There’s Still Time — But Not Much — to Make Plans for the ARRL National Convention and Banquet


Time is tight to order ARRL National Convention Banquet tickets and to make your plans to attend the Convention February 12-14, hosted by the popular Orlando HamCation®, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The banquet will take place on Saturday, February 13, at 6:30 PM, with ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, as the keynote speaker. Guests also will hear from the ARRL’s new President, Rick Roderick, K5UR. Master of Ceremonies will be ARRL Southeastern Division Director Doug Rehman, K4AC. Banquet tickets will be available until January 31. The ARRL cannot guarantee that any tickets will be available for sale during the convention.

The Convention and HamCation have plenty of activities to offer, and, of course, it’s a great place to meet with friends you haven’t seen for a while. ARRL’s exhibit area will feature the various aspects of the League’s services, including the ARRL Education & Technology Program (ETP), ARRL Public Service, Radiosport and DXCC card checking, and The Amateur Radio Parity Act. Visitors not only will be able to peruse the many and varied ARRL publications and gear, but ARRL staff will be on hand to help generate and send letters to Members of Congress, urging their support of The Amateur Radio Parity Act. ARRL Laboratory representatives will test your handheld radio. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the ARRL National Parks on the Air event, which continues through the end of the year. On Saturday afternoon, younger visitors — licensed or not — can participate in a hidden-transmitter hunt — a foxhunt — using a receiver and directional antenna. Download the entire ARRL National Convention Exhibit & Activities Guide (PDF) so you won’t miss anything.


An area will be set aside for members of the ARRL Field Organization to network. It’s hosted by the ARRL Southeastern Division and its ARRL Sections — Northern Florida, Southern Florida, West Central Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands.


The ARRL Member Forum will take place on Saturday, February 13, at 1:45 PM. Those attending will hear from League officials on key areas of member interest.


An ARRL Wouff Hong Ceremony will take place at 11 PM on Friday. The secretive ceremony is steeped in mystery, and attendees receive a special keepsake. Register in advance, but a limited number of remaining tickets may be available at the show from the ARRL Southeastern Division booth.


In addition, the League will sponsor a wide range of forums:


  • ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, will talk on “The ‘Sounds’ of Amateur Radio.” Find out what you’ve been hearing on the bands: New mode, or noise pollution? His presentation will include sound clips representing many of the sounds you may encounter on the air and give attendees a chance to determine their sources.


  • ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, and Assistant Field Services and Radiosport Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, will speak on the ARRL National Parks on the Air event, with a focus on portable operating. NPOTA honors the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, and this will be a terrific opportunity to learn more about it.


  • ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, will discuss “ARES: Thinking Outside the Box.” As Amateur Radio and ARRL move into a second century, how will ARES® adapt to meet current and future needs of communities, served agencies, and partners?


  • Senior Test Engineer and Assistant ARRL Laboratory Manager Bob Allison, WB1GCM, will unveil some of the secrets of the QST Product Review in his talk, “What Do All Those Numbers Mean?” He will explain the key transmitter and receiver tests that the Lab performs on new equipment and explain what all the terms and numbers mean.


  • ARRL Northern Florida Section Manager Steve Szabo, WB4OMM, will host the Northern Florida Section Forum.


ARRL Volunteer Examiners will hold Amateur Radio license examinations on Saturday. Advance registration is required.


More information is available on the ARRL National Convention web page.