In-Person Meetings

As a result of the Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, the May 11th KARO ECHO member meeting (and future meetings until future notice) will take place online using Zoom, instead of in-person. Everyone on the KARO ECHO mailing list will receive an invitation link to the meeting by email.

KARO-ECHO meets in person at 7:00 PM on the second Monday of each month at the Arlington Park Clubhouse . PLEASE NOTICE THE TIME CHANGE TO 1900! The Arlington Park Clubhouse is located on Arlington Blvd. in El Cerrito between Moeser Lane and Potrero Avenue at 1120 Arlington Blvd. 94530 All are welcome!

Weekly Radio Training and Preparedness Net

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/ACS Net on 145.110 MHz repeater (Tx -600 with a PL 82.5) finishes. 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)

KaroEcho Mentoring/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

Ham Radio License Tests in the Bay Area

2018-2022 Technician Class License Exam Pool with errata (pdf)

Technician Class Test Study Guide from KB6NU (PDF)

2019-2023 General Class Pool (pdf)

2020-2024 Extra Class Pool

The ARRL Guides for Obtaining your technician class license

The Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club (MDARC) offers courses and exams. See and Tests are offered at 6 pm before the MDARC regular meeting begins.

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.

San Francisco Radio Club is offering license exams. See:

Benicia Amateur Radio Club offers their highly successful hamcram. The next ham cram is on October 3rd, 2020

We will be offering a One-Day Technician Class Ham Radio study session (Ham Cram) on October 3rd, 2020 (tentative), to allow more people in the greater Bay Area and the Sacramento Valley to quickly earn their Ham licenses. 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 7 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.

Cost: $35. Includes all study material, venue, refreshments, handouts, freebies and the federally required exam fee. All instructors and facilitators are volunteers.

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 sponsors periodic ham tests throughout the year in the Bay Area. See:


EBARC, 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.


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

When: At 9am on the following Sundays for 2020:

January 26th, April 26th, July 26th, and October 25th

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


The following link is a list of online classes by look promising.

Also these are the latest from the ARRL.ORG website accessed 09-22-2020

Sponsor: Sonoma County RA's, Inc. Date: Sep 26 2020, Time: 9:00 AM

(No Walk-ins / Call ahead) Contact: Brian D. Torr (707) 575-5871 Email: VEC: ARRL/VEC

Location: (more info)

4145 Grange Rd, Bennett Valley Guild Hall, Santa Rosa, CA 95404-8596


EXAM SESSION: Novato CA 94945-5009

11/07/2020 Sponsor: Hamilton Wireless Association, Date: Nov 07 2020, Time: 1:00 PM (No Walk-ins / Call ahead), Contact: William B. Smith, (415) 485-3815, Email:

VEC: ARRL/VEC Location: Novato Community Hospital, 180 Rowland Way, Drive-In Exam, Email for a Reservation

Novato CA 94945-5009

EXAM SESSION: Petaluma CA 94954-3677 11/14/2020

Sponsor: Sonoma Mtn Repeater Society, Date: Nov 14 2020, Time: 1:00 PM (No Walk-ins / Call ahead), Contact: Dale Westerterp, (707) 762-9414, Email: VEC: ARRL/VEC

Location: Petaluma Senior Center, 211 Novak Dr. Reservations Highly Preferred! Petaluma CA 94954-3677


EXAM SESSION: Petaluma CA 94954-1100 11/19/2020

Sponsor: Sonoma Mountain Repeater, Date: Nov 19 2020, Time: 1:00 PM (No Walk-ins / Call ahead)

Contact: Dale Westerterp, (707) 762-9414, Email: VEC: ARRL/VEC Location: X2NSAT, 1310 Redwood Way, Petaluma CA, 94954-1100


EXAM SESSION: Fairfield CA 94533-4994 12/05/2020

Sponsor: Solano ARC VE Wolfpack, Date: Dec 05 2020, Time: 9:30 AM (Walk-ins allowed)

Contact: Jerome P. Olive, (707) 422-6777, Email: VEC: ARRL/VEC

Location: Jerry Olive State Farm Ins. Office, 1530 Webster Street, Suite A, Registration 9:00am, Fairfield CA 94533-4994


EXAM SESSION: Mill Valley CA 94941-155, 12/13/2020

Sponsor: Marin ARS, Date: Dec 13 2020, Time: 1:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)

Contact: Steve Fischer, (415) 407-6719, Email: VEC: ARRL/VEC

Location: Marin ARS Clubhouse, 27 Shell Rd, Tower Rd. to Meadow, R Meadow, Meadow to Shell, L on Shell, Mill Valley CA 94941-1551

Find an exam session in your area here:

KARO ECHO Calendar