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Club News

ARRL Club News
November 15, 2022
Editor: Michael Walters, W8ZY


San Angelo Amateur Radio Club Celebrates 100 Years

The San Angelo Amateur Radio Club (SAARC), based in San Angelo, Texas, celebrated their 100th anniversary on October 15, 2022. The club has engaged in a century of community service; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; emergency preparedness, and disaster response.

Founded in 1922, SAARC held their first meeting on June 14 of that year, and membership today has grown to 40 members. The celebration took place at their clubhouse, and included a tailgate swap meet that began at 9 AM, amateur radio operators working to make contacts with 100 stations, and the Boy Scouts Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA).

The club call sign, W5QX, honors Carl Brinegar, who originally held the call sign 5QX before the "W" prefix was added. He was one of the earliest members of SAARC.

SAARC is currently working in partnership with Angelo State University's Mayer Museum, located on the campus of Angelo State University, to create an exhibit that will tell the story of local radio pioneers. Topics will include amateur radio operators, retail radio businesses, public safety radio innovators, and broadcast radio stations that formed in the Concho Valley area in the 1920s and 1930s.

Club member Mike Dominy, KD5URW, said SAARC is the only club within a 70-mile radius of San Angelo, Texas. "Our club and Amateur Radio Emergency Service volunteers cover 14,000 square miles with a population of 165,000," Dominy said. "With cell phone coverage only along major roads and highways, amateur radio is the only communication during storms and tornadoes."

Dominy added that there are only 381 licensed amateur radio operators in the area, and the club is working on grants to add and upgrade repeaters under a 5-year plan.

SAARC is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

Northwoods Gravel Grind Bicycle Race

By Phil Duggan, N1EP

On September 10, nearly 200 riders entered the seventh annual Northwoods Gravel Grind in the Rangeley area of Maine, which encompassed parts of Franklin and Somerset counties. The course included 35-, 50-, and 68-mile loops.

Riders starting out for the first loop. Photo by N1EP

The riders were not out there in the northwoods alone. Besides deer, moose, and bear, there were about 15 amateur radio operators assigned to various locations and in sweep vehicles throughout the course. Franklin County ARES and friends made sure important safety and logistical information was relayed to net control, and they did this by 2-meter simplex!

Many of the hams were using their mobile radios in vehicles with mag-mount antennas or similar aerials. Several hams set up external J-pole or high-gain antennas 20 feet or higher at key locations, and they were invaluable in relaying communications if net control (Randy Gauvin, KB1RDG, and Ruth Gauvin, KB1SBZ) couldn't hear a mobile or portable station.

I had the privilege of helping. It was enjoyable to be out in the woods listening to the call of the loons, as I was assigned to Loon Lake Road, right next to Loon Lake. Franklin County ARES Emergency Coordinator Russ Norris, KA1FKC, stopped by and chatted with me for a while. Have you ever seen his vehicle? There is no doubt he is a ham radio operator! And I absolutely loved his pooch, Mabel, who wore a fancy harness labeled ARES.

Many times throughout the race, riders would thank me for being there, and I am sure the other hams got this feedback as well. Public service events such as this promote our hobby in a positive way. They also help us hone our emergency communications skills. If you have never volunteered to help in such events, you should consider doing so. It's rewarding and fun. You can contact me at or ARRL New England Division Assistant Director for Emergency Communications and Public Service Cory Golob, KU1U, at, and we can share when public service events need hams.

Hams that participated in this year's event included KA1FKC, KB1RDG, KB1SBZ, AA1XD, WA1KLI, N1TCJ, KB1YES, NT1N, KC1LGJ, KC1ROC, N1EP, KC1RID, K1OK, K1NEO, and N1TCJ.

Fair Lawn ARC Visits W1AW

Members of the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club outside of W1AW. [Alex Norstrom, KC1RMO, photo]

Members of the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club (FLARC), W2NPT, in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, visited ARRL Headquarters on October 13. This visit allowed FLARC members to see headquarters, visit the ARRL store, and meet some of the staff. The members then moved to W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, for a tour and to operate. After a brief orientation by station volunteers, the members discovered what it's like to be on the other end of a W1AW pileup.

Special Event for USAF 75th Birthday

Rick Rogers, K7RCR

On September 17, members of the Green Valley Amateur Radio Club (GVARC) in Arizona activated a special event station to celebrate the 75th birthday of the US Air Force (USAF). The event was held at the Titan Missile National Historic Landmark operated by the Arizona Aerospace Foundation as the Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita. The Collins

The Titan Missile Museum's discage antenna. [Rick Rogers, K7RCR, photo]

discage antenna, which was used by Titan missile launch crews when the site was on alert, was used by the club to make 152 contacts in 24 states. The antenna would have been used to send and receive messages from the national military command authorities during alerts and was just one of several communications systems on the site. The antenna is still functioning, with virtually no maintenance performed since 1982, when the site went off alert. A cable runs from the base of the antenna to the parking lot, allowing amateur radio operators use of the antenna while the museum is open. The cable was installed by GVARC with the cooperation of the museum.

Run Against Hunger 2022

Malcolm Pritchard, NM9J

The 42nd Annual Harry Chapin Memorial Run/Walk Against Hunger took place on Sunday, October 16. This was the eighth time that the Peekskill/Cortlandt Amateur Radio Association (PCARA) has been asked to provide communications support for the event. The first Run Against Hunger event was organized to commemorate singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, who died in a car accident in July 1981. In addition to music, Chapin dedicated his life to the cause of ending world hunger. This inspired citizens in Croton-on-Hudson in New York to create an annual race in his name to raise funds to fight hunger and provide food to those in need. Greg Appleyard, KB2CQE, and Westchester Emergency Communications Association (WECA) Public Service Director Kathleen O'Keefe, KC2VCT, had been contacted in July by race Directors Mike Grayeb and Jud Ramaker regarding participation from PCARA and WECA. There were live races on October 16, as well as a virtual event during the preceding week. Greg was especially keen to encourage PCARA participation in the 2022 event, and made mention in the September and October issues of the PCARA Update newsletters, with a suggestion that participants might meet up for lunch afterward.

The morning of Sunday, October 16, was bright and sunny, with a temperature of 47°F. The forecast showed rising temperatures and continuing sunshine -- perfect weather for admiring the fall foliage and racing around Croton-on-Hudson. Greg paid an early-morning visit to the Westchester County RACES emergency vehicle, which was set up by WECA's Alan Crosswell, N2YGK, in its usual spot at Croton-Harmon High School. Greg supplied run maps, plus a station list, and was on the air for a while as net control. Kathleen was also at the high school, providing members of the public with amateur radio information. Later, she filled the role of the organizers' shadow.

Alan Crosswell, N2YGK, operates net control from the Westchester County RACES truck with Kathleen O'Keefe, KC2VCT. [Malcolm Pritchard, NM9J, photo]

Final thoughts

The event went quite smoothly. The only unmanned post was in the early morning at the 5K run's stop #3. There might not have been quite so many runners as in pre-COVID events, but they completed the course without incident. Communication with net control using WECA's 147.060 repeater was dependable and uninterrupted this time. David Wright, K2WPM, offered the following memory of the event: "I was at Croton Dam East [with a] J pole on a tripod and handheld transceivers. [The] solar panel and antenna drew dozens of inquiries about ham radio. I should have thought to bring some ham radio brochures!"

Call For Instructors

ARRL is embarking on a journey of training for club officers and members. The new club development webinar series will include live Q&A, and the live sessions will be available to everyone. The webinars will be recorded and available to ARRL members through the ARRL Learning Center. We're looking for ARRL members to help us produce, create, and deliver the webinars.

The purpose of this program is to offer a series of short webinars that offer training for the skills needed to build and run a successful club. Topics will include leadership, activities, finance, and recruiting. Envisioned is a series of 10 or more webinars, all lasting from 20 to 30 minutes.

The hope is that club officers and members will view the series as an opportunity to learn from others that have been able to put those skills to use. To do this, we need the help of membership. We're looking for instructors to help with building the training. We're also looking for members that can present in a standard format and have the skills necessary to do the training. If this sounds like something that you are interested in, please contact Mike Walters, W8ZY, at for further details. We hope to start this series in late January 2023.

Club Station Update

"Club Station," QST's newest column, continues to grow. In the coming months, clubs from around the country will share stories about their activities and programs, such as one Florida club's Field Day operation that included a CW station operated by two blind hams, and an Ohio club offering advice and recommendations on how to successfully put together a club newsletter, among others.

"Club Station" is intended to show the successes and contributions of clubs by highlighting how they're overcoming the challenges of an ever-changing world to thrive, in an effort to help other clubs do the same. All clubs are invited to submit their story. The details on how and where to submit are located on the Affiliated Club Resources web page, under Club Station Author's Guide and Form. You do not have to be a professional writer to submit your club's story, and QST editors will be happy to work with you. We look forward to hearing from your club!

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 completes 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 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. 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 it to be an ARRL-sanctioned 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 have your event sanctioned, complete the online application at

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

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