Ridge Rally 2022

Ridge Rally 2022

This weekend, December 3rd, 2022, several members of the Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association will be donating their time and skills to assist with communications during the 2022 Ridge Rally. The event, this year, will be held in the Jawbone and Kelso Valley area.

As volunteers for this event, several of our members will be deployed along the rally course acting as “Start” radio, “Finish” radio, and “Marshal” or “Blockage” radio. Each job is important and each position could be miles from each other, Net Control, or their “Comms Captain”. Each role has different functions; i.e. responsibilities.

“Start Radio” announces the rally cars number as it begins its run. Keep in mind that each rally car is racing against the clock and not directly against each other. An example of Start Radio’s transmission would be: “Sequence 12, Car 55 started.” All positions would mark down the information and wait for the vehicle to pass their position.

The “Marshal” or “Blockage” radio has a couple roles to play. First would be to use their vehicle to “block” intersecting roads or trails so that traffic would not accidently get on the course. The Ridge Rally has a permit to close off the course and is announce to the local residents well in advance of the rally. Safety, of course, is priority #1. Having blocked the intersecting roads, the “Marshal” or “Blockage” radio then communicates to the “Net” as the rally car passes their location with the car number. An example of their transmission would be “Car x past Block y.” They then record the car number and the time in their log.

The “Finish Radio” announces the rally car numbers as they reach the “finish” area. An example of their communication would be “Car 55 finished”. They, of course, would log the time as well.

There is so much more to this exciting activity. These are just the basic roles assigned to the “Comms” team(s). We wish them “Gook Luck” and, of course, “Have Fun and Be Safe”! This years participating members are: Dick Brown (W6SLZ), Dan Mason (AB6DM), Valerie Mason (KK6WLQ), Dave Walter (WA5GUL), John Dyer (KM6DXY), and Joshua Dyer (KN6HWS).

On December 2nd, they will be holding a special “Spectator” stage at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. For more information on the event and participating as a “spectator” click on the following links:

“Gone Racing at the Ridge Rally”


Happy Thanksgiving!

From Our Families to Yours

The Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association, its members and families would like to take a moment to be “Thankful” for our successes this year, to be mindful of our shortcomings, but most of all to WISH ALL of our Families, Friends, Neighbors, Radio Contacts, and our Communities a

“Very Safe, Warm, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!”


“The Dummy Load”

“The Dummy Load” The Official Newsletter of the Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association (AC6EE)

Every month, thanks to the efforts of our 2nd Vice President and Newsletter Editor, Ray Gretlein (W6QPA), “The Dummy Load” newsletter gets published and emailed out to our members just before our General Meetings on the 2nd Thursday of every month. The November 2022 edition should be in your email by Thursday, November 10th. Didn’t get your copy? No problem. The newsletters are emailed out every month to our members. Please support the club and join our club/association. You can find information on joining by checking out our Membership page. Join now and you’ll start receiving the newsletter for the balance of this year and next year.

Not a member but would like to read the newsletter, no problem. You can find copies of the newsletters right here on our website. The available copies are delayed by one month, but you will have access to all the previous editions.

You can find them here—> Newsletters.

Finally, we would like to take a moment to thank Ray, W6QPA, for all his efforts in producing “The Dummy Load”. He was able to accomplish this monumental task with the help and support of his contributing writers, Dan Mason (AB6DM), Valerie Mason (KK6WLQ), Dick Brown (AB6DM), Phil Dolber (W6WBT), and Laura Sherrod (KI6EOG).


You WERE Ready to ShakeOut!


Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association

The Bear Valley Springs emergency Radio Team and the Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association’s “Great ShakeOut” event was a great success! Thank you to all our Participants!

A big “THANK YOU” to everyone that participated in “The Great ShakeOut” net yesterday. 15 members of our Team were able to check-in. The furthest being from the State of Washington via EchoLink. We also had guest 6 check-ins. We had check-ins from a former member of our community that happened to be passing through, as well as members of Kern County ARES, and finally, we had a check-in from the NASA Armstrong Amateur Radio Club (NA6SA)! Overall, we had representation from Bear Valley Springs (7), Country Oaks (2), Golden Hills (2), Tehachapi (2), Stallion Springs (2), Alpine Forest (1), Bakersfield (4) and NASA/Edwards AFB (1). Of the 21 check-ins, we had 14 that said they would be available to support the net in an emergency. Thank you again to all those that were able to participate. 73!

UPDATE: CAL-OES will be conducting an “Earthquake Simulator Tour” throughout California starting in Sacramento, tomorrow, October 12th. The tour then moves down to Menlo Park on the 13th, San Luis Obispo on the 17th and BAKERSFIELD on Tuesday, October 18th. CAL-OES will have their “Shake Truck” setup at the Bakersfield Fire Departments Station 1:

  • October 18 – Bakersfield
    • Location: Bakersfield Fire Department Station 1, 2101 H St., Bakersfield, CA 93301
    • Time: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

The tour will then continue on from Bakersfield to Los Angeles on the 19th and complete the tour in San Diego on October 20th.

The earthquake simulator provides users the opportunity to experience simulated shaking intensity, similar to that caused by magnitude 7.0 earthquakes. Visitors will have the opportunity to ride in the earthquake simulator as well as receive important earthquake preparedness information. For more information on how to practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” visit https://earthquake.ca.gov/.


With 330 million people living and working in the United States, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine how well we survive and recover. 

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills in October 2019 involved more than 66 million participants through broad-based outreach programs, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. The drill is held annually on the third Thursday of October. This year, International ShakeOut Day will be on October 20. 

A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared.  The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.

Not just any drill will accomplish this; it needs to be big.  It must inspire communities to come together.  It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event. We are all in this together.  

The 2022 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in world history. To participate, go to ShakeOut.org/register and pledge your family, school, business, or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and involve others. At the minimum practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” on the specified date, which is 10/20 this year. It is only a one-minute commitment for something that can save your life. 

For more information, visit ShakeOut.org.

The Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association and the Bear Valley Springs Emergency Radio Team (Valley-wide) will be conducting its annual Great ShakeOut Radio Net drill on Thursday, October 20th at 10:20 am (local). The net will be hosted on the W6SLZ 2m Repeater.

146.700(-)123.0 ToneW6SLZOpen MachineEmComm Backup 145.580 Simplex
W6SLZ 2-meter Repeater Information

Please join us as we practice, drill and get prepared for any natural or man-made disaster.


Remembering 9/11
For Those We Lost on 9/11, We Shall Not Forget.


Ham Radio JumpStart Program
QRZ and GigaParts Ham Radio JUMPSTART Program.

Just Got Your Technician License?

QRZ and GigaParts New Ham Jumpstart Program.

“QRZ.com and GigaParts are pleased to announce the QRZ New Ham Jumpstart, a program that will help new hams get on the air faster than ever. The program, which is jointly sponsored by QRZ and GigaParts, will provide a FREE, New Ham Welcome Package to eligible applicants. Among the goodies in the first edition of the Welcome Package, we are including a brand-new dual-band handheld transceiver, the Explorer QRZ-1, along with a host of other sponsor-supplied goodies.”

Watch this video from Eric, KJ4YZI – Ham Radio Concepts

Free Ham Radio Program
Free Ham Radio for New Technician Licensed Hams!

For more information check the links below. Registering for the QRZ.com website will be required, however, QRZ.com is a great website for all amateur radio operators.

New Ham JUMPSTART Program
Ham Radio JumpStart Program
QRZ and GigaParts – Ham Radio JUMPSTART Program.


Address Change
T.A.R.A. Mailing Address Change

T.A.R.A / AC6EE has a new Mailing Address

The rising cost of maintaining a U.S. Postal Service Post Office box in the City of Tehachapi has required us to review our mailing options. Fortunately, we found an option that will reduce our annual costs considerably. Our new mailing address is:

  • Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association
  • P.O. Box 134
  • Keene, CA 93561

All our other information remains the same. While the drive may be a little further to pickup our mail, we will utilize the Informed Delivery® by USPS® service to monitor our mail so that important mail and packages are not missed.


Western Kern County ARES

On the third Monday of the month the Western Kern County ARES team holds a propagation test for stations in the metropolitan Bakersfield area, using a simplex frequency.  Tomorrow, July 18th, we are asking Western Kern County ARES to operate with portable equipment, such as what they would be using in the event of an emergency, including radios, antennas and power sources.  The effort is intended to determine the effectiveness of simplex communication using direct communication with net control or using relay stations. 

We will have a station on 145.150, W6LIE repeater, taking check ins and reports from outlying areas.  The station located on the bluffs will be monitoring 147.480 simplex for check ins.  We will also have a station monitoring 144.225 SSB, for stations with that capability. 

Glen (WB8DTJ)


T.A.R.A. General Meeting
The Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month.

What is your favorite day of the month? We hope that it is the Second Thursday of every month. That is when members and visitors come together to meet and share during our monthly General Meeting(s). Join us on the Second Thursday of each month in the Tehachapi Police Departments Community Room. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm (1900 hours) and ends at 8:00 pm (2000 hours).

As mentioned earlier, the Public is welcome and bring a friend. If you are interested in radio, amateur radio or “Ham” radio we’re here to help answer any questions that you may have.

For maps and directions, click on the following link:

Physical Address: 220 West C Street, Tehachapi, CA 93561


We look forward to seeing you.


TARA Field Day 2022
Field Day 2022 at Brite Lake, Tehachapi, CA

2022 ARRL Field Day

The National Association for Amateur Radio is the ARRL or the American Radio Relay League. Last weekend, June 25th and 26th, we participated in the annual ARRL event called “Field Day”. Field Day is held annually on the last “full” weekend of June. This event gives amateur radio operators an opportunity to showcase their amateur radio skills to the public. In addition, participants may participate in an ARRL sponsored contest collecting points for the number of other amateur radio operators that they “contact” during the event as well as points for the type of equipment they use, where it is located, and how it is powered, etc.

Check out our Field Day photo album. If you have photos to contribute from our event, please feel free to send them to km6dxy@gmail.com

Field Day 2022 – Photo Album


Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association’s Field Day Event

Map/Location of the Event

GeoMap Coordinates and for fun use What3Words to find us!

ARRL Field Day Information Page

ARRL Field Day Locator


Do I Need a Raspberry Pi?


Our guest speaker during our monthly General Meeting last night was our very own, Ray Gretlein (W6QPA). If you missed the meeting, you missed a great presentation. Ray is our 2nd Vice President and the editor of our newsletter “The Dummy Load“. Ray has a lot of experience with the Raspberry Pi and shared his reasoning behind why getting one might be a good idea. Ray can certainly explain it better in his presentation slideshow below.

As a point of interest, it was discussed that later this year we may put together a workshop for building a VPN using the Raspberry Pi.



Yaesu FT-4X Dual Band Radio

Recommended First Radio

The Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association began amateur radio license testing in our community on July 10th, 2021. The program continues today and has become increasingly successful. To date 19 people have tested and, of those, 17 have passed. We have welcomed 10 Technicians to our community.

As we welcome our new Technician Class amateur radio operators one question goes unanswered. The questions is either not asked or, perhaps, not suggested. The question is simple, “What should I get for my first radio?”. The first answer might be “Well, that depends on your budget.” Let’s look at two answers to that question. First, what would you recommend as a first radio with a budget under $100 and, second, what would you recommend as a first radio where the budget is not a concern.

We have posed a similar question on Facebook. You’ll find the post here and a few responses. Starter / Beginner Radio

If you have a suggestion or recommendation, let us know.


FCC License Fee Increase Goes into Effect

FCC License Fee Increase – April 19th, 2022

The FCC license fee increase goes into effect on April 19th, 2022. Anyone looking to get their amateur radio license, upgrade their license, change their call sign to a new vanity call sign, or renew their license will now have to pay a $35 fee.

For administrative updates, such as changing your name, your mailing address or updating your email address will be exempt from the fee.

For those looking to get or upgrade their license, they will continue to pay the $15 examination fee. Upon passing their test the information will be submitted to the VEC for processing and then forwarded to the FCC. The FCC, upon approving the application will then send a link to the applicant for processing the $35 fee. This effectively raises the cost to get or upgrade one’s license to $50. That is a substantial increase in cost for the amateur radio community. A significant drop in applications for amateur radio licenses may very well be the result of this increase.

The GMRS community, on the other hand, will benefit from the fee structure change. The fee for a GMRS License, valid for the applicants immediate family, will drop from $70 to $35. The license will still be valid for 10 years. A surge in GMRS license applications is anticipated as potential applicants may very well have been waiting for this decrease in fees.

Groups such as CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams), “Neighborhood Radio Watch” teams, “Map Your Neighborhood” teams will certainly benefit from these changes. These are just a few of the great local programs available to help our communities during local emergencies or disasters.

Amateur Radio, however, remains to be a vital part of communications during emergencies and disasters. They backup and support emergency services at the city, county and state levels. The cost for the equipment necessary to provide emergency communications is substantial. Fee’s are not and can not be collected for those services. Amateur Radio operators are volunteers providing a service to the community and the government during such events. This fee increase must now be born by the operators providing their skills, expertise and equipment an increase of between 233% and 333%.

It just doesn’t feel right.

For more information please visit the ARRL.org website or, if you really want to strain your brain, visit the FCC’s post in the “Federal Register”.


“The Dummy Load” – The “Official” Newsletter of the Tehachapi Amateur Radio Association

The Dummy Load

Get Your Copy Today!

“The Dummy Load” club newsletter is available to all members. Each member receives a copy via email as part of their membership. If you would like to receive a copy, please join our organization. Every member counts. Send us a PM for more information about joining or visit us online at https://ac6ee.org/membership


Amateur radio is a popular technical hobby and volunteer public service that uses designated radio frequencies for non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communications.

For additional information regarding Amateur Radio visit the national association for amateur radio, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) at http://www.arrl.org

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