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ARRL Midwest Division Convention, Winterfest


Newly licensed ham Charlie Hartley, KF0OOP, 18, is one of ARRL  The National Association for Amateur Radio® newest members. He's majoring in sound engineering at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and is an accomplished musician, playing both bass guitar and the upright string bass. Ham radio, live sound, and music run in his blood; he's the grandson of Bob Heil, K9EID.

Charlie had been secretly studying for his license. After passing his test, he revealed his new Technician-class privileges and call sign to his famous-ham grandpa as a birthday surprise. The pair joined many others at the ARRL Midwest Division Convention/Winterfest, which is organized and sponsored by the St. Louis and Suburban Radio Club.

ARRL Midwest Division Vice Director Dave Propper, K2DP, personally took Charlie's membership application at the event. ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, was a keynote speaker for the DX/ARRL Banquet at the event.

He said it was a good gathering to connect with hams in the division. "Ham radio is alive and well in the heartland of America, and it was encouraging to meet with so many members who were clearly passionate about serving their community through amateur radio," Johnston said.

Several major manufacturers exhibited at the event, which was held at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, Illinois, on January 27. The hamfest hosted the 2024 ARRL Midwest Division Convention.

Find more about being an ARRL member at



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