ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for the 'Special Events' Category

NPOTA Update

Posted by af6aq on 22nd February 2016

Before registering a NPOTA activation, be sure to check the sensitivity of the unit you want to activate. Some units are listed as “extremely sensitive” on the list of NPOTA units and require advance coordination with National Park Service administrators well before your activation.

This is especially the case for units that are very small or in an urban area. [Northern California Parks and Monuments are extremely sensitive: contact ARRL Government Liaison Bart Lee, K6VK for guidance. Coordinate and schedule with the responsible park Rangers for the site, act as ham radio ambassadors to the park Service and the public, take noting but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. And make those contacts! De K6VK:]

Nobody wants an activation to be denied. Proper coordination with NPS staff at units listed as “extremely sensitive” will increase your chance of success.

There are 36 activations on tap between February 17-24, including the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (HP39) in Texas and San Juan National Historic Site (NS63) in Puerto Rico. Details about these and other upcoming activations can be found on the NPOTA Activations calendar.

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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) 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

More information about National Parks On The Air

ARRL East Bay Section
Section Manager: James R Latham, AF6AQ

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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.

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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 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?  🙂



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-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.


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 for more info as it becomes available!


73 and Go (Cal) Bears!

Jack Burris, K6JEB


W6BB Amateur Radio Club at Berkeley


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You’re Invited! October 11-13: Pacificon

Posted by ks6m on 20th August 2013

The ARRL Pacific Division and the Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club present:

PACIFICON 2013 – October 11-13, 2013

  • The Great West Coast Ham Radio Convention!
  • Largest West Coast Vendor Show of Amateur Radio Gear!
  • More Than 75 Outstanding Technical Forums!
  • Great Swap Meet!
  • and much, much more!

Returning to the magnificent Santa Clara venue:
Marriott Santa Clara Hotel
2700 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, California

For Events, Latest Updates and Registration go to

If hotel lodging is needed, make reservations before September 26, 2013, to qualify for the special Pacificon rate of $109/night. You can make reservations on line with the special Pacificon Group Code rate already entered. Or, call the Marriott Hotel Reservations Desk at 1-800-228-9290 and ask for the Pacificon rate.

PACIFICON 2013 Events, Forum Topics, and Exhibits Include:

  • Friday All-Day Antenna Seminar
  • Friday Evening New Media Elmers and Podcasters
  • Saturday Morning Kickoff with Speaker Gordon West
  • More Than 75 Outstanding Technical Forums
  • Largest West Coast Vendor Show of Amateur Radio Gear
  • Saturday Amateur Radio and the Law Seminar
  • Great Saturday Swap Meet
  • Ham License Exams
  • Daily Radio Prize Drawings
  • Direction Finding: Fox-Hunting, Beginner and Advanced
  • Great QRP Programs
  • Amateur Television (ATV/DATV)
  • HFpack Activities
  • Saturday All-Day Technician License Class
  • Working Satellites
  • DXpeditions
  • Contesting
  • A Full Slate of Youth Projects and Activities
  • Kit Building
  • Emergency Communications
  • Saturday Evening Banquet with Guest Speaker
  • Annual ARRL Pacific Division Director’s Forum
  • Understanding the Physics of Radio
  • Moon Bounce – EME
  • Antenna Theory & Construction

Come and Experience the Many Facets of Ham Radio!

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