A valuable membership benefit is the ARRL Technical Information Service. Your membership dollars support a vast resource of technical material--we have selected the best articles for free download! We have ARRL field volunteers who can provide local assistance. Members can even contact the lab staff for assistance with ham radio questions--be sure to include your call sign or membership number with your inquiry.
Technical Information Service
Be sure to visit the Technical FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I ...?
Radio Technology Topics--Technical pages on a variety of subjects you can read/download
Where did I see ...?
ARRL Periodicals Index Search - This database contains the QST index from 1915 to the present and the QEX index from 1981 to the present. NEW – QST Archive for Members Only. Now ARRL Members can access fully downloadable digital copies of all QST articles, from December 1915 through December 2007. Annual indexes can be downloaded from the archive by using the search terms "index volume"
If you prefer to browse the QST annual index, recent indexes are available for download
Where do I find ...?
Companion software, Templates and Product Notes for recent ARRL books and CDs
How do they compare ...?
QST Product Review List - view a list of product reviews going back to 1970
QST Product Review Downloads - read or download product review columns going back to 1980.
QST Product Review Transceiver Summary - a list of transceivers compared head to head.
The ARRL Lab Test Procedures Manual describes the test methods used by the ARRL Lab for Product Review testing. (1.4 MB, PDF file).
And more...Hands-On Radio - Supplemental information and past issues of the monthly QST column by N0AX
Affiliated Club Search - New to the hobby? Need help? New in town? Find your local club.
ARRL Technical Awards - Is there a technical expert you would like to nominate for an award? Here's how!
As most long-time hams know, the answer to common technical questions can usually be found by looking in the ARRL Handbook for Radio Amateurs, the ARRL Antenna Book. For beginners, we offer Basic Radio, Basic Antennas, and Basic Electronics. In fact, when you call or write ARRL TIS staff, you will sometimes be referred to one of these books or to a past magazine article. A few good books go a long way toward answering the vast majority of your questions as well as enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of this fascinating hobby.
ARRL Periodicals Index Search - This database contains the QST index from 1915 to the present and the QEX index from 1981 to the present. For QST issues from 1970 to the present, and some selected articles back to 1922 (when construction articles featuring tubes began in earnest), identifying keywords have been added to the technical articles. By entering keywords (ANTENNA) or combinations of keywords (CONSTRUCTION ANTENNA VERTICAL HF) into the Title words: field, you may create dynamic bibliographies.
Technical article KEYWORD list.
You can also try asking folks at a local ham club, flea market or on the local repeater to see if you can borrow the magazine you need. You may even find that several of these folks have experience with the same kind of problem or question that you have!
The ARRL Field Organization is also a good resource for technical assistance! Each League section has a Technical Coordinator (TC) and/or one or more Technical Specialists (TS). These volunteers can offer "hands-on" help with local technical problems (such as RFI), and can provide personal advice about antennas, station grounding or other questions that are best answered in person.
To find out who the Technical Coordinator of your section is, visit your section web page. Your ARRL Section Manager (SM), listed on page16 of a recent QST, can also refer you to your TC or local TS. SMs can accept email, too.
Before you contact HQ with a question about a magazine article, keep in mind that the author is the most familiar with the text and is usually the best person to contact, especially for project articles. Write the author a friendly letter, asking your questions. (Always include an SASE!) Most authors will send you a prompt reply. If you offer feedback, try to be positive, even if you disagree with the author.
If you are a current ARRL member, ARRL Headquarters can answer your technical questions, too. (If you are not a member, we would like you to join so we can offer this service to you!) Our TIS staff is a valuable source of information and research for questions that cannot be answered by the Technical Coordinator or an article author. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to know if something has been previously published on a particular subject, the TIS staff can do research to help you locate this information. TIS can also help you locate a company that sells a particular product (such as air variable capacitors) or personally explain a technical point to you via e-mail, letter or telephone. E-mail is usually the best method of contact with TIS, since it provides the TIS staff time to research your inquiry completely without lengthy phone charges being incurred.
Non-members should contact email@example.com. TIS is pleased to help a new ham get started or help an old timer get back into ham radio but non-members will be asked to join the ARRL so we can continue to provide this valuable membership service. After solicitation, non-member inquiry will be promptly forwarded to the ARRL HQ TIS staff.
To contact TIS by mail, please send an SASE to:
American Radio Relay League
Technical Information Service
225 Main St
Newington, CT 06111
The ARRL tries to handle TIS inquiries as quickly as possible, most are answered within one business day after receipt, but sometimes things get backlogged and on that rare occasion when your question requires a bit of research or our best expert is not immediately available, it may take as much as a week or two for you to receive an answer.