Speakers At Our

General Meetings

in 2015 & 2016

December 16, 2016:

No meeting! Happy Holidays! 

December 2 , 2016

MDARC Holiday Banquet

    Zio Fraedo's Restaurant in Pleasant Hill. See our Holiday Banquet page for details.

November 18, 2016:

Here's the MDARC DATV Experience that's Waiting for You

Eoin O'Donoghue, KK6Q

Trace my experience with MDARC (Amateur Television) ATV from the last millennium thru to today. Learn all about how you can get aboard for almost nothing and if you wish, graduate to the full MDARC (Digital Amateur Television) DATV experience. See various DATV station setups and there will be a demo of a functioning DATV station. 

October 14, 2016:

Ham Radio Quiz Show!

at Pacificon

As panelists, we'll have Bob Heil, Gordo West, and John Bigley (ARRL Nevada Section Manager) answering questions from our moderator and the audience. Come on over and see if you can stump the experts. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Note this is a week earlier than our usual meeting date; the second Friday, since we're having it at Pacificon.

September 16, 2016:


Misa Siemons, KJ6BUE

A rundown on all the exciting programs and events scheduled for PACIFICON, this year’s ARRL Pacific Division Convention in San Ramon presented by our club’s hardworking volunteers.

August 19, 2016:

fldigi/flmsg … A Way to Quickly Move Message Traffic in Emergencies

Klaus Berkner, KK6KHB; (with Djovida KJ6DJ and Dave Piersall N6ORB)

We Hams like to pride ourselves as being communication backups during major disasters.  But are we really prepared to move large amounts of traffic when called upon?  

Verbal transmissions are tedious and time consuming; however,  fldigi and flmsg are two free applications that make it easy for anyone with a computer or laptop to transmit messages quickly and accurately.  I will briefly contrast the two modes of communication and present an overview of the fldigi/flmsg capabilities. 

To download  fldigi/flmsg go to: https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/

For set-up guidance go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN2QPZZzkn4&feature=youtu.be

Here is the link to Klaus' excellent presentation: What is fldigi and Why Should We Be Interested? (PDF; 819 KB) 

July 15, 2016:

Emergency Operations with the VA

George Hughes, W0WEB

Veteran's Administration, San Francisco

How the Emergency Response Management Team supports the VA during an emergency. Also will be discussing the process used to deploy our assets to support the local community as well other groups and agency's during an emergency. The discussion will conclude on how we work closely with the SFRC (San Francisco Radio Club) to provide communications and tech support using our satellite system which handles 6 phone lines, a two way video conferencing system and full Internet connection, as well as complete HIPA compliance work station. Each work station will have one or two radios. VHF,  UHF, H/F and soon Public Safety Radios for local Police and Fire depts. I'll also be bringing our Communications Truck to show off! 

June 17, 2016

D-Star Advances & Updates

Jim Moen, KI6JM

Presenting new features with D-Star with a focus on improvements  in 3rd party hardware and software and multi-mode hardware and software.  The 3rd party software improvements will support DMR, D-Star and Yaesu Fusion radios.  Examples are DV4mini, DVMEGA and MMDVM. In some cases, there are opportunities for inter-operation between digital systems. This is a time of fast growth in amateur radio digital voice. 

May 20, 2016

Coax Versus Coax

Steve Lampen

Belden Cable

There are hundreds of different coaxial cables to choose from.  Even when we concentrate on just 75 ohm versions, there is still a dizzying selection.  Why are there so many?  How are they different?  What are their advantages and disadvantages in performance, ruggedness, life, cost?  Even shielding options, and shield effectiveness (transfer impedance), is a major issue. This presentation covers all of this and more including low and high-frequency applications, and the performance of connectors.

April 15, 2016

Annual Auction! No regular meeting.

Mar. 18, 2016

Tropospheric Ducting

Gordon West, WB6NOA, via Skype!

Annual Pacificon presenter;

Host of the weekly Ham Nation video podcast;

Nation-wide ham radio educator;

Author of numerous ham radio books;

All-around relentless promoter of amateur radio.

Gordon West explains , with visuals and live audio, why radio signals on 2 meters and on UHF travel well beyond line of sight during summer months.

Listen to hams regularly chatting SIMPLEX from the Santa Cruz mountains down to Southern California on 2-meters and 440 MHz . No linking nor repeaters needed. No satellites - just some hot air!

Imagine hearing a 2-meter signal from HAWAII, 2,500 miles away, coming in for DAYS during July! No linking, no satellites, all from HOT air! (hams are good at that!)

This will be a fun evening of range extension tropo ducting, explained by Gordon West, WB6NOA, coming to MDARC via Skype, this Friday night! Hear some radio signals that you will find hard to believe. 

....thanks to some HOT AIR! ......

Gordon has been a ham for nearly 50 years and holds the top Extra Class license. He also holds the highest FCC commercial radiotelephone operator license, the First Class General Radiotelephone Certificate with Radar Endorsement.  Gordon is a Fellow Member of the Radio Club of America.

Starting in the late 1950s "Gordo," as he is known, worked for some of the big names in the field helping to develop several innovative pieces of equipment. In the 1980s Gordon and his wife Suzy, N6GLF, began teaching ham radio classes at college and marine venues and authored Amateur Radio training books sold by Radio Shack and equipment dealers around the country. Gordon remains active from 75 meters through 10 GHz, spending at least a couple hours on the air every day, helping new hams make friends on the many nets he runs.


In addition, Gordon volunteers with the American Red Cross communications team in Orange County , California, and regularly offers free kids' classes and classes for cities to support their Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).

NOTE: We're meeting in the church Sanctuary this month, so park in the upper parking lot. 

Feb. 19, 2016

The Russians are Coming! ~~ or, Suburban Radio Fun in the Cradle of Radio

Bart Lee, K6VK

Counsel Emeritus; Historical Archivist

California Historical Radio Society

The presentation will talk about some recent work by the California Historical Radio Society VLF Interest Group: 

1) An introduction: Amateur Radio involving Russia in terms of East Bay contacts, and contests.

2) The history of radio from Popov and Marconi through Long Wave ("The Cradle of Radio") and transatlantic circuits (e.g., SAQ & RCA Radio Central) and transpacific circuits (e.g., KPH / KET in Bolinas, California),  

3) Amateur Radio and the Short waves.

4) The Death and the Resurrection of Long Wave Radio, from Russian and US & NATO submarines at VLF, through Navigation Aids, and to the new Long Wave ham frequencies.

Note: We're swapping our agenda this month. The speaker will address us first, at 7:30pm, followed by the business meeting, rather than our usual other-way-around.

Jan. 15, 2016

Radio Communication at Interstellar Distances

David Messerschmitt, KK6KFQ

Emeritus Professor

UC Berkeley

Based on recent progress in locating exoplanets outside our solar system, it is estimated that about 20% of those stars similar to our sun harbor planets in the habitable zone, meaning they could conceivably harbor Earth-like life. That adds up to an estimated 20 billion such planets in the Milky Way galaxy, and it is possible that a small fraction of those (but still an impressive number) harbor intelligent civilizations possessing advanced radio technology. It is appropriate to begin pondering how we might communicate information by radio with any extraterrestrial civilizations that might exist out there, and also with spacecraft (called starships) that we might launch toward nearby stars. In this talk we discuss the major technical obstacles to such radio communication, such as great distances, the cosmic microwave background, an ionized interstellar medium, and (for starships) relativistic speeds. We will also predict the character of digital modes appropriate for interstellar communication. Come and pay attention, because this topic may may appear in future ham licensing exams!

Nov. 20, 2015

CERT’s Assistance in the Search for a Missing Person on July 12, 2015

Nick Zubel,KK6VDF
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
City of Walnut Creek

The process and protocol followed to mobilize CERT’s assistance in the search for a 74-year old woman with dementia and health problems on July 12, 2015.