MDARC Vehicles






On October 6, 2016, MDARC became the proud owner of a decommissioned television station Electronic News Gathering (ENG) van. Generously donated to us by KGO-TV in San Francisco, the vehicle is a year 2000 Ford E-350 with – well, let’s just say, more than a few miles on it. It comes to us with a lot of features that are perfect for us. Among them are:

  • A pneumatic mast that extends to 47 feet above ground.
  • The mast has a platform on top to allow mounting multiple antennas. The platform will rotate and tip via ground control.
  • 4.5 KW 120 VAC Onan generator.
  • 40 amp inverter.
  • Shore power receptacle.
  • Rack for mounting equipment.
  • A steel platform above the roof for working on the extendable mast, mounting antennas and holding equipment.
  • Several pre-cabled NMO antenna mounts on the roof platform.
  • Operator position with countertop and swivel chair.
  • Air conditioning front and back.
  • Ethernet router, with installed cabling throughout the van.
  • Printer.
  • Space for equipment storage in back.

 The van itself and the equipment above are all fully functional, in good working order and have been meticulously maintained. That said, as with any vehicle of this age, there are a number of things that need to be worked on.

 This outstanding donation would not have been possible without the generosity of KGO-TV in San Francisco, especially ENG Field Operations Engineer Dick Eting; the diligent efforts of Alan Bowker, WA6DNR, retired KGO employee; and of Tim Barrett, K6BIV, who referred Alan to us. MDARC owes all of them a great deal of Thankx.

 The Vehicle Committee will be responsible for the vehicle itself; its maintenance, upgrading as needed and operation. The Technical Committee will be responsible for any electronic equipment installed inside or on the vehicle. This will include radios, antennas, computers, computer networking equipment, etc.

 Many of you know that our Club has many systems working on both peaks of Mt. Diablo; such as repeaters for 2 meters, 220 MHz, 440 MHz, D-Star, an APRS digipeater and an outstanding digital ATV system. Tim Barrett also has a top-notch DMR repeater there. Several of us have a dream to make this Comm Van capable of communicating with all of those systems and more. We plan to add HF capability as well, for example. So we have a lot of work to do.

 It is indeed an exciting time to be a ham.