And a Good Time Was Had by All . .
At least that's the sentiment of Club officers and volunteer members who worked Special Event Station N9L [November-Niner-Legion] during the TALARC operation that commemorated the 94th birthday of The American Legion, March 15 and 16. Judging by many of those who worked N9L, the feeling was mutual. We had contact with a large number of current TALARC members and with a good number of eligible Legionnaires who weren't members then, but now are. Thirty-five new members joined the Club immediately after the Special Event and we are, today, at 1,260 members.
Conditions were good through both days and QRM was all but nil. We logged more than 300 stations, which included one QSO with an aeronautical mobile radio operator at 41,000 feet, somewhere over Louisiana. We talked with several Club members who were, themselves, operating a Special Event from their Legion post home. We've received some photos of those operations and you ought to check them out on the TALARC website at http://www.legion.org/hamradio . If you operated from your post home or with your local TALARC group during the SE, and snapped some pictures, send them in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org  for posting on the website.
On the down side . . . we got a few emails soon after the SE, letting us know that some of you couldn't reach N9L, but could hear others calling the station. Yep, the frustrating "zone of silence." The reality of the skip zone on HF bands is the reason the Club operates on IRLP as well as on 2-meter simplex for those close to National Headquarters. For the same reason – the skip zone – we schedule monthly nets on HF as well as on IRLP. This arrangement allows every-member contact, or nearly so, with TALARC HQ regardless of conditions, license limitations, or skip zones. The great thing about IRLP: you're always 5-9!
Speaking of monthly Nets, they are scheduled for the second Saturday of each month. Times and frequencies are posted on the TALARC website and email reminders are sent to Club members in advance of the Nets. Mark your calendar, please. We'd love to hear from you.
History Over the Airwaves
As some of our members might know, The American Legion relationship to amateur radio didn't get its start in 2010 with the establishment of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club. That relationship began in the 1930s and has been kept alive for more than 75 years, not necessarily by National Headquarters, but by the many American Legion-centered amateur radio groups in posts around the nation.
To give credence to our longevity with ham radio, the TALARC archivist and Director of the Legion's National Library, Howard Trace [KB9WPU] has assembled a modest exhibit that draws attention to the matter. Read more at http://www.legion.org/library/214307/history-over-airwaves .
In signing off...
Just a reminder for those who worked N9L for the March 15-16 Special Event, be sure to get your Special Event Certificate by sending a 9" by 12" SASE to The American Legion Amateur Radio Club, 700 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
And finally, it's become something of a custom now [we've done it twice] for the TALARC President to offer, in video format and at the time of the Special Event operations, a greeting from and a short explanation of the Legion's radio club. You can take a look/listen at: http://youtu.be/kZueEofVZiA .