The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is is the largest membership association of amateur radio enthusiasts in the USA and it represents the interests of hams before federal regulatory bodies, provides technical advice and assistance to amateur radio enthusiasts, supports a number of educational programs and sponsors emergency communications service throughout the country.
The ARRL is the primary representative of amateur radio operators to the US government, lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission on various issues of importance to ham radio. The ARRL has a significant international membership and influence as well, serving as the secretariat of the International Amateur Radio Union, which performs a similar role internationally, advocating for amateur radio interests before the International Telecommunications Union and the World Administrative Radio Conference.
The ARRL’s underpinnings as Amateur Radio’s witness, partner and forum are defined by five pillars: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology, and Membership.
ARRL’s Vision Statement– As the national association for Amateur Radio in the United States, ARRL:
- Supports the awareness and growth of Amateur Radio worldwide;
- Advocates for meaningful access to radio spectrum;
- Strives for every member to get involved, get active, and get on the air;
- Encourages radio experimentation and, through its members, advances radio technology and education; and
- Organizes and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications.
For all the above reasons it is good to support the ARRL with membership at $49 per year. As a bonus, and for many it is reason alone to be a member, the ARRL publishes the monthly magazine QST. Each issue is a source of equipment reviews, technical tips, projects, news and many other ham-related topics.
Regular columns address specific interests:
- Amateur Radio World- International ham radio news and info
- Classic/Vintage Radio- Fun look at older receivers, transmitters and transceivers
- The Doctor is In- Authoritative answers to interesting technical questions
- Eclectic Technology- Discussion on new or unusual technology in ham radio
- Hands-On Radio- Practical technical discussion of interest to DIY hams
- Hints & Kinks- Ideas, tips, and related handy suggestions on all things ham
- How’s DX?- Long-distance (DX) communication news or issues
- Public Service- Ham radio for emergency communication and/or events
- The World Above 50 MHz- Ham radio at VHF and higher frequencies
There’s something for everyone in QST. A new ham will be exposed to the breadth and depth of ham radio and get some idea of equipment, antennas and accessories. An old timer will learn new things and keep abreast of changes and fuel a particular interest. ARRL membership includes a monthly copy of QST mailed to your address, or you can receive it digitally if preferred.
As with most ham things there are plenty of reviews of QST on eHam.
Besides QST and having the ARRL as a powerful advocate for ham radio, there are several other benefits to ARRL membership:
- Technical Information Service (TIS)
- Member Discounts and Affinity Benefits
- Ham Radio Equipment Insurance Plan
- ARRL Visa Signature® Card
- Outgoing QSL Service
- Continuing Education
- Regulatory Information Branch
- Public Relations for Amateur Radio
- Field Organization
- Sponsored contests
- Operating Awards
Hopefully we have encouraged you to become an ARRL member. To join in with 160,000+ other members, you can sign up here. An amateur radio license is not required but we hope you’ll get one eventually.