Chapter Three: Technical Coordinator (TC)
The Technical Coordinator (TC) appointment was created early in 1983 by the ARRL as part of a plan to reorganize the Field Organization and to recognize the continuing need for amateurs to broaden their knowledge and understanding of radio communications technology. Adding TCs to the section appointments has proved to be a great idea to support the rapid changes in technical activities of Amateur Radio.
The TC is a Section-level Leadership Appointment in the ARRL Field Organization. To apply for the TC appointment, contact your ARRL Section Manager. The name, call, address and phone number of your SM is listed monthly in QST and at ARRLWeb. If qualified, you will be registered with Headquarters as an official appointee, receive an attractive certificate and be authorized to wear the distinctive green-diamond League lapel pin.
Here's a list of specific TC job duties:
- Supervise and coordinate the work of the section's Technical Specialists.
- Encourage amateurs in the section to share their technical achievements with others through the pages of QST, and at club meetings, hamfests and conventions.
- Promote technical advances and experimentation at vhf/uhf and with specialized modes, and work closely with enthusiasts in these fields within the section.
- Serve as an advisor to radio clubs that sponsor training programs for obtaining amateur licenses or upgraded licenses in cooperation with the ARRL Affiliated Club Coordinator.
- In times of emergency or disaster, function as the coordinator to reestablishing an array of equipment for communications use and be available to supply technical expertise to government and relief agencies to set up emergency communications networks in cooperation with the ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator.
- Refer amateurs in the section who need technical advice to local TSs.
- Encourage TSs to serve on RFI and TVI committees in the section for the purpose of rendering technical assistance as needed, in cooperation with the ARRL 00/Coordinator.
- Be available to assist local technical program committees in arranging suitable programs for ARRL hamfests and conventions.
- Convey the views of section amateurs and TSs about the technical contents of QST and ARRL books to ARRL Hq. Suggestions for improvements should also be called to the attention of the ARRL Hq. technical staff.
- Work with appointed ARRL TAs when called upon.
- Be available to give technical talks at club meetings, hamfests and conventions in the section.
3.4 Duties in a Nutshell
A new TC might be overwhelmed by reading the list of eleven specific TC duties and honestly wouldn't know where to begin activities. You could hand out printed copies of the TC Guidelines to folks that ask you questions, but to avoid the confusion of carrying out all these duties or explaining the overall program to others, here is a condensed list of the main duties for starters:
- Assist local clubs in sponsoring technical working groups and forums, with the topics to be determined by the interests of the amateurs in the area.
- Encourage technically minded amateurs and TSs to be active in their local clubs, and to share their knowledge with others.
- Involve section amateurs in interesting technical projects with other League members through QST articles and programs at conventions or hamfests.
The hardest part about becoming a successful Technical Coordinator is getting started. But, once you define a plan, try it out, and do some follow-up, the rest becomes enjoyable. Even Charlie Brown, rowing a boat, was heard to say, "Rats! Why is having fun always so much work?" You might introduce yourself as a TC through newsletters, nets, mailings, the QST Section News, or at club meetings. So if you're having trouble getting started, introduce yourself, work on only a few duties at first, try some of the technical activities listed in Chapter 6, and then slowly fill in the gaps.
As TC, you will soon learn that local amateurs will look to you for guidance on many problems of interest to amateurs in general, not just technical matters. As a highly visible ARRL Leadership Official, your words and actions should reflect upon the League to produce a favorable image. Your personal opinions could be misinterpreted by some as League policy. When you have questions concerning TC or ARRL policy, contact your SM.
Also, as a TC you may have as many TSs as your section needs to function effectively. You may use your own judge- ment or solicit recommendations from amateurs prior to selecting your assistants. Keep in mind that not only must TSs be capable amateurs, but they must also be able to work smoothly with you.