Welcome to the website of the Hampden County Radio Association, or HCRA, a group of amateur radio operators (“hams”) in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. The club has existed since the mid-1940s, with the first newsletter we have on file being from September 1948. You can browse through it and the rest of the newsletter archive for a complete history of the club’s activities, but it’ll take awhile.
Today’s HCRA is much like the club from years past. It is made up of a membership with many interests. Many of us are deeply involved in all kinds of HF communication from CW and SSB to the current FT8 digital mode to RTTY and many others. There are also members active in low power communications, in the microwaves, Parks on the Air (POTA), Emergency Communications, Summits on the Air (SOTA), project building and nearly any aspect of this amazing hobby we call Ham Radio. The HCRA is a diverse group with many interests and something for everyone.
The HCRA is an Affiliated Club and a Special Service Club with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio. Find out more about that on the ARRL New England Division web site.
Many of our club members are technical and build projects or help others with their questions and projects.
- A feature of membership is assistance for any question you may have, the club offers a specialist who can work with you at your level.
- If you chase DX, the QSL bureau costs $7 per group of cards plus a fee for the weight of the cards. The club offers a pooled QSL service for members, saving you a minimum of $7 every time you send cards through the ARRL DX QSL Bureau System.
- The club also offers members to be part of the HCRA group on ClubLog. It’s a fun way to compete with your friends and their DX chasing accomplishments. All are perks of membership.
Whether you are a new ham who just earned his or her license or an old timer who has had his or her license for over 50 years, there is something for you at the HCRA. Join the HCRA Facebook page and keep up with the daily goings on of the club and its members. Come join us at our monthly meeting and introduce yourself. We meet the first Friday of every month at the Holyoke Medical Center Auxiliary Conference Room.
I know I speak for the whole club in welcoming you to the HCRA. We look forward to meeting you. If you are not yet a ham, we can help you with that too.
73 and I hope to see you at the next meeting!
Larry Krainson, W1AST