In the late eighties, a group of Smith County radio Amateurs, led by Guy Martin, AA5AA, realized the need for an organization to promote Ham Radio in the area. In 1987 The Tyler Amateur Radio Club was formed. Guy Martin served as the first President from 1987 until 1989. During that period of time the club grew to over 100 members. Considering that in the late eighties only about 200 Amateurs lived in the Tyler area, it could well be said that almost every Tyler area Ham belonged to the club.
According to the club Charter, The Tyler Amateur Radio Club was organized and established as a non-profit charitable, educational and scientific organization of members to:
Promote the hobby of Amateur Radio in all its forms and modes
Establish, train and evaluate a local network to provide communications in the event of local disasters or emergencies
Recruit and train persons interested in becoming Amateur Radio operators
Facilitate the participation of its members in local, regional and national, Amateur Radio activities
The purpose of all the above is to improve the members’ operating proficiency and readiness to provide emergency communications. To that end, the club promotes networking via a monthly newsletter (The GroundWire), conducts a weekly net on its 2 Meter repeater and holds a club meeting each month. The club also maintains a web site at www.tylerarc.org
Throughout the history of The Tyler Amateur Radio Club, the club has participated in many community service activities. The club has provided communications for many fundraising runs, walks and bicycle tours. The club also has provided communications for the annual Christmas Parade. In the interest of public awareness, the club participates with the National Weather Service in the Skywarn Severe Weather Storm Spotting Program. Annual training for club members helps to hone the skills necessary for the reporting of weather conditions during severe weather.
In order to develop and maintain operating proficiency, the club participates in and promotes sanctioned amateur radio contests. The most visible of these is the annual ARRL Field Day Exercise held each year in June. Field Day requires the club to set up and operate a portable amateur radio station, thus testing and demonstrating the radio amateur’s readiness and ability to provide emergency communications in the event of power failure.
Down through the years the club has held true to its purpose of community service and volunteerism. As the club continues into the 21st century, the club continues to expand its service to the Tyler area.