News Archive

Archived news items will be posted here, with the most recent items at the top.


DECEMBER 2023 TEST SESSION

A test session will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, December 16th at the Lake County Office of Education in Lakeport. If you are interested in testing, please contact Tim WB9NJS. If you would like to participate as a volunteer examiner, please contact Nick KI6RIT.

For links to video recordings of the technician and general-class license training sessions, click here.

ALERT: Effective April 19th 2022, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


NOVEMBER 2023 TEST SESSION RESULTS

On November 4th and 11th, test sessions were held in Fort Bragg and Ukiah, respectively. Six people tested in Ukiah and five passed - three new technician-class, one upgrade from technician to general, and one upgrade from general to extra. The Fort Bragg test resulted in one new technician-class licensee and one upgrade to general-class.


NOVEMBER 2023 TEST SESSIONS

Test sessions in inland and coastal Mendocino County have been scheduled for shortly after the general class license courses!

UkiahFort Bragg
WhereRedwood Academy
1059 N. State St.
Redwood Coast Senior Center
490 N. Harold St.
WhenNovember 11th @ 9:30 AMNovember 4th @ noon
InfoNo walk-ins, pre-registration required, $15 test fee
Registration contactTim WB9NJSKen KW6V

ALERT: Effective April 19th 2022, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


2023 GENERAL CLASS LICENSE COURSE

Zoom presentations on the 10 subject areas of the FCC General Class Amateur Radio license test will begin October 3 at 1800 hrs (6:00 PM), and continue each Tuesday evening in October.

The two hour presentations will be recorded and available below:

To receive the Zoom link to the live presentations, send an email with GENERAL CLASS in the subject line to: stkj6eif@gmail.com. Include your name, callsign, if licensed, and the name of your community. A Zoom link will be emailed to you.

Please help us spread the word to anyone you think might be interested by sending them the attached flier.

Thanks for your help.

73s Steve, KJ6EIF and the presentation team

Editor's note: Click here to view recordings of the technician class license course held earlier this year, as well as links to practice exams and other useful resources.


JUNE 2023 TEST SESSION RESULTS

On Saturday, June 17th, a test session was held in Lakeport. Of the two people that tested, one passed both the technician and general-class tests!


2023 FIELD DAY

As officers of our local amateur radio groups, we would like to extend an invitation for you to meet with the amateur radio operators of our community as we participate in the national ARRL Field Day event, Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25 at the Baechtel Grove School, 1150 Magnolia St, Willits.

More information here.


JUNE 2023 TEST SESSION

A test session will be held at 9:30 AM on Saturday, June 17th at the Lake County Office of Education in Lakeport. If you are interested in testing or would like to be a volunteer examiner, please register here.

For links to technician class video recordings from spring 2023, click here.

For study materials and copies of the PowerPoint presentations used in the classes, contact Nick KI6RIT.

ALERT: Effective April 19th 2022, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


APRIL 2023 TEST SESSION RESULTS

On April 8th and 15th, test sessions were held in Fort Bragg and Ukiah, respectively. Five people passed the technician-class exam in Fort Bragg and two in Ukiah. Congratulations to all participants!


2023 TECHNICIAN CLASS LICENSE COURSE

The Willits Amateur Radio Society (WARS), Mendocino Auxiliary Communications Service (MACS), and the Mendocino County Amateur Radio Communications Service (McARCS) hosted a free, five-week course for those interested in obtaining a technician-class amateur radio license.

For those that want to view all of the videos in sequence as a playlist, click here.

Students are encouraged to obtain a copy of the Gordon West 2022-2026 Technician Class study guide, available here.


MARCH 2023 TEST SESSION RESULTS

On Saturday, March 18th, a test session was held in Lakeport. Of the two people that tested, one earned their technician-class license and one upgraded to general-class. Congratulations to all participants!


APRIL 2023 TEST SESSIONS

Test sessions in inland and coastal Mendocino County have been scheduled for shortly after the technician class license courses!

UkiahFort Bragg
WhereRedwood Academy
1059 N. State St.
Redwood Coast Senior Center
490 N. Harold St.
WhenApril 15th @ 9:30 AMApril 8th @ noon
InfoNo walk-ins, pre-registration required, $15 test fee
Registration contactMcARCSKen KW6V

ALERT: Effective April 19th 2022, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


2023 MENDOCINO COAST 50K ULTRA MARATHON

This is a 50k run through the Jackson Demonstration Forest starting and ending at Big River beach. Due to a lack of cell phone coverage along the route, the event organizers have requested ham radio support for their event to provide information to the race officials on race status and safety issues.

We are looking for six or seven volunteers who are willing to staff the checkpoints. It is a fun experience and a chance to practice your skills operating on a radio net.

The event will be on Saturday, April 22nd and has a net control station at the start/finish line and five checkpoints along the route. The race begins at 7:00 AM from the start point and normally lasts approximately 9.5 hours. The check points are staffed in succession as the race progresses with the start point and station one being staffed at 7:00 AM. We normally do a split shift for the net control with a 7:00 AM to noon operator and a noon to 5:00 PM operator.

You can learn more about the event at https://mendocinoultra.com/

For additional information or to volunteer for the event, contact Mike KC6MGM.


MARCH 2023 TSUNAMI DRILL

The annual west coast tsunami drill will be held on March 29th from 1100 to 1200. We need radio operators for the following locations:

  • Ten Mile
  • Pudding Creek
  • Noyo Harbor
  • Caspar Beach
  • Mendocino Bay
  • Van Damme
  • Albion
  • Manchester
  • Point Arena
  • Anchor Bay
  • Gualala

Prior to the exercise, instructions and maps will be sent to all volunteers.

If you will be available to staff one of the above locations on March 29th, please email Mike KC6MGM.


MARCH 2023 TEST SESSION

A test session will be held at 9:30 AM on Saturday, March 18th at the Lake County Office of Education in Lakeport. If you are interested in testing or would like to be a volunteer examiner, please register here.

For links to technician class video recordings from summer 2021, click here.

If you have questions regarding the license test sections covered in the videos above, click here.

For study materials and copies of the PowerPoint presentations used in the classes, contact Nick KI6RIT.

ALERT: Effective April 19th 2022, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


UPDATED THURSDAY NET TIME SLOTS

Effective February, there will be a change to the time slots of the Thursday nets. The Swap Net will shift from 7:30 PM to 7:00 PM, and other nets (YL, Part 97, WARS, etc.) will shift from 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM. The reason for this shift is that the Swap Net usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes, while the other nets often stretch past 30 minutes. This change will allow the other nets to be “open-ended” and run for longer if needed.

Edit: The schedule change was a success! This month's WARS net was able to run for nearly an hour and had a lot of good discussion. Thank you to all net control operators for agreeing to the change.


DECEMBER 2022 TEST SESSION RESULTS

On Saturday, December 17th, a test session was held in Ukiah. Of the three people that tested, one earned their technician-class license and one upgraded to extra-class.


DECEMBER 2022 TEST SESSION

A test session will be held at 9:30 AM on Saturday, December 17th at the Redwood Academy in Ukiah. If you are interested in testing or would like to be a volunteer examiner, please register here.

For links to last summer's technician class video recordings, click here. The question pool has changed since then but most of it still applies.

If you have questions regarding the license test sections covered in the videos above, click here.

For study materials and copies of the PowerPoint presentations used in the classes, contact Nick KI6RIT.

ALERT: Effective April 19th, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


MENDOCINO COUNTY HF TEST NET

Greetings Mendocino County Hams,

With the terrain and distances in Mendocino County, we have problems with countywide communications even with the great repeater system Greg, WA6RQX, has established. The problem is especially true with communications between inland Mendocino and both the south coastal communities and with the north inland areas. This gap in our communications system might be able to be addressed using HF radio.

McARCS and MACS are proposing that we conduct a test during the month of September to see if this communications gap can be resolved using HF radio frequencies. We invite all members who have an HF radio to participate.

The tests will be conducted for the four (4) weeks in September as follows:

On Wednesday nights at 6:30 PM (1830), the initial check-in will be on 80m on 3.910 MHz LSB or 3.920 MHz LSB depending on use.

After the initial check-in on 80m, we will switch to 40m on 7.235 MHz LSB or 7.245 MHz LSB for a second signal check.

On Thursday mornings at 10:00 AM (1000), we will conduct the same test as listed above using the same bands and frequencies.

I will function as net control and will call for stations in community order similar to the Wednesday night countywide emergency check-in net.

By running this test over a four (4) week period using multiple bands and frequencies, we should be able to determine if the use of HF for an emergency communications system within the county is feasible and the best bands and frequencies to use.

Looking forward to hearing you during the test,

73, Mike KC6MGM


AUGUST 2022 TEST SESSIONS

LakeportFort Bragg
WhereLake County Office of Education
1152 S. Main St. (parking and test room accessible from K St.)
Redwood Coast Senior Center
490 N. Harold St.
WhenAugust 13th @ 9:30 AMAugust 13th @ noon
InfoNo walk-ins, pre-registration required, $15 test fee
Registration contactKen AI7NGJonathan KK6RPX

For links to last summer's technician class video recordings, click here. Note that the technician class test question pool changed on July 1st, so the questions on the current test may be slightly different than the material covered in the videos.

If you have questions regarding the license test sections covered in the videos above, click here.

For study materials and copies of the PowerPoint presentations used in the classes, contact Nick KI6RIT.

ALERT: Effective April 19th, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


JUNE 2022 TEST SESSION RESULTS

On Saturday, June 25th, a test session was held in Lakeport. Of the two people that tested, one passed their technician-class test.


2022 FIELD DAY AFTERMATH

Field Day was held on Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, June 26th this year. Well over a dozen hams participated, with a few making their first HF contacts! Here's the statistics:

Total contacts: 123

  • Voice mode contacts: 99
    • Get on the Air (GOTA) station contacts: 14
  • Digital mode contacts: 24

Contacts by band

  • 40 meters: 98
  • 20 meters: 23
  • 15 meters: 2

Geography

  • States and provinces worked: 32
    • US: 111 contacts total
    • Canada: 12 contacts total

To view a map of the sections worked (generated by the excellent N3FJP Field Day logging program), click here.

Thank you to everyone that participated, the Willits Amateur Radio Society, and the Mendocino Auxiliary Communications Service!


2022 FIELD DAY

Willits Amateur Radio Society (WARS), McARCS, and Mendocino Auxiliary Communications Service (MACS) will be jointly participating in this year's ARRL Field Day event on June 25th and 26th at the Baechtel Grove Middle School in Willits. The event takes place from 11 AM Saturday to 11 AM Sunday. Whether you want to participate in the event on the radio, ask questions on anything ham radio-related, or just want to hang out, come on down!


JUNE 2022 TEST SESSION

A test session will be held at 9:30 AM on June 25th at the Lake County Office of Education in Lakeport. If you are interested in attending, please register with Ken AI7NG.

For links to last summer's technician class video recordings, click here.

If you have questions regarding the license test sections covered in the videos above, click here.

For study materials and copies of the PowerPoint presentations used in the classes, contact Nick KI6RIT.

ALERT: Effective April 19th, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


MAY 2022 TEST SESSION

A test session will be held at 9:30 AM on May 14th at the Redwood Academy in Ukiah. If you are interested in attending, please register with Ken AI7NG.

For links to last summer's technician class video recordings, click here.

If you have questions regarding the license test sections covered in the videos above, click here.

For study materials and copies of the PowerPoint presentations used in the classes, contact Nick KI6RIT.

ALERT: Effective April 19th, the FCC will be implementing a $35 application fee for new license applications. Upgrading an existing license to a higher class is exempt. The fee is in addition to the $15 test fee. Volunteer examiners (VEs) won't be collecting the application fee; you will need to make payment to the FCC directly. Click here for more information.


MENDOCINO COAST 50K ULTRA MARATHON

The annual Mendocino Coast 50K run will resume this year. This is a 50k run through the Jackson Demonstration Forest starting and ending at Big River beach. Due to a lack of cell phone coverage along the route, they have requested ham radio support for their event to provide information to the race officials on race status and safety issues.

We are looking for six or seven volunteers who are willing to staff the checkpoints. It is a fun experience and a chance to practice your skills operating on a radio net.

The event will be on Saturday, April 23rd and has a net control station at the start/finish line and five checkpoints along the route. The race begins at 0700 from the start point and normally lasts approximately 9.5 hours. The check points are staffed in succession as the race progresses with the start point and station one being staffed at 0700. We normally do a split shift for the net control with a 0700 to noon operator and a noon to 1700 operator.

We are also looking for a few radio operators who might like to accompany the race sweep along the course. This would involve running one of the legs of the course with the sweep. Since the sweep cannot pass any of the competing racers, they run the race at the slowest pace. So, if you are a ham and runner, this might be a nice occasion to use both of your skills.

You can learn more about the event at https://mendocinoultra.com/

For additional information or to volunteer for the event, contact Mike KC6MGM.All volunteer positions have been filled. Thank you to everyone that stepped up!


MARCH 2022 TEST SESSION RESULTS

On Saturday, March 5th, a test session was held in Ukiah. Of the 13 people that took a test, 11 passed. 5 of those were residents of Mendocino County. 4 of them earned their technician-class license and one upgraded to extra-class. Congratulations to everyone!

The test session that was scheduled for March 12th in Fort Bragg was unfortunately canceled due to lack of sign-ups.


US FOREST SERVICE FEE INCREASE PROPOSAL FOR AMATEUR RADIO EQUIPMENT ON USFS LAND

The US Forest Service is proposing to implement a statutorily required annual fee for new and existing communications use authorizations to cover the costs of administering its authorization program. The Forest Service proposal results from requirements set forth in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

Some repeaters in the county are on USFS land, such as the Anthony Peak repeater in Round Valley. If the fee increase takes effect, it will become prohibitively expensive to keep the equipment at many of these sites.

Hams are encouraged to submit comments to the USFS either online or via mail. All comments must include the identifier RIN 0596-AD44. The deadline for submissions is February 22nd.

Click here for more information.


MARCH 2022 TEST SESSIONS

Test sessions in Ukiah and Fort Bragg have been scheduled!

UkiahFort Bragg
WhereRedwood Academy
1059 N. State St.
Redwood Coast Senior Center
490 N. Harold St.
WhenMarch 5th @ 9:30 AMMarch 12th @ noon
InfoNo walk-ins, pre-registration required, $15 test fee
Registration contactKen AI7NGJonathan KK6RPX

For links to last summer's technician class video recordings, click here.

If you have questions regarding the license test sections covered in the videos above, click here.

For study materials and copies of the PowerPoint presentations used in the classes, contact Nick KI6RIT.


MARCH 2021 TSUNAMI DRILL EXERCISE

We participated in the annual Tsunami drill exercise on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. We sent sending coast watchers to report on the activation of the tsunami warning sirens in the 11 AM to Noon time frame.. We also sent coast watchers to report coastal conditions at potential tsunami inundation sites should there be an actual tsunami forecast. Teams coordinated the observations using the linked 146.820 MHz and 147.030 MHz repeaters and reporting the results on the county-wide linked repeater system to the alternate EOC location.

Here is a link to the Mendocino County potential Tsunami inundation zones https://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/tsunami/maps/mendocino

Tsunami warning sirens are located near the Pt. Arena pier, at the Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, and in the Pudding Creek estuary and beach area in Fort Bragg..


TECHNICIAN LEVEL CLASSES

POWER SHUTDOWN IN OCTOBER 2019

As the result of a general shutdown of the AC power grid on October 26, 2019, an informal net was formed using the county-wide linked repeater system keeping everyone informed of fire hazard, power status, and fuel and grocery stores open during the period until AC power was restored on October 30. Every station participating was on some form of emergency power including the repeater sites (except for the repeater on Cahto Peak which has none). During this period most, if not all, local nets operated as usual and the county-wide Technical, Digital, Emergency, Swap Meet, and YL nets operated as usual. The station at the county Emergency Operations Center was not activated due to equipment issues at that location.


DISASTER FIRE RESPONSE BY AMATEUR RADIO IN OCTOBER 2017

On October 8, 2017 very late a wildfire broke out in Redwood Valley. As the result of that fire or possible heavy equipment brought in to fight the fire, the fiber optic cable connecting the greater Willits area and perhaps points north were cut off from telephone, cellular telephone, and all cable based internet access. By early morning Monday October 9 the amateur radio community in Mendocino County was mobilized to provide communications between all hospitals, certain health centers, and yet to be established Red Cross shelters and the forming Emergency Operations Center operations. Click here for an update on the ham radio response to the Redwood Complex fire. redwood.pdf


CHP HQ Letter to all Commands regarding using radios while driving

A letter from CHP to all commands states, in part: For the purposes of Section 23123.5(f) CVC, a radio installed and mounted in a vehicle with a wired hand microphone (e.g. business band or citizen band [CB] radio) is not considered a wireless communication device, nor is it considered a specialized mobile radio device, and therefore is not subject to enforcement under this section.

To see the whole letter, go to:CHP-Enforcement-of-Section-23123pdf

Every mobile operator is advised to keep a copy of this letter in their vehicle and show it to an officer if stopped. Be polite. Note this will not include a hand held radio held up to the face. Use a microphone!

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