Speakers at our
Club Meetings

December 15, 2017:
No meeting in December.
Join us at the
MDARC Holiday Banquet on December 3. Register by Nov. 27th.

Coming Up:
January 19, 2018: Locating and Killing Receiver Interference,
Gary Johnson, NA6O
February 16, 2018: Maritime Casualties: Causes and Consequences,
                                by Captain Tuuli Messer-Brookman, Esq.
                                    Professor - Marine Transportation Department
                                    California Maritime Academy
March 16, 2018:    An Introduction to the Use of Free Software for the Design and Analysis
                                of Amateur Radio Antennas
                                    by Jim Blodgett, KI6JB

Past Presentations:

To review our speakers prior to this year, see our Speakers-2015 & 2016 page.

November 17, 2017:

Fun with the LEO Satellites – Operating Portable
by Tom Deeble, KA6SIP
With equipment that you may already have or with a minimal investment, you could be talking on the FM “EasySats” or to the International Space Station (ISS).  I’ll be going over some technical stuff about the satellites, radios, etc. but will mostly talk about the fun, and challenge, of operating portable in the field – from Tahoe in the winter, to the desert, to Hawaii, and lots of other locations.  There will be lots of pictures showing portable operation and also different radio setups.

To download Tom's slides, click this link: K6SIP AMSAT Presentation. (PowerPoint [pptx]; 42 MB)

Tom Deeble was originally licensed as a Novice while in Jr. High, around 1967, as WN6RJC.  He rowed light weight crew one year and graduated from UC Berkeley EECS in 1975.  He was also an engineering coop student working at China Lake NWS on the Sidewinder guidance.  He worked 35+ years for BART in Train Control Engineering and Computer Systems Engineering.

Two kids came along and that mostly curtailed Ham Radio.  In the 80’s he built a home-brew terminal unit and computer system based on a 6502 micro-processor based evaluation board connected to an ASCII terminal.  He passed his extra class exam (and 20 wpm code) just as the last of the 1x2 calls had been issued.  He also helped with CCRA’s VE exams.

At Pacificon he watched a video presentation by Randy Hall, K7AGE, which started his interest in satellites.  He realized that his old ICOM IC-W32A was a perfect dual-band radio for satellite use and then purchased an Arrow antenna at Pacificon.  He also operates from home with an elevation/azimuth rotor supporting dual yagis on a 25’ pole, with full computer control.

Other interests include bike riding – both mountain bikes and road bikes.  His main goal each July is to ride with his daughter in a 24-hour benefit bike ride in the Sierra Valley north of Truckee.  It’s a benefit ride for Christian Encounter Ministries in Grass Valley.  He averages somewhere between 150 to 232 miles in the 24 hours.

October 20, 2017:

At Pacificon!
Making Maker Faires Work, by David Witkowski, W6DTW.
            See the Pacificon web site for details.
            Remember, this will be at Pacificon, the San Ramon Marriott hotel,
                not our usual meeting location.

September 15, 2017:

Pacificon Review

Misa Siemons, KJ6BUE, Pacificon Chair

Misa will update us on all the events and forums that will be at this year's Pacificon, this year’s ARRL Pacific Division Convention in San Ramon presented by our club’s hardworking volunteers.

August 18, 2017:
So Much More on W6CX-R

Trevor Hall, WA6JAU
Our own Trevor Hall will update us on the systems we have on Mt. Diablo's South Peak. He will explain how to access each of the repeaters; Echolink and IRLP connections; and show the programming of D-Star and how access works.

July 21, 2017:
From Crystal Sets to WiGig- Spectrum Analysis, the RF Engineer's Basic Tool

by Rob Rowlands, NZ6J

Rob Rowlands is a semi retired electrical engineer from New Zealand. The first part of his career was with New Zealand telecom, and since 1989 with Hewlett-Packard and its descendants in the SF Bay Area. Rob has a degree in electrical engineering from the university of Canterbury in Christchurch NZ and is a life member of the IEEE.

Rob has been licensed since 1963 and is interested in Mountain top operating, APRS and public service events.

June 16, 2017:

Magic-1, A Completely Self-Designed and Home-Built Minicomputer

Bill Buzbee

Constructed from more than 200 74-series TTL chips and roughly 4,000 individually wrapped wires, Magic-1 doesn't use a standard off-the-shelf CPU, but rather the bulk of the machine is itself a custom-designed CPU with its own unique instruction set.

The talk will include a demonstration of Magic-1, but will primarily focus on how it all came together.  In particular, how Bill's oddball kitchen-table hobby project became a collaborative effort involving computer and electronic hobbyists from around the world.  The machine has been connected to the internet for more than a decade offering open telnet access to thousands of curious visitors, and serving web pages at http://www.magic-1.org.  It's been the subject of "Slash-dottings", several magazine features, "Editor's Choice" award at the Maker Faire, and multiple awards at vintage computer festivals.  More information about the project can be found at http://www.homebrewcpu.com

Bill Buzbee is currently a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google in Mountain View, CA, where he works on the runtime system for Android.  He previously worked at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, the Transmeta Corporation and Hewlett-Packard's compiler lab.  He holds 31 patents, mostly related to dynamic translation and just-in-time compilation techniques.  In a previous career, Bill was a newspaper journalist working at small daily papers in the Midwest - including a stint as the managing editor of the Parsons (KS) Sun.  He lives in Half Moon Bay, CA with his wife Monica, three kids and a very energetic Australian Shepherd dog.

May 19, 2017:

Easy Up, Easy Down, Easy with HOA

by Dave Piersall, N6ORB
How to work the world with temporary antennas in an HOA. Space and time permitting, Dave will demonstrate a LNR 20 meter end-fed wire antenna and a 10 meter horizontal loop antenna with a mast and tripod made from military mast sections.

April 21, 2017:
Annual Auction! See our Auction page.

March 17, 2017:
Hospital Communications: Planning Required

Duane and Melanie Mariotti, WB9RER & KC7VFT
This presentation
will be on the unique world of hospital emergency communications and the amateur radio perspective. It will focus on the success in Northern California of the Bay Area Hospital Network (BAHN), lessons learned statewide as well as changes seen nationally.  (Duane coordinates a management group of hospital communications leaders across the US.)  The goal is to provide planning suggestions to build on the foundation and success of BAHN in the 21st Century.  This presentation is not simply amateur radio focused and may be of value to local hospital emergency planners as well as governmental emergency preparedness professionals.  MDARC is welcome to invite others to this presentation in the spirit of emergency communications planning.

Duane Mariotti, WB9RER
Duane Mariotti, WB9RER, has been licensed for over thirty years.  His primary emphasis is emergency communications and specifically hospital communications.  Duane's experience as a paramedic, emergency preparedness liaison and hospital biomedical engineer provided him with knowledge of both the amateur and hospital needs for communications to function.  Immediately post 9/11 he was assigned to support the Washington State EMS communications planning and implementation (in addition to his day job).  He has been a frequently requested speaker, committee member and consultant regarding hospital and health communications regionally and nationally. 

Duane is currently the Coordinator of the Kaiser Permanente Amateur Radio Network (KPARN) in Southern California supporting 20 facilities spread out over six counties (about the size of Indiana).  KPARN provides consultation, membership training, hospital standardized communications technology and infrastructure to support "conference call" emergency communications - specifically post the much discussed due earthquake.

Melanie Mariotti, KC7VFT
First licensed at the age of nine, Melanie KC7VFT moved locally six months ago after passing the California Bar Exam.  She is employed locally practicing environmental law. Melanie brings a lifetime of emergency communication practice and knowledge - specifically hospital communications - based on being her dad's travel companion.  Some of Melanie's earliest memories was participating in an EOC radio drill - standing on a table - to write on a white board important information.  She was eleven.

NOTE: Our March meeting will be held in the Church Sanctuary, on the upper level. Be sure to park in the upper parking lot for the March meeting only.

February 17, 2017:

So You Got a DMR Radio, Now What!

Tim Barrett, K6BIV
Tim will discuss the how and why of programming your DMR radio to operate with the BrandMeister Network.
(What Tim says he looks like. Courtesy K6BIV)------>

Tim Barrett, K6BIV is the Trustee of the VHF K6MDD DMR Repeater on Mt. Diablo. Tim is also the Trustee of the UHF K6PIT DMR Repeater in downtown Pittsburg, CA.

Tim is a Founding Member of NorCal DMR, a Network of more than 50 VHF & UHF DMR repeaters covering most of Northern California. This Network is connected to the BrandMeister Worldwide Network of more than 1100 DMR Repeater and Hotspots.

Tim Barrett, K6BIV, has been a Ham since 1975.  He has been active in repeater building since 1977. He has been a member of MDARC since 1979, a member and a former Director of NARCC, and the current Director of Spectrum Management at NCDCC (Northern California Digital Coordination Council). Tim has been involved in digital modes for a long time.  He was a pioneer in Packet (Digital) radio and has been active in Digital Modes for more than 32 years. He is the owner of IRLP Node 3348 and EchoIRLP Node 62684, which he runs mobile.
(What WikiLeaks says Tim looks like. )------>
Tim's PowerPoint Presentation, "Digital Mobile Radio - Code Plug 101" (PPT, 354 KB)

February 17, 2017:
System Fusion Demonstration
Unfortunately, Chris Wilson is no longer with Yaesu and was unavailable for this presentation. We hope to have it at a later date with another person.

January 20, 2017:

Antenna Basic Principles

Michelle Paquette, AA6MP
A one hour rundown on what makes an antenna actually work, from physics to practice.  We will look at how an electric field produces a radio wave, basic dipoles, and how a dipole radiates.  We will look at the effect of other conductors near the antenna, and discover some interesting interactions.