Graphics skills needed

I am looking for someone with skills manipulating graphic images.  Please let me (Darrel) know (by commenting here or via email) if you have the time, tools, and skills to do this.  I suspect PhotoShop is the best tool for the job.

The logo for the Madhatters 4×4 Club has changed over the years.  It is time to change it again.  I would like someone to take logo #1 (top=MADHATTERS 4×4 CLUB, bottom=CALIFORNIA) and change the bottom writing to NORTHERN CALIFORNIA as is seen in logo #2 (top=4×4 MADHATTERS, bottom=NORTHERN CALIFORNIA).  The jaggies-free result needs to be produced in various resolutions such as large, medium, and small.


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Offroad & Overland Amateur Radio Net

Aaron Vogel, W6TDR, has started a ham radio net specifically for 4×4 folks of all interests.  It is a low stress and fun way to get familiar with your ham radio, learn to program a repeater into your radio, practice using a repeater, and converse with like-minded off-roaders.  Full details are posted on Expedition Portal.  Aaron’s introduction of the newly created net follows below.

The net happens every Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. on the W6SRR repeater: 147.045+ 94.8 NFM.  The W6SRR repeater sits on the summit of Sunol Ridge and is easily reachable using a handheld radio from many East Bay locations including my home in Pleasanton.

If you need help programming your radio for this repeater then post a comment here or email me (Darrel) and include your radio brand and model.  I’ll help you get the repeater setup in your radio so you can join the net.  If you have my ham radio programming then you already have this repeater in your radio; it is the entry named SUNOL2.


————————————  Aaron’s Introduction  ————————————

I wanted to share our newly created ham radio net information with you in the hopes that some of your members might care to join us. The net is specifically for 4×4 folks of all interests.

I saw on the clubs page that you’re advocates of ham radio use in rigs. I’m of the same mind and have been advocating with my own little group that ham radio is a better way to communicate for 4-wheelers. What I saw, though, was a lack of anywhere to practice off the trail. There’s plenty of repeaters around the bay area, but without a reason to get on them I couldn’t convince anyone to actually use their radios, or even get their license in the first place.

So, that’s why I’ve started this net. I’m trying to promote with various clubs in the area/region to grown attendance – after all, what’s a net worth without people to talk to?

I’d love it if some of your members would join us, and I’d love to have them promote your club specifically if they’d like to make calendar, advocacy or trail info announcements during the net. Hopefully it could be a win-win for everyone.

All the details are here on Expedition Portal.  Basically every Weds. at 7:30pm on W6SRR 147.045+ 94.8 PL NFM.

The repeater I’ve chosen should cover the better part of the Bay Area as well as over to Livermore and even out to Stockton and the valley. It’s also an IRLP node, so if anyone outside the coverage area has access to an IRLP station they can dial in.

Hope to hear you on!
Aaron Vogel
aaron.vogel <at>

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2017 run schedule set

At the October meeting, we actually managed to plan ahead for 2017 and get the schedule mapped out. There are a few runs that still need an assistant trail boss and the fall runs (Oct & Nov) need trail bosses. The Thanksgiving week desert run to Calico will need one or more trail bosses depending on the # of folks who are planning to come down.

The 2017 calendar is here:

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Run schedule ideas for 2017

Schedule proposals for 2017 – all runs need a trail boss and an assistant. Ratings 1 (graded dirt road) to 10 (extreme rock crawling):

January 13-15 – Winter Fun Fest – Grass Valley – snow run on sunday, various other options for folks Fri/Sat, raffle duty on Saturday (nite) – Trail runs vary from 3 (rough roads passable by SUVs) to 7 (deep snow)
February 3-11 – King of the Hammers, Johnson Valley – Off-Road Racing events plus trail runs from 3 to 10 rating

February 17-19 – Cal4 Convention – Visalia

February ?? – Snow run? Uncle Tom’s Cabin? (4-7 rating depending on snow)

March – Snow run? Boards Crossing? Yuba Gap? (4-7 rating depending on snow)

March 11 – Black Tie & Boots (fundraiser for the Rubicon)

April – need suggestions – Lost Coast, Rye Patch, historic run thru the mining districts in the foothills? (Ratings from 1-3)

April 28-30 – MTA4x4’s 41th Annual Mud-N-Yer Eye Frolic @Hollister Hills (ratings from 1 to 8 depending on obstacles/trails)
May – Ladies Run – Bear Valley loop (Rating 4-5) ? somewhere else?

May (tbd dates) – Cal4Wheel – Molina Ghost Run @Hollister Hills  (ratings from 1 to 8 depending on obstacles/trails)
May 26-29 – Cal4Wheel – High Desert Roundup – Stoddard Valley (Barstow)
May (tbd dates) – Cal4Wheel – Mojave Road Run
June  2-4 – Rubicon (rating 7)
June 10 – Livermore Rodeo Parade ?
July – need suggestions – Niagara Rim, Swamp Lake? Dusy? Bodie? Hellhole? High Lakes region?
Aug 10-13 – Sierra Trek (rating 8-10 for Fordyce, 2-6 for other trails)
Sept 1-4 – Cal4Wheel – High Sierra Poker Run- Swamp Lake
Sept 2-3 – Cantina for the Con
Sept 15-17 – Club Picnic ? Deer Valley (rating 5)? Gold Lake (rating 4-5)?  Signal Peak (rating 5-6)? Barney-Riley (3-4)?
Sept 29-Oct 1 – Barrett Lake (rating 7)?
Oct 13-15 – Slick Rock (rating 5-6)?
Oct 13-14 – Cal4Wheel – Operation Desert Fun _ Octotillo Wells
Nov 10-12 – Cal4Wheel – Panamint Valley Days
Nov (Thanksgiving week?) – Panamint? Calico? Death Valley/Tecopa Hot Springs?
Please also consider tossing out other suggestions for trails – also, there is nothing saying we can’t have more than 1 run in a month – we just need folks to volunteer to lead them. It would be great to get a mix of new(er) runs this next year in addition to our usual runs (Rubicon, Fordyce, etc). Particularly would be good for folks to suggest runs that are applicable to newer drivers/less equipped rigs.
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Slick Rock

I was still planning on running slick rock on Saturday. However due to reports of heavy rain and extremely high winds, canceling or postponing this run is an option. If anyone still wants to make this run for tomorrow let me know.

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October 2016 club roster posted

The latest Madhatters club roster has been updated with our new members and latest changes.  The roster is available in both PDF and XLS formats.  Please let me know if you have changes for your entry (address, email, phones, rig picture, ham info, rig mods, etc).

Find the updated roster in the Madhatters web site’s Members section.  Sign in using your Madhatter web site credentials.  If you don’t remember your credentials then send Art or Darrel an email and one of us will get you setup.

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Meeting audio and notes from September 2016 meeting

Audio download:


Notes to come shortly

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Meeting audio and notes from August 2016 meeting

Audio download:


Notes to come shortly

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Meeting audio & minutes of the July 2016 meeting

July 26, 2016

Audio download:

Guests: Wes McBride – TJ with Rubicon Express lift, 35s, etc

Treasurers report: Overall balance: $1,976.10

Swamp Lake report – July 15-17

  • 5 rigs – Dennis, Larry, Phil, Darrel, Gary
  • Minor carnage, a few obnoxious folks in ‘yotas.
  • Lots of mosquitos
  • No good boner worthy events

Fordyce AAT sign install / cleanup run – July 7-10

  •  Art, John, Rene, Josh, Mark, Sal, Chris, Mike
  • Friends of Fordyce: Jeff Degnan, Bret Preble
  • Art’s buddies from SoCal
  • Got up to Cisco Grove Thurs evening, SoCal guys had done Signal Peak & WH1-WH2 – already a bunch of stuff broke amongst them
  • Headed up Committee to WH3 on Friday
  • At WH3, Mark tried the steep wall line and rolled off it – insuring he won the Lifetime Boner award :-). We spent about an hour cleaning it up – went thru 3 spill kits.
  • Mark tried to power his way up with his new LS3 engine, but it was a physics/geometry issue, not a HP issue
  • Mark limped back to camp with the SoCal guys, Art, Mike, and Mike White (SoCal) went up to Meadow and back thru Truckee.
  • Saturday we got the sign installed and headed back up to WH3 and cleared some trees / branches along the way, cleaned up some trash up to WH3. After playing around there for awhile, we headed back to camp. Art allegedly flopped in a bit of a v-notch on the way committee, but there were no pictures.
  • WH4-WH5-Meadow was pretty clean – no trash and the condition was pretty good. Our trail work from last year has held up well.

Mark & Danielle are moving to TN – Danielle got reassigned and they are moving in a few weeks. They carry with them the Boner award as a parting gift.

Boner Award

  • No nominations from Swamp Lake
  • Rene nominated Mark for ‘being a dumbass’ 🙂 on WH3. He gets the Perma-Boner award.

Fordyce AAT work coming up in October

  • Forest service looking to get with FoF and the AAT clubs to help re-route a section near the Carlisle Mine area. More info to come.

Rubicon AAT work

  • waiting to see how the rains are this summer to determine what additional work is required for this year

Sierra Trek

  • Deadline for registration is July 28
  • Running the whole trail Thursday morning, staying at Jones’ cabin Weds nite – will be getting out in front of the crowd again to take video
  • Running the raffle again
  • Additional runs available – whole trail Friday, River Run Fri & Saturday, ATV run, Outer Limits (Bear Valley loop) and Historic Run.
  • Art & Rene & Dave Jones going up weekend before to set up tents, help with main camp setup. Craig/Carol/Steph going up Monday, Dennis going up Tues, the rest of folks are expected Weds-Fri.

Picnic run

  • Need trail run selected (Deer Valley won’t be available), and a trail boss
  • Barney-Riley, Gold Lake, Niagara Rim were suggested
  • Sept 9-11 -> Niagara Rim – Tom Kroll will be Trailboss

Barrett Lake

  • John can’t make the original date of the run
  • Vote was taken to move the date up 1 week to Sept 23-25

October run – Slick Rock – Chris G. Trailboss

  • more info by the Sept meeting


  • Art is heading to Panamint Valley Days (Nov 11-13) and leading a couple trails (Cummins Cutoff-Defense Mine on Friday , Isham Canyon on Saturday)
  • Panamint is great in November – nice days – not face melting hot
  • Trail vary from mild up to Hammers level (Isham Canyon)

Ham radio General exam coming up – hosted by Livermore Amateur Radio Club

Christmas party – still need venue and folks to lead it up.

  • Alternative to someones house may be to reserve a local restaurant

Upcoming elections in December – taking nominations for all officers

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Rubicon AAT

Craig 9-27-16carol 9-27-16

Hi Gang,

Don’t worry I’m not asking for help. Carol & I went out yesterday and placed site markers, we also cleaned out 7 buckets of silt so our AAT duties are done this year. That being said my 2016 work crew has only been John, Art, Carol and myself twice. I was just wondering how many of you brag to your friends about having AAT’s @ Rubicon & Fordyce ? How about the club doing the raffle @ Winter Fun, Sierra Trek and Cal 4 Convention? Who’s been a trail boss or an assistant trail boss. Who’s hosted a Christmas party or a picnic? Dale said to me that I’m retired, which is true. that’s why I help the RTF &FOTR. But before I retired I did all of the above serveral times in the last 37 years. I’m just saying we are all in this club together, we need to share the work load. That’s why we keep losing our Presidents, they get too little support. So next time someone asks you to help and you can make the time, HELP!! Don’t just raise your hand in a meeting because you’re embarrassed and then bail out. Everyone knows who helps and who doesn’t . So if you’re getting a little butt hurt reading this you need to change how much you help your fellow club members. Don’t shoot the messenger . If you’re mad at me, oh well I’ll get over it.

See ya on the trail,


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