Staying on air

Staying on air

Members of the Case Amateur Radio Club are asking old hams for help raising new antennas. They want a venerable engineering club to live on.

On the rooftop of Glennan, nine stories above Case Quad, a trio of hi-frequency antennas cast spidery shadows over a glass-and-cinderblock bunker known as the Ham Shack. Inside the rooftop clubhouse, members of the Case Amateur Radio Club talk to ham radio operators around the world.

 

To keep the conversation flowing, the club needs to refurbish two of its antenna towers. A capital project looms for a student group with a modest budget.

 

“We haven’t done anything kickstarty just yet,” but the club is weighing its options, said Kristina Collins ‘19, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

 

Collins, the club’s historian and former president, has been poring through its old logbooks, building a database of alumni ham enthusiasts. Working with the Case Alumni Association, she’s designing a targeted giving campaign that goes beyond what the club has done in the past. Following the lead of student groups like the Humanitarian Design Corps, radio club members will reach out to potential supporters online—and on air—and ask them to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign.

 

It’s a new approach for a venerable student group. The Case Amateur radio Club was founded at Case Institute of Technology in the 1940s. Many alumni might be surprised to learn it remains as popular as ever. Amateur radio has seen a resurgence of late, especially among a new generation of hands-on engineering students, Collins said. Plus, she thinks a giving campaign might spark more than a revenue stream.

 

“We want to have a relationship with our alumni whether or not they donate,” she said. “We do have a facility to maintain. So if they donate, great. But we’re communication hobbyists—we do like to talk!”

 

Reach her at Kristina.Collins@case.edu or KD8OXT

To help the radio club today, click HERE.

“We want to have a relationship with our alumni whether or not they donate. “We do have a facility to maintain. So if they donate, great. But we’re communication hobbyists—we do like to talk!”

—Kristina Collins

©2020 All rights reserved.