ARRL Club Newsletter June 8, 2007

Don Jones

ARRL Club Newsletter
June 8, 2007

Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, Editor, Redistrubuted to South
Texas ACC Clubs, Affiliated Clubs, and their members,
by Don Jones N5WSW STX. ACC. Enjoy!

And most of all have fun with the hobby.

+ One Size Does Not Fit All
+ That's Using Your Web
+ Field Day Doesn't Have to be Stone Aged


One Size Does Not Fit All

The traditional view of a ham radio club and its
meetings, is one
where meetings are held monthly and members discuss
old and new
business and other issues that affect the club. There
is usually a
coffee break and then a presentation or guest speaker.
The members
pay annual dues and the club runs a hamfest or other
fund raising
event. While this may be the structure used by many
radio clubs,
quite a number of ARRL-affiliated clubs operate

Clubs can affiliate with ARRL in one of four
1. Local Amateur Radio clubs
2. Regionally- or nationally-organized Amateur Radio
3. Local school or youth groups, or Amateur Radio
clubs in homes
for the elderly or disabled
4. Club councils (clubs of clubs)

Over three quarters of ARRL affiliated clubs are
category one clubs
and a large majority of them follow the model that we
mentioned at
the beginning of this article. Clubs should be
organized to best
suit the membership and meet the mission of the club.

Some clubs may not require regularly scheduled
meetings where other
may meet more frequently to discuss club business or
Other clubs don't have formal meetings but they may
have regularly
scheduled social gatherings such as luncheons, or
volunteer periods
at Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) or Red Cross

Contest or other special interest clubs whose members
are spread out
over a large geographic area may meet on the air or on
the internet
in a chat room.
There are also quite a number of virtual clubs that
meet this way.
Because the mission of the club is to share
information or
participate in an on-the-air activity, this format
readily fits their

Often repeater organizations or clubs that have a
large investment in
capital assets will be structured in such a way to
protect the assets
and the officers of the organization. It's not
uncommon for a club
to hold business meetings separately from general
meetings; However,
business meetings should be open to all members who
wish to attend.

The organization of any club is spelled out in its
constitution and
by-laws. This is why it is so very important to take
some time and
devote plenty of thought when drafting these
documents. All clubs
that apply for ARRL affiliation have their
constitutions and by-laws
reviewed by our regulatory specialist, Dan Henderson,
N1ND. It is
not uncommon for ARRL to ask a club to fine-tune their
documents for
a number of reasons. Of course, any documents that
violate any State
or Federal laws are immediately sent back for the club
to review.
Sometimes ARRL will suggest that a club look beyond
the horizon and
try to prevent any potential issues by addressing
possible situations
in their constitutions or by-laws.

You may find this hard to believe but some squabbles
have turned into
very expensive court battles all because nobody ever
gave any thought
to the possibility of a situation arising in their
club. In the end,
everyone loses in these situations.

There are numerous "what-ifs" in any organization and
for this reason
a lot of careful thought should be put into drafting
of your club's
constitution and by-laws. Dan Henderson offers
suggestions and
points to consider when drafting your club's
constitution in the
document "What Is A Constitution?" This document is on
the web at Although the ARRL shows a sample
constitution for
people to use as an example of the verbiage and
structure of this all
important document, the example should not be used as
is. After all,
you wouldn't be foolish enough to enter into a
contract using a
standard stationery store-type document. At least I
hope that you
wouldn't do that. Most clubs fit the traditional
model but each one
is unique and each constitution and set of by-laws
needs to be
drafted to fit the mission of that club.

*Note: Because laws of incorporation vary from State
to State, ARRL
suggests that you contact an attorney in your area who
is familiar
with corporate law. If you do not already have a
relationship with
an attorney, you may use the ARRL Volunteer Counsel
Program to locate
an attorney in your area.


That's Using Your Web

Jay Harrison, KC0CNB of the Benton County Radio
Operators in Arkansas
reports that attendance for their hamfest increased
because of an informative website and other marketing
efforts by the

ARRL Hamfest listings on the web and in QST include
web URL so that
readers can be directed to more information than can
be provided in
the listing. Jay's club had success by providing
information about the hamfest.


Field Day Doesn't Have To be Stone Aged

If your club is not already using computers to log
your Field day
contacts, perhaps you may want to look into the
possibility of doing
so. With a surplus of cheap PCs available to hams,
along with
inexpensive or free logging programs, computer logging
is within the
limitations of most clubs. Using computers is a great
way for a team
to run a single operating position. A "Y" adapter on
the headphones
allows both the operator and the logger to listen to
the receiver.
This way one person can send the exchange information
and the other
can log the information of the station being worked.
operators using one radio in this way can learn
oeprating techniques
from each other and help with phonetics on phone and
make fewer
mistakes on CW.

The computer will quickly check for duplicate contacts
(dupes), can
generate CW with canned messages and key the
transmitter, keep track
of time, keep track of the operators, and many other
functions. Because Field Day rules allow for QSOs to
be made with
the same station once on each band and mode there is
no need for
complicated networks. What happens on the 20 meter CW
station has no
bearing on the 75 meter phone station. All that you
need to do is
designate a logging captain to collect the logs and
merge them
together at the end. Even the simplest program that I
have inspected
has the provision to export an ADIF file that can be
imported into
another log or create a contest log entry in the
proper format.

Many of the popular logging programs, like those
advertised in QST,
have provisions for ARRL Field Day and some programs
are written just
for Field Day. A search on the internet will yield
logging programs
that will vary from the plain and simple to fancy

A lot of the logging programs are able to send CW via
a port on the
PC eliminating the need for a memory keyer or other
Computer to radio CW keying interfaces are cheap to
buy or you can
roll your own for less than a few dollars and about 30
minutes of
bench time, depending on your soldering skills. (Tip:
The CW keying
interface can make a great club meeting project.)

Here are a few tips if your club is going to use
computers for
logging during Field day.

1. Set up your PCs or laptops in advance. Now is the
time to
2. Pre-load all software and become familiar with its

3. Have a training session for your operators. Most
software is straight forward: type in the call and
information then hit the return key. Make sure that
your team is
familiar with basic operation and entering contacts.
4. Back up data regularly. Thumb (flash memory)
drives are
great for this.
5. Monitors don't like sun glare. Make provisions to
shade the
monitors so that operators can see the screen during
the day.
Experiment with this before the event.

So, even if your Field Day accommodations are
primitive your
operation doesn't have to be stone aged. (Yes, even a
caveman can do

Complete rules for ARRL Field Day can be found on the
web at:

Be sure to order your 2007 Field Day t-shirts, pins
and other

These t-shirts make excellent gifts to those who help
make your
club's event a fun time for all.

ARRL Affiliation Milestones for May 2007

Believe it or not, there are no clubs celebrating
milestones in June 2007.


Questions and Answers

Do you have any vexing club operation issues or
questions for which
you or your club needs assistance? Please write to us
and we may be
able to place such requests for help or information
before the eyes
of thousands reading this newsletter.

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