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Club News

ARRL Club News
November 21, 2023
Editor: Michael Walters, W8ZY


California Club Provides Communications for Autumn Bicycle Event

On October 21, 2023, the Western Placer Amateur Radio Club (WPARC) in northern California provided amateur radio communications support during the 22nd Tour de Lincoln. The annual bicycle event consists of three course choices: metric quarter century (25K or ~16 miles), metric half century (50K or ~31 miles), and metric century (100K or ~62 miles). Each route passes through the hilly terrain of western Placer County, making cell phone reception difficult. WPARC was prepared for the challenge and has been applying their communications plan to support this event for more than 17 years.

Dan Lehrer, KN6DRN (right), working at one of the Tour de Lincoln rest stops. [Photo courtesy of Dan Lehrer, KN6DRN]

The event offers a wonderful day of riding the scenic back roads of Lincoln and western Placer County. The ride includes a continental breakfast, well-stocked rest stops, and mechanical support along the routes. There is also a post-ride BBQ lunch with beer and wine available.

WPARC's involvement with the Tour de Lincoln began in 2006, when the event had 200 riders and 10 amateur radio operators. This year's event hosted just fewer than 300 riders and 13 amateur radio operators, including eight vehicles that acted as support for the riders. Amateur radio was actively engaged in every aspect of the race from start to finish.

Acting as net control for the event, Jey Yelland, KQ6DK (with assistance from Michael Buck, K6BUK), planned for and directed the amateur-radio-staffed support vehicles throughout the route segments while handling communications traffic; actions that assured riders received any assistance needed and that no rider was left behind.

The WPARC driving team for the event included, Art Galindo, KK6NFM; Autumn Naber, KN6RCF; Bill Meyerpeter, KN6MLT; Claire Schloenvogt, KI6VWG; Frank Boardman, K1FMB; Glenn Swarner, KM6RGQ; Jason Frankovich, KB6Q, and Louis Frank, KG6FCT, while Dan Lehrer, KN6DRN; Darrold Darling, KI6OMA, and Doug Hey, KD6PGQ, worked the three rest stops. WPARC member Lynn Yelland, KE6QQJ, rode the event, acting as a mobile reporter.

Event Director Bryan Ludwig remarked, "Knowing that these [WPARC] guys and gals are supporting us out on the course really makes a difference. We can count on them, and the riders appreciate it."

Section Manager of the ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, said, "Kudos to the volunteers of the Western Placer ARC for their dedicated support to the Tour de Lincoln." WPARC members apply their operating skills and equipment knowledge to events like this, which is the best form of preparation for emergency communications.

WPARC provided communication services for at least two other large-scale cycling events over the years, including the Sierra Century bicycle ride that hosted almost 1,000 cyclists and 30 ham radio operators. In addition, the radio club supports the annual Lincoln Hills Lions Club's food donation event in December.

By Frank Boardman, K1FMB

ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program

Clubs around the country sponsor VE sessions in order to help new hams get their licenses and to help existing hams upgrade. One of the changes in the last couple of years if the introduction of the $35 FCC License Fee. The ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program, in effect since April 19, 2022, will cover the one-time $35 application fee for new license candidates younger than 18-years old for tests administered under the ARRL VEC program.

The $35 FCC application fee will be reimbursed after the ARRL VEC receives the completed reimbursement form and after the new license has been issued by the FCC. The reimbursement check will be mailed to the fee payer. Also, candidates who are the age of 18 pay a reduced exam session fee of $5 to the ARRL VEC VE team at the time of the exam. The $5 fee is for all candidates under the age of 18, regardless of the exam level taken. Proof of age is required at the session. Visit for the program instructions and reimbursement form.

Contact ARRL VEC for assistance or for information on how your club can set up an ARRL VEC VE team and offer testing on a regular basis in your area, and how to take advantage of the reduced exam fee for youth candidates. It's extremely gratifying when a candidate passes their test and earns a license.

Clubs that already sponsor ARRL VEC exam sessions, we thank you for your service to our program!

Club Supports Festival at the Switchyard

The Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society (MARS)

James Jernigan, KG5WVL, demonstrates am radio at the 2022 Festival at the Switchyard. [Michael Brown, W5MDB, photo]

operated a special event station at the annual Festival at the Switchyard in downtown Carrollton, Texas, on Saturday, November 4. As in years past, we had a booth to demonstrate amateur radio to the public. Club members were on the air with a VHF/UHF station for voice and Winlink to show off ham email without the internet. An HF station contacted the lower frequencies, and we featured the popular Kid Code Key where youngsters of all ages try their fists using Morse code. Complete details on our website,

VOTA Update

The ARRL yearlong operating event recognizing volunteers continues through the end of the year and attracts attention online and on the bands. With favorable conditions and near-record turnouts for operating events, many hams are getting the chance to contact more and more ARRL volunteers. We encourage you to take a look at the ARRL Volunteers On the Air (VOTA) website for the latest schedule and list of volunteer points. More information is being added as we go. W1AW/ stations are being activated each month, and this is your chance to contact as many as possible.

Operators around the country are working the volunteer lists and the W1AW/ stations each week. This is the Year of The Volunteer, and we thank each and every ARRL volunteer for their dedication to amateur radio.

Updating Club Information

The fall season means that many clubs will have elections happening soon, and new officers will take their posts at the first of the year. It's also a good time for ARRL Affiliated Clubs to update their information listed on the Find-A-Club web page on the ARRL website. The instructions for how to do that are found on the site, and there are a few things to remember:

1. The club information should be updated at least once a year to stay current.

2. Only those listed as the contact or as an Officer will have access to the edit link.

3. You must be logged in to the ARRL website to edit the page.

4. When you're done editing your information, click the submit button at the bottom of the page.

If you have any issues updating the page or if the information is so out of date that no one is around to make the edits, you can contact for assistance. Club Officers should make sure that the club listing is up to date.

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

ARRL Home:

Find an ARRL Affiliated Club:

Find your ARRL Section:

Find a license class in your area:

Find a license exam in your area:

Find a hamfest or convention:

Email ARRL Clubs:




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