As a University student organization and ARRL affiliate member, public service is the number one project for the members of ARCUA. Below you will find a breakdown of some of our current and past public service projects.
ARCUA holds regular monthly meetings during the fall and spring school terms. Those meetings are set at the beginning of each semester according to the class and activity schedules of the membership.
Club members also meet informally for lunch weekly on the west side of the Arkansas Union Servery dining area. The gathering is informal, and everyone is welcome. As with regular meetings, the exact meeting time varies each semester according to class schedules and other commitments.
The current meeting schedule can be found on the Meeting Schedule page.
- Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment
ARCUA’s main activity is public service. In March of 1995, ARCUA members arranged to have students from the Huntsville, Arkansas schools talk with an astronaut aboard the space shuttle.
- Radio Merit Badges
Spring of 1996 saw ARCUA members assisting members of local Boy Scout troops in obtaining their Radio Merit Badges.
- Field Day
ARCUA’s biggest annual event is the American Radio Relay League’s Field Day emergency preparedness exercise. This exercise, held annually on the fourth full weekend in June, is set up as a contest with the object being to contact as many stations as possible during a 24 hour period while operating from a temporary location using emergency power. A gallery of pictures from Field Day 2011 can be found here. Keep your eye out for Field Day activities mentioned in our blog.
- Disaster Drills
Emergency preparedness is ARCUA’s top priority. Each year, members participate in campus-wide disaster drills. These drills familiarize members in emergency procedures and familiarize public safety officials with ARCUA’s communications capabilities. Towards this end, ARCUA has a fully-functional repeater which allows members to use their handheld ham radios all over campus.
ARCUA has been granted permission to downlink and re-transmit the EMWIN, “Emergency Managers Information Weather Network,” data stream in Northwest Arkansas. ARCUA was subsequently granted use of a military frequency for re-tramsmission of EMWIN by the Arkansas National Guard. The weather data will be available to the public via this VHF frequency. Thanks to the National Weather Service in Tulsa, the Arkansas National Guard, and the University of Arkansas Associated Student Government for their help and funding and sponsoring this project.
- Spotter Classes
ARCUA sponsors a severe weather spotters course each spring for local ham radio operators and local public safety officials. Each year, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service Office in Tulsa is invited to campus to speak about severe weather spotting.
Club members also participate in severe weather (Operation SKYWARN) nets on the local repeater, often functioning as liason or as net control.
Other Amateur Radio Activities
ARCUA is always been active in many contests throughout the year. Some of the contests club members have worked include the ARRL November Sweepstakes. In 1998, ARCUA participated in the Collegiate Championship in both the CW and Phone categories. The ARRL 10 Meter contest, which always seems to be during finals week, was also worked in 1998.
- Fox Hunting
“Fox Hunting” has become popular in this area. Several club members are active in this interesting sport. Past ARCUA President (1994-95) Jeff KB5RUI and past Secretary Frank KB5WAR even built a Doppler-based radio direction finding unit as an EE senior design project. Competitive fox hunting which involves hunting for a hidden radio transmitter, helps Hams gain valuable experience. This experience can later be used in situations as complicated as locating a downed aircraft or as simple as tracking down a source of interference.
- W5YM – ARCUA’s Station
Like any radio station, W5YM is constantly upgrading its facilities. The new millennium brought about a new challenge as W5YM temporarily relocated from its longtime home to Bell Engineering during the two-year renovation and retrofit of Science and Engineering. For more on W5YM, jump to our station page