The key benefit of becoming a member of an amateur radio club is to join forces with other people who have the same interests and have a good time exchanging information and experiences relating to amateur radio. And, it’s not only amateur radio, per se, but also an open door to many related and non related activities. Many join in order to experience the social aspects of meeting with other ham operators in their area.
At one recent meeting, there were hams ranging from Novice to Extra class. There were the usual 2m handie and mobile enthusiasts. In addition, there were HF’ers, satellite, packet, tropo, repeater and other enthusiasts present. Those who’ve rolled their own coils, feedline and antennae, to those who seemed to have bought just about every radio around.
Among them you may find teachers, RF and wireline communications technicians, executives, computer and networking specialists, members of the military, nurses, nature enthusiasts, airline pilots, financial experts and university professors. Within that mix, it seems you can understand and solve almost any radio situation with the talent present.
There are chances to try out and expand your radio horizons at the gatherings. Field Day is an excellent time to pitch in and build an HF station from scratch in the field, where one must improvise and leverage every advantage from the terrain. Similarly, at our periodic outdoor gatherings, one gets to see and operate a no-fuss HF, VHF and UHF station that’s powered by deep-cycle batteries.
There are other benefits, such as the newsletter, repeater systems and frequent public service events that round out the offering.
Keep in mind that the greatest benefit of joining an amateur radio club is a regular and ready mutual access to experienced technical information, references and learning experiences. The more you pursue and interact, the more you get out of your membership. And that translates into a chance for nurturing and growing your knowledge and radio horizon — whether it’s amateur, commercial or personal.