ARTICLE/ LINKS. From local HAM Radio Operator, Lee Copeland.
Our awareness of the C.A.R.L.A. repeater system is a case of pure Serendipity. Within the span of one week, three HMB HAMs became aware of the CARLA system. Two of us were discussing it over the TOW repeater. Mike Herbert (WB6JKV) popped into our conversation saying he did a lot of the rework on the CARLA transmitter up on Montara Mountain right next to the TOW repeater. He is the current moderator for that repeater. I wrote an email to him asking if our club could use it for Club Nets and event traffic. He replied we could at no charge. Mike does a lot of technical work with the major networks.
There is a Web site detailing the CARLA system at: www.carlaradio.net. The system links repeaters up and down California and parts of Western Nevada. Each repeater has two PL Tones. Using one tone will give you access to just the local repeater while using another tone will connect your transmission to all repeaters on the system. Our plan is to use the local PL Tone as our new CMD11 repeater for Branch 1 and 2 (Montara to Frenchmans Creek to Tunitas Creek). The terrific bonus is that it offers coverage of Montara and Moss Beach. In fact, it works well down to Tunitas Creek.
I have been working to work out a HAM connection between the various airports used by the DART (Disaster Airport Relief Team) pilots. The HAM working the Watsonville airport suggested we use the system-wide capabilities of CARLA to pass traffic between airports.
CARLA System 32 has the same coverage as the TOW repeater.
CARLA System 7 covers much of the south bay and San Jose.
CARLA System 10 looks over the coast from Monterey north to Santa Cruz.
See how far it reaches?!
Literally, the missing link for Coastside HAM communication.
Check over http://www.carlaradio.net/
In our search for connections between the various airports we found another linked repeater system in Felton (http://www.wb6ece.org/). It has towers above La Honda and in the hills down to Monterey. In fact it has a better signal between Watsonville and HMB airport. Problem is it does not offer much coverage to other key airports. I will add it to the bottom of our list as a resource connection to Santa Clara County.
I have no idea how the route to the repeater would be affected by the recent closures up on Montara Mountain. I don’t know if KHMB has a chance to get up there or not? Given the difficulties the Pacifica Club is having replacing the TOW repeater, I doubt it.
The club has pitched in to support our Pilot’s Association’s DART program. This is a plan to use general aviation aircraft to provide emergency transport to the coastside in the event of a major disaster. This effort is patterned off of the airlift efforts to maintain delivery of essential supplies and staff going to Watsonville during the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake. Roads to Watsonville were cut off for days as a result of that quake. The local pilots in Watsonville and San Martin pitched in to ferry essential goods and people until normal lines of transport could be restored.
This repeater covers the entire area of Branches 1 and 2. This solves our dilemma for providing a radio link to the designated Shelter site at Farallone School. It also offers good coverage of the Montara and Moss Beach communities.
Long shot from Google Earth. There is a lot of land out there.
September 2019 Changes to the Coast Side HAM Radio Band Plan
This is an index of the changes to be entered into your radio’s memory.Announcing Changes to the Coastside Band Plan
San Mateo County Coast Side Coordinated Amateur Radio Response PlanCoast Side HAM Band Plan 2019-09-10
September 2019 Revision of the Coast Side HAM Radio Band Plan
CMD11 is now the Band Plan name for the CARLA System 32 Repeater co-located with the
146.925 (TOW) repeater on top of Montara Mountain.
More Coastside Disaster Prep
HAM Radio Technician License Videos ~ Start Learning Today
FRS/GMRS Radio (WalkieTalkies) Basic Training ~ Learn How to Communicate in a Disaster, Part 1