This is a short history of the N6IJ Station and the Monterey Bay Amateur Radio Association (MBARA). If you have any additions or corrections to the N6IJ history or the history of the Ft. Ord MARS station please let us know. Any historical photos would especially be appreciated.

N6IJ came into existence in a quite different form than you see it today. Originally it was the Ft. Ord Stockade! It's guard towers and barbed wire are gone now but the main building still stands and these days no one minds doing time inside it's walls!

After it's retirement from penal duties, the N6IJ site became the Ft. Ord MARS (Military Affiliate Radio Station) facility. It spent quite a while in this role and acquired several massive antennas for it's operations. It was these antennas that would spark the interest of the amateur community and issue in the next phase of the station's existence.

During Ft. Ord's decommissioning and return to civilian hands, the 17 element LPDA on the old MARS site caught the attention of several local hams, who had overheard Tom, K6LY, lamenting that the antenna was slated to be scrapped during the base closure process. Not wanting such an exceptional piece of hardware to go to waste, they inquired as to how it could be saved.  An ally was found in the City of Marina, who agreed to pitch in to help save the site. Not only the LPDA but all of the other antennas, poles, buildings and indeed the whole top of the hill were donated to the City of Marina for amateur use! Soon after that the Monterey Bay Amateur Radio Association (MBARA Inc.) was formed and acquired the N6IJ call sign for the facility and operations began.  MBARA has a formal relationship with the City of Marina, chartering MBARA with the management and maintenance of the N6IJ facility for the benefit of the citizens of Marina and amateurs from throughout the Monterey Bay area and beyond. 

In early 2003 a new MBARA board of directors was formed.  MBARA board members include local hams from the Monterey Bay area and representatives from the Monterey Naval Post Graduate School Amateur Radio Club, The Santa Cruz County Radio Club and the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC).   (List of MBARA Directors)  We are currently focused on cleaning up the main shack building at N6IJ (see news), updating and adding to our antenna system, and growing the N6IJ general membership. N6IJ and MBARA should be an exciting place to be this year! (Pictures page)

MBARA has membership from throughout the Monterey Bay area and northern California. We are dedicated to all aspects of Amateur radio and we are currently focused on creating the premier HF and VHF radio experimentation, operating, DX'ing and contesting station in the Monterey Bay area at N6IJ.   Our goal is to be a resource for the local ham clubs and for hams both in the Monterey Bay area and outside it. The N6IJ site serves as a wonderful location for casual operating, experimentation with antennas and radios and as a excellent emergency communications and education resource.  

Membership is open to all hams, regardless of location. Membership is $25.00 per year for regular members, $15.00 for full time students and $5.00 for hams under the age of 16.   Membership Application form

Many other people have donated time, labor and equipment to the N6IJ project. There is still much to do and the future of MBARA and N6IJ is still being shaped. If you would like to help out, please let us know!

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Site updated 01JAN2014
2010 - 2014 George Badger
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