Special Service Club Certificate

The Path to Special Service Club

The Nashua Area Radio Club (Nashua ARC) April 2016 General Meeting was an exciting time for me as your Vice President.

Nashua ARC Exceeds 100 Members!
Nashua ARC Exceeds 100 Members!

We Celebrated the milestone of exceeding 100 Club members complete with a sheet cake.

ARRL Special Service Club Presentation
ARRL Special Service Club Presentation

NH Section Manager Peter Stohrer K1PJS and NH Affiliated Club Coordinator Al Shuman K1AKS came down from Concord and made two special presentations:

  • A Certificate naming Nashua ARC as a Special Service Club (SSC), and
  • A Plaque commemorating Nashua ARC’s 35+ years as an ARRL Affiliated Club.
Peter and Al Presenting a Plaque Noting Our Club's 35+ Year Affiliation with the ARRL
Peter and Al Presenting a Plaque Noting Our Club’s 35+ Year Affiliation with the ARRL

Somewhere around January of 2015, your Executive Board looked at our Special Service Club status and it was discovered that it had been many years since our SSC had been renewed. This I took on the assignment of applying to ARRL Headquarters with a new updated SSC application.

What is a Special Service Club? A club that exists to go above and beyond for their communities and for Amateur Radio is what defines a Special Service Club (SSC).  They are the leaders in their Amateur Radio communities who provide active training classes, publicity programs and actively pursue technical projects and operating activities.

SSC Application Guidelines – As an ARRL Special Service Club, we have met our agreement to develop our skills in the specified areas during the past two years in accordance with the guidelines in the Active Club On-Line Primer. With this application, we apply for renewal as an ARRL Special Service Club for the year to come. We have worked closely with our Affiliated Club Coordinator throughout the year. Recently we have discussed our successes and problems during the past year, reviewed our current strengths and weaknesses and agreed on an acceptable program for the coming two years.

Minimal Criteria:

  1. New Ham Development and Training. Develop an effective, coordinated program of public relations, recruiting, training and ongoing assistance targeted to prospective and newly licensed hams in your community.
  2. Public Relations. Establish an effective Amateur Radio presence in your community, including contact with local media and coverage of your activities; Public Information Officer Appointment.
  3. Emergency Communications. Club members should become skilled in communicating effectively during communications emergencies and be prepared to assist when needed; Official Emergency Station appointment and participation in ARES.
  4. Technical Advancement. Continuing education in the technical aspects of Amateur Radio to ensure that your club members are technically competent, familiar and comfortable with modern radio-electronics technology; Technical Specialist appointment.
  5. Operating Activities. Active participation as a club in one or more major operating or operating support activities to ensure that your club maintains a high level of operating skill.
  6. Miscellaneous Activities. Every active club has its special interests and activities that make it unique, that give it special personality. List three of these activities.

It became very obvious that this was to become a challenge. But, where do I start?

First, a thorough review of the ARRL’s Active Club Primer was in order. This 48-page primer is a compilation and update of The Club President’s Workbook and the Special Service Club Manual. It is loaded with helpful links and ideas galore to get a club enlivened!

Second, since the SSC application allows a club to go back reporting its activity for the previous two-years, I poured over the web site, especially the archives of the Nashua ARC Newsletters to extract data.

The first rough draft was hastily put together and presented to the Executive Board for review and discussion.  As with any project, the four drafts went from overkill to simplicity. This took a matter of months of revision and review. I quickly found out that our Club has done so many things that I had to cut out everything over 18 months old!

This shows you just how ‘outstanding’ the Nashua Area Radio Club is! I am proud of our membership and the primary reason to write this article is for members to see just what we have done, what we are doing and where we are headed. The future is promising! Next, the completed application for Special Service Club.

Special Service Club Application

As an ARRL Special Service Club, we continue to meet our obligation to develop our skills in the specified areas during the past two years in accordance with the guidelines in the Active Club On-Line Primer. With this application, we apply for renewal as an ARRL Special Service Club for the year to come. We have worked closely with our Affiliated Club Coordinator throughout the year. Recently we have discussed our successes and problems during the past year, reviewed our current strengths and weaknesses and agreed on an acceptable program for the coming two years.

Application Type   New
Date                              February 12, 2016
ARRL Section          New Hampshire
Club Name                Nashua Area Radio Club
Call Sign                      N1FD
Address                       PO Box 248
City                                Nashua
State                              NH
Zip Code                     03061-0248
Club President        Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
Vice President         Layne LaBaume, AE1N
Your e-mail address [email protected]

New Ham Development and Training

Purpose: Develop an effective, coordinated program of public relations, recruiting, training and ongoing assistance targeted to prospective and newly licensed hams in your community.

  1. January 2015: New initiative: “At Nashua ARC, We Love New Hams!” Recruiting targeted mailings were shifted to sending free bulletins with inserts to newly granted licenses within a 25-mile radius of Nashua.
  2. May & December 2015: Presentations: In outreach, presented “An Introduction to Ham Radio” to SPARK Sessions (Symposium Promoting Advancement of Real-world Knowledge) at the Nashua Academy of Science and Design (a STEM charter school). New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan attended one session.
  3. Nashua Area Radio Club has a formal program including classes, license testing and follow up to enable new HAMs to earn licenses, learn about HAM radio basics and see help of experienced Elmers to get on the air. Nashua ARC License Classes are posted to the ARRL website, on Gordon West’s website, on our Club’s Facebook page and the Club Calendar.

a) We have four new ARRL certified Volunteer Examiners: AB1QB, KC1DXL, N1RF, and W1AKI that were certified in the past year. Previously certified Volunteer Examiners are AB1OC, K1NKR, K1SMD, KB1HYL, and N1DGQ.

b) Presented three Technician classes. (June and October, 2015 and February 2016) and one General Class (November 2015). As of this writing additional classes are scheduled for March (General) and May (Amateur Extra) 2016.

c) June 2015 Class: 7 students: 1 new Tech, 1 new General. (One student got his Extra outside of class)

d) October 2015 Class: 8 students: 6 new Techs, 1 new General. (One student already had his tech)

e) November 2015 General Class: 13 students: 10 new Generals, 2 new Extras. (One student already has his General.)

f) February 2016: One year ago, we had 80 members. As of this writing, we now have 90 members, a net gain of ten members. This includes honorary lifetime members.

Public Relations

Purpose: Establish an effective Amateur Radio presence in your community, including contact with local media and coverage of your activities; Public Information Officer Appointment.

  1. Nashua ARC has as established web presence (www.N1FD.org); a Facebook page; a Twitter page; an Instagram page and videos on Vimeo.
  2. Nashua ARC’s monthly General Meeting announcements are published on-line at www.NH.com and www.WhoFish.org. WhoFish sends 75,000k emails in the state of NH. This weekly publication has a 40% click thru rate and goes out on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  3. The club maintains an active website at www.N1FD.org and biography page at www.QRZ.com.
  4. March/April 2015: “Visit a Member’s Station” program wherein a member opens up his Ham Shack for a tour and demonstration to other members and prospective licensees.
  5. June 2015: Another successful annual Field Day operation with a score of 7176 points including 900 Bonus points. Get On the Air (GOTA) station. Public and Officials Visit. Articles in local newspapers: The Nashua Telegraph and the Merrimack Cabinet.
  6. October 2015: Member Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB, was featured in the Young Ladies Radio League quarterly publication.
  7. August 2015: The August Nashua ARC Annual Picnic at Greely Park provided demonstrations to the public. (August)

Emergency Communications

Purpose: Club members should become skilled in communicating effectively during communications emergencies and be prepared to assist ARES when needed.

  1. ARES in New Hampshire is organized by county. The individual in charge of ARES for each county is the County Emergency Coordinator (EC). The Hillsborough County (HC) EC is Fletcher Seagroves N1MEO, a Club Member.
  2. The EC has three Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC’s). Two of the three county AEC’s, K1SMD and K9AEN are also members of Nashua ARC. KD1TD, W1YQ, KB1HYL, NF1L, KC1CRK, and W1PK are members of and Nashua ARC. Most of these members participate in the weekly ARES training net.
  3. Terry Newport W1YQ, our EC Liaison, updates the club on ARES activities. In the event of a real emergency, he monitors four frequencies—the N1IMO repeater system, the Nashua repeater, the Hillsborough Country ARES simplex frequency and the 2-meter national calling frequency. Through Terry, club members become flexible and adaptable to actual emergency needs and are prepared to assist ARES when needed.
  4. Feature article “Disaster Preparation Tips” was published in the December Nashua ARC Bulletin.
  5. Highly successful Field Day operation demonstrating Nashua ARC’s ability to install and establish communications in an emergency simulation.

Technical Advancement

Purpose: Continuing education in the technical aspects of Amateur Radio to ensure that your club members are technically competent, familiar and comfortable with modern radio-electronics technology; Technical Specialist appointment.

  1. “Tech Night” Elmer program initiated. Monthly sessions–occurring between the regular General Meetings–provide opportunities for hands-on building and experimentation as well as for talks and demonstrations.
  2. September 2015: Several club members were invited to attend an IEEE presentation on Software Defined Radios at the Nashua Public Library.
  3. September 2015: Two Club projects presented An Audio Processor and a Rotor Controller Shield design.
  4. A heavy technical emphasis in programs for the monthly General Meetings:

a) February 2015. Member speaker Jeff Millar, WA1HCO, on “An Engineer’s Vision of Amateur Radio in 2020.”

b) April 2015. Member speaker Mike Murphy, WU2D, on “My Adventures in Converting Military Surplus for Useful Amateur Use.”

c) September 2015. Member speaker Wayne Grant KB1HYL on “Operating Ethics”. (September)

d) October 2015: Guest speaker Eugene Novacek, WW4EN, on “Designing the Ultimate Home Radio Shack” (facilities and grounding)

e) November 2015: Guest speaker Dale Clement, AF1T, on “Transmission Lines.”

Operating Activities

Purpose: Active participation as a club in one or more major operating or operating support activities to ensure that your club maintains a high level of operating skill.

  1. Weekly: The Nashua Area Radio Club Weekly Sunday Net meets alternately on six and ten meters.
  2. April and September 2014: Several Nashua ARC members operated as New Hampshire’s W1AW/1 during the Centennial Celebration weeks.
  3. May 2015: Fred, AB1OC, and Anita, AB1QB, Kemmerer operated mobile from Nashua to Dayton and back using the club call N1FD/M, putting 98 counties on the air and netting over 1200 QSOs for county hunters.
  4. May 2015: Several Nashua ARC members annually participate in the New England QSO Party.
  5. June 2015: Nashua ARC, using club call N1FD, completed another highly successful ARRL Field Day operation scoring 7176 points, including 900 bonus points. (We are “Number 1 Field Day,” after all).
  6. Week of July 4th, 2015: In our second year of participation, six Nashua ARC member operators made over 9000 QSOs as K2K during the 13 Colonies Special Event. We seek to cover the K2K NH operation as much as possible by members of our club boosting the operating experience and skills of our club.
  7. September 2015: Several Nashua ARC members annually participate in the New Hampshire QSO Party.
  8. October 2015: Eight members operated as N1FD during the special club event celebrating Nashua ARC’s 35th anniversary. Notification Published in QST Special Event Activities.
  9. All of 2016: Nashua ARC is constantly seeking new operating opportunities, we are looking to activating National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) activation in NH, led my club member Aron W1AKI.

Miscellaneous Activities

Purpose: Every active club has its special interests and activities that make it unique, that give it special personality. List three of these activities.

  1. Representatives of Nashua ARC always attend the NE Division Cabinet meetings so we can interact with regional League leadership.
  2. Executive Committee and Regular meetings held monthly (except August when we have our Annual public picnic.
  3. Every Spring and Fall: Special visitor: Michael Crestohl W1RC, creator of NEARFEST, the New England Amateur Radio Festival held at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, Deerfield NH. The program of activities and events at NEAR-Fest is extensive; a huge outdoor electronic flea market, three buildings full of commercial vendors, forums, technical seminars and symposia, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, licensing examinations, special events radio stations, a “jam session”, good food, fellowship, and fun. NEAR-Fest is the largest event of its kind in the Northeast and has once been described as the “Woodstock of Amateur Radio
  4. Regular presentations are done at each club meeting. Diverse have included: Mobile HF, Station building, Bora Bora DXpedition, and intro to DXLab.
  5. Nashua ARC has a recognition and awards program as an incentive to encourage members and others to give demonstrations, presentations, and provide Elmering.

Layne LaBaume, AE1N, Nashua ARC VP

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One thought on “The Path to Special Service Club”

  1. Layne,

    Wow! You sure didn’t leave anything out! I’ve never been one to toot my horn but I see where it certainly pays to do so in this case. I think the ARRL should provide a reward to a club when it makes it to SSC status – like a few tickets to the Dayton Convention to be raffled for club members.

    73 de TE

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