Users of the KB6MIP Repeaters

Historic Users

The calls below comprise the original users of the KB6MIP repeater when it went on the air in 1988 in Fullerton, California. All of these gentlemen were employed by the Hewlett Packard Company, and as such were part of the HPARA, the Hewlett Packard Amateur Radio Association, at the HP office in Fullerton. I see that most of these calls are still active, so I'm guessing the guys are still involved in ham radio, but since leaving HP in 1993 my contact with them has deteriorated to nothing. I guess most of them moved on to other bands, other repeaters, while I was trying to find a home for the 52.900 repeater. Even when it was on Sunset Ridge none of my former workmates used it, now that it is relatively low level in Yorba Linda hardly anyone uses it!

Do any of these call signs belong to you? If so, E-mail me and say hello!
It has been a long time ...



WA6FSF (now W6LX)

What images of the original users I have are at the Information and History page.


Some Current Users

Unfortunately, there are a very few regular users of the Yorba Linda repeater. For the most part I suspect that this is because six meters in general is under-utilized. There are repeaters scattered all over southern California, but with a couple of exceptions most of them are just there, waiting for something to happen on their inputs, quiet.

Back in the Sunset days my repeater was kind of a haven for industrial strength hams. Those are the kind of guys who don't bother with the "everybody's got one" out-of-the-box stuff, no shirt pocket handy talkies for them. They operated commercial mobile equipment, typically stuff they had purchased at a swap meet and modified themselves to work in six meters FM. If they had a base station it was probably some piece of converted commercial gear as well. These were the "old dogs", who got into six FM before you could easily find and purchase an "out-of-the-box" transceiver for six. They sort of had to make their own stuff as they went along. More than a few of them built and operated repeater systems as well. These guys usually spent inordinate amounts of money and labor time to maintain a presence in six meters FM.

Unfortunately, since limiting the coverage area of 52.900 to Orange County by moving to the Yorba Linda site, a lot of my old buddies aren't able to get into the repeater any more. They live in odd places like Sylmar, and Riverside, places my repeater can't see. Too, with the abundance of repeaters on six meters in southern California now, it seems that no matter where you live you can find at least one nearby. There's no motivation for people in the "fringe" of my repeater's coverage area to try harder to gain access. They can tune around and find a repeater close to them (my directory is a handy tool for finding one). Not like the old days when there was only a handful of six meter repeaters in all the southern California area. I used to hang out on the WB6CHI repeater on Castro Peak years ago because it was the only one I could access with my old Motorola MOTRAC.

Nowadays there are very few of us left from the Sunset era. But there are a few local folk here in the Orange County area who have discovered and seem to be enjoying the machine, and I'm thankful for that. Nothing warms the heart of the trustee of an open machine more than to hear new voices come up on the air, and to make new friends with the owners of those voices.

But there's a couple of the old dogs left...


Bruce, KF6CQT

Bruce, KF6CQT

Bruce is a friend of mine as well as a coworker. He lives near the repeater site in the city of Brea. Bruce is the resident antenna system guru, he always seems to be experimenting with something or other on HF. As his work schedule and mine are the same, he's sometimes hard to find during the work week, but I hear him ID now and then over the weekends and engage him in conversation whenever I can. Bruce is the system control operator in my absence.

Bruce and I have invested a lot of our time and not a little bit of the company's money in building up a communications center at our place of work. While not much by public safety standards, it gets the job done for us, and has allowed us to spend a lot of time working with and learning about a lot of different technologies, some of which we have incorporated into the Yorba Linda repeater.


Jim, N6DHZ

Jim, N6DHZ

I've known Jim for a lot of years. I seem to recall meeting him well before there was a KB6MIP repeater, out at the TRW swap meet. He's as permanent a fixture on the KB6MIP repeater as any of us, and I can almost always find him on the air during the morning and evening commute times. (I'll bet he wishes he could say the same of me!) Jim is a major player in the N6CRG repeater on 224.120 in the Whittier Hills, and also maintains a strong presence on the SARS UHF system. He's another HF nut, more rabid I think than Bruce is. His wife claims he spends way too much time hanging out with the Southern California DX Club, which may in fact be true. But hey, at least he talks to me on the Yorba Linda repeater while he's on his way to the club meetings!



Hersh, KD6IJL

Hersh is once again a growing presence on the Yorba Linda repeater. Living very near the repeater site, across the 91 Freeway in Anaheim Hills, he can get full quieting signals into the repeater's receiver with a handful of watts from a handy talkie, something most of us cannot do. Hersh was gone for a while, having moved to Utah in 2006, but returned to us in early 2008. He claims the winter weather motivated his return, but I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that there are only two six meter repeaters in the state of Utah, and that he got bored talking to a courtesy beep.

Hersh and Bruce and Jim and I used to regularly met for coffee, and hopefully those little gatherings will start up again now that he's back.



Fred, KC6UEB

My father Fred, KC6UEB, lives very near us in Orange County, having recently moved here from the San Gabriel Valley. He's not much on talking these days, but his license is still active.



There have been others that used to hang out on the system:



My history in ham radio is intertwined with Pat's and my friendship with him, and goes back over twenty five years. He and I built repeaters together back in the eighties (his is still alive and well on 52.800 in the Santa Ana Mountains), and experimented with many different types of equipment and systems. We shared common employment for ten of those years, and stayed in touch on a regular basis for all the time following the professional parting of company.

Pat went home to the Lord in April of 2007. We miss him very much.



Kevin, KC6FLG

Before he moved from Orange County to the Inland Empire Kevin KC6FLG used to be a daily participant. Kevin is the trustee of the 53.540 repeater on Mount Wilson and is employed by a major broadcast company as an engineer. While his commute no longer takes him into Orange County, he occasionally checks in to the Yorba Linda repeater from up in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Kevin is also the trustee or technical support for a number of other repeaters in southern California.



There used to be a small group of regular users that I heard quite often on the Yorba Linda repeater. At my invitation these folks made Yorba Linda one of their regular hang-outs. Among these folks was Bert WA6ZRP, and Joyce KD6HYO. There are others whose calls I can't remember just this minute, but they were all affiliated with the "Church" two meter repeater (WB6NLU) in Fountain Valley on 145.420 MHz, CTCSS 136.5 Hz. I haven't heard any of them on six meters in quite some time, and wonder where they went. I miss hearing them.



A few of us who hang out on 52.900 are somehow involved in some way with radio system construction, deployment, servicing, or operation. So if you're looking for some plain english conversation about real world RF issues, come join us. In addition to discussing all facets of two-way radio, we have also been know to discourse at length about railroading, aviation, public safety, off road vehicles, firearms, and (if we're really feeling brave...) the ladies.

While I've heard it called "The Magic Band", I don't think there's anything magic about six FM. If you've got the proper equipment and skill set to make it work for you, six meters is a very reliable communications medium. Do yourself a favor if you're going to play repeater builder, though: Part 90 / 88 compliant commercial gear, professionally engineered and deployed systems all the way. You can do it yourself, there's no mystery to it, just don't cut corners and don't use amateur grade equipment to build repeaters with. Save yourself some heartache. Need some help getting started? Check out my tech page, E-mail me, or get on the repeater and ask us!

Likewise as a user, a five watt handy talkie connected to a quarter wave antenna on a magnetic mount probably won't get you the action you desire. I have found that five watt commercial handy talkies aren't much good on our company channels in the 40 MHz band either. Five watts just doesn't get you very far unless you've got a high-gain antenna system, which most mobiles and portables don't. So get yourself a good commercial grade mobile radio and antenna system. Swap meets are a good source for these things. Or, maybe we can help you out ourselves. Some of us may have old commercial stuff laying about in our garages, ask us about it.

As an example my current mobile installation, shown below, consists of a Kenwood TK-630 VHF low band "trunk mount" system, a Kenwood TK-7180 VHF high band mobile, and a Kenwood TK-8180 UHF mobile. The low band Kenwood TK-630 has a 100 watt transmitter, the VHF and UHF radios have 30 watt transmitters and are narrow-band compliant. In addition to ham radio these transceivers also work on company VHF lo band and UHF channels, and I use the VHF high band radio for rail, local government, fire suppression, forestry, and park service operations.

For antenna systems I use the following: the low band system feeds an Antenna Specialists AP-4050 on-glass low band antenna, the VHF radio feeds an Maxrad AP152.3 wide band on glass VHF high band antenna, and the UHF radio feeds an Maxrad AP454.3 on-glass UHF antenna. I won't say these are the best antennas for the job, in retrospect I think a genuine roof mount would have given superior service, but when my truck was new I couldn't abide the thought of drilling holes in it. The glass mounts work OK, but I know I'd get better service with some roof mounts like the Laird C47 low band antenna and the Laird B4505C UHF antenna, both of which are widely used in the fleet I maintain, and the series of Laird wide band VHF antennas similar to their CW1503.


Don't get me wrong, out-of-the-box stuff for amateur radio six meter FM operations is easy to find now, and works quite well. There are many good radios and antenna systems available in the 50 MHz Part 97 market these days. Still, there's a certain satisfaction in making a machine work in some band other than that which it was designed for, and making it work there at least as well as it was designed to work in it's specified band. But whichever way you choose to go, get active on six! Stop by the Yorba Linda repeater and say hello!



Page last updated 24 January 2010

Back to the Main Page