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Club News

ARRL Club News
February 20, 2024
Editor: Michael Walters, W8ZY


Anacapa Island Dual Activation a Success

On September 17, three members of the Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club in Thousand Oaks, California, had a successful expedition to Anacapa Island to conduct a dual activation of the Channel Islands National Park for Parks on the Air (POTA) and Islands on the Air (IOTA.) Club members Bill Willcox, KF6JQO; Martin Hickey, AJ6CL, and Andy Ludlum, K6AGL, traveled by boat to the small volcanic island located about 11 miles off the coast of Port Hueneme in Ventura County, California.

Anacapa Island is made up of three islets (appropriately named East, Middle, and West Anacapa Islands) and are only accessible by boat. The activation was held on East Anacapa Island. Thousands of birds use the islets as nesting areas because of the lack of predators. Anacapa is home to the largest breeding colony of western gulls, as well as the endangered California brown pelicans, in the world.

The antenna was carefully placed to avoid disturbing sensitive vegetation. [Photo courtesy of Andy Ludlum, K6AGL]

The team leader, Bill Willcox, KF6JQO, conducted extensive planning with park rangers to ensure the team and its equipment would not disturb native plants or animals. Park sites, especially those with over 10,000 years of human history, have strict prohibitions against any ground disturbances. The chief ranger noted that disturbing the ground is one of the easiest ways to accidentally commit a felony in a national park.

An antenna location was chosen on a mostly bare spot on the ground near a picnic area. With the environmental considerations in mind, staking the ground to secure the antenna was out of the question. The team chose a lightweight vertical antenna supported on a tripod. The tripod sat on an aluminum window screen that rested on the ground and served as a ground plane. The screen was stabilized by four half-liter water bottles, one on each corner. The thin antenna was (mostly) stable in the windy island environment.

The equipment had to be light enough to be comfortably carried up 157 steps from the boat landing. Using a battery-powered 100 W multi-mode transceiver, the team was most successful on 20 meters, but also operated on 10 and 40 meters. Most of the contacts were made using SSB, although Martin Hickey, AJ6CL, ended the 3-hour activation with a flurry of CW contacts on 10 meters.

The team was pleased with the results. A total of 72 contacts were made. The most impressive results were on 20 meters, where contacts were made with stations in California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Hawaii, Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Band conditions on 10 and 40 meters allowed for mostly local contacts, with the exception of a 10-meter contact with the Australian state of Queensland.

For more information, visit us at

By Andy Ludlum, K6AGL

Line Up and Sign Up Club Activity to Generate Club Funds

The Club Commission Program is a way for ARRL Affiliated clubs to generate funds for the club by allowing their members to join or renew thair ARRL membership through the club. The club then receives a commission for membership. New members earn the club a $20 commission with renewals earning $5 each.

Hosting a membership night at a club meeting is a great way to utilize this program. Below are five easy steps for how to do so. You may adapt these to fit your club's needs, but the basic process remains the same.

Step 1. Prior to your membership night, let club members know that at the upcoming meeting they can expect the opportunity to join ARRL or renew their existing membership applications.

Step 2. Designate someone to be stationed at the membership table to accept applicatons and renewals.

Step 3. Print out the ARRL Membership Application form from the ARRL website so that each member who wishes to join or renew will have an opportunity to fill out an application and select the membership options that apply.

Step 4. After gathering all of the applications and payments, fill out one Club Reconciliation Form amd send the entire package to ARRL. Full payment for the application is submitted. The Club Reconciliation Form is available at the ARRL site as well.

Step 5. Once the applications are received by ARRL, they will be processed and the commission will be issued to your club.

After full payment is made to ARRL, commission is paid to the club.

Commission is only paid on Standard memberships, not Blind, Family, or Student memberships.

Complete program details, as well as the required forms, are available under the Club Commission Program tab at Affiliated Club Benefits.

Donate the ARRL Library Book Set

ARRL Affiliated Clubs and members who wish to gift or donate books to a local library, school, or classroom, can do so with ease via ARRL's Library Book Set. For a special price of $250 (including US ground shipping), the set includes the most popular ARRL publications, such as ARRL license manuals, The ARRL Handbook, and The ARRL Antenna Book for Radio Communications, among others. These publications and resources will encourage potential new amateur radio operators from among students, youth, and the wider community, while also providing support to current licensees who are library users.

A complete description of the program, including the books and details for ordering, is available at Library Book Set.

Be sure to read the "Club Station" column in the April 2024 issue of QST (coming soon), in which a Florida club shares how they donated books to their local library.

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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