Why join the ARRL? We’ll, the reasons can vary, depending on each radio amateur’s needs and priorities.

In my opinion, the most important reason is advocacy. In my over 30 years as being an Amateur Radio operator, I have seen technology improve. Along with those improvements, many new technologies require some form of radio communication, whether it be cell phones, satellite Internet, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, self-driving vehicles, anti-collision systems, drones, and more.

In America, we have some of the most spectrum available, as compared to other countries in Europe as an example. Many of the new and upcoming technologies will all be looking for wireless spectrum for their use. It is important to have the ARRL ”support legislation and regulatory measures to preserve and protect meaningful access to the radio spectrum.”

Although spectrum advocacy is important, there are a number of other great member benefits that the ARRL has to offer. Many of these are overlooked, even though the ARRL dedicates a page in QST each month with a printed “Guide to Member Benefits.

My next favorite benefit is the ARRL Learning Center. This is an online learning environment with training resources for getting on the air, emergency communications, electronics, and technology.

Although it may be the favorite benefit overall to many other amateurs, my next ARRL benefit I appreciate is QST magazine.

If you’re new to amateur radio, some old-timers may have offered you some of their previously read magazines they have received. They would have shared these QST magazines with you as they are a great source of technical articles, events occurring in the hobby, contest calendars, and more. QST is available in printed copy, but my favorite for travel, is to use the ARRL Magazine app and carry access to the entire digital library on my digital device.

QST Magazine is a great benefit, but it’s not the only magazine your benefit your ARRL membership will give you access to. You’ll also gain access to “On the Air,” a magazine for beginner-to-intermediate level radio amateurs. And there is more including QEX magazine (a forum for communications experimenters), and NCJ, the National Contest Journal.

Magazines aren’t the only publications you can access. You’ll also have access to e-newsletters such as the ARRL Current, the ARES letter, and a variety of other e-newsletters, podcasts, and other announcements for members.

What if you can’t find an answer to your technical questions in any of the ARRL publications your membership provides? Well, you’ll also have access to the ARRL Technical Information Service where you can call or email expert ARRL Lab specialists for answers to all of your technical operating questions.

There will be times In your amateur radio communications that you’ll want to give your e-mail address to another ham over the air. Let’s face it, some of us have some long email addresses and domain names. Your ARRL membership will also give you access to the ARRL email forwarding service where you will get your own email address. This allows you to forward emails sent to your personal email address. It will stay the same even if you change email providers. If you do change your personal email address, you can change where your email forwards too. It’s a great convenience and makes sharing your email on the air with another radio amateur easy.

If (or when) you get into contesting, or perhaps just for your occasional contacts you make on the air, you’ll have access to Logbook of the World. You can “record your contacts and qualify for awards using ARRL’s premier logging service.

Since its founding in 1914, the non-profit ARRL has helped protect, foster, and grow amateur radio. I’m proud to be an ARRL member and know it’s an important part of amateur radio.

Interested in becoming an ARRL member?  Click here to find out more on the ARRL and membership.