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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.

Updated Frequency Lists

Newly updated frequency lists have been updated to the frequencies page. There are 2 lists currently posted. There is the full, 250 channel, CSV for use with RTS software. There is also a 120 channel list CSV that is compatible with CHIRP for programming a wide selection of radios that only support 128 channels. A full 250 channel version of the list compatible with CHIRP will be posted soon.

Antenna Repairs

It was a dark and stormy night… Well, ok, it was daytime, and it wasn’t that dark, but there were clouds, and it was raining somewhere.

We had just completed our monthly breakfast meeting and it was decided that was a good time to wrangle some help to raise the W6GGF antenna to address some coverage changes from when the antenna came down previously due to a mounting pole failure. The new mount is 10′ of 1-1/2″ galvanized pipe into 10′ of 1-1/4′ pipe. This new configuration raises the antenna about 8′ higher than where it was originally. So far the signal reports are favorable of the change. Thanks to everyone that helped with the change! Woody (K6WWS), Larry (W6LWC, Ray (KJ6VTP), and Bill (KK6MEN).


Calendar Entries Off Line


The calendar is temporarily offline.  Google made a change to the calendar feeds which broke the widget that displays them here on our site.  The developer should have a fix shortly.  As soon as we get an update, the calendar feeds will work again.  – KJ6VTP

What is in your Go-Kit?

photoDo you even have a Go-Kit?

The Go-Kit is one of those “ham things” that everyone in emcomm (Emergency Communications) talks about. But how many of us that participate in the weekly net actually have one ready to “go”?  I have the beginnings of a “portable” station.  Some of you have seen it at Field Day.  But I do not have everything I need to deploy (Portable antennas, cables, etc).  It is very much a work in progress.

How much is too much? If you Google “go kit” and click on the images, you will see a huge range of what folks consider a go-kit. Some are quite minimalist and others are of the “..and the kitchen sink” variety. You will have to decide what will work best for you. And when the time comes that you need your kit, you will find that in all likelihood, your kit either had things you didn’t need, or was missing things you did need.

The important thing is to simply have one.  Take a few moments to gather some basic items and put them together so when the need arises you can “go”.  The most likely scenario we will have is a seismic event. has some good documents on go-kits.  And Google has lots of information.  What are the most likely items needed?  Here are some items to get you thinking about your kit.

  • Dual band radio
  • Frequency lists
  • Spare, charged, batteries
  • Microphone or earpiece
  • A gain antenna (something other than the stock ducky)
  • A thing called a Tiger Tail is handy, I’ve heard.
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Hearing protection
  • Snack bars
  • Water and/or Water filtration
  • Change of clothes (Spare t-shirt)
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool
  • Water resistant notepad
  • Pens and pencils
  • Sun screen
  • Hat