Once upon a time, the repeater systems were run by a quasi-independent group, the Rocky Ridge Repeater Group. One needed to be a member of MDARC and have a RRRG member sponsor you in order to join the repeater group. This group was started in the era when VHF/UHF operation was not the main stream ham radio endeavor. The HF-only folks wanted little or nothing to do with the care and feeding of repeater systems, so the compromise was to have those interested in VHF pay while those who weren’t didn’t. The original location of the repeaters was on Rocky Ridge above Danville at the old Nike site, hence the name.
The main reason one joined this group was to get the control codes. Then, like now, the systems were open to general use but the autopatch was for members only. Fast forward to 1995, the year the storm knocked down the tower on Mt. Diablo. The group was assessed a large amount of money to get back on the tower. The Group didn’t have the funds but the Club did. The Board of Directors decided it was a better thing to buy out the group rather than give them what amounted to a gift to cover the expenses. This meant that the Rocky Ridge Repeater Group became the Rocky Ridge Repeater Committee.
Over the years this committee has morphed with the times. Sometimes it encompassed the trailer and comm van, sometimes not. Sometimes it included other technical projects like the ill-fated Doppler & voting systems. Some people who don’t appreciate the history refer to this committee as the Technical Committee.
Contributed by Jim Brunk, N6BHX. Edited by Jim Tittle, K6SOE. April 19, 2015.
For another little touch of history, here are the Rocky Ridge Repeater Group Bylaws from 1989.