Chandler Ham Radio Club – How We Got Started
The Chandler Ham Radio club officially formed on July 13th, 2019 when we held our inaugural club meeting at Barro’s Pizza in Chandler.
Myself and my fellow co-founders, Norm (K7NWF) and Byon (N6BG) originally got together through another local Ham who was trying to start a club as part of the city of Chandler’s volunteer CERT program.
We were not so much interested in the CERT as we were in the fellowship side of the hobby. We decided to start meeting separate from the original group for breakfast every other Saturday morning.
As the breakfast group grew so did the interest in starting our own club. It was surprising to most of us that as large as Chandler is and with as many licensed operators as there are in this city that there was no club. We also realized there were no VEC teams for Ham license testing in this area.
As we moved forward, as I like to say, like a baby bird (“we must spread and develop our wings before we can soar with the eagles”) we started taking the steps toward forming the club.
We talked to officers of other clubs (thanks MARA, Inc) on what to do and any experiences they can share with us. They provided us with their club documents to use as a guideline to create our own.
We also have several members who are or were associated with other clubs in the past and passed on their experiences as well.
We needed a repeater and a member of the South Mountain User Group suggested using their repeater on South Mountain as an interim club repeater for our NETs. We asked other SMUG members and they approved our request.
(UPDATE: Our Weekly Net has been moved to the MARCA repeater on South Mountain 443.050+ PL100, to allow the SMUG repeater to remain clear for Emergency Use! Thank you SMUG and MARCA!)
As the dominoes fell perfectly in place, we applied for a club callsign and it was granted by the FCC. We then submitted for a vanity call sign of “N7CHN” which was also approved.
Amazing Growth of Chandler Ham Radio Club
Since the forming of the club in July of 2019 we have far exceeded the expectations of the founders. We kind of thought we might have 25 or 30 members by the end of the first year.
There is a saying from an old movie which is perfect for our little club “if you build it, they will come”…..and they did in groves. As of Sept 2020 we currently have over 90 members in our club.
We regularly have over 30 of our members on our weekly NET. Wow, we never dreamed we could or would grow this quickly.
We are registered as a non-profit corporation with the State Of Arizona and are currently in the process of getting our 501(c)3 status.
We have also since created and support a local VE Team to offer free FCC testing for new or upgraded licenses. Details are located on this web site in the VE Team area.
If you are interested in joining our amateur radio club, we meet on the second Saturday of every month at Tri-City Baptist Church at 9:00am, 2211 W Germann Rd Room #170 in Chandler. (CURRENTLY OUR CLUB MEETINGS ARE ON ZOOM ONLY DUE TO COVID, PLEASE CONTACT US THROUGH EMAIL “firstname.lastname@example.org” FOR DETAILS)
As we move into the future we will be hosting presentations immediately following our club meetings. We are currently already doing this in our virtual meetings and will continue to due so in the future. We are also planning various events such as club field days and contests, training courses for Ham related topics and even project build groups for small Ham radio related products.
Please continue to check out our website and calendar for these events and updates on club status.
73 de KI7PBR, Gary Laatsch