Field Day 2021!

We’re back! GVARC and SBCARA will be at Christmas Hill Park this Saturday starting at 8 AM. We will be running fairly profile. We will be setting up near the barn this year. Things will be relatively relaxed. No ginormous towers. Most, if not all of us, will be using Wolf River Coils verticals. We are expecting to run 5A I think as of right now. Everyone on battery, solar, or generator.

Feel free to swing by and say hi. Due to Covid safety, ad hoc access to radios will be limited, and at the discretion of the station hosts. But we would love for you to swing by in person, and have a chat as it has been a long year apart.

Please bring a mask, especially if you are not vaccinated. And it is anticipated to be a warm day. Be sure you have adequate sun protection and hydration.

GVARC has moved to

GVARC took the opportunity to move club communications and calendaring to We have actually been there pretty much for the duration of the Covid lock downs. Emails were sent inviting the known roster emails on at least 2 or more occasions. Email is sent from each month with the Zoom links for the monthly meeting.

If you have still not joined the group, you can go to, create an account, and then search for the W6GGF group and ask to join. Or you can also find me on the repeater, or use your old copy of the roster to send me an email so we can send another invite.

Hope to see you at the next monthly Zoom!

W6GGF UHF Update

N6DZK and W6BWJ paid a vist to W6GGF UHF at Crystal Peak this past Saturday. After a quick stop at the Summit Store for some tasty sandwiches from the deli, we made it to the site. The weather was really nice for this time of season. The winds were relatively calm. Looking towards Morgan Hill it was quite hazy though, so pictures are not that great.

The objectives of the trip where to: 1) Ascertain the issues with the signal strength – whether it was the radio itself or the power amp. And 2) Install the IRLP/Echolink node.

Right about smack in the middle in the distance you can see El Toro.

On item 1 we quickly realized we did not have a PL-259 to N adapter. So plan B was put in motion which consisted of literally calling for help. Luckily we received a reply from a ham in Holister which was a good test for our purposes. We connected and disconnected the power amp and asked for a signal comparison. The power amp did not seem to be make the signal any better, and in fact made it worse. Connecting the radio directly to the antenna and by-passing the amp seemed to be a marked improvement. So the power amp has been disconnected and will be sent for testing and repair.

On item 2, W6GGF UHF now has an IRLP and Echolink node! We are now IRLP node 7528. Echolink will follow shortly. There are additional steps we have to take because we are using the club call sign. Soon we will be able to connect far and wide as well as allow echolink connections. This should be completed soon. Overall it was a successful trip and we look forward to getting the repaired amp back in place as soon as possible which will return W6GGF UHF back to full output power.

2019 Field Day!!

Field Day 2019 is quickly approaching. June 22-23 at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, where we have been for FD for past several years. We plan to operate for the 1 day, Saturday, with 4 stations, plus GOTA (Get On The Air). We are still in the planning phase and there will be a meeting the evening of May 9th at the home of W6BWJ. Please contact him directly for details.

WB6ZVW is now W6GGF UHF.

WB6ZVW has been transferred to the club call sign and is now W6GGF UHF! The announcements on the repeater have been updated and most of our online information will be updated over the coming week. Merry Christmas!

2018 GVARC Field Day

It is that time of year again! Operators from MHARS, GVARC, and SBCARA will once again invade Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, CA and operate (probably) 4A on the weekend of June 23-24. Stop by and check out what a larger amateur radio operation looks like. We will have multiple towers, dipoles, hexbeams, and yagi antennas as we operate 15, 20, and 40 meters on SSB, CW, and digital modes.

2017 ARRL Field Day

GVARC will once again be at Christmas Hill Park, in Gilroy, for the 2017 ARRL Field Day. Enter the park from Miller Ave and go all the way to the back of the park. Relay for Life will also be in the park this weekend.

We will be operating 4A with GOTA. There will be multiple towers, radios, power systems, go boxes, and other ham related things to see and do. We will also be operating a GOTA (Get On The Air) station for those that would like to try their hand at amateur radio for the first time.

Please visit our sister site AfterTheNet.Net for sign-ups if you would like to operate for a shift. Of come by and offer support. This is also the official monthly breakfast and meeting for the club. So come on by!

Were you ready?

Photo: Scott Hinrichs

The past 30 days has been pretty gnarly. With saturated ground, flooded intersections, closed roads, mud slides, power outages, etc. – How did you prepare? Many folks in the Hollister area were forced to abandon their homes. Falling trees knocked out power all over the county and beyond. The SBCARA teams were busy with multiple activations and rescues. So. Where you ready?

Field Day!

2016 Field Day LogoJoin GVARC on Saturday, June 25th, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy for the annual ARRL Field Day (not really a contest) Contest. We will be running 4A with a GOTA station this year. We have added 2 mobile towers to our operations. 1 50 ft trailer-ed tower, and a second trailer-ed tower that can go to 100′! We will be using N3FJP logging software, and operating on batteries. Stop by and say hi!

Set-up begins at around 8 AM
On The Air begins at 11 AM
Break Down will begin around 8-9 PM.

WB6ZVW Back On The Air!

Several volunteers made their way up to Crystal Peak to replace the aging, and malfunctioning WB6ZVW repeater. Dave (K7DAA), our benevolent repeater guru, along with his minions for the day, Brent (W6BWJ), Ray (KJ6VTP), Bryce (KI6HJE), and our GVARC club president, Don (KA6AUR) climbed to the top of Crystal Peak with a couple of truck loads of tools and equipment, some sandwiches from the Summit Store (I highly recommend the Turkey and Brie), and made a day of it.

The weather mostly cooperated as the forecast called for rain. Luckily we only had light rain or sprinkles intermittently while we were at the site. The other challenge was that with the low clouds, we were unable to see W6GGF to align the internet up-links. Some Googling, and some math gave us an approximate bearing and declination. With that in hand we were also able to mount the new Ubiquity Rocket M5 wireless bridge. W6BWJ and KJ6VTP will hopefully complete the up-link in the coming days.

The new gear, housed in a new cabinet, consists of 220 amp hours of fresh batteries, an RLC-DSP404 controller, Kenwood TKR-850 repeater, Echolink/IRLP computer, and Astron power supply, as well as a host of other support goodies for power control, pre-amp, and remote control.

It was a long day. I think we finally reached home around 7:30 PM. The new and improved WB6ZVW sounds great. Tune up 442.500 + PL 100 and try it out! This is a great amateur resource for the Bay Area and beyond, back on the air, and working great.

Many thanks to all those that contributed to the project, both inside and outside of GVARC. And special thanks to Scott, KB6UOO for helping us at the site that day.

2016-05-07 17.42.50

New Hotness…

Old and Busted

Old and Busted

KI6HJE gives some pointers on wire management.

KI6HJE gives some pointers on wire management.

Crystal Peak

Crystal Peak

Our heads were in the clouds as we brought WB6ZVW back on the air.

Our heads were in the clouds as we brought WB6ZVW back on the air.

W6BWJ works on final touches...

W6BWJ works on final touches…

K7DAA and W6BWJ give the final approval and WB6ZVW is back on the air.

K7DAA and W6BWJ give the final approval and WB6ZVW is back on the air.