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Club News

ARRL Club News
February 22, 2022
Editor: Michael Walters, W8ZY



I have just returned from from HamCation® and the ARRL National Convention in Orlando. It was a great opportunity to meet and talk with members from all over the southeast. We had quite a team there with members of the Board of Directors and HQ staff. ARRL Emergency Management Director Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, and I took part in the Emergency Communication Academy on Thursday and were part of the overall team at HamCation Friday through Sunday. The weather was great most of the time. We did get a little rain on Sunday morning, bur attendance was very good. It was nice to see a crowd out and about. Now we start getting ready for the Dayton Hamvention in May. In the clubs area of the ARRL booth, I was asking folks just what they would do to improve amateur radio. The answers were varied, but most boil down to a few things:

1. Outreach to the community around your club.

2. Work to build better relationships in the local schools.

3. Be a better mentor to new hams.

4. Offer new hams a free membership in your club for the first year.

5. Embrace technology, like gaming, to reach a younger crowd.

With that in mind I would like to ask all of you, what would you do to improve amateur radio. Send me your suggestions to me at I will report back next month on some of the ideas.

Hamfest season is getting started and I know that clubs are starting to do activities. Please send me your stories so I can share them here.


Mike, W8ZY

Field Day is Coming-Start Planning Now

It is February and Field Day is just four months away. Has your club starting to planning? Many clubs are still operating in pandemic mode and will not have a gathering site but many will be in the field. Now is the time to get the club together, however you are meeting, and plan for what I think is the best weekend of the ham year. Field Day can be a great opportunity to operate and have fun. It can also be a great chance to work with local authorities and demonstrate the capabilities Earn extra Points - Set up an information table and a Get On The Air station - and get the new hams out for what is often their first real chance to work HF in a friendly contest-type environment. There are some updated rules and you can find them at at This site is updated often so check back for the latest. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy Field Day. Invite the public, local dignitaries, and media. Field Day is a great photo op for police, firefighters, and EMS. Remember, outreach to the community is one of those things that we all need to be doing.

Field Day - a chance to show the world amateur radio.

Let's Talk About Grants

Lots of interest has been raised on the new grant programs that are available to organizations today. There is also a bit of confusion about just what some of them are and what the differences are. Let's look at the details of the three major programs.

Grants are a great way to fund small and large projects that your club might be interested in. Spend a few minutes to look over the websites and talk with your club. This is a valuable resource that clubs can use to build amateur radio's future in an ever-changing technology world.

ARRL Foundation Grants

These grants are awarded by the ARRL Foundation to organizations promoting amateur radio. The maximum grant is $3000, and the specific uses of the funds are restricted to specific projects. The details of just what you can use the money for and how to apply are on the ARRL website at Amateur Radio Grants ( There are specific times during the year to apply, and all the information is on the website.

ARRL Club Grant Program

This program is new and still in development having just been announced in January around the time of the ARRL Board of Directors meeting. This program will allow clubs to apply for up to $25,000 for specific projects. The details of how the funding can be used and how to apply have not been announced yet. Stay tuned for more information.

ARDC Grants

These grants are awarded by the Amateur Radio Digital Communications Grant Program and are not managed by ARRL. There is no maximum for the grants and full details can be found at the ARDC website at Apply for a Grant | Amateur Radio Digital Communications ( There are specific dates to apply and requirements for the groups that wish to apply.

Mistakes of 150 Years Ago
This year the Reading Radio Club will celebrate 100 years in existence and affiliation with ARRL. However, the work of individuals who were not afraid of trying something new 150 years ago paved the way for the technology we have today. "A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new." Albert Einstein Names such as David Hughes, Heinrich Hertz, Nikola Tesla, and Alexander Popov all contributed in their own way to the development of components and theory involved in present day ham radio. I am sure they made their share of mistakes and experienced countless failures.
But they all persevered to try a new thing. Are you still using a Spark gap to send? How about a crystal set for your receiver? Do you even know what they are? You have been to a hamfest and maybe you even saw things people call "Boat Anchors." Have you ever had to replace an Acorn Tube in one? The early radios did not have any capacitors, tubes, transistors or integrated circuits to go bad. But you did need hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and skills such as those of a mechanic, pipe fitter, electrician, sheet metal worker and tower installer (to name some) to build or maintain those radios.
This was due to a major improvement over the spark gap transmitter for High Frequency (HF) transmission. That improvement in 1904 was the Alexanderson Alternator. Of the 20 that were constructed, number 16 is still operational in Grimeton, Sweden. Improvements continued and in the 1920's, Sir John Ambrose Fleming and Lee de Forest developed the vacuum tube diode and triode, ushering in the advent of the 60-pound "Boat Anchors." From November 17, 1947, to December 23, 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain at AT&T's Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, performed experiments and observed that when two gold point contacts were applied to a crystal of germanium, a signal was produced with the output power greater than the input. The transistor was born. The radio transceiver followed with units that can be carried by one person and fit in one hand. Most possess the capabilities of several racks of units.
Radios are no longer pieces of hardware, but are a combination of both hardware and software. They can be controlled via a computer program and allow users to communicate with signals that the human ear cannot even detect. Mistakes went into all this development, but that is what allows improvement and innovative ideas.
Have fun making mistakes and see what you can accomplish!
Joe, AC3DI
SANTA CRUZ ARES Runs Another Successful SAFE Event

By Allison Hershey (KM6RMN, PIO)

Santa Cruz - area ARES organizers ran their fourth SAFE (Scavenge Around Field Exercise) on January 9, 2022. Designed in the early days of the pandemic with social distancing in mind, this event allowed participants to get outdoors and communicate with a multi-location incident command team while honing their emergency radio skills. I have previously covered SAFE events from a field participant's point of view, but here I will take a closer look at the Incident Command side of the exercise.

Briefly, the first three SAFE events were run in 2020 and early 2021.
Any local licensed radio operators interested in emergency preparedness were invited to participate. At event start time, participants checked in to a resource net. Once checked, in they were directed to one of two tactical nets to receive a series of assignments to drive to locations and report specific information about them. The observation questions were simple, such as, "what color is the welcome sign at this particular address," and could be done without leaving the vehicle. Upon completion of their assignments, participants returned to the resource net to demobilize, drove home, and contacted the resource net one more time to report safe arrival. A few field operators' locations were tracked through APRS, bringing a new dimension to the event. This aspect of the exercise will be covered next time, as more participants will learn this technology in the coming year.

Preparation for SAFE IV was started in the fall 2021. After Santa
Cruz ARES members expressed interest in repeating the exercise, Santa Cruz County DEC John Gerhardt, N6QX, recruited volunteers to form a core organizing committee that met online and exchanged emails. Many of the materials had been created in previous events and kept in a shared Google Drive folder: ICS (Incident Command System) Forms 202, 205, 214 for instruction and reporting, vetted participant assignments, scripts, radio protocol pointers, and the all-important Exercise Location and Tracking Sheet. This shared Google spreadsheet was created by JoMarie Faulkerson, KM6URE, to be the "whiteboard" of central operations, displaying the progress of every participant to the core team in their virtual incident command center. Entries made by any team scribe (spreadsheet editor) would be displayed instantly.

Lewis and Clark Trail On The Air

Clark County Amateur Radio Club, out of Vancouver, WA will be hosting a new event to start June 2022. CCARC is an active club of over 400 members. It has also received the recognition of being an ARRL Special Services Club. The club has made a big impact on the amateur radio community in the Pacific Northwest.

Lewis and Clark Trail OTA is being organized by a committee of CCARC members. The event will be from June 4-19, 2022. Lewis and Clark traveled through 16 states, and we're working on getting a club from each state to activate. There will be certificates sent out for those that contact all 16, and another certificate for those that contact less than 16.

We see this as a chance to promote the Lewis and Clark Expedition and honor them for their achievement by bringing them in to the amateur radio world of 2022. Mark your calendars for this special event and see how many contacts you can make.

Lewis and Clark Trail On The Air on Facebook

K1EIC Honored by the State of Connecticut for Service to Higher Education

Former Connecticut Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC, of Shelton, Connecticut, will be honored by the State of Connecticut for her work in accessibility and inclusion in higher education.

According to Barb Lombardi, K1EIR, "My sister found out that an award will be named after her for her work with the State higher education services for accessibility and inclusion. It will be 'The Betsey Doane Innovation for Accessibility and Inclusion Award' given [annually] to a faculty member in a State college or community college who has given or contributed the most to access and inclusion."

Doane, a retired mathematics and computer science professor, is also active in her local Rotary club, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulations, Betsey Doane, K1EIC!

Submitting Info for This Newsletter

ARRL Club News is for radio clubs to show how they are working in the community and the hobby to advance amateur radio. If your club does a project, supports an event, does an EmComm activation or activates a park, we want to hear about it. You can submit your newsletter article to us at We like to get them as text or Word files instead of PDFs. If you have pictures, please submit them with any caption information, as well as the name and call sign of the photographer. We want to highlight the good work being done by the clubs and show others in the community of clubs. Think of this as a chance to show off your club and your programs.

How to Plan and Apply for an ARRL Hamfest or Convention

If your amateur radio club is planning to host a convention, hamfest, tailgate, or swapfest, please consider applying for ARRL sanctioned status for your event. To learn what it means to be an ARRL sanctioned event, and to get some ideas on how to prepare for and conduct a hamfest or convention, visit

To apply for ARRL sanctioned status for your event, go to

The ARRL Hamfests and Conventions Calendar can be found online at In addition, the Convention and Hamfest Calendar that runs in QST each month also presents information about upcoming events.

Important Links

ARRL Home:

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Find a License Class in your area:

Find a License Exam in your area:

Find a Hamfest or Convention:

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