21 Things to Do: Join the ARRL

21 Things to Do After Getting Your Amateur Radio LicenseIn addition to joining your local amateur radio club, you should also join the American Radio  Relay League (ARRL). The ARRL is that national association for radio amateurs and offers many services for amateur radio operators:

  • QST. QST is the ARRL’s monthly magazine. Every month, you’ll receive a magazine full of good information, projects, and news about amateur radio.
  • QST archive. In the past couple of years, the ARRL has digitized every issue of QST that they’ve ever published. It’s available on the ARRL website, but only to current members.
  • E-mail newsletters. In addition to QST, the ARRL publishes e-mail newsletters on a variety of topics, including:
  • The ARRL Letter is a weekly newsletter with news about amateur radio.
  • Contest Update is a bi-weekly newsletter for contest enthusiasts. I strongly suggest signing up for this newsletter, as it’s about much more than contesting.
  • The ARES E-Letter is for those amateur radio operators involved in public service and emergency communications.
  • Section and division newsletters from your section manager and division director.
  • Technical Information Service (TIS). As a member, you can call or e-mail ARRL Technical Information Service specialists for answers to technical and operating questions.
  • Legislative advocacy. The ARRL is the only group that effectively speaks for amateur radio with the FCC and Congress. Without this representation, our spectrum would be fair game whenever the political winds shift.
  • Outgoing QSL bureau. QSL bureaus help save postage when sending and receiving QSL cards from foreign stations. Only ARRL members can use the outgoing bureau.
  • Equipment insurance. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may or may not cover your amateur radio equipment. This insurance program covers your amateur station, antennas and mobile equipment should they be damaged by lightning, theft, accident, fire, flood, tornado and other natural disasters.
  • There are lots of naysayers out there who will advise you to not to join the ARRL and tell you it’s a waste of money. I think that you should find out for yourself.  Join the ARRL and participate in some of its activities. After you’ve done that, you can make a better decision about whether membership is right for you or not.

    For more information on joining the ARRL, go to https://www.arrl.org/join-arrl-renew-membership/.

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