Meetings: General | Speakers | Board | Technical | Pacificon

2021-2022 | 2019-2020 | 2017-2018 | 2015-2016

Speakers At Our

General Meetings

Coming Up:

June 21: No Fri Meeting

June 22-23 Sat & Sun:

Field Day has numerous demonstrations, activities and presentations.

July 19:

Morse Code &

by Jim Crites W6JIM

August 16: Networking

by Mike Warren W6MEW & John Kearney KM6ZJT

September 20:

Adventure Radio Protocol

George Zafiropolus KJ6VU

October 18: @

TBA: Antennas

Ed Fong WB6IQN

November 15:

Marcel Stieber, AI6MS


Marcel Stieber, AI6MS

Marcel is an Electrical Engineer from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who enjoys supporting student clubs and fully-remote licensing. He also helps with local events, ARES, and repeater groups as an RF consultant and volunteer tower climber! More details at: 

Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: MDARC General Membership Meeting

Held on the third Friday of each month, except December

Join Zoom Meeting invitation

Meeting ID: 873 1422 4901

Passcode: 049211



One tap mobile

+16694449171,,87314224901#,,,,*049211# US

+17207072699,,87314224901#,,,,*049211# US (Denver)


Find your local number:

Past Meetings:

May 17:

Contesting: An Intro and Why We Do It

by Northern California Contest Club President David West KO6M - slides - ppt

As a newer ham, licensed in 2020, David, KO6M, will give a newcomers introduction to contesting which will show that contesting can be one of the finer activities on the bands.  He’s found both the competition factor and the speed a fantastic way to hear and be heard around the world. He hopes to spread the word about how fun contesting can be. It isn’t just about jamming the bands up every weekend. 

April 19:

To Be Confirmed: Making Home-Brew Yagi Design Simple, and a Simple Low-cost VHF/UHF Design
by John Portune W6NBC  - slides - YAGI.pdf

Hams tend to fear building their own Yagi beams, thinking that only professional radio engineers can design Yagis. The equations seem way too complex and the many on-line Yagi calculators all conflict with each other, and they do not know which one to trust. GOOD NEWS. Ham yagi design is really simple as this presentation shows. Only three easy to remember no math, no calculator rules of thumb yield results that can't be distinguished from yagis designed with the calculators and the fancy math.

The presentation also shows how to build a durable inexpensive VHF/UHF beam from easy to obtain materials.

John Portune W6NBCU

* Licensed Advanced WB6ZCT 1965; Extra 1972

* Commercial Licenses: GROL, General Radio Telegraph

* Bachelor’s degree, Physics, Oregon State University 1960

* Career (Retired) Television broadcast engineer/instructor, KNBC Ch 4 Los Angeles, Sony Broadcast San Francisco

* Ham magazine author: QST/OTA (over 35 to date) and others

* Frequent Zoom live radio club and ham expo presentations

* Active on HF, VHF, UHF – SSB, FM, digital modes and ham satellites

* Native of Los Angeles, CA

* 10 yr. resident of UK. Ham license MØGCK

* Married KF6OEB. 3 children, 12 grandchildren

* Steam railroading, pipe organ and sushi enthusiast, website:

March 15:

HT Transmitter Harmonic Testing

by Rob Rowlands, NZ6J

As presented at the Marin Amateur Radio Society W6SG. Rob is from New Zealand, a ham since 1963 and a retired electrical engineer. Apart from climbing and skiing his interests include offbeat applications of Amazon electronics products and providing communications for public service events.

Rob last presented in July 2021 on The Miraculous NanoVNA.

February 16:

So You Want to Work on Repeaters

by Jim Aspinwall NO1PC

Jim has been a 'ham' all his life thanks to his dad, finally licensed in 1971 amid the days of converting used commercial radios to 2 meters. Built his first repeater in 1972, amid his work-study job running a 5-site RCC shop in Wisconsin.  He's since done field service work on a variety of electronics and computing systems including a 2-way shop and an FM station in Houston.  As the advent of PC systems expanded Jim co-authored and authored 7 PC books and various PC help columns.

While in Houston he got exposed to linked systems by Armadillo Intertie, a Cactus affiliate. That carried with him amid job relocation to the Bay Area in 1989 and soon found himself "handed the keys" of an early Bay Area repeater - 'BARF' 443.750.  From there he became climbing certified and has helped many systems in NorCal and is now one of the principals of the Calnet system.

He became a staff then board member of NARCC and is currently its president.  Because of the 'variety' of ham radio help forums Jim founded "Amateur Radio Elmers" on Facebook. Also building focus via "NorCal Amateur Radio Sustainability" FB and

Through all this as a beginner and helping beginners, it's obvious we need to foster more skills in repeater system creation and maintenance - in all ways, literally, from the ground up.

1972: Madison Area Repeater Association, Central Wisconsin Repeater

Association, build 3rd VHF repeater in Madison, WI

1972-1976: RCC engineer

1981-1989: VFD comms support and f/f , Cal OES 2003-2015

1985-2002: Authored 7 PC support books, multiple columns.

1991-2002: BARF, Cactus, Calnet 2003 to present.

2013 to present: NARCC staff, board, president.

January 19, 2024:

Amateur Radio attendee projects & Q&A

December 17, 2023:

Holiday Banquet

November 17, 2023:

Summits On The Air

by Spencer Holmes, KM6SJO

Spencer recently activated a new summit in Northern California. He will go over his planning, bringing the equipment to the summit, station setup and operating.

Spencer is a science teacher at Heritage High School in Brentwood, where he teaches The Living Earth and Entomology. He earned his Technician license in 2018, his General license in 2019 and soon his Extra license. He is a member of MDARC and is also a member and current President of the Delta Amateur Radio Club, and he is also a member of the Contra Costa Repeater Association. 

Spenser is also a co-Advisor to the Heritage High School Amateur Radio Club, W6HHS.

What he loves about amateur radio is the number of different directions one can go with it, and there's always something new to learn.

October 20, 2023:
At Pacificon
The Future of EmComm - What's Next?

Panel Discussion


Alan Thompson, W6WN

Don Simon, NI6A

Dan Goldstein, KJ6KEU

Note: meeting will be held at the San Ramon Marriott, Bishop Ranch Salon E, during Pacificon. No Pacificon attendee badge is required to attend this meeting.

September 15, 2023:
Basic Contesting: How to Contest, How to Get Started, Tip & Tricks
Lee Zalaznik, KI6OY

Lee Zalaznik, KI6OY
Lee got his first amateur radio license at the age of 16 in 1965 as WN6BJB and upgraded to General as WB6BJB.  When Lee passed his Avanced class license, he changed hiw call sign to KI6OY. Then finally upgraded to Amateur Extra class license. Lee has been a LARK member since moving to Livermore in 1973.  Lee served as LARK president and vice president several times. Lee is also a long time member of the Northern California Contest Club. ( He worked at Bank of America and then worked for Compaq/HP until he retired in 2016 after 45 years of service.  After retiring, Lee got interested in relearning Morse Code.   Lee has a small station with a new Kenwood TS590SG and a dipole antenna up 30 feet.  For logging Lee uses N1MM.  Now his main interest in Amateur Radio has become CW communications and contesting.

August 18, 2023:
To PL Or Not PL, That Is The Question
Eric Dausman, KD7DNM

Ham radio operators use the Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) almost every day, but do not fully understand it. You may have heard it referred to as  “PL”, “tone”,  or something else; this is a legacy technology which still functions well.  

This presentation will discuss CTCSS history and explain some basic technical specifications and use cases most ham radio operators may not be familiar with.  It will also explain common misunderstandings of what the technology provides and how it is used in other radio services.

Eric Dausman, KD7DNM

Eric Dausman recently retired from a 45 year career in Broadcast Radio and Television.  During that time, he worked for local and network broadcast centers as well as overseeing Sutro Tower, one of the largest broadcast infrastructure facilities in the United States.  Eric has a broad understanding of RF technology including broadcast radio, television, and land mobile radio.  

Eric moved to Moraga in 2009 and became a member of the Lamorinda Area Radio Interest Group (LARIG). He was largely responsible for the design and implementation of a LARIG tri-city amateur band linked repeater system and complementary GMRS repeater system to supplement and strengthen the cities’ emergency communications systems. He was an active member of Support 241, the Moraga Orinda Fire District volunteer communicators.

Eric currently lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon and volunteers his time to the Lake Oswego Fire Department, Lake Oswego ARES, and Clackamas County ARES.  Eric is married and has two grown sons and six grandchildren.    

Eric is a member of SMPTE, SBE, and holds an Extra Class Amateur Radio license with the call sign of KD7DNM.

More details at: 


July 21, 2023:
Dual Band Satellite Dish Slot Antenna
Marcel Stieber, AI6MS

In the March 2016 QST, John Portune W6NBC presented a 2-meter antenna diguised as a TV Satellite Dish. In this presentation, we explore the first known iteration of a dual-band satellite antenna design using two slots and a diplexer to let you work any repeaters using a single, HOA-friendly, antenna!

Marcel Stieber, AI6MS

Marcel is an Electrical Engineer from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who enjoys supporting student clubs and fully-remote licensing. He also helps with local events, ARES, and repeater groups as an RF consultant and volunteer tower climber! More details at: 

June 16, 2023:
Go-Kit Building: Design Considerations
by Vince d'Eon, VE6LK

Vince builds for purpose and will talk about Go-Kit Building Design Considerations and outline some design points to help you assemble your own kit, and give you a tour of his own kit. Take ideas for your own kit build!

Vince d'Eon, VE6LK
Vince has been licensed since 2002 in Canada as VE6LK and in the USA as AI7LK. An Accredited Examiner in Canada and the USA, he gave the first remote Canadian examination when the COVID-19 pandemic started. He participates in up to a dozen public service events per year around Western Canada and is active on the air while glamping or activating with POTA. He is currently trying to better his skill in CW which he readily admits "it requires improvement". You can hear Vince on the Ham Radio Workbench podcast, follow him on Twitter @VE6LK, and view the projects and articles on his website

For a copy of Vince's slide deck, click here.

May 19, 2023:
Long Wave Radio
Including 2200 meters, 137 KHz,  and 630 meters, 472 KHz but mostly about VLF, Russians, etc at 25 KHz +-
Bart Lee, K6VK

Bart Lee, K6VK
Bart is a longtime member and Fellow of the Antique Wireless Association (AWA) and a Fellow of the California Historical Radio Society (CHRS), for which he serves as General Counsel Emeritus and Archivist, and as one of several historians. He holds the FCC General Radio Operators License (with the Radar endorsement) and an amateur radio Extra class license. He has enjoyed radio and radio-related activities in many parts of the world and a fair amount of time on the high seas. Radio technology has fascinated him since he made his first crystal set with a razor blade and pencil lead some 65 years ago. He is especially fond of those sets of which it is said: “Real radios glow in the dark.”

Bart is a published author on legal and other subjects, and extensively on the history of radio. The AWA presented its Houck Award for documentation to him in 2002, and CHRS presented its 1991 “Doc” Herrold Award to him in connection with his work for the Perham Foundation Electronics Museum, which declared him an Honorary Curator and Historian. In 2001, during disaster recovery operations in New York after the 9/11 terrorist enormity, he served as the Red Cross deputy communications lead from September 12 to September 21 (in old radio talk, the “night shift trick-chief”). Bart is a retired litigator by trade, having prosecuted and defended civil cases in federal and state courts for 40 years. He is a graduate of St. John’s College (the “Great Books School”) and the University of Chicago Law School (on the faculty of which he served after graduation). Bart invites correspondence at email KV6LEE[at]gmail[dot]com.

April 21, 2023:
RF Exposure Regulations
By Milt Hyams, KM6ASI and Bob Salter, AI6EE

Milt Hyams, KM6ASI
Milt is an Amateur Extra living in San Rafael, CA. He became interested in radio as a youngster and received a Restricted Radio Telephone license in 1957 to serve as radio operator on his father’s boat. He tried and failed to get his amateur radio license at that time because of his inability to pass the CW test. Yet, his interest in radio and electronics continued, and upon graduation from USF in the ROTC program he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the US Army Signal Corps. Although he went on to graduate from USF Law School, he elected to stay in the Signal Corps, ultimately commanding two signal companies in Viet Nam. After his tour in Viet Nam, he served over 30 years as an Assistant District Attorney in Marin and San Francisco. He continued to be active in the Army Reserve, retiring as a Colonel in the Signal Corps in 1994. Upon retirement he received the Silver Order of Mercury, the US Army Signal Corps Regiment’s highest award for service to the Signal Corps. In 2016, when he found out that CW was no longer a requirement for an amateur license he immediately became a licensed amateur. Since then he has become active in amateur radio activities in Marin, serving on the Marin Amateur Radio Society Board of Directors. He is currently the Deputy Chief Radio Officer of Marin RACES, is on the Planning Committee for the Marin Radio Communications Volunteers, is the Communications (DST) Coordinator for the Marin Chapter of the American Red Cross and currently serves on the Marin Disaster Council. He is also active in a number of public service and communications training activities in Marin County.

Bob Salter, AI6EE
Bob has 47 years of industry experience in Energy and Mechanical Systems design, marketing, construction, commissioning, compliance and field services. From 2008 Bob has focused on design and execution of major projects involving electrical power distribution, monitoring, controls and protection. Bob received his BS-EE from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1976, his MBA (with concentration in Finance) from San Francisco State University 1982, and is a Registered Professional Engineer (State of California, Electrical) since 1993. Bob is a Life Senior Member in IEEE, current Treasurer of OEB Section, and past Officer at various Chapter, Section and Council Levels. Bob is named as co-inventor on (2) patent applications, one of which was recently granted. Bob is currently a volunteer Professor on the SSU Engineering Department faculty.

Remember: We're meeting upstairs now, so park in the upper parking lot.

Milt Hyams, KM6ASI

Bob Salter, AI6EE

March: 17, 2023:
Emergency Communications with SRV Fire’s Communications Support 131
By Steve Nissen, K8YIP, Ryan Mahoney W6RAM, and Rand Mahoney W6TRM
San Ramon Fire Volunteer Communications Team

A discussion and virtual tour of the San Ramon Fire Communications Support vehicle, CS-131. Followed by an in-person tour of CS-131 in the parking lot.

Remember: We're meeting upstairs now, so park in the upper parking lot.

February 17, 2023:
Ferrite Toroid Baluns for Dummies
by John Portune W6NBC

How to design a toroid and wind it to make a 1:1, 4:1 or 9:1 balun in three very easy steps! Descriptions in several of the well-know radio books can be confusing. Award-winning magazine author W6NBC shows us how using very little math along with an on-line calculator.

See his website and slides for more information.

January 20:, 2023:
The New MDARC Membership Database
by Jan Kulisek, KM6NFC

The presentation will guide members on how the MDARC Membership Portal can be used to their advantage to check on membership status, among other features. In addition, there will be an explanation of the technology behind the Portal including an attempt to take away fear that personal information may be at risk. Yes, no risks in our lives are zero, but it is possible to mitigate them very close to that. While mitigating risks, web technology can also improve our lives in general, not limited only to the use of the MDARC Membership Portal. The presentation will include some additional ideas how technology can improve our lives in general and not only limited to ham radio operations and how it can help us instead of the other way around. Perhaps we will also touch up a little on the history of radio and how skillful radio operators made the difference in the world, which may be another big topic for a future presentation.

Jan Kulisek, KM6NFC
Born and raised in Prague, Czechoslovakia, which is today the capital of Czech Republic. Grew up during Communism behind the Iron Curtain, which defined curiosity about the world out there especially west of the Czechoslovak border. Almost the only way to get reliable information was back then over the radio waves mostly in short wave bands. These broadcasts were mostly jammed and it took an effort to figure out how and where to get a clear signal of western broadcasts. During those times Jan developed into quite a passion to be an SWL (Short Wave Listener). However, Jan was never too diligent to study electrical engineering and focused more on getting out of the country, which with great luck managed to do and in 1985 arrived in the US. Long story short, after the 20+ years service in the US Army Jan retired and renewed his interest in radio technology mainly because what do you do when a natural disaster strikes and when Internet and cell services are down? Information transmitted over ham radio bands can be a lifesaving commodity and is also fun during peace time when nothing serious is happening. Given the professional experience as a software engineer and scientist Jan also found ways to improve the membership tracking and other MDARC functions via web applications. And that's what Jan's presentation will be about, to take a look behind the scenes how web technologies can improve our lives as ham radio operators to better organize ourselves not only in our club.

Speakers at our

Club Meetings

NOTE: Our general membership meetings are currently be held in a hybrid manner; both in person and on Zoom. A link for the Zoom session will be sent out to all those belonging to our Club's forum a few days before the meeting. If you're not a member of that forum, see the section of our Communicating With You page.