What is the ARRL?

I have been sitting here trying to decide what to write about this week and I have decided to write a short column on the ARRL and some of the resources available through this organization.

What exactly is the ARRL (American Radio Relay League)? The ARRL mission statement below is taken directly from the ARRL website.

ARRL is the national association for Amateur Radio in the US. Founded in 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim as The American Radio Relay League, ARRL is a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs. ARRL numbers within its ranks the vast majority of active radio amateurs in the nation and has a proud history of achievement as the standard-bearer in amateur affairs. ARRL’s underpinnings as Amateur Radio’s witness, partner and forum are defined by five pillars: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology, and Membership. 

bona fide interest in Amateur Radio is the only essential qualification of membership; an Amateur Radio license is not a prerequisite, although full voting membership is granted only to licensed radio amateurs in the US.

The ARRL supports amateur radio on our behalf through the FCC and the federal government. When a group request spectrum from the FCC they help defend our use of the spectrum. They lobby congress for legislation and we will discuss that a little more later. They provide books and training including a teacher’s institute where teachers can travel to the ARRL headquarters to get training on integrating electronics and amateur radio in the classroom. The ARRL has a VE (Volunteer Examiner) testing program so teams can provide amateur radio testing in the communities. The ARRL also helps with public service by managing the NTS (National Traffic System), ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) program and more. They also publish multiple magazines including QST and On The Air. In short, the ARRL does a lot for amateur radio.

Should you consider joining the ARRL? This is a personal choice but I think there is value in a membership. One benefits of membership is regular newsletters that are sent to membership via email. You can select the newsletters you would like to receive so this is totally up to you. Some of the newsletter options are ARES, Club News, Division and Section News and the ARRL Letter. The ARRL Letter is my personal favorite. It has current information and happenings about amateur radio and it is published weekly.

Here are a few examples of recent articles which I think would be of interest:

Both QST and On The Air have some very good articles. On The Air is bi-monthly and it is geared towards new hams while QST is published monthly.

If you are not aware, EARS is an ARRL Special Service Club. A Special Service Club is defined by the ARRL below.

A club that exists to go above and beyond for their communities and for Amateur Radio is what defines a Special Service Club (SSC).  They are the leaders in their Amateur Radio communities who provide active training classes, publicity programs and actively pursue technical projects and operating activities.

Joining the ARRL really helps them help us. Please consider joining and feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

You can also visit the ARRL Oklahoma section web page for updated section news.

If you have any questions about the above info or about anything radio (or EARS) related, feel free to contact us at k5eok@k5eok.org and we will do our best to help.

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