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ARRL Membership


WRPH745
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Depends on what you want out of them. I was a member for 2 years long time ago. They did nothing for me other than charge money. ARRL is not what it used to be. I wouldn't spend my money on the membership unless there is a specific reason you are joining. 

 

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To my knowledge, they are the only group lobbying on behalf of amateur radio. Without amateur backing, we could loose the only voice we have Washington and could find ourselves without spectrum for our craft.

They publish a couple of good magazines that are free to members and publish educational books that are useful to us all. In addition, they keep us informed of legislation that affects us.

I have heard opinions that perhaps at times they have not lobbied hard enough and that we have lost spectrum as a result Perhaps that is because there was not enough funding to wage the necessary defense, I do not know.

I find membership an appropriate support of their mission to serve and protect amateur radio. Such efforts are not free.

Just one man’s opinion.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM

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1 hour ago, MichaelLAX said:

Did you donate your subscription to QST to a local library?

Nope. I send my money to a local SAR team. They do more than ARRL will ever do for the county. SAR gets no money from the county nor state so all fundraising supports them mission. SAR also has a better radio system than any of the local Amateurs so its a win for the county. 

As for QST the last magazine I got was over half ads and little to no real content. Again ARRL is not for me and that's my opinion. There are many other valuable organizations out there doing real work for communities. 

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I have a subscription to QEX which is their tech publication. The articles are several levels above what you see in QST.

When the ARRL sends out a request for funds to cover their efforts on spectrum issues I try to send them a few bucks. It's worth it. I don't think most people understand how many and how often the Ham bands are being targeted by commercial interests. That's how we lost part of the 1.25M band. As it is Ham are SECONDARY users on the 70cm band in the US. In various countries Hams only have 430 MHz to 440 MHz. 

From Wikipedia:

U.S. reallocation

In 1973, the FCC considered Docket Number 19759, which was a proposal to establish a Class E Citizen's band service at 224 MHz. The proposal was opposed by the ARRL and after the explosive growth of 27 MHz Citizen's Band usage, the FCC dropped consideration of the docket in 1977.[9]

In the late 1980s, United Parcel Service (UPS) began lobbying the FCC to reallocate part of the 1.25-meter band to the Land Mobile Service. UPS had publicized plans to use the band to develop a narrow-bandwidth wireless voice and data network using a mode called ACSSB (amplitude-companded single sideband). UPS's main argument for the reallocation was that amateur use of the band was very sparse and that the public interest would be better served by reallocating part of the band to a service that would put it to good use.[10]

In 1988, over the objections of the amateur radio community, the FCC adopted the 220 MHz Allocation Order, which reallocated 220–222 MHz to private and federal government land-mobile use while leaving 222–225 MHz exclusively for amateur use.[citation needed] The reallocation proceeding took so long, however, that UPS eventually pursued other means of meeting its communications needs. UPS entered into agreements with GTE, McCall, Southwestern Bell, and Pac-Tel to use cellular telephone frequencies to build a wireless data network.[citation needed] With the 220–222 MHz band then left unused, the FCC issued parts of the band to other private commercial interests via a lottery in hopes that it would spark development of super-narrowband technologies, which would help them gain acceptance in the marketplace.[citation needed] In the 1990s and into the 2000s paging companies made use of the 1.25-meter band. Most all such use ended by the mid-2000s, with the paging companies being purchased by others and services moved to newer systems, or having gone out of business.[citation needed]

Then there was this garbage recently with the 2M band.

http://www.arrl.org/news/restraint-urged-in-response-to-2-meter-reallocation-proposal

 

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Like any lobbying group, they respond to feedback from their membership and from the entities that they lobby.   ARRL do represent a "hobby", albeit a hobby with a purpose (When all else fails, radio works) and so don't have the funding that other groups perhaps do.  They raise money in a number of ways, ads in the mags being one because it is necessary and because the manufacturers and retailers influence too.  QST is always soliciting for more writers and more content.

If you aren't supporting (however you can), and responding to surveys and being vocal, don't be surprised when those that do sway the direction that the organization is going.     I agree with Gortex that you have to support your local groups as well, as well. The amateur community though represents the "unorganized militia" if you will, those that should be somewhat prepared and trained so when it gets really sideways they can come alongside the pros and semi-pros. Participate in nets, practice simplex, volunteer your HAM or GMRS skillz for community events like races, marathons, bike rides, whatever.  And use your bandwidth or lose it.

Now if I can figure out best how to combine all my hobbies: radio, creative sandbox and underwater basketweaving...

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Thanks for the feedback.

Second question:

When I join you have the option of one of two magazines.

  • QST, ARRL's membership journal for active radio amateurs
  • On the Air, for new and beginner-to-intermediate-level radio amateurs (US only)

Since I am new to all this I am assuming I should pick On the Air. 

Since both journals are online I don't think it really matters but I thought I would throw it out there.

 

Thanks

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25 minutes ago, WRPH745 said:

Thanks for the feedback.

Second question:

When I join you have the option of one of two magazines.

  • QST, ARRL's membership journal for active radio amateurs
  • On the Air, for new and beginner-to-intermediate-level radio amateurs (US only)

Since I am new to all this I am assuming I should pick On the Air. 

Since both journals are online I don't think it really matters but I thought I would throw it out there.

 

Thanks

I just joined ARRL and faced the same choice.  It kind of depends on how you like to read magazines and whether you’re someone who keeps them and goes back through them.  Look at the sample issues online before you choose.  I looked at On the Air online and thought it had less content, so I ordered QST.  I tend to keep magazines after I read them.

73 de AI7KS 

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Who will be the national voice for our Service, other than the ARRL? Without their efforts, it's likely we'll lose all our spectrum to commercial interests. As Lscott pointed out, business interests have been sharpening their knives for years, waiting to carve it up.

The cost of an ARRL Membership is cheap, considering what you get in just the magazine alone. Ads? Most pubs carry ads as the primary way to support their efforts. Ads can cover up to 90% or more of magazine revenue. Would you rather pay nine times more for a magazine with no ads?

Suppoting local efforts are vital as well. Do whatever you can from where you are, but recognize the bigger picture. But it's not an either/or choice between supporting local or national efforts that benefit our Service (ask any ARES Member, it's not a "hobby," it's a Service). 

A group of passengers were stranded in a life boat. The lifeboat sprung a leak. Everyone joined in baling the water except for one guy. When asked why he wasn't helping save the boat, he replied, "Why bother? It's not my boat."

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2 hours ago, Sshannon said:

I just joined ARRL and faced the same choice.  It kind of depends on how you like to read magazines and whether you’re someone who keeps them and goes back through them.  Look at the sample issues online before you choose.  I looked at On the Air online and thought it had less content, so I ordered QST.  I tend to keep magazines after I read them.

73 de AI7KS 

 

Sshannon,

Thanks for the advice.  I looked at the samples issues and I see what you mean.  I would much rather read paper than online, so I can see why you ordered QST.  It makes sense to have a paper copy of the larger magazine and read the smaller one online.

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6 hours ago, gortex2 said:

As for QST the last magazine I got was over half ads and little to no real content. 

I guess "content" is in the eye of the beholder.

I found these articles from QST (page one of each is posted below) to be extraordinarily helpful:

Ham Radio & Solar - QST 04.2016.jpg1206664607_voipandamateurradioARRL.thumb.jpg.e583ba3a1a4c279188f616745ad5575f.jpg

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I have ARRL membership. To me supporting ARRL is in the same bucket as supporting other causes I find important, even if I do not receive any direct and immediate payouts or benefits. For me they are together with AMA (motorcycle, not medical one) and local art institutions. ARRL has plenty of good printed and online technical materials.With regards to QST vs On The Air, I think On The Air  is clearly targeted to youth, judging by the language, style and form of the presentation. Nothing wrong with it, but I find QST better for me.

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So one 8 year old article and one 20 year old article....yup...garbage... Again my Opinion. But I guess we aren't allowed to differ than other online. 

There are alot of publications by the ARRL and many other organizations in the radio field. Each has a following and each is what the end user wants to read. If Amateur radio was respected in the areas I live more then it may be different but its a hobby to them. None are involved in county aspects nor have any interest in that. I guess maybe QSL to should just have articles on how to program your Baofeng and HotSpot as that seems to be the fad of the day for many hams. Linking repeaters via internet, hot spots and zello from a cell phone is not what I got into ham radio for. Where is the amateur's microwave guys to help link repeaters and put voters on a system ? Ghosts. Just buy a cheap hotspot and drop it on your fusion or Trbo repeater and walk away. 

 

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I posted two QST articles that over the years I had scanned and saved to my computer.

I had found them to be fundamentally helpful to me in areas that I knew would grow in complexity.

Before I posted them, I considered that your response might be to ignore their content and point to their age.

And sure enough, you ignored their content, pointed to their age and still called them garbage.

I wondered why someone would say that and then I read:

2 hours ago, gortex2 said:

But I guess we aren't allowed to differ than other online.

And that explained it all to me! 

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I see amateur radio as something for nearly everyone. There are people bouncing signals off the moon, building equipment, fox hunting, rag chewing, and just about anything a person could want. It started as a hobby for people fascinated by a new technology. It continues to reflect new technology.  ARRL simply reflects that. 

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  • 4 months later...
On 2/20/2022 at 8:31 PM, WRPH745 said:

I am debating about whether to join ARRL or not?
 

 

 

The League does a LOT for amateur radio, beyond QST (and other publications).

The radio insurance is a value to me.  My homeowners and auto insurance does not cover the gear as well as the League insurance does.

The League represents amateur radio well before the Federal Communications Commission and Congress.  Is the League perfect here?  Probably not as perfect as they could be if THEY wrote the laws, rather than Congress.   <G>

The League is the ONLY group with a seat with the International Amateur Radio Union.  That's important when it comes time to decide allocations involving treaties and such.

The League also supports licensing, testing, and renewals.  Those email reminders can come in handy, in the event of time to renew.

The field organization, ex. Section Managers and Division Directors, are the rubber meets the road points.  IF the League did not do anything for YOU, YOU did not use the field organization to the full potential.  (Former SM here)

Hope that helps. 

73

Lloyd, KC5FM/WRTE806

 

 

 

Edited by WRTE806
clarity
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On 2/20/2022 at 9:31 PM, WRPH745 said:

I am debating about whether to join ARRL or not?

Thoughts?

Thanks

 

I have been a member for a several years, thinking as others have said here ARRL is a lobby group for ham radio. Well, that used to be the case. May become that again someday. Their lobbying has gone nowhere lately. They spent a TON of money on an antenna law that failed, and in fact they reversed themselves on it. They have not been successful at ANY frequency defense lately. Their new bandplan almost went through with huge allocations to almost-commercial WinLink hogging much of HF. The revised plan only came about after a firestorm of member complaints. FCC is still ignoring it. I am not a member now. I think their primary interest is in ARRL itself. Nearly everything constructive they do is taken for free from their membership. They re-brand it and sell it. The top guy gets paid 240,000 a year. The magazine is half ads, half articles written by members (who get no money for it). 

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20 hours ago, WRTI377 said:

I have been a member for a several years, thinking as others have said here ARRL is a lobby group for ham radio. Well, that used to be the case. May become that again someday. Their lobbying has gone nowhere lately. They spent a TON of money on an antenna law that failed, and in fact they reversed themselves on it. They have not been successful at ANY frequency defense lately. Their new bandplan almost went through with huge allocations to almost-commercial WinLink hogging much of HF. The revised plan only came about after a firestorm of member complaints. FCC is still ignoring it. I am not a member now. I think their primary interest is in ARRL itself. Nearly everything constructive they do is taken for free from their membership. They re-brand it and sell it. The top guy gets paid 240,000 a year. The magazine is half ads, half articles written by members (who get no money for it). 

I used to be a member for years myself, even was an EC for the county I lived in at the time. Things got ridiculous as I tried to do the right thing during that time period, but politics and massive egos of some got in the way (along with a DEC and an SEC that ignored what was going on) and I just couldn't handle it anymore. Since then, things have definitely gone south, and it's unfortunate. Seeing the ARRL get into bed with Homeland Security cut out a lot of hams that gave their time and efforts to the ARRL only to get screwed over by new rules and requirements that the Feds requested, which left many hams out in the cold. Trademarking the acronym ARES didn't help matters in my eyes either. 

But it's not just that: Even QST has dropped in quality somewhat, with half the mag containing ads and such along with raising annual dues. Now, I find that I get more ham-related material from QRZ and YouTube...stuff that I can actually get my teeth into.

Would I become a member again? I have to say that the answer would be absolutely not under any circumstances. The only thing I have received concerning the ARRL is Logbook of the World; now THAT was one of the best things the organization has ever done. 

Now that I've probably rustled some feathers with what I've said, but it wouldn't be helpful to see those who are ARRL supporters and especially field organization placeholders showing up to say basically that I'm wrong about my comments. I've seen it, lived it, and been burned by it all, so it will be my intention to completely ignore the noise. That will be my last word on this, unless someone decides to make it personal where I'm concerned.

Sorry for the rant, but some things had to be said.

Warren, WQ1C / WRPC505

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9 hours ago, WRPC505 said:

cut out a lot of hams that gave their time and efforts to the ARRL only to get screwed over by new rules and requirements that the Feds requested, which left many hams out in the cold

Can you elaborate on these new rules, give some examples? It is a sincere question, not to start a flamewar or anything. I got my ham callsign in US only in 2015, but had it on another continent before. I clearly missed changes that happened after 9/11, I presume?

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12 minutes ago, axorlov said:

Can you elaborate on these new rules, give some examples? It is a sincere question, not to start a flamewar or anything. I got my ham callsign in US only in 2015, but had it on another continent before. I clearly missed changes that happened after 9/11, I presume?

Let me rephrase that. What I meant to say is that the ARRL began to change the way they did things at HQ and began to focus a LOT more on emergency comms as opposed to the other things that hams commonly did, more than was necessary. But it began top happen over time. And yes, you missed changes that began to appear after 9/11. I understand it to a point but it got really out of hand. It's not only my opinion, for a large number of hams over the years left ARRL because of that and more. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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