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new Amateur Radio Club art Kettering University

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Clubs' started by KD8DES, Mar 12, 2013.

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  1. KD8DES

    KD8DES Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have recently helped a group of students start up an Amateur Radio Club here at Kettering University, formerly GMI, and we are looking for some guidance.
    A club existed on Campus in the past, but disbanded more than 20 years ago. Now, I have found some young people who are interested in finding more about ham radio.
    We have had 2 club meetings, where another local ham (KC8DUP) and I have gone over some basic information about radio , especially digital operation, which seems to be the focal point of most of their interest. Most are EE or ME students, so already havve some working knowledge of radio and electronics.
    Only one of the students currently holds a license , and our first order of business is to get the rest licensed, so we are going to Student to get some funds for licensing materials. Once that is accomplished, we have a local source that promises to lend us some 70cm HTs for club use. Although setting up an HF station on campus is an ultimate goal, we anticipate it will be quite some time before we will have sufficient funding to actually do this. Small steps at first....
    My question is, what next? Having never done this, I don't know what direction to point these young people. Any ideas about the best way to approach this, maybe from some hams that have experience in starting College clubs, would be most appreciated.
  2. KD8DES

    KD8DES Ham Member QRZ Page

    Really? Nothing? I have a group of 18-21 year-olds interested in amateur radio, and nobody can offer a word of advice?
    Most topics, you guys are chomping at the bit to throw an opinion on this forum.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  3. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Your subject line reads like an announcement/advertisement for a new club, rather than a request for guidance. I clicked in only because a member of a local club in my area is a recent Kettering graduate.

    I don't know that I can offer much constructive advice (aside from mentioning that perhaps you might want to edit the thread title), but here are a few suggestions (all which can mostly be pursued in parallel):

    1. Get in touch, and perhaps visit, a few local non-college radio clubs. Some of them will be receptive, others might not be. This is a good way to find technical assistance, tips towards tracking down loaner or inexpensive gear for the club (or club's members), insight on any local radio classes, contacts with local VE's who might be willing to have a special exam session for you, etc.

    2. You might also try reaching out to a few established college clubs. Odds are, they have more practical experience at campus club organizing than most Zedders, and they might give you a vision for what you want your club to grow into.

    3. Amateur radio is a lot more fun when you have your ticket. A good first club activity would be to have exam-prep classes. There are two schools of thought when it comes to licensing classes -- one is that the classes should extend over a period of time, allowing you to learn about ham radio in addition to preparing for the exam; the other school of thought is that you could learn the test, get your ticket, and then learn about amateur radio. There is something to be said for either approach (and this being the Zed, there will probably be some strong, conflicting opinions expressed shortly). I suspect that given the probable technical background of your members, you might find the typical 8-week-per-element class plan insufficiently challenging. You might could get everyone to General with a couple of weekend-long cram sessions, but finding that time (especially with nice springtime weather, classwork, etc.) might be challenging. It's something to think about with your prospective members, and might perhaps be influenced by what resources are available in your area.

    4. Amateur radio is a lot more fun when you can get on the air. Depending on what the club's interests evolve into being, you'll probably want to find a friendly faculty or staff member at the college who could sponsor some space for you, either for simple storage (break out the gear on a nice weekend, and set up a Field-Day style station), or perhaps even an actual radio shack.
  4. WT4BT

    WT4BT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Michael, Have you contacted ARRL headquarters? If not I would recommend doing so either the main number/email: 860-594-0200 or e-mail or direct to Norm Fusaro/W3IZ of the Membership & Volunteer Programs Department at
    You should be able to get some good direction from there and, maybe, some local assistance in getting up to speed.

    Best of luck in your efforts and,
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