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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