San Angelo Amateur Radio Club Celebrates 100 Years

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10/16/2022

The San Angelo Amateur Radio Club (SAARC), based in San Angelo, Texas, will celebrate its 100th anniversary on October 15, 2022. The club is committed to a century of community service, science, technology, engineering and of mathematics (STEM) education, emergency preparedness and disaster response.

Founded in 1922, SAARC held its first meeting on June 14 that year, and membership has now grown to 40 members. The celebration will take place at their clubhouse located at 5513 Stewart Lane in San Angelo. It will include a tailgate swap meet starting at 9 a.m., amateur radio operators working to make contact with 100 stations and the Boy Scouts Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA).

The club’s call sign, W5QX, honors Carl Brinegar, who originally held the call sign of 5QX before the addition of the “W” prefix. He was one of the first members of the SAARC.

SAARC is currently working in partnership with the Mayer Museum at Angelo State University, located on the Angelo State University campus, to create an exhibit that will tell the story of the pioneers of local radio. Topics will include amateur radio operators, retail radio companies, public safety radio innovators, and broadcast radio stations that formed in the Concho Valley area in the 1920s and 1930s.

Club member Mike Dominy, KD5URW, said SAARC is the only club within a 70-mile radius of San Angelo, Texas. “Our club and Amateur Radio Emergency Service® volunteers cover 14,000 square miles with a population of 165,000,” Dominy said. “With cell phone coverage only along major roads and highways, amateur radio is the only communication during storms and tornadoes.”

Dominy added that there were only 381 licensed amateur radio operators in the area and the club was working on grants to add and upgrade repeaters as part of a five-year plan.

The SAARC is an affiliate club of the ARRL.


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