Chapter One: Introduction
Amateur Radio can be proud of its technical accomplishments. Throughout the history of the radio art, amateurs have continually made significant contributions to its development. And today, even in our "high-tech" world, there are still fine opportunities for amateurs to make a difference. ARRL Technical Coordinators play an important role in fostering this technical growth. TCs help individuals and clubs realize their potential in the technical arena through example, in-person presentations, newsletters and other means.
Digital transmission is just one area that is becoming popular in amateur activities. Hams are using special binary codes for radio and video communications, control of amateur stations and models, transfer of computer programs or direct computer-to-computer communications, and communications in various types of data networks including packet-radio systems. The Electronic Information Age has arrived for Amateur Radio.
This Technical Coordinator Manual is intended to help Coordinators acquire, develop and refine the skills necessary to function effectively to teach and promote the technical advancements of Amateur Radio. The Manual will also help those individuals seeking advice by giving them guidelines, procedures and suggestions for handling technical programs, curing RFI, and working with people. In short, the Manual is meant to improve the TC or TS, to get individuals the necessary advice, or to assist others in handling technical information.
On the other hand, the Technical Coordinator Manual cannot anticipate every technical interest, problem or program that will be encountered. But it will provide information needed to perform appropriately, to improve solutions and to adapt ideas for your own situations. At times the TC or TS must work with section colleagues in the ARRL Field Organization to solve specific problems and, when appropriate, ask for administrative support from the Section Manager or ARRL Headquarters. Technical knowledge and experience must be shared for the benefit of all. The Technical Coordinator Manual is an important step in the sharing process. The final result depends on you.
The role as a Technical Coordinator or Technical Specialist is important, not only for the amateurs and aspiring amateurs in your section, but also to help continue technical advancements to ensure the future of Amateur Radio. Some individuals you work with may eventually use their experience in Amateur Radio to pursue a career in electronics. Your programs may encourage others to carry the capabilities of amateur communications distances far beyond section boundaries and into eras past our lifetimes.
It takes a special person, a radio amateur with a strong desire to share technical information with others, to volunteer as a TC or TS. (Since the duties of the TC and TS are closely associated or overlapping, nearly all of the information in this Manual is applicable to both TC and TS, even though only TC may be mentioned.) A truly effective TC, however, combines this desire with the ability to follow through and achieve favorable results. By appointing you, your Section Manager has expressed implicit confidence in your abilities and your commitment to help. The ARRL Technical Organization programs work best when we all work together. The League congratulates you for accepting your appointment and wishes you success in this important endeavor. Reach, extend yourself and do the very best you can.
Information for the TC Manual was gathered not only from various ARRL publications which mentioned TC and TS, articles printed in the ARRL Letter, Field Forum, QST, and the former Technical Coordinator newsletter, but also from correspondence of TCs, TSs, TAs, plus individuals like K1ZZ, N9DIJ, and W9IXG.
Thanks to the ARRL Headquarters staff who contributed, with apologies to any contributor who may have been inadvertently overlooked. Good luck as a TC, TS, or in finding your technical advice.