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Tracy
Manteca
Stockton
Lodi
Outside the county
ARRL Volunteer Examiner 

SJC EMCOMM Freqs
SJC1 - 147.210 + 114.8 Stockton (Stockton Pri)
SJC2 - 146.655 - 100.0 Tracy (County Pri)
SJC3 - 145.210 - 100.0 Tracy (County B/up)
SJC4 - 147.090 + 114.8 Lodi (North Pri)
SJC5 - 146.985 - 100.0 Manteca
SJC6 - 147.165 + 107.2 SDARC
SJC7 - 147.015 + 114.8 Copperopolis
SJC8 - 147.105 + 94.8 Stockton
SJC9 - 146.895 - 114.8 Mt. Oso - Disabled
SJC10 - 444.400 + 114.8 Copperopolis
SJC11 - 444.325 + 94.8 Stockton (Stockton Pri)
SJC12 - 443.825 + 107.2 Mt. Oso
SJC13 - 444.575 + 107.2 Stockton
SJC14 - 444.850 + 114.8 127.3 Tracy 
SJC15 - 444.500 + 114.8 Stockton
LLNL - 146.775 - 100.0 Livermore


TAC1 - 146.550

TAC3 - 146.535
TAC4 - 146.430
TAC6 - 156.565
TAC7 - 146.595
TAC8 - 146.445
All simplex
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N5FDL/CEVOL Repeaters

Stockton: 147.210 + N5FDL and 444.500 + K6TRK Both PL 114.8 (linked)

Copperopolis/Gopher Ridge: 147.015 + and 444.400 +  (not linked) N6GKJ 

Mt. Oso: 146.895 - N5FDL and 443.825 + PL 107.2 (not linked)

Tracy: 444.850 + KB6EMK PL 127.3

Affiliated Repeaters

Bear Mtn.: 146.090 + and 444.250 + WB6ASU Both PL 114.8 (linked)

Mt. Delux: 145.210 - PL 100.0 WA6SEK (10mi S of Tracy)

All repeaters are open to all users.

Tuesday
May232017

Hey Preppers: Ham Radio requires a license (whether your magazine says so or not)

While I am not an outdoorsman, I enjoy thumbing through Backpacker and Outside magazines, mostly for the product reviews. Likewise, I look at an occasional “prepper” magazine, aimed at those who someday expect to be fighting off US Marshals and Navy Seals about to do, well, what?

Most preppers are more normal folks and, if we are honest, emergency-oriented hams share many of the same interests. In fact, we have had a number of preppers and suspect preppers in our HamCram licensing events. 

That interest explains how I ended up paying $10 for a copy of American Survival Guide’s Gear Guide. I found it quite interesting and as a result there are several items I now cannot live without.

But I have a real problem with their communications product section. It is written by a “Jim Jeffries” whom I pray is not one of the three “James Jeffries” listed with amateur call signs on QRZ.com.

My concern is the magazine shows several pieces of amateur gear — Yaesu and Icom — as well as some GMRS radios, but never mentions the requirement for operators to be licensed. Or if it did, I totally missed it.

I understand that in a prepper nirvana scenario nobody will be paying much attention to legalities, but until then, operating on amateuir frequencies sans license is a good way to meet the local ham community under unfortunate circumstances.

Likewise, GMRS, a service whose rules are now in discussion following a major rewrite, also requires a license. No test, but it costs $80 and is good for you and all your relatives.

Truth is, if it’s obvious to me that you are a serious prepper (not merely LDS), I am probably not too thrilled about your choice of amateiur radio as an adjunct. But, if I don’t have to know what you are doing in your home security basement — and you have room for me, the YL, and some animals during an emergency, all I can say is, “Welcome to Ham Radio!” 

Saturday
May062017

Meet my Jackery (Now stop laughing)

An external battery for powering/charging various iDevices and their ilk has become a necessity for emergency folks. It is not at all fun to run out of power when you need to do something, and in my experience, newer iPods don’t like be far from a power supply/charger.
One of the challenges is that external battery power requires a cable (typically USB) to connect the device to the battery. How many times have I had one but not the other?
So I was really happy to find the whimsically-named (?) Jackery Bolt external battery that includes both Apple Lightning and mini-USB charging cables built-in. I immediately purchased one (March 13) and consider it an excellent addition to my go-purse (an old Eagle Creek guide bag). Mine Bolt has a 6000 mAh battery and a 10050 mAh version is available. 
I paid $26. The higher-output model is $10 more.
Here is some information from the Amazon product page, linked below. (If you purchase from the link we may get a few pennies from your purchase). 
  • The global leading power solutions supplier with 15 years manufacturer experiences.
  • Hassle-Free Design: With 2 built-in charging cables and one open USB port, Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh allows you to charge 3 devices at the same time. No need to carry charging cables for your phones anymore, yay!
  • High Capacity: Powerful 6000mAh capacity can fully charges an iPhone 7 up to 2 times, a Galaxy S7 almost 1.5 times and other smartphones multiple times. Fast charge your devices with the maximum output at up to 2.4A, its rocket fast!
  • Bar-sized: With its elegant design and compact size, the Jackery Bolt is easy to carry in the pocket wherever you go. Jackery Bolt also includes a built-in flashlight for convenience in the dark and for emergency situations.
  • What you get: 1×Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh portable charger, 1× Micro USB charging Cable, 1×User Guide & Warranty,1×Thank You Card. 18-month product warranty and 7×24 hrs friendly customer service.

I like mine and recommend it to you. There are many competing devices available, but havimg permanently-attached charging cables is what sold me. A good purchase.

Thursday
May042017

ACES/CEVOL Basic Certification Test

Here is a link to download the test for the ACES/CEVOL test given back in March. Please download and follow the directions on the test document. Questions? david@cevol.org.

Thanks!

Here is the file 

Saturday
Dec032016

Choosing a PL tone for your repeater

I was recently asked how a new repeater operator should choose a PL tone for a new machine. My comments are specific to Northern California, your local situation may vary.

  1. No assigned tones — We do not assign PL tones here in Northern California. Some places, however, may coordinate both frequency and tone.
  2. Pick a tone that isn’t being used. A good way to test for conflicts is to connect a radio to the repeater antenna and transmit on the frequency you are seeking, changing the PL tone every time you transmit. This ought to find repeaters on your frequency as well as the tones used to access them.
  3. Do the same for the repeater pairs one above and one below your desired pair. Why risk interference when it can be avoided?
  4. Check with your coordinator to make sure you haven’t missed repeaters. In Northern California, you can do this online at the www.narcc.org website. I don’t trust the RF Finder database and app for any purpose. Just too inaccurate.
  5. Yes, you should transmit a tone and your users should use it — Sometimes VHF and even UHF signals propagate over long distances. When this happens, users will unexpectedly hear another repeater on “your” frequency. Transmitting a PL tone (the same as the tone used to access your repeater) goes a long way to solving this on-channel interference issue.

There is probably more to this than I have talked about. So leave questions or comments and I will answer them and then change this post to reflect the new information.

Tuesday
Nov152016

Recommended Radio: Baofeng UV-82C (for commercial)

New hams often ask which radio to purchase. By which they usually mean which inexpensive, Chinese-made “commie-talkie” should the purchase. There are dozens available under almost as many brand names. I encourage everyone to only purchase radios that their friends have been using for a while, as the “newest models” sometimes really aren’t and may be throwbacks with a new and deceptive model number. Online resellers are not always good at clearing out old inventory.

Which radio do I recommend?

To make life simple, there is only one model that I recommend. And the reason is simple: The Baofeng UV-82C is type-accepted by the FCC on commercial (non-ham) frequencies. ONLY the “C” model — for commercial — has Part 90 acceptance making them legal on commercial frequencies.

This means the radio will narrowband audio and operate on narrow channels. That makes it legal to use, with proper authorization, on local public safety channels. Provided they are not P25 or some other digital mode.

They are legal to use on business band frequencies, as well as the unlicensed MURS channels. I am actually uncertain about MURS type-acceptance but will investigate. I don’t think they are legal on GMRS or FRS, but I don’t think that stops many from operating illegally.

In fact, read this thread and you may wonder if any of the Chinese radios are really Part 90 legal.

Many of these radios are being purchased and used by public safety volunteers (including myself) for their do-gooder activities. I try to operate legally.

Note that if you order from the links below, that we get a tiny portion of your purchase price as a commission, used to operate this site and the repeaters.