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The Joys of Being a Member of a Club

For those that may not know me, I have mobility issues. While I used to be able to climb ladders to work on antennas, drive ground rods and generally do my own work to setup my ham radio station, unfortunately those things are not possible for me now. That being said, I now depend upon the kindness of friends in UPARC to setup my antennas and sometimes the bigger projects inside the shack too. The point of this post is not only to thank all the wonderful hams in UPARC but also to point out this is one of the benefits of being a member of UPARC.

Of course, UPARC is a club of many interests. We have Field Day, Winter Field Day, UPARC in the Park, POTA, supporting scouting activities, VE testing, the weekly net, a very good 2m repeater open to all to use, monthly meetings, license classes and many more things that UPARC does. But one more aspect of being in UPARC is a club full of members ready and willing to help other members to get on the air. Regardless if you are a brand new ham installing your first station, an old-timer than needs help getting back on the air or somewhere in between (like me), UPARC is there to help. Of course, that goes both ways. Everyone can help support the club in some way even if you can’t get around. Run a net, answer questions on Slack, become a VE, donate some gear or simply break out your checkbook to donate (UPARC is a public charity so any donations are tax-deductible).

As a testament to the willingness of members to help out fellow club members, the following are some pictures from the antenna party held at my QTH this past Saturday. Jack N4KIN, Ryan KO4KGP, Glenn N4ESU and Rob WD4IFT came over to install Morgan lightning arrestors in my KF7P wall mounted box. This required moving the arrestors from the box that was on my tower at my prior QTH in Madeira Beach. They were going to install two ground rods but I could not find the ground rods plus we realized one ground rod needs to be installed through a concrete pad so that is a project for another day. Another task was to consider the best place to put up an interim HF antenna. I thought this was just going to a brainstorming session to figure out the best place to put up an antenna. But after the arrestors were installed, Ryan asked if I had my previous 40m to 6m OCF dipole. He and the rest of the team installed the HF antenna using the mast for my tri-band VHF/UHF vertical. And just like that, I was back on the air on HF and even made some QSOs in the ARRL DX contest that same day. The pictures below show some of these items.

2m/70cm/23cm vertical mount with the HF dipole wire
MyAntennas OCF dipole under the vertical
KF7P wall box with Morgan arrestors installed. The hole in the top left is 3 inch conduit through the wall into the shack.


So as you can see, membership has its benefits. UPARC was founded many years ago as a small informal group of hams that shared some common interests. It has grown into something much more and fills many roles in the upper Pinellas amateur radio community. It is the members that make the club what it is. The spirit of cooperation and willingness of each member to help out the others is what makes it a special club. If you are not yet a member, I encourage you to join this great group of people and take your ham radio experience to the next level. My thanks again to everyone that helped out on Saturday and those that continue to help all of our members.

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