Serving Radio Amateurs in Michigan's Washtenaw & Wayne Counties

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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

ARROW Exhibits at Ann Arbor Maker Fair

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, I was joined by Joe AC8ES, Ed KC1DYK, James AE8JF, and Ralph AA8RK at the Ann Arbor Creativity and Making Expo (AACME). Formerly called the Ann Arbor Mini-Maker Faire, this is the first post-pandemic instance of this event.

From L to R: interested attendee, Ed KC1DYK, Joe AC8ES, Dan KB6NU, James AE8JF, another interested attendee. Photo: Ralph AA8RK.

While the number of exhibitors and attendees was down from 2019, I think everyone had a great time. In addition to ARROW, exhibitors included:

  • Skyline High Robotics Team
  • Maker Works
  • All Hands Active Makerspace
  • Retro Computing SIG

and several others. There was even a woman there doing some creative upholstering.

We had a couple of interesting things to show people:

  • Joe, AC8ES, brought his parabolic, double biquad WiFi antenna project.
  • Ed, KC1DYK, brought a nanoVNA and the coil and variable capacitor that he built from a soda can.
  • I brought my assortment of keys and code practice oscillators to demonstrate Morse Code and got many of the attendees to send me their names in code.

Joe, AC8ES, demonstrating his parabolic, double biquad WiFi antenna. Photo: Lisa Giannati Photography.

I also brought my KX-3, and we set up the 40m/20m inverted-vee antenna out in the courtyard.

Ed, KC1DYK, tossing a line up into a tree so that we could raise the inverted-vee antenna. Photo: Joe AC8ES

Unfortunately, band conditions weren’t all that great, so we didn’t make a lot of contacts. Also, being so close to the building probably didn’t help.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was meeting one particularly smart high school student. She came up to our table, just as we began packing up. As it turned out, she had either just completed, or was working on an antenna similar to Joe’s. We gave her the spiel on ham radio, and I think we convinced her to get her Tech license. I’m also going to try to get her to come to Field Day.

Thanks to all who attended and all who helped out with the event.


Preparing for Hamvention

Thinking of attending Hamvention this year? Jay, WB8TKL gives us some good ideas for getting ready. Reprinted with permission.

Someone told me that Hamvention was like Mecca and you MUST go at least once in your lifetime. I got mixed up and thought they said that you can only MISS Hamvention ONCE in your lifetime 🙂 I’ve been to all of them since 1977 and have a few tips on how you can make the most out of attending Hamvention.

  • WALK! Weeks in advance you should get out and walk a mile or two or three every day to beef yourself up for all the walking you’ll be doing. Get used to being on your feet for several hours.
  • Over the weeks leading up to Hamvention, break larger bills into $10, $5, and $1 dollar bills. Don’t make the sellers burn through all their small bills.
  • Make a wish list. List the items you need for ongoing projects, and any future projects you hope to do over the next year.
    • Write down the specifications/details of any products you want.
    • Make an estimate of how many you’ll need and how much they’ll cost. Don’t forget to include spares!
  •  Stock up on supplies. I used to hit Mendelson’s first thing Friday morning, with my folding hand cart. I’d purchase 40 or 50 POUNDS of hardware of all sizes ($1.25 per pound). Then haul that heavy load
    back to my car well before I’d burn out walking all of Hamvention. This assured a life-long supply of hardware in my workshop. Did the same with rolls of resistors and capacitors, and filled my parts bin drawers back home.
  • Write down the phone numbers, flea market space numbers, motel name and room numbers, of any friends you hope to hook up with.
  • Put together a list of eateries near your motel that you’d like to try. Include their reservation phone number and address. Maybe make a plan for which place to eat on which night, and share that with your friends and buddies you would like to spend more time with.
  • Make a list of any evening events or dinners you’d like to attend.
  • Make a list of seminars you plan to attend. Note the day, time, and room number. This will help to keep you on schedule and not miss an important seminar you wanted to see.
  • Carry a “goodie bag” to collect all your small items and even some big ones. Picture one of those heavy cloth bags newspaper boys used to use on their routes. Sometimes I even carry smaller bags inside my Goodie Bag, just in case!
  • Carry a DMM and a multitool. Sometimes making a resistance check or popping the cover off a case, will confirm if that “deal” is a good one, or a boat anchor.
  • Be prepared for intense sunshine, rain, and even sleet! Carry a hat and a plastic rain poncho. If you don’t use the poncho to cover yourself from rain, you may be glad you have it to cover that $1000 radio you just bought.
  • Keep track of your purchases. Log every purchase on a small pad or on your wish list. Hamvention is long and tiring and your memory will evade you when trying to figure out where that last $300 went that you can’t account for.
  • Don’t keep all your cash in one pocket or wallet. Place your money in multiple pockets just in case you drop or misplace it!!! Use money clips if you have them. I account for all my cash-on-hand each day before I start out, and reconcile my funds back at the motel in the evening.

By having a plan and a shopping list you are likely to have a much better experience at Hamvention 🙂

—Jay, WB8TKL

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