The Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club is a not-for-profit international organization of amateur radio enthusiasts. We provide education forums, publications and peer interaction opportunities that enhance the knowledge, skill and professional growth of our members.
Andy Ludlum – K6AGL
I see a lot of ham radio clubs facing the same challenge. What do they need to do to attract new, younger members?
One important role clubs can play is to provide guidance for newly licensed hams. Many of these hams may have earned their Technician’s license after taking an abbreviated licensing course. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I’m afraid many of these hams end up never doing anything with their licenses because they’ve never had much exposure to the many facets of ham radio.
I’m happy to say CVARC is doing something to help close the knowledge gap. Look for Education Chair Norm Campbell-AB6ET and his team to do some classes this year on the basic operating skills needed by the new ham. If there’s sufficient interest, he’ll also consider doing a CW class.
Teaching CW and other “hands on” activities like kit-building are proven methods to get more young people involved with amateur radio and radio clubs.CVARC has a long history of project-building. The Projects Committee (Eric Peterson-WB6PYK, Adrian Jarrett-K6KY, Dean Nedelman-K6DIN, David Arata-KA9WMI and Andy Ludlum-K6AGL) has come up with a list of seven potential projects for this year. Hopefully we can do two or three:
- Tri-band J-pole
- Simple halo antenna for the 2m band Loop antenna
- Field strength meter
- Shortwave regenerative receiver
- Low power, 40m single side band transceiver
- APRS tracker
You can show your interest in these projects by voting in our online survey. We’ve had 24 responses so far and we’re beginning to see some favorites emerging. I’d like to get some more responses from members, so we’ll keep this survey active for another month. Once we know your interest, we’ll do the final planning for the winning projects.
And speaking of new hams, the ARRL is seeking your opinions regarding a possible new, entry-level license. The result could mean changes to the Technician license or an additional, simpler license that would give newcomers a taste of ham radio from HF to VHF and UHF. There’s an online member survey. ARRL is looking for your response by April 7, 2017.