HARDware and software Infrastructure technical work group

HARDware, ELECTRONICS, and software technical work group

This KARO-ECHO Work Group covers the repair, maintenance, installation, planning, access, and development of all the Karo-Echo Electronics Hardware and Software infrastructure, KaroEcho served agency sites, and member sites. It is the physical/electronic network that our radio information travels on.

Job Responsibilities/Purview

Technical issues include the development and maintenance of hardware, portable and fixed emergency power installations (training in the use of batteries, solar, and use of car charging system), ham & FRS/GMRS radio antenna equipment, and the regular maintenance and testing of portable and base antennas. The Infrastructure Working Group maintains a working inventory and a maintenance schedule. This team maintains coordination with corresponding agency site managers in order to arrange 24 hour access to equipment. The team works together with the Operations Work Group in order to identify and establish optimal operating locations and equipment. The Technical Work Group goes beyond the testing and maintenance of the physical infrastructure, but also creative development and design of new technologies, hardware, software, portable and fixed emergency power installations, radios, digital equipment, antennas, go-carts, masts, etc.

This team will also help KAROECHO members install, repair, and maintain their antenna, radio, emergency power systems, and programming, as well as coordinate efforts with the KARO/ECHO Training Work Group in their Elmering/Mentoring program.


Team Lead: Howdy, KE6BEE

Current Team Members: Jerry K6KOP, Mike KM6CXI, Jamuel KM6HBO, Howdy KE6BEE, Larry KK6GIO, Marian KC6OBK, Rob K6RJM, David KJ6AAT, Jay KJ6WSS, Rob K6RJM, Don NI6A, and Hal KK6NDF.

More volunteers are solicited.

Equipment and Locations

El Cerrito

El Cerrtio EOC

Antenna, radio, and emergency power

Onsite Contact: Chief Kevin Janes

Coordinator: Jamuel KM6HBO, Hal KK6NDF, KE6BEE

Fire Station 71

Antenna. radio, and emergency power

Onsite Coordinator: Chief Kevin Janes

KaroEcho Coordinator: Jamuel KM6HBO, Hal KK6NDF, Marian KC6OBK, and Howdy KE6BEE

Fire Station 72

Antenna, Radio, and Emergency power

Onsite Contact: Chief Kevin Janes

Coordinator: Jamuel KM6HBO, KE6BEE

El Cerrito Senior Center (Now Closed)

Radio, power supply. and antenna, no emergency power (removed since 06-2018)


Harding School Park Clubhouse

17' X-500HNA antenna

50 watt radio and power supply (in Storage)

On site Coordinator: Chris Jones -- Parks and Rec. Department

Karo-Echo Coordinator: KE6BEE

Tassajara Park

Outdoor antenna on Recreation Clubhouse

50 watt radio and power supply

Onsite Contact: Chris Jones -- Parks and Rec. Department

Karo Echo Coordinator: Mike, KM6CXI, Jamuel KM6HBO, Howdy KE6BEE


Fire Station 65 (KPSB)

Antenna, 50 watt radio, Diamond X-300 antenna, and battery emergency power

Onsite Contact: Chief Kevin Janes

KaroEcho Coordinator: Jerry, K6KOP, Marian KC6OBK, Hal KK6NDF

Kensington Community Center (KCC)

Diamond X-300 antenna. 50 watt radio, and emergency power

Onsite Contact: Chief Janes

KaroEcho Coordinator: Jerry, K6KOP, Marian KC6OBK, Hal KK6NDF

Kensington Hilltop School (KHS)

Diamond X-300a antenna, 50 watt radio, and emergency battery power

Onsite Contact: TBD

KaroEcho Coordinator: Jerry, K6KOP, Marian KC6OBK

Kensington - El Cerrito Area Wide Portable Go-Kart

50 watt radio, deep cycle AGM 105 AH battery, tripod base, 6.5/8 DBd VHF/UHF gain portable antenna, GMRS gain antenna, and Rigid Portable Cart on wheels.

Onsite Coordinator: Don NI6A (temporary)

KaroEcho Coordinator, Contact info@karoecho.net

There are five additional KARO-ECHO radios that need to be placed or cached, an Astron 35M 12V power supply, and a couple of Diamond x300A antennas.

Notes on Locations

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

The EOC is located in the El Cerrito Public Safety Building at 109000 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

Station 71

Station 71 is located at 10900 San Pablo Avenue at the corner of Manila Avenue. The station was built in 1964 and is the headquarters for both the Fire Department and the El Cerrito Police Department. In addition to the Fire Department’s administration, Station 71 is also home to Engine 71, Truck 71, and OES #300.

Station 72

Station 72, located at 1520 Arlington Boulevard, was built in 1997 to replace the outdated station at this same site. This station serves as a secondary Emergency Operations Center for the City and has a training room facility as well as archive storage for Fire Department records. Engine 72 and Engine 372 are both housed at this facility as well as a 16-foot mass casualty incident trailer that stores extra medical supplies for large-scale incidents.

Station 65

Station 65 is located at 217 Arlington Avenue in Kensington, was built in 1970 to replace the old station that was located down the street. The Station is owned by the Kensington Fire Protection District that has contracted with the El Cerrito Fire Department to provide personnel and administrative services since 1995. In addition, the Fire District leases part of the building to the Kensington Police Department who also work out of this same facility. Engine 65 and Engine 365 are both housed at this facility.

Outstanding Tasks


  1. Plan out the physical network of radio stations that are required to support the network plan developed by the Operations Working Group.

  2. Document the requirements for what a fully operational radio station needs to have, including (but not limited to)

    1. Radios (ham, FRS/GMRS, etc) and how they are to be placed

    2. Antennas and how they are to be installed

    3. What access is required

    4. Primary and backup power

    5. Seating and general operating space

    6. Logs, forms, and other office supplies, etc.

  3. Document how to maintain a fully operational and ready radio station at each location including clear labeling of all the ham equipment. All stations should have installed a 3 ring binder containing message forms, simplex frequency list, net control protocols, a crib sheet, operating manual, pencils, paper, ICS form 309, the KAROECHO Field Resources Operators Handbook, etc.

  4. Plan out how stations are to be maintained, including frequency of visits, maintenance record log, and what needs to be done when


  1. Facilitate building out the plan of physical network of radio stations, including relocating stations and portability needs as necessary

  2. Apply for or otherwise obtain funding to build out new portable and mobile radio capabilities

  3. Work with city officials to make sure qualified KARO-ECHO members can access radio stations

  4. Ensure that the maintenance plan is being followed

  5. Write and permanently install clear, complete, and concise laminated waterproof operating manuals at each location

Related Pages

Battery Emergency Power Operations

EMcomm Operators Go-Kit (Jumpkit)

Customized KARO/ECHO EMComm Operators Go-Kit based on types of assignments

The Four Types of Assignments Based on Radio Hardware and Levels of Skill (see the above KARO ECHO Go-Kit based on type of assignment).

KARO-ECHO Net Script

Net Operations and Procedures

KARO/ECHO How to Work a Directed Net Click here

The Role of a Message Center and Message Center Manager

Emergency Communications Field Operations Manual and Handbook (Karo-Echo) (Rev 4/2018)

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

ICS 309 Communications Log Form (PDF)

ICS-309 KE-ARES Fillable Log Form (MS Word)

ICS-213 (pdf) (fillable PDF) (Word)

ICS-213 Fillable. docx