ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for the 'Events' Category

National Parks On The Air in the East Bay

Posted by ks6m on 21st January 2016

The ARRL’s National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) (http://www NULL.arrl NULL.org/NPOTA) operating event is off to a big start. Throughout 2016, Amateur Radio is helping the National Park Service (NPS) celebrate its 100th anniversary. Hams from across the country are “activating” NPS units, promoting the National Park Service, and showcasing Amateur Radio to the public.

Every licensed Amateur can be a “Chaser” at any time, regardless of location, attempting to contact “Activator” hams in NPS units. Every ham can also be an “Activator” while operating at an NPS unit. See the Rules and FAQs in the NPOTA Web pages for more information.

Aside from national trails, the ARRL East Bay Section has four small NPS units: Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park, John Muir and Eugene O’Neill National Historic Sites, and Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial.

Interest in “activating” these small units threatens to overrun their operations if not managed carefully. Local National Park Service management has directed that hams not activate these units in NPOTA except as authorized by ARRL HQ, and only three such activations will be authorized in each of three of these units during the year-long event. No NPOTA activations will be authorized at Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial. Unauthorized activations of these four NPS units will not be accredited, and those QSOs will not count toward NPOTA.

ARRL HQ, my ARRL Field Organization staff here in the East Bay Section, and I will be discussing how to manage authorizations to activate these units, in cooperation with NPS staff. We do not expect any activations to be scheduled soon, and we expect to announce them well in advance of each date and to encourage participation. Together with NPS staff, we want these activations not only to make contacts but also to attract and engage the public on site with our Amateur Radio operations and with our celebration of the National Park Service Centennial Year 2016.

Meanwhile, please do not contact NPS staff at these units on the subject of NPOTA or other Amateur Radio activity except as part of an authorized activation. If you have comments or would like to indicate interest in participating in an activation, however, please contact Chris Tate, N6WM, Assistant Section Manager for Contesting and DX, as shown on our EB Section Leadership page.

More information about the National Park Service Centennial Year 2016

  • Web site: nps.gov/centennial (http://nps NULL.gov/centennial)
  • Hashtag: #NPS100

More information about National Parks On The Air

  • Web site: arrl.org/NPOTA (http://www NULL.arrl NULL.org/NPOTA)
  • Facebook: facebook.com/groups/NPOTA/ (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/groups/NPOTA/)
  • Twitter: twitter.com/ARRL_NPOTA (https://twitter NULL.com/ARRL_NPOTA)
  • Hashtags: #ARRL #NPOTA #HamRadioInParks

——————————————————————–
ARRL East Bay Section
Section Manager: James R Latham, AF6AQ
af6aq@arrl.org

Posted in Events, Operating, Section News, Special Events | Comments Off

National Parks On The Air (NPOTA)

Posted by ks6m on 29th December 2015

Many hams here in the SF Bay Area have heard of National Parks On The Air (NPOTA), a new ARRL operating event for 2016. For those who haven’t, to help the National Park Service (NPS) celebrate its Centennial, NPOTA lasts for the full calendar year and connects hams everywhere to hams located in NPS units. The idea is to have a good time, to keep one’s radio skills sharp, and to help promote our National Parks in their big year. Contacts on any ham band except 60 meters and using any ham mode are eligible, though repeater, digipeater, crossband, and Internet-supported contacts are not.

While you’re not in an NPS unit, you’re a “Chaser”, and your goal is to chase down and contact an “Activator” ham in as many NPS units as possible during 2016. When you’re in an NPS unit, you can be an “Activator”. Either way, log your contacts in the ARRL Logbook Of The World, and your points are automatically tallied. All licensed Amateurs are eligible; ARRL membership is not required; there is no cost unless you want an award sent to you when it’s over. For details, including rules, tips, and news, see the NPOTA Web page (http://www NULL.arrl NULL.org/NPOTA).

Pete Harris KE6ZIW and I (John Rabold KS6M) will enable hams who are located in parts of the East Bay to make a NPOTA contact during the New Year holiday weekend. On Friday, January 1, I (KS6M) will be calling for VHF FM simplex contacts from Mount Wanda, on the property of John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez. Pete and I visited the site on Tuesday, December 29, and found that parts of Vallejo, Benicia, Concord, and Walnut Creek were visible, in addition to Martinez. But I may do better than that, as I will have a tall antenna and be using 10 or 25 watts. Your HT may work just fine, depending on where you are. Listen for KS6M from about noon to about 4 pm PST on 146.535 MHz, though you might find me on 146.520 occasionally.

On Saturday, January 2, Pete and I will be calling CQ from the visitor center of that same NPS unit, using single sideband, most likely on 15, 17, or 20 meters, from about 11 am to about 3 pm PST. On those bands we will be listening for replies from anywhere in the world, but you may hear us locally and be able to contact us.

Summary:

  • Fri Jan 1, 12 noon to 4 pm, on 146.535 or 146.520 FM
  • Sat Jan 2, 11 am to 3 pm, on 15, 17, 20 meters SSB

This won’t be your last chance to earn “chaser points” in NPOTA from this area. The Bay Area has something like a dozen NPS units and no shortage of hams to “activate” them. But this one gets the NPS Centennial Year off to a quick start and honors the memory of John Muir, long an East Bay resident.

Remember to write down the date and time and frequency of the contact, the mode (FM or SSB), and the call sign of the ham you contacted. (Be sure the date and time are in UTC, which is 8 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.) You will need that information when you upload your log to Logbook of the World.

Happy New Year and 73! Pete and I hope to talk to you by radio this weekend!


John Rabold KS6M

Posted in Events, Operating, Section News | Comments Off

Operators needed: Communications support for Firetrails 50, Saturday, October 10, 2015

Posted by af6aq on 21st July 2015

The Dick Collins Firetrails 50 & Golden Hills Trail Marathon will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2015. (For a change, it is NOT up against Pacificon this year but it is up against another community event for which Alameda County Sheriff’s Communications Team must provide support.) This is a 50 mile footrace through the East Bay hills, and a “mere” marathon. Times are from before dawn to after dark, with the most help needed between 0900 and 1600. ARES-enrolled or not, DSW or not, club-affiliated or not, old timer or newly-licensed, 50 watts in your truck or 5 watts on your belt, we have a place for just about everybody. Join us, and/or help pass this information along to interested operators. Thanks!

Details are below.

 Operators Needed For 2015 Firetrails 50
Saturday, October 10

 DATE OF EVENT: Saturday, October 10, 2015

 Operational Hours: various shifts, 0530-2100    

 Time of Briefing: by email

 TYPE OF EVENT: Dick Collins Firetrails 50 & Golden Hills Trail Marathon, a 50 mile footrace and concurrent “mere” marathon over East Bay Trails.

 LOCATION OF EVENT: East Bay hills, mostly over EBRPD lands, from Lake Chabot Marina, Lake Chabot Park to Lone Oak Picnic Area, Tilden Park, in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

 NUMBER, TYPE and DUTIES OF RACES PERSONNEL REQUESTED: 20 radio operators (any class of amateur radio license) to provide communications support at fixed posts (some may be called upon to assume Net Control) or mobile. Most fixed posts can be driven to, while one requires walking less than one mile over moderate terrain. Potential mobile assignments maybe in operators’ personal vehicles, or race officials’ personal vehicles, on foot, or on bicycle.

EQUIPMENT REQUESTED; (i.e.; radios, antennas, etc.)  Some fixed posts can be worked with just a handheld amateur radio transceiver (preferably 2m/70cm dual band) while others may require use of 25 watts or more and antenna with gain of 3-5dpi or greater.

 CONTACT NAME and E-MAIL:

Neil Fullagar, K6NCX
Logistics Officer, Alameda County Sheriff’s Communications Team
ft50communications@sbcglobal.net (ft50communications null@null sbcglobal NULL.net)

 COMMENTS/SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: For each operator, it would be helpful to have:

  • name,
  • callsign,
  • cell phone number,
  • email,
  • hours of availability and maximum number of hours assignable,
  • equipment operator will respond with, ability/willingness to assume Net Control,
  • ability/willingness to hike in to fixed post (moderate terrain, under one mile,)
  • ability/willingness to operate bicycle mobile (6 to 20 miles over varied terrain, with or without pavement,)
  • ability/willingness to operate runner/hiker mobile (3 to 10 miles over varied terrain, ,
    and with or without pavement,)
  • ability/willingness to operate own vehicle mobile among posts  (up to 100 miles,)
  • ability/willingness to operate mobile with own equipment as passenger in someone else’s vehicle, and
  • ability/willingness to mentor and support less experienced operators.

Communications info:             https://sites.google.com/site/ft50communications/ (https://sites NULL.google NULL.com/site/ft50communications/)
Event info:                              http://firetrails50.com/ (http://firetrails50 NULL.com/)

Neil Fullagar, K6NCX
for 2015 Dick Collins Firetrails 50 & Golden Hills Trail Marathon communications team
October 10, 2015
Alameda County Sheriff’s Communications Team
http://sites.google.com/site/ft50communications (http://sites NULL.google NULL.com/site/ft50communications)

ft50communications@sbcglobal.net

 

 

Posted in Events, Public Service | Comments Off

Maxwell Memorial Station W6CF

Posted by af6aq on 16th June 2015

CHRS (California Historical Radio Society) is going back on the air on Amateur Radio Field Day, with the Maxwell Memorial Station W6CF  (ol’ “Chicken Feathers”). Starting at 11 AM, Saturday, June 27, at Radio Central in Alameda (2152 Central Ave. off Park St.).  CHRS hams will operate on standard ham bands and also on VHF two meters FM.  Clubs and others all over America will join this party on the air, the ARRL’s national emergency preparedness exercise.  ARRL has been sponsoring this Field Day weekend since the early 1930s.

Everyone is invited to participate. Licensed hams can operate the transmitters. This is a good opportunity to review some of the historic amateur radio gear now in the new mobile storage as well. This is a good way to learn about amateur radio and its history. CHRS is working towards a large station for W6CF, with operating vintage equipment and interpretive displays. Much of the collection of amateur radio materials in the library is now being reshelved and will be accessible.

73 de K6VK.

Posted in Club News, Contesting, Events, Field Day, Operating, Press Release, Special Events | Comments Off

College Amateur Radio APRS aboard the Cal, High Altitude Balloon

Posted by af6aq on 12th March 2015

College Amateur Radio APRS aboard the Cal High Altitude Balloon Launch this Saturday 3/14 from the Main Glade – Come Join Us!

 

This Saturday around 12pm Pacific (1900UTC) as part of the “Pi Day” celebration (which will be STEM-focused) the Space Exploration Society at Berkeley (http://sesb NULL.berkeley NULL.edu/) will launch a High Altitude Balloon from the main glade at the Cal Campus.  The launch team is planning for the craft to attain an altitude of around 100,000 feet and at present the flight time will be around 3 hours (and then it will descend with an estimated touch-down at 2153UTC).

 

Please feel free to pass this along to your friends, family, and associates!  Can you help spread the word?  :)

 

AMATEUR RADIO ON BOARD

The balloon will have a GPS-enabled Amateur radio Packet Reporting System (APRS) tracker on-board transmitting at 144.390MHz (the national APRS frequency for 2m) using the callsign KK6PUZ (http://qrz NULL.com/db/kk6puz)-1 which belongs to Cal Planetary Sciences student Kareem Shaik.  So if you run an APRS iGate in the area from Berkeley to Copperopolis, or you’ve been looking for a good reason to set one up, get ready for Pi Day!

 

There will be other systems on-board for photography and telemetry.  You can also track the balloon while in-flight at the High Altitude Balloon Hub (http://tracker NULL.habhub NULL.org/#%21mt=roadmap&mz=11&qm=All&mc=37 NULL.87015,-122 NULL.25946).

 

We could really use some help with tracking and recovering this balloon.  If you know people in the area, please invite them to participate as well.  We are still needing to pull together a few items, including the APRS antenna for the balloon as well as an antenna for the live video feed.

 

Here’s a chance to put many aspects of ham radio to use:

  • APRS
  • Fox-hunting
  • Signal triangulation
  • Mobile radio net
  • Antenna modeling/building
  • Batteries in extreme conditions
  • Abiding by regulations including those of the FAA
  • YOUR imagination !!!

Stay tuned here (http://www NULL.k6jeb NULL.com/) for more info as it becomes available!

 

73 and Go (Cal) Bears!

Jack Burris, K6JEB

President

W6BB Amateur Radio Club at Berkeley (http://www NULL.w6bb NULL.org/)

 

Posted in Club News, Events, Press Release, Special Events | Comments Off