Hybrid In-Person/Virtual Meetings

KARO ECHO  meets on the 2nd Monday of each month at 1900 (7:00 PM) at the Kensington Community Center (KCC), 59 Arlington Ave., Kensington, CA 94707. The KCC is directly East of the Arlington Community Church and North and uphill of the Kensington Library.  See Map.  Ample parking is available by turning (East) up Kensington Park Road (at the only traffic light in Kensington). The  Monday July 8,  2024 meeting will commence at 1900 local time both as a hybrid (Zoom) and in-person) meeting. Email to: info at karoecho dot net for the zoom link.

KARO ECHO provides internet Zoom access to all meetings, thus, KARO ECHO member meetings will also simultaneously take place online using Zoom. Everyone on the KAROECHO mailing list will receive an invitation link to the meeting by email. To get on our mailing list and receive our Newsletter, please JOIN HERE, or send an email to info at 

Tentative Agenda 

July 8, 2024 General Meeting Agenda: (tentative, subject to update and approval at beginning of meeting)

Call to order/logistics

New business

Old business




Neighborhood nets and Comm. hubs

Training and Operations


Please send dues made out to KARO ECHO

Yearly dues are $30/year and $40 for a family membership. We are a tax deductible 501(c)3 charitable organization . Use tax ID # 83-3114142. Your donation will help us serve our community. Mail and correspondence to: KARO ECHO -- 1519 Everett St,  El Cerrito, CA. 94530-2207. Use the donate button to donate or pay dues online (Paypal). and fill out the registration form under Get Involved/Join. You can get on the mailing list by filling out the registration form without paying membership dues.

Weekly Radio Training and Preparedness Net

The Weekly Contra Costa County HF EmComm Disaster Preparedness Net meets every Thursday at 1800 on 7213 (+/-) QRM, 1815 Ch. 2 (5346.5 kHz) USB on 60m, and 1830 local time on 3893 KHz LSB/Alt 3888KHz.

The KE Net meets every Thursday (except Thanksgiving and major holidays)  at 1900 on 146.415 MHz Simplex, but not before the West Co Co County EmComm ARES/ACS Net finishes on their 145.110 MHz repeater (Tx -600 with a PL 82.5). 

All hams are welcome. 

As always, be ready with pencil and paper.  Please come with new relevant announcements.  The NCS has a surprise test for us each net. Be ready to change frequency. Please have handy  the KaroEcho Hybrid 213 message form.  Always be familiar on how to use your radio, keep your batteries charged, and how  to change frequency. See related documents in our Training page and in the Operations page on the WORKSTREAMS drop-down menu.  Specifically see: 

A list of Relevant VHF and UHF SIMPLEX Frequencies in our area  


The same KARO-ECHO Hybrid ARES/ICS 213 message form as a PDF 

Definitions of ARES Message Precedence Designators (Emergency, Priority, Welfare, and Routine).

Comparing ICS-213 Message Form with the ARRL Message Form (a very short critique)

A Breakdown of the Elements of the ARRL/ARES Standard Message Form Made Simple (for Dummies)!

A Short Example Why We Use the ARES/ICS Modified Message Form

Formal Written Traffic versus Point to Point Verbal Tactical Comms:  When to write it down and when not to (write it down).

For past net events see our PAST EVENTS PAGE 

NCS schedule of operators

NCS Spreadsheet (public)

The KaroEcho Technical Work Group was at the Kensington Fire Station (FS-65) on Saturday, October 15, 2022 repurposing radios, batteries,  and equipment due to upcoming seismic retrofitting.  

Left to right: KN6BUY, KK6NDF, KJ6IUV, and KE6BEE

W6ECK 2024 Field Day Festival June 22, at Lower Kensington Park

The KAROECHO 2024 field day festival will be held again at lower Kensington Park, behind the Kensington Library and below the Tennis Courts and at the end of Windsor Drive (click here for map and directions).  Technical Set up starts at 8 AM and take down begins at 7 pm. Operations begin at 11 AM. There will be refreshments, literature, demonstrations, educational events, and more. Pavilions will be setup for Morse code code, Single Side Band Voice, Digital Modes, and VHF/UHF radio modes. Visitors will be offered an opportunity to operate and talk with stations all over the world. The festival operates entirely off the grid from batteries and solar power.  Ample Parking is available in front of the Kensington Library. Public transportation is provided by the AC Transit 7 Bus Line.
More information TBA shortly.

Recent Webpage Updates to KaroEcho.Net: New content, links, and files

Tours of KPH Historic radio station at Point Reyes National Seashore and

Website File Updates in General:  This file will be updated monthly or when new occasions arise.  New Local ham radio license exams are updated bi-monthly. New additions to the FRS/GMRS page and GMRS/FRS equipment lists have also been updated 

VHF/UHF Simplex Operations in Our Area

For FM operators, you will find activity on the national 2 meter FM calling frequency (146.520 MHz) and 70cm FM calling frequency (446.000 MHz). Typically, operators will either limit their time on these calling frequencies or ask people to follow them to a different frequency to keep the calling frequencies as open as possible for all users. These calling frequencies will likely be very busy, so they will be difficult to use.

The following FM simplex frequencies may be active in our area, and are alternative places to listen or call, in addition to the calling frequencies. 146.520 and 446.000 MHz.


Elmer Program 

Take advantage of this service as it benefits the entire community to have more skilled radio operators in the field.  The more questions, the more answers.  Please feel free to ask for additional classes and/or help by sending an email to 

 Also see: for study materials

This is a guideline for those wishing to study for the entry level ham radio Technician class test prepared for the KaroEcho License Preparation Class by our ARRL Registered License Instructor: 

Quality Ham Radio Ongoing Yearly Presentations and Events

Dan Goldstein, KJ6KEU, the East Bay Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) speaks at the ORCA Club Meeting on "EmComm Mutual Aid in a Digital World",  2022-09-10

The 2021 Pacific Division  Zoom Meeting, was held on December 4,  2021 run by Pacific Division Director, Kristen, K6WX, video recording can be found here and on our Resources page. Kristen emphasized that she and the ARRL works for us, we do not work for them. They are listening, so send in your suggestions.  

The most recent Pacific Division Wide Zoom Meeting was held on December 10, 2022 . It was also recorded.  These  ARRL division-wide meetings displays the challenges and successes that ham radio is currently addressing.   


The ARRL has started a new website for its Learning Center. You can find it at . It has several learning paths (Electronics & Technology, EmComm, etc.), a bunch of courses to take and a pot load of webinars. It also has links to help you find radio clubs; hamfests & conventions; license classes, and exam sessions. You can access the site from your computer, tablet or phone. See Dave Casler’s “Intro to the ARRL's new ‘’ Site” video at  (YouTube; 11:58).


QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo are held twice yearly. They are quite good. They’ve put out a call for speakers and are looking for them worldwide. Information on becoming a presenter, or attending the expo, is at 

The next QSO Today Expo is scheduled for March 24 and 25, 2023 Call for speakers here

Past presentation are available  on Vimeo at

The September 17-18, 2022 QSO Today Videos will be available on-line (see their webpage)   

 Ham Radio University (HRU) Past Presentations 

A plethora of excellent presentations on all topics of ham radio are available to view here

Among the presentation topics every year will be Amateur Radio Emergency Communications; Basics of HF Operating; Ham Radio Contesting and DXing, Communicating Through Amateur Radio Earth Satellites; Software Defined Radios; HF and VHF Digital Communications; Parks on the Air, Skywarn, Cables & Connectors, and Using Raspberry Pi Computers in Amateur Radio. For a plethora of their excellent past videos on Youtube please see:  or go to (

Attendance is free, but registration is required. The topic are detailed, accurate, friendly, and varied over a wide range of topics, including EmComm; HF Operating; Contesting & DXing; Satellites; Software Defined Radios; Digital Communications and more. For more information, go to


A group in Southern California called the WaveTalkers has a mission “to help you learn to become a more effective communicator in any medium.” On their website at they have a number of resources, including video courses for all three license classes and courses to help you get started in APRS and Winlink. They also have reference materials for some ham basics, such as Phonetics and Q-Codes. Their home page announces that their next presentation will be on January 20 with a topic of “Solar and Emergency Power”. Definitely worth a look as part of your efforts to improve your skills.”

Ham Radio Classes and License Tests in the Bay Area   


Question Pools

The following is copied from the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) website:

The Question Pools are developed and maintained by the Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the NCVEC by FCC instruction and Part 97 Rules & Regulation : Subpart F: §97.523 Question pools All VECs must cooperate in maintaining one question pool for each written examination element. Each question pool must contain at least 10 times the number of questions required for a single examination. Each question pool must be published and made available to the public prior to its use for making a question set. Each question on each VEC question pool must be prepared by a VE holding the required FCC-issued operator license.

The question pools are normally valid for 4 years and the current Question Pools are as follows:

Element 2 – Technician – Effective July 1, 2022 until June 30, 2026

Element 3 -- General -- Effective July 1, 2023 until June 30, 2027 ** NEW

Element 4 – Extra – Effective July 1, 2024 until June 30, 2028

Each FCC Element or question pool consists of at least 10 times the number of questions required for a single examination and is released to the public normally 6 months prior to becoming effective for use in examinations to allow pleanty of time for publication and study. Each element or pool has a syllabus that is broken down into main sub-element sections (normally 10) and an unlimited number of sub-topic sections under each sub-element. Each sub-element is numbered with a prefix designating the Element number, example T1, T2 etc, followed by the subtopic letter for the section of each sub-element, example T1A,T1B, etc.

2022-2026 Technician Question Pool Public Release - January 3, 2022 Revised 01/06/2022 - MSDocX Format

New Graphics

The ARRL Guides for Obtaining your technician class license

'The Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club (MDARC)  offers courses and exams. See   Tests are offered at 6 pm before the MDARC regular meeting begins.  MDARC is offering ZOOM Classes and exams at public parking parking lots.

Oncoming MDARC classes:

A new Diablo ARC has opened registration for their 8-session Technician licensing course, beginning January 10, 2023 on Zoom only. It will be followed by a VE test session, then two Get-on-the-Air (GOTA) classes. They plan to hold General and Amateur Extra Class courses later in the year. Get the details and register at (

Additional MDARC on-line education details here at


Walnut Creek CERT Ham Radio Licensing (Ham Cram) & Training Classes:  

The Walnut Creek "CERT Ham Radio Licensing (Ham Cram) & Training Classes" are a series of three classes which will give you the skills and knowledge to become a member of Walnut Creek CERT’s radio communications team.  

Part 1 -The part 1 class is a one day exercise that prepares you to pass the ham radio “Technician” license examination required by the FCC to legally operate a ham radio. (A training session for "General" license upgrade is also available). The Walnut Creek CERT communications training team conducts this training session using a simple technique (called "association") that produces a very high percentage of successful test results, virtually eliminating the need for a multiple week training course to pass the FCC license exam that will be given at the end of the session.

Part 2 - “CERT Getting on the Air” class 1 - . Learn how to communicate on a radio and, optionally, order a radio as part of the WC CERT Group Purchase plan.

Part 3 - “CERT Getting on the Air” class 2 -    Learn how to use your new radio.

The cost for Part 1 is $35, payable at the door, which includes the required $15 FCC license Examination Fee; all training materials; continental breakfast; and a pizza or sub sandwich lunch.  There is no additional charge for Parts 2 and 3.

Note: The Walnut Creek CERT Ham Crams and License tests will resume after the Shelter in Place orders are lifted.  


San Francisco Radio Club is offering license exams. See: 


One-Day Ham Radio Class, May 4, 2024 Ham Cram in Benicia

Benicia Amateur Radio Club offers their highly successful hamcram.   Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024, Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm with a one-hour lunch break

Place: Benicia Senior Center, 1205 East Second Street, Benicia, CA  See:

They encourage CERT members to expand their value to their teams by becoming licensed Amateur Radio Operators. They also offer a simultaneous One-Day General Class upgrade study course for those who currently possess a Technician License.  The cost is $35, which includes all study material and the FCC exam fee. We also provide free coffee and other refreshments throughout the day to make things easier. Lunch is NOT included but there are several restaurants across the street and a list will be provided. You can  obtain additional information by going to the BARC website at See:  

The Benicia Amateur Radio Club (BARC), partnering with the Benicia Emergency Response Team (BERT) members was asked several years ago to create a Ham Radio licensing class for members of its CERT program. Response to this One-Day licensing class has been very favorable and recently the class was opened to CERT teams throughout Northern California. Attendees have come from Shasta to Santa Clara, and from Alameda to Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley.

Following emergencies, communications are often lost or severely impacted and FEMA has recommended that CERT teams throughout the country encourage the use of Amateur Radio as an alternative. Also known as Ham Radio, this proven means of communications does not rely on existing infrastructure thereby providing an alternate method of communicating during and following a disaster.

We would like to invite your CERT team members to join other fellow CERT members from throughout Northern California at our accelerated one-day licensing class in Benicia. Historically over 90% of attendees pass the on-site FCC licensing exam administered by federally accredited examiners immediately at the conclusion of class.

Access: Our facility has full handicap access. 

Info/Signup: Online at Class size is limited to 90 and it always fills up, so register promptly. Questions: or Ham Class Instructor, Art Mayoff, (925) 212-9953. Please share this invitation with your CERT team leaders and your individual team members. 

Increase your value as a CERT team member. Become a licensed Ham Radio Operator in one day.


BAEARS also sponsors periodic ham tests throughout the year in the Bay Area including one day Ham Crams. See:


Oakland Radio Communication Association, (ORCA) and Amateur Radio Club of Alameda (ARCA) co-sponsor quarterly American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Amateur Radio Test Sessions.  Note: Classes and exams are postponed until after the Shelter in Place orders are rescinded. 


What?: Testing for FCC Technician, General and Amateur Extra operator class licenses will take place.

Classes and tests are currently postponed because of the lockdown orders.

What to Bring:

a government issued photo ID, either your Social Security Number or FCC Registration Number (FRN), a pen and a pencil. For upgrades bring your original license and a photocopy of it, or a valid Certificate of Successful completion of Examination (CSCE) from a prior exam and a photocopy of it.

What NOT to Bring:

Calculators at a VE session are provided by the team (i.e., no personal electronics or calculators are allowed).


A $15 license fee per exam date is required. No extra fees beyond the $15 are required should a candidate choose to take all three exams—for each of the operator classes— in one session (as time permits).

 More Info

Call 510-918-4627 or 510-741-8227

*Postponed- Please check back after the SIP  


Local In Person License Preparation Classes

 No in person exam preparation classes are currently offered in El Cerrito and Kensington. This situation is constantly changing. Individual license prep is available by a local ARRL Certified License Instructor. Ask at info  at  Also see:   and below.


More Classes:

This is an excellent free technician license preparation series

Finding a License Class

Finding ON-LINE Ham Study Classes to prepare for exams: 

Excellent Study Tools and Resources for License Preparation

The following links list  online classes by look promising has a plethora of license guide videos that vary from excellent to poor

The following are some select ARRL on-line ham license study classes and Exams 


Contact: Joshua Peterson




Contact: Gary Pike


Sponsor: KJ4PJE PARC


Exam Website:


Contact: Tanner Jones


Sponsor: Unsponsored


Exam Website:


Contact: Thomas Kocourek


Sponsor: US-Volunteer Examiner Group


Exam Website:


Contact: Anderson Lowe


Sponsor: Aurora Amateur Radio Group, Inc.


Exam Website:


Contact: Joshua Marler


Sponsor: Volunteer Amateur Radio Group


Exam Website:


Contact: Gordon Hanson


Sponsor: MNYARC/


Exam Website:


Contact: Michael Wills


Sponsor: Mankato Area Radio Club


Exam Website:


Contact: Michael Wills


Sponsor: HRCC - Mankato ARC

Exam Website:


Contact: Cecil McDole


Sponsor: PARC-US

Exam Website:


Contact: Lawrence Simon


Sponsor: Las Vegas VE Team


Exam Website:


Contact: Erin Henrickson


Sponsor: CEC-Corps Exam Team


Exam Website:


Contact: Rodney Webb


Sponsor: Lakeway ARC - W2IQ


Exam Website:


Contact: Shaun Newcomer


Sponsor: All NY Ham VE Team


Exam Website:


Contact: Janet Crenshaw


Sponsor: WB9ZPH


Exam Website:


Contact: Morris Jones


Sponsor: Silicon Valley VE Group - register on website or email team for an appt.



Contact: Linda Straubel


Sponsor: Contact the VE Team (7:30pm testing Mon-Thurs)


Contact: Alan Crosswell


Sponsor: Columbia University VE Team ARC


Exam Website:


Contact: Stephen Kawamae


Sponsor: Ham Education Hawaii - email team for an appointment



Contact: Atsunobu Tama


Sponsor: ARRL VE Kobe


Exam Website:


Contact: Heather Parker


Sponsor: San Diego ARRL VE Team


Exam Website:


Contact: Mark Dunning


Sponsor: Sun City W4SPC - email team for an appointment


Contact: Allan Ryan


Sponsor: Barnstable ARC - on demand testing, EMAIL team for an appointment



Contact: Benjamin Murray


Sponsor: Williams County ARC

Exam Website:


Contact: Peter Dernikos


Sponsor: Book a time slot BEFORE registering on exam website.


Exam Website:


Contact: Jacqueline Welch


Sponsor: Geauga ARA


Exam Website:


Contact: Donald Bauer


Sponsor: Yavapai ARC


Exam Website:


Contact: Chris Hunt


Sponsor: K0KWC


Exam Website:

Additional ARRL VE Teams

For additional ARRL teams offering remote online exams visit:

Exam Website:

Additional ARRL VE Teams


Find an IN-PERSON EXAM SESSION in your area here: 

More In-Person EXAMS in Our Area:

The Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club (MDARC) often offers license tests preceding each club meeting. For a current listing see


Benecia CA    May, 4, 2024

One Day Ham Cram: The study session, conducted in Benicia, begins at 8:30 AM, provides an hour and fifteen minute break for lunch and ends at 3:45 PM. The day concludes with an exam session at 4:00 P.M and typically takes less than 30 minutes.

Place: Benicia Senior Center, 1205 East Second Street, Benicia, CA 

Cost: $35.00 ($14 exam fee and $21 for the class)




Fairfield CA 94533-4933   06/01/2024

Sponsor: Solano ARC VE Wolfpack

Date: Jun 01 2024  Time: 9:30 AM (Walk-ins allowed). Check-in at 8:45am.

Contact: Jerome P. Olive  (707) 422-6777   Email:


Location: Jerry Olive State Farm Insurance Office,  1530 Webster Street Suite A,  Fairfield CA 94533-4933


San Bruno CA 94066-4247  06/18/2024

Sponsor: San Bruno Amateur Radio Club

Date: Jun 18 2024,  Time: 7:00 PM (No Walk-ins / Register or Call ahead)

Contact: Dave Dornlas,  Email:


Location: San Bruno EOC,  567 El Camino Real,  San Bruno CA 94066-4247


Concord CA 94519-2599   06/22/2024

Sponsor: Mt. Diablo Amt Radio Club

Date: Jun 22 2024,  Time: 1:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)

Contact: Larry S. Loomer,  Email:


Location: Olympic High School Parking Lot Field Day,  2730 Salvio St. , Concord CA 94519-2599


San Bruno CA 94066-4004   06/22/2024

Sponsor: Millbrae Amateur Radio Club

Date: Jun 22 2024,  Time: 12:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)

Contact: Robert J. Morris,  (408) 368-1080  Email:


Location: Junipero Serra Park,  1801 Crystal Springs Rd.,  San Bruno CA 94066-4004



Berkeley CA 94720-0001  06/24/2024

Sponsor: UC Berkeley RC/ UCB EECS VEs

Date: Jun 24 2024,  Time: 5:00 PM (No Walk-ins / Register or Call ahead)

Contact: Albert J. Goto  Email:


Location: UC Berkeley  TBD

Berkeley CA 94720-0001


For many applicants, on-line exams are the most convenient. 

They are given often and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Please consider any of the following:

For additional ARRL teams offering remote online exams visit:

Silicon Valley VE Group Online Exams - *FIRST & THIRD SATURDAY MONTHLY*

Contact: Morris Jones AD6ZH     Email: 

The Silicon Valley VE group offers online exams the first and third Saturday of each month from 9AM until 11AM PDT.  All elements are available.  The number of applicants per session is limited due to 4 VEs proctoring each applicant during the exam process. Pre-registration is required.  Please sign up by contacting AD6ZH at  Include your Name, FRN number, callsign if any, and which element(s) you wish to take. More information and technical requirements can be found on the SVVE website: 

Finding an ON-LINE license EXAMs

A daily list of License Exams given ON-LINE by ARRL VECs go direct  to:

A daily list of License Exams given ON-LINE by ALL VECs

Resources for on-line study and exams

An extensive list of current  Online Ham Exams and Study Aids  HERE: or

Sample Amateur Radio Exams  at QRZ

KAROECHO members have had a good experience using the Patriot Radio Club on-line test 


KARO ECHO Calendar