Have a Question?
< All Topics

What is the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)?

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is a non-profit organization and the largest membership association of amateur radio operators in the United States. Founded in 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim, the ARRL represents the interests of its members and the broader amateur radio community in the United States. It promotes the growth, development, and enjoyment of amateur radio as a hobby, public service, and technical resource.

Some key activities and services provided by the ARRL include:

  1. Advocacy and Representation: The ARRL advocates for the rights and interests of amateur radio operators at the federal, state, and local levels, working with regulatory bodies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to maintain and expand access to radio spectrum for amateur use.
  2. Publications: The ARRL publishes a wide range of materials related to amateur radio, including the popular monthly magazine QST, various technical and educational books, and online resources. These publications cover topics such as operating techniques, equipment reviews, antenna design, and electronics theory.
  3. Education and Training: The ARRL supports amateur radio operators by providing educational materials, courses, and licensing exam preparation resources. They also offer a Volunteer Examiner (VE) program, which trains and certifies volunteers to administer amateur radio license exams.
  4. Emergency Communications: The ARRL plays a significant role in organizing and supporting emergency communications efforts, particularly through its Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) program. ARES consists of trained and organized volunteer radio operators who provide communication support during disasters and emergencies, working alongside public safety agencies and relief organizations.
  5. Technical Support: The ARRL provides technical advice and assistance to amateur radio operators, including a technical information service, equipment testing and reviews, and radio frequency interference (RFI) resolution resources.
  6. Contests and Awards: The ARRL sponsors and organizes various contests, award programs, and special events throughout the year to promote on-air activity, technical skill development, and camaraderie among amateur radio operators.
  7. Field Organization: The ARRL has a field organization of volunteer officials, such as Section Managers and Technical Coordinators, who support local amateur radio activities, coordinate emergency communication efforts, and provide a direct link between the national organization and its members at the local level.

In summary, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of amateur radio operators in the United States, promoting the growth, development, and enjoyment of amateur radio through advocacy, publications, education, emergency communications, technical support, contests, and awards. The ARRL plays a vital role in supporting the amateur radio community and fostering a spirit of cooperation, learning, and service.

Table of Contents