ARROW Communication Association

Serving Radio Amateurs in Michigan's Washtenaw & Wayne Counties

Switch Fixers!

Yesterday, four ARROW members met at Maker Works to fix assistive devices. Shown below is Paul, KW1L; Rick, K8BMA; and Ron, K8RCF. Yours truly is taking the picture.

The devices we worked on are devices used by people who have difficulty communicating. Typically, they consists of a big switch that the user presses to play a pre-recorded message.

The problems are generally easy to diagnose, and the repairs are generally simple repairs. Rick, for example, replaced the plugs on several of the devices, and Paul and Ron replaced the speakers in several of the units.

One of the devices that I tackled came with a note that read, “Won’t play or record, even with a new battery.” 

Picture of a defective battery clip.As we all know, the first step in troubleshooting is to verify the problem. So, I obtained a new battery and opened the battery compartment. As shown in the photo at right, it was clear that the problem was a defective battery clip. Somehow, someone managed to tear the negative contact off the clip. I replaced the battery clip and brought the device back to life! 

Overall, we probably fixed close to ten devices, including the pushbutton switches. We probably could have fixed more, but it took us some time to learn how to disassemble and then reassemble the devices.

And, while the fixes are usually simple, they can also be a bit frustrating. For example, the device that I replaced the battery clip on wouldn’t go back together very easily. It looked to me as though the screws holding the device together just aren’t long enough. Other devices had similar design issues.

Even so, it was an interesting and fun exercise, and we will be doing this again. There are many more devices to fix. I asked Dale, our contact at Maker Works, if we might schedule an evening session so that those of you who are working can join us. Stay tuned for that.

ARROW Field Day 2024

2:00 PM Saturday June 22 – 2:00 PM Sunday June 23
On the soccer field – just north of Ann Arbor Municipal Airport
801 Airport Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Field Day, an amateur radio event that takes place on the last full weekend of June every year, is an emergency communications exercise, public outreach event, and social event all rolled into one. Since 1933, radio amateurs—also
known as “hams”—have set up temporary amateur radio stations in public locations to showcase amateur radio technology and have invited the public to join them. Hams operate round-the-clock from tents and RVs using emergency power supplied by gas generators, solar panels, and batteries. At Field Day, you can:

  • Get on the air and talk to others via amateur radio.
  • Find out more about how you can get a license
  • Have fun with amateur radio.
  • Talk about all things radio and technology.
  • Sit back, relax, and have fun!

AMPTeam Outing: Jan 15th 2024

When: Monday, January 15th, 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm
Where: County Farm Park, 2230 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

AMPteam Outings take place once every month all year long, rain or shine.  We gather at a common location, set up and operate portable HF, VHF, and AREDN Mesh Microwave stations. This provides an opportunity to hone our skills in rapid and efficient deployment of Amateur Radio stations into the field in what are oftentimes non-optimum conditions.

Dayton Bus Trip – 2024

The ARROW Communication Association is once again proud to sponsor a motor coach trip to the 2024 Hamvention at Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Started in 2002, this annual club activity has grown in size and reputation with hams across Michigan and Ontario.

Registrations are now closed

Pickup Locations:

Ann Arbor: 601 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI – Departing 4:30 am
Toledo: 727 Lime City Rd. Rossford, OH – Departing 5:30 am

Join us on Saturday, May 18, 2024, when we depart from the park-and-ride lot beside Ann Arbor Pioneer High School (601 W. Stadium Blvd) at 4:30 a.m., arriving in Xenia around 8:30 a.m. On board, you can stretch out, relax, take a nap, chat with other hams, and enjoy a light breakfast with coffee as the coach takes you directly to the country’s largest amateur radio event!

License Exam Test Session

Are you ready to take your Amateur Radio exam? ARROW provides exam sessions the second Saturday of each month.
Next Session: December 9th 2023 at 9:00am
Location: Fellowship Bible Church 2775 Bedford Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For more information email

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