Welcome to No1PC

Your source for solid technical information!


I grew up with amateur radio and some of the best mentors from military electronics and radio training, Univ of Wisc engineering, local broadcast and commercial radio backgrounds. Attending local Field Day activities since I was 5 to weekly trips to the ham/electronics store with my Dad, radio got into my blood through immersion and 'osmosis'.

Of course electronics class was my favorite course in high school, and due to the numbers of old commercial radios I was converting to 2M FM for the local hams I simply had to get my license at 14. That led to building my first repeater at 16, and becoming the site and shop engineering for our local paging/mobile phone company at 17. I've since worked in medical and scientific instrumentation, volunteered to provide techinical/tactical support for public safety, grew two multi-site linked UHF repeater systems in Northern California, got into HF.

It's obvious that "ham radio" pointed me in the direction of a long-term and varied technical career. I now work in 'I.T.' after publishing 7 books covering PC troubleshooting, wireless networking and technical hacks. Sharing, facilitating and leveraging information resources seems to be a good thing.

Since "shop class" is a thing of the past, and 'Maker' events are mostly focused on Arduino, robots and i-devices, it became obvious there are few places for the "average person" to learn and really practice electronics except amateur radio.

This site is intended to collect and present a wide-variety of information for the benefit of amateur radio - technical reference information from solid amateur and commercial sources, best-practice, how electronics and RF work, 'instructables' and practical examples. I am not an engineer, I do not attempt to theorize or challenge or improve on much less change science. My sources/references, as all in technology should be, are science/physics, other engineers, measurements, practical experience, and best practice.

Enjoy the site, the infrequent blog entries, the photo gallery which captures various projects and tests, and join us with questions and discussion at the Amateur Radio Elmers group on Facebook!

Best 73 ! de Jim, No1PC

Site Content


Amateur Radio Topics

Amateur Radio Elmers on Facebook

Links to Electronics Training Resources

Photo Album

Repeater sites, coverage maps, antenna tests, mobiles, station pics...

California Hands-Free Law - CVC 23123.5

Notes, lessons being learned, and links about the new law effective 1/1/2017 and the initiative to correct ambiguities - other states beware!

The NO1PC Blog

Bio / CV

*THE* W6CBS Bloody Mary Recipe

'BARF' and CalNet


One of the things I've spent most of my radio-time with in the past 20+ years is a system of UHF repeaters in the San Francisco Bay Area. I inherited one of the 'BARF' (Bay Area Repeater Friends/Fellowship) systems - 443.750 from it's originator - Jim O, WB6NNY. We're led to believe it was the 3rd UHF system in Northern California, and among those some of the first in the nation.

After some time dabbling with a couple of other linked systems we merged things with the local CalNet group and began inter-connecting and expanding.

The integrated BARF-CalNet system consists of 7 sites, of which 6 are currently active:

  • Mt. Vaca - inactive - 443.750
  • Sutro - SF - 441.025
  • Mt. Diablo - 440.775
  • Grizzly Peak - 442.725
  • Mt. Umunhum - 443.750
  • Campbell - 442.175
  • Livermore - tbd
Currently all of the sites are analog-FM/RF-linked, and we join the rest of the CalNet system by link to their system at Meadow Lakes. From there we have reach into most of Southern California. We, like many, seem to lack/are challenged by site availability, to cover as much of the Coast and the Hwy 101 corridor as we would like.

We are integrating Asterisk-based AllStarLink nodes at a couple of sites to augment the RF links and provide for "worm hole" connections to friends in Texas and for remote access. If you're a visitor/tourist from another part of the country/world and would like to connect back home... give us a holler.

AllStar also provides opportunities for temporary 'cousin' systems in other areas to connect expanding/extending the system which can be beneficial for a variety of event, travel and emergency situations.

Most/all of BARF/CalNet is available to support emergency communications needs - that is a priority and why I've been determined to keep at least one system functioning somewhere to dilute the "single-point-of-failure" many groups face in their communications planning.

We welcome interested users, tower climbers, radio techs, those who want more experience and skills in such systems, visitors, etc. We haven't required financial contributions to support all of this but certainly welcome them!

Please help support our Bay Area Repeaters!

Updated 23-Dec-16. All NO1PC.ORG & NO1PC.US content material - 2014, 2015, 2016: Jim Aspinwall
All other material copyright of the respective owner(s).

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