The following are descriptions of the many committees MDARC has, along with a list of things each needs help with. We emphasize that no experience is needed to get involved with any committee; only a desire and ability to participate. We’ll help you learn the rest.
The Auction Committee plans and conducts the Club auction, usually held on our normal meeting night in April at our regular meeting place. This includes preparing the room with tables to display the items to be auctioned, paperwork to process the sellers and bidders and items, computers and software to track who sold each item and who bought it, and collecting and dispersing the money. See our Auction page.
Before the auction:
Assist with registering the sellers & buyers, and providing them with bidding cards.
Setting up the room.
Arranging the items for display and organizing them for quick availability during the auction.
During the auction:
Be the auctioneer to sell the items.
Ensure that the items being auctioned are in order and quickly available to the auctioneer.
Track which items were sold, the seller and buyer numbers and the selling price.
Enter the data into the database.
Collect payments from buyers.
After the auction:
The Audit Committee is an ad hoc committee, formed as needed and usually at the request of the Board of Directors, to inspect the Club’s financial records and verify their accuracy. This typically occurs once each two or three years.
The Digital Media Committee is responsible for developing and maintaining all of the Club’s digital media. This currently includes the:
* MDARC web site
* Pacificon web site
* Club’s Facebook page
* Club's YouTube page
* Email reflector groups on Groups.io
* Email addresses (e.g., email@example.com)
* Electronic file archive
* Maintaining domain names and any other hosted services.
* The pages on www.QRZ.com for the Club's two call signs, W6CX and W6LGW.
Note that skills in web site programming or similar technologies are not needed. If you have them, however, they may be helpful for enhancing some aspects of our digital media.
Administer and keep up to date certain web pages, such as the Club calendar, Speakers page and others.
Prepare & keep up to date a new web site for Pacificon each year.
Develop and post new pages for both web sites as appropriate.
Ensure our Facebook page is kept current by posting new information, removing obsolete information and responding to queries or forwarding them to someone who can.
Responding to queries and information received via the club’s general incoming email addresses, firstname.lastname@example.org and info@Pacificon.org. Forwarding those that need addressing by others and following up periodically to ensure an appropriate response is sent.
Administering as needed Club-based email addresses, such a Treasurer@MDARC.org and Registration@Pacificon.org.
Education & Training
The Education and Training Committee provides amateur radio educational instruction for the Ham community in two distinct areas. The first provides instruction for earning the Technician Class, General Class and Amateur Extra Class Licenses. The second provides skills and interest instruction for those Hams seeking practical amateur radio applications. See our Education and Training page.
Course scheduling and marketing support.
Course Administrative support for enrollment, student class session attendance and elmer class session participation data.
In-class discussion leaders with the students for the amateur radio course class sessions.
In-class elmer student support for the license course class sessions.
Volunteer examiners to assist with the license testing following each amateur radio license course.
Class Session Hospitality for students in all class sessions.
Class Session student greeters for students in all class sessions.
Audio/visual equipment installation and maintenance for all of the MDARC Education and Training activities.
The Field Day committee plans and executes the Club’s participation in the ARRL’s annual Field Day exercise, held the last weekend of each June. This includes, but is not limited to: planning and laying out the selected site to be used for the weekend; setting up equipment, such as pop-ups, tables, chairs, towers, antennas, and our Club vehicles; obtaining, preparing & operating stations for as many HF bands as possible; Ensuring essentials are available for each participant, such as food and water; planning and executing the barbecue dinner; and striking the site at the end of the exercise. See our Field Day page.
Band captains for each operating band.
Worker bees to help set up and take down the site.
Operators for the entire 24-hour period.
Possibly the loan of certain equipment, such as HF radios and generators.
Maintain logs and records of the events during the weekend, including sign-in sheets for participants and visitors; contacts made and materials used.
Filing reports with the ARRL after the event.
Good & Welfare
The Good & Welfare Coordinator assists the Club leadership to stay in touch with Club members and their relatives who are experiencing special times. Often these are sad times, such as illness or death. But we also like to congratulate our Club Family during happy times, such as weddings, births and special anniversaries. The Coordinator does them primarily by sending one or more cards to the member and/or family appropriate to the occasion.
Each December, our regular meeting is replaced with our annual Christmas Banquet, usually held at a restaurant that provides excellent food and service at an affordable price. See our Holiday Banquet page.
Negotiating and reserving the banquet space.
Planning and preparing decorations for the evening.
Communications with the membership.
Ensuring the rooms is set up properly and on time, with tables, chairs, projector, screen, PA system, podium, etc.
The license testing group provides a license testing session before the monthly MDARC meeting on the third Friday of most months. Volunteer Examiners (VE) facilitate the testing of those candidates that wish to get an initial license or upgrade their present license. License testing is provided at other locations as well, such as at the licensing classes, at the one day classes for the Walnut Creek CERT group, at the MDARC Field Day site, and at Pacificon. Other exam sessions are set up by request. See our License Testing page.
New members are encouraged to join our group. You must be a General or Amateur Extra licensee to be a VE. On the ARRL.org website, select the "Licensing, Education and Training" tab, select the "Become an ARRL VE" tab, and follow the instructions on that page to become a VE. New VEs can join our team for Elmering under the guidance of an experienced VE. Soon you will learn to be a VE without any coaching.
The main duty of the membership Chair is to maintain the membership database of current and past members, as well as to process applications for new and renewal memberships. Currently the database is in Microsoft Access. This database is used by other club members once a year to generate the membership directory. The directory is then e-mailed to current members by the Membership Chair. Once a month the club newsletter, the Carrier, is e-mailed to current members along with a meeting reminder. Some members pay for hard copies of the newsletter and the directory. Currently the membership duties include printing and mailing these.
The biggest task is the once a year membership renewal effort. A portion of the members renew electronically via PayPal. For the remaining members, reminder letters are printed and mailed. Renewals are then entered in the database and any checks received are mailed to the club treasurer. Club membership cards are also printed for those requesting them.
Once a month the membership chairman attends the general club meetings and along with the treasurer handles any new membership applications or changes. A short presentation of membership related items is presented to the club. Attendance at the MDARC board meetings is encouraged but not required.
For new members, their data is entered into the membership database and a report is printed with this data. This report is mailed with a membership card and SASE, giving new members a chance to make any additions or corrections. The current membership directory and latest Carrier is also e-mailed to new members. An e-mail is sent to the club repeater trustee so that repeater instructions can be e-mailed to new members. Lists of new members are sent to the Carrier editor for inclusion in the newsletter. See our Join/Renew/Update page.
MESH Networking Group
Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club's MESH Networking Group has been formed for the interest of those club members and other licensed Amateur Radio operators in the East Bay who would like to establish an easily and quickly setup emergency network. This network will be non-dependent on either the internet and/or the local repeater systems. The network is basically an "off grid" network. This will be accomplished through the reprogramming of commercial, off the shelf, Wi-Fi radios and antennas. These "NODES" are then connected in a mesh network arrangement, much like the internet does using IP addresses and DNS servers. The "NODES" can be permanent installations, such as are installed at high levels on Kregor Peak and Round Top, or semi-permanent/portable "NODES" at individual QTH's or battery operated in the field. All NODES may be powered with battery backup, thus the “off-grid” designation. Like the internet, the loss of one or two of the "NODES" in the network will NOT bring down the entire network. The network is "self-healing", in that it will find a new route around the missing NODES. There are many existing NODES already making up part of the eventual San Francisco Bay Area (“Ring-the-Bay”) MESH Network system. This system could be a life saver in many emergency and catastrophic situations.
A Google Earth map of the MDARC portion of this system can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/141aa_pWrZRk8JnEIDLXGMUhZuPb9_G_A/view?usp=sharing
We will be working to obtain grants which will be used to purchase equipment for use by members in need of programmable Wi-Fi radios. These radios will be programed with software developed in cooperation with the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN). Our hope is to "ring the Bay" with a solid MESH Network for use when other means of communication have or are failing. That said we would also like to acquire more high level sites than just the two we now have in the East Bay. This "high level backbone" is desired as a main route for all network traffic, especially very long distance (25 to 35 kilometers) traffic.
If you would like to join our Group, all we ask is that:
• You are a licensed Amateur Radio operator (If you want to actually operate a NODE.),
• You are interested in emergency communications, and
• You want to help the community in times of dire circumstances.
If MESH Networking interests you: contact Mike Warren, W6MEW at mwarren2@comcast,net or Dick Wade, WM6G at email@example.com or just join the MDARC MESH Networking Groups.io (LINK) group.
The Newsletter Editor prepares and publishes the Club’s newsletter, The Carrier, eleven months of the year. The November and December issues are combined.
• Authors to prepare and submit interesting and relevant articles for each month’s edition.
The Nomination Committee is an ad hoc committee required by the Club bylaws to be formed no later than August of each year. As described in the bylaws, its duties are to: “a) to procure candidates for each office, b) to qualify nominated members as to membership and willingness to accept the nomination, c) to receive and tabulate ballots.”
The Outreach Committee provides outreach and a welcoming environment for members and guests to MDARC activities, including: General Meetings, Education and Training Activities, Field Day, Club Auction, and Pacificon. Help all that call the MDARC Hot Line phone number. Be available to be deployed by the President as an ombudsman for the Club. Create and distribute image and promotional items for the Club. Create amateur radio related activities under the direction of the President of MDARC and the MDARC Board and other activities as directed by the MDARC President and MDARC Board. Interface with the public in the collection of donated items to the Club. Help with MDARC Auction.
Welcome attendees to Club meetings and other events; especially those that appear to be new or have a question.
Respond to calls made to the Club telephone line.
Assist with marketing the Club and Pacificon, through the development of Club signage and merchandise, such as:
Magnetic Signs for “MDARC 1” van.
Web page for the sale of MDARC items.
Web page for memberships and membership renewals.
Web page for Pacificon registration.
The annual ARRL Pacific Division convention, called Pacificon; is considered by many, including some in the ARRL, to be one of the top five amateur radio conventions in the United States. As such, the Pacificon Committee is by far the largest committee in the Club, because it requires the most effort. There are three officers on the Committee and some 27 sub-committees, covering all aspects of planning and executing the annual 3-day event. See http://pacificon.org/.
A full description of all the help needed for Pacificon would be much too long for this document. But each year we need more volunteers at the convention than we have. See the list of Pacificon sub-committees on our Officers & Committee Chairs page to give you an idea of the breadth of needs we have. Again, no expertise in any of these areas is required. Just the desire to help.
The Public Service Committee assists served agencies by providing needed communications among the multiple locations during an event. Event types include long-distance runs and walks, parades, bicycle rides and races and triathlons. Hams are stationed at checkpoints along the route, in vehicles and elsewhere to report status information and enhance the safety of the event. See our Public Service page.
Hams with handheld radios to work at each event.
Someone to coordinate each event with its served agency and to manage the hams working the event.
A backup to the existing Public Service Coordinator.
The Refreshment Committee prepares coffee and tea before and during each Club meeting.
Rocky Ridge Repeater Technical
To provide access to high quality repeaters that are open and accessible to all amateur operators in the Northern California. To specify, design, acquire, install, and maintain RF emitting equipment assets and related hardware and software at the direction of the MDARC Board of Directors. Help provide technical expertise or support to the amateur community in areas involving Radio Frequency Interference, antenna SWR analysis, and other basic hardware issues. Ensure that repeaters maintain coordination with NARCC and/or NCDCC. Ensure that systems maintain compliance with the FCC, FAA, and other authorities from an operational and operating standpoint. Maintain asset inventories for the MDARC Board. Perform other tasks as directed by the MDARC President and/or MDARC Board of Directors. See our Repeater Systems page.
The Vehicle Committee is responsible for the maintenance, repair, upgrade, outfitting, operation and driver qualification for the Club’s two vehicles; a trailer and an ENG (Electronic News Gathering) van. This includes repairing and maintaining what we can on the vehicles and taking them to professionals for the things we can’t do ourselves; installing radio and other electronic equipment; deploying the vehicles when needed for events, such as Field Day; and operating the equipment once on site. See our Vehicles page.
Plan & design the radio equipment to be installed in the van and trailer and develop a layout.
Install the equipment.
Develop policies and procedures for drivers, to ensure the safety of themselves, the public and the equipment.
Qualified drivers to deploy the vehicles as needed.
The Club has two club licenses from the FCC; W6CX and W6LGW. By FCC rules, each must have a trustee assigned, and no person may be a trustee for more than one club license. The primary purpose of the trustee is to serve as the formal contact for the Club, should the FCC need to correspond with us. The trustee must then promptly and accurately reply to FCC correspondence, with guidance for other Club members as appropriate.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors occasionally needs help with special projects that arise. So we need people willing to step forward to assist when the need arises. Some examples of past and current projects include:
Assisting the Treasurer at each Club meeting to sell raffle tickets.
Investigating potential new self-storage places.
Design a new-member packet to be mailed to all who join the Club for the first time.
Investigate merchants to provide MDARC-logo merchandise for our members.