ATS and the American Radio Relay League
Founded in 1914, the Amateur Radio Relay Leage (ARRL) is dedicated to helping messages get across the country. In much the same way as the "Pony Express" got messages across the country, by relaying the bag of mail from one rider to the next, the original ARRL members handed off messages (called "traffic") from one radio operator to the next. Networks were formed to help messages get from A to B using the low power and relatively primitive radios of the day.

To this day, many of the contests and training materials from the ARRL still have at their heart the idea of "message traffic." But the ARRL does more than hand out awards for traffic. Among their public service programs are:

  • Amateur Radio in the Classroom is an outreach to educators to help bring HAM radio into the education main stream.
  • ARRL Sponsored Contests promote proper use of the air waves during emergencies by helping Ham's to practice message passing in "non-emergency" times.
  • RFI/EMI - Radio Frequency Interference and Electro Magnetic Interference are facts of life. This effort of the ARRL is an attempt to help educate the population about this harmful and sometimes destructive force.
  • ARRL Educational Activities include recruitment and eduction of new hams. This includes activities with the young and old.
  • ARRL Foundation Scholarships are also awarded to those interested in continuing education in the world of radio, both design and use, through the ARRL Foundation.
  • Emergency Communications Training is another area where the ARRL meets and exceeds it's federal mandate. Through this program, the ARRL helps local clubs train members for both ARES, Emergency Managament, SkyWarn Weather Tracking, and RACES

Organizationally, the ARRL also promotes the continuation of HAM radio through various lobbying efforts, chiefly with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In addition the ARRL helps to inform the HAM community of various topics of interest. Among the more "hot" topics at the moment are:

  • ARRL Government Relations is the chief method by which Ham's are able to voice their opposition to various bits of legislation as a lobby.

As a local club, the ARRL has several localized services: