DX expedition was in West Palm Beach on Roatan Inland for two days before moving to Rus Rus near the Nicaragua boarder for 8 days. Rus Rus DX expedition was done jointly with IHS field work as time & power allowed.

Clay Couger, N5YJZ
Clay Couger was licensed in 1992 as N5YJZ and was active in amateur radio throughout the 90’s while in college at Oklahoma State Univ. He severed one term as president of W5YJ OSU amateur radio club. Clay officially joined the Okie club by moving to California in 1999 and fell away from the hobby as he got caught in the Silicon Valley rat race. He became active again in 2016 due to a renewed interest in disaster support (wife says he needed a new reason to shop). He prefers to build things than get on air but has found FT8/FT4 to be wonderful mode as it can be run in the background while doing other things at the workbench.

International Health Services is actively re-crewing for the Feb 2020 mission on February 14 to February 28. IHS is looking for licensed medical (DDS, DDO, MD, RN, OD, Dental Ass’t, NP, LPN, RDH, PA, CRNA, RPh, Pharmacist, Paramedic and EMT) professionals, amateur radio operators (General Class license and above), translators (Spanish, Garifuna, Miskito, Sumo, Pech, and Jicaque). We encourage spouses to join as there is always a need for next extra hands need to support the teams. For more information on IHS see their website at http://www.ihsmn.org/.

August 16, 2019:

The Mighty Transistor
by Kristen McIntyre, K6WX

What’s so great about transistors?  Everything!  They are in most of what we use these days, performing as amplifiers, switches, and the basic elements of logic.  Do you know how they work?  How to design with them?  Some of the fundamental circuit topologies?  The different kinds?  If not, let’s learn about them.  There are many things that you can learn that will allow you design simple circuits that make life easier.  We will explore semiconductor physics, bipolars, FETs, the three basic topologies of simple amplifiers, differential amps, Darlingtons, cascodes, and much more.  Throw away those black boxes, and design with The Mighty Transistor.

Kristen McIntyre, K6WX
Kristen has been interested in radio since she was about 5 years old.  She started in Amateur Radio in 1979 getting her ticket while at MIT.  Kristen has worked in many diverse areas from analog circuit design to image processing to starting and running an ISP.  She is currently working at Apple in Core Networking, and spent many years at Sun Microsystems Laboratories where she was researching robustness and emergent properties of large distributed computer systems.  She is a long time denizen of Silicon Valley and has worked at or consulted for many of the usual suspects.  Kristen is an active ham and loves to chase DX on HF with her Elecraft K2 which she built while visiting her mother in Florida.  She is ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director, president of the Palo Alto Amateur Radio Assoc., the Q&A columnist for Nuts and Volts magazine, and is active in many local clubs.  Kristen was recently inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.

July 19, 2019
Loop Antennas
by Michelle Paquette, AA6MP

The speaker's presentation slides are available for download at the below link:
As with all presentations on this site, please do not pass the file on to others without checking with the speaker. When you do, be sure to give full credit to the speaker and ensure that your recipient will do the same. Please be responsible.

Michelle Paquette
Michelle Paquette has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of her life.  She has worked in fields from nuclear power plant operations to systems software and software engineering, as both an engineer and an instructor.  She holds 19 patents for inventions used by hundreds of millions of people every day.  Michelle currently holds an Amateur Extra license, AA6MP.

She is currently engaged in teaching and public speaking on a variety of topics, including the intersection of physics and amateur radio.

June 21, 2019
FT8; Fundamentals and History
by Ed Muns, W0YK

The talk will start with some LotW and ClubLog statistics on submissions by mode (CW, SSB, RTTY, JT and FT4/8), then put FT4/8 in context with amateur digital history.  The bulk of the presentation will discuss various aspects of the FT4/8 modes.  Questions are welcome.

The speaker's presentation slides are available for download at the below link:
As with all presentations on this site, please do not pass the file on to others without checking with the speaker. When you do, be sure to give full credit to the speaker and ensure that your recipient will do the same. Please be responsible.

Ed Muns, W0YK
Ed entered CW and SSB DX contests initially in the early 1970s as a way to work new band/mode-countries for DXCC.  His interest rapidly evolved from DXing to contesting with his early learning at the K0RF multi-multi.  Today, CW and RTTY contesting dominate Ed's operating time.  His local contest club, the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC), mounted an effort for the club competition gavel first offered in the 2004 ARRL RTTY Round-Up where Ed reluctantly (kicking and screaming) learned how to setup RTTY and ultimately won the Pacific Division SOHP plaque.  He ironically enjoyed that induction into RTTY so much that he now includes all the major RTTY contests in his contesting schedule.  With his P49X call sign, Ed holds the world SOHP record in ARRL RTTY Round-Up, having broken the record eight times, and the world SOHP record in CQ WPX RTTY, having broken that record seven times and set a world SOHP record in the 2010 CQ WW RTTY.  Ed is the contest manager for the NCJ NA RTTY Sprint and the contest director for the two CQ RTTY contests, CQ WW RTTY and CQ WPX RTTY.  He and Don, AA5AU, sponsor the Ten-Meter RTTY Contest which they initiated in December 2011 with nearly 700 logs submitted.  In 2018, it became the FT8 Roundup with over 1200 logs using ARRL RTTY Roundup rules.  He was inducted into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame in May 2014.  This is his twelfth year at CTU delivering the two Digital Contesting presentations and Q&A.

May 17, 2019:
ARKnet - Wireless Emergency Intranet

by Marcel Stieber, AI6MS

ARKnet is the first step toward building a Wireless Emergency Intranet for the City of Cupertino that will support our emergency responders with a high-speed data network. This multi-site network uses a 5.8 GHz ISM backbone and includes off-grid solar sites throughout the city. This forum will provide an overview of the system including design considerations, initial deployment of the primary sector and client sites, and operational analysis of the system functionality.
* A copy of Marcel's presentation slide deck is available here.
* A multi-part video of Marcel's presentation at Pacificon 2016 on this topic is on YouTube here.
* Marcel's QRZ page, with a more detailed bio and links to other presentations is here.

Marcel Stieber, AI6MS
I am an Electrical Engineering alumnus of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. I am currently employed as a Hardware Systems Integration Lead at Amazon Lab126 in Sunnyvale, CA and also serve on the Cal Poly Electrical Engineering Industry Advisory Board. I was former President and am current Industry Advisor to the Cal Poly Amateur Radio Club (www.W6BHZ.org). I am regularly volunteering to help at local repeater workdays as an RF technician and tower climber. I also enjoy helping with community events and providing communications for bike rides and triathlons. I was licensed on Cinco de Mayo in 2008 and received my Extra License in the Summer of 2010. I am also an ARRL Life Member and have used my VE credentials to help license over 673 hams since 2009!

I especially enjoy portable stations and events, APRS, ARDF, and out of the ordinary operating locations (like on a jetski or bicycle!). In 2013, I was appointed to the ARRL Committee on Youth by President Kay Craigie N3KN. I am the Technical Deployment Manager for the Cupertino ARES ARKnet Project which is building up a high-speed wireless intranet for the emergency responders in Cupertino.

I operated portable in Ghana, West Africa as 9G5MS from January-May 2013. I also operated during the ARRL School Club Roundup in February as the first school to participate from Africa.

April 26, 2019:
Annual Auction

See our Auction Page for details.
No presentation this month.
    Remember, the Auction is postponed one week this month, due Good Friday being on our normal day.

March 15, 2019:
Go Kits
: Radios in a Box
by Art Mayoff, AA6AM

At the invitation of MDARC, I will be bringing three different styles of GoKits that I designed and built for the Benicia ARC.  We will be talking about the design criteria behind each, and their contents and construction. The presentation will be non-technical in nature primarily aimed at those who have been toying with building their own GoKit. Hopefully I'll provide ideas to help you get started. We’ll even provide a rather comprehensive parts list.

Art Mayoff, AA6AM
I’ve been licensed continuously since 1961 and hold both US and Canadian licenses (AA6AM and VE2AQV). I’m a former board member of MDARC and a past president. I was MDARC’s auctioneer for 25 years. I taught MDARC’s Ham Radio evening classes when they were conducted at SunValley Mall, College Park and Pleasant Hill High Schools in the 60’s and 70’s.

Prior to retiring in 1999, I was President and CEO Contra Costa’s only Ham Radio store (The Base Station) in downtown Concord for almost 25 years. Who remembers the phone number? (It was 685-73 88.)

I’m an ARRL certified instructor and a CERT instructor, and an accredited Volunteer examiner for both ARRL and W5YI. Also a member of Solano County Sheriff’s Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) team and a 16 year volunteer with the Benicia Police Dept.

February 15, 2019:
O Solar Mio!

by Roger Hooten, W6UZ

Solar panel RFI mitigation is not a science. There are many opinions on best type, even if there is interference.  This presentation will focus on one type of system for a local 30 panel roof install completed a year ago.  The install followed a QST Solar article approach closely, but with an unexpected outcome. Types of solar systems will be introduced briefly.  RFI observations, tips and tricks learned, along with the costs to mitigate RFI for my HF Ham radio shack will be revealed!

Roger Hooten, W6UZ
I picked up my Novice while in High school, with the help of a Florida Elmer, whom I am still in touch with. I ended up not doing much with it and the Heathkit and old Hammarlund, as military family moves kept me uprooted regularly. I was still intrigued with radio and maintained the license and upgraded over the years to Advanced.  When I finally settled in California I went through the MDARC full set of classes to refresh, and snagged my Extra 2 years ago. I participate in various public service events but DX is my passion. I keep active, despite the solar cycle, with FT8 when I get depressed.  My house sits in a bowl so I continually complain that I can't get out.  Consequently I have grown a  very respectable Rube Goldberg ugly wire antenna farm.  It seems to work as I am within a dozen of DXCC now after 2 years. I don't show my face to my neighbors.

January 18, 2019:
Parachute Mobile - Past-Present-Future
by Rob Fenn, KC6TYD

So why do they jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Come and join us for an exciting and informative presentation where Rob will take you through ten years of Parachute Mobile.  Using skydiving as a platform, discover the many unique projects that the members of Parachute Mobile have incorporated into each mission.

Rob Fenn, KC6TYD
Rob has been in the EMS field since the mid 90's. He is currently working as a paramedic with AMR in Santa Clara County.  When Parachute Mobile began Rob was recruited as the Safety Officer. When the Team Coordinator position opened up Rob grabbed it and has been handling all the coordinating, scheduling, and promoting ever since. Rob was not a skydiver when he started with the team.  Being around and involved in the sport got him interested and in 2011 Rob took the course and soon thereafter was making his own QSO jumps.