The Bay Area is blessed with a ton of amateur radio operators, repeaters, gateways, and high points for antennas. Keeping up with it all and programming (and reprogramming) your radios is part of the fun and challenge for many.
The easiest place to start is centralized directories and services like RFinder and RepeaterBook. The Repeater Book California Quick Search page will let you identify repeaters by modes and bands served. You’ll find that most programming software interfaces with these services to make programming frequencies relatively quick and painless.
Local clubs almost always run their own repeater networks – or at least a single repeater. You can also check with local repeater coordination bodies like the Northern Amateur Relay Council of California (NARCC). Their 2 Meter and 70 cm band plan charts are really useful.
The Bay Area is also blessed with access to repeater networks that span the globe thanks to internet gateways like IRLP, EchoLink, and WIRES-X. It’s not uncommon to hear Australians or hams in remote parts of Alaska on local repeaters thanks to this. Some of the more popular include:
- The WIN System: The WIN System operates a series of over 100 linked repeaters which cover a great deal of the US and many other countries around the world.
- Calnet: The Calnet system consists of numerous full-time linked 440 MHz repeaters connecting San Diego to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. They have 440 MHz coverage in the areas of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Imperial, Riverside, San Diego, Kern, Ventura, Fresno, San Joaquin, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Cruz , Santa Clara, Placer, El Dorado, Washoe, Carson City and Douglas counties.
- NorCal BrandMeister Network: Comprised of many independently owned and operated DMR repeaters, located from as far south as San Luis Obispo to Chico in the north. Using the network, a user can obtain coverage throughout most of the San Joaquin Valley and much of California’s major metropolitan areas.
Exploring different open repeaters and networks (they all seem to have their own unique personalities and protocols) is fun for many. Whether you find a “home” repeater where you establish friends and spend most of your time or hop from place to place is up to you. Either way you have a huge number of options in the Bay Area. The following links point directly to repeater pages or frequencies for local clubs:
- Palo Alto Amateur Radio Association (PAARA)
- Foothills Amateur Radio Society (FARS)
- Contra Costa Repeater Association (CCRA)
- Bay-Net Amateur Radio Club (WW6BAY)
- System Fusion 444.425 MHz + PL 127.3
- West Valley Amateur Radio Club (WVARC)
- C.A.R.L.A. (K6LNK)
- Northern California DX Club (NCDXC)
- Salinas Valley Repeater Group (SVRG)
- Loma Pioneer Repeater Club (LPRC)
- The San Francisco Radio Club (SFARC)
- Santa Clara County Amateur Radio Association (SCCARA)
- Santa Clara Valley Repeater Society (SCVRS)
- South Bay Amateur Radio Association (SBARA)
- North Bay Amateur Radio Association (NBARA)
- Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club (MDARC)
- Livermore Amateur Radio Klub (LARK)
- San Mateo Radio Club (W6UQ)
- Hayward Radio Club (HRC)
- N6ICW Repeater System
- WB6ECE Repeater Group
Please note that this is not, nor is it intended to be, a comprehensive resource. That’s an impossible task. If you’d like to have your repeater or network added here please email KN6DAF @ Gmail.com.