Akademisk Radioklubb (“Academic Radio Club”), ARK, is a student amateur radio club in Trondheim, Norway. Founded in 1923, it’s the oldest amateur radio club in Norway, and its license LA1K is the oldest license still in use.
In the blog on this website, we seek to describe the activity of ARK and give insight into our various projects – mainly for the benefit of our members and for documentation purposes, but also to the greater benefit to former members, potential new members and others which might find interest in what we do. It turns out that showcasing the projects in public gives extra motivation both for finishing the projects and documenting them properly :-). Often, the blog post also gives a broader insight and motivation for our hidden-away internal technical documentation.
We like to call ourselves an experimental radio club, where our main focus is experimentation with radio and other kinds of vaguely related technology. Our mandate is to work towards increasing the technical and theoretical knowledge in radio technique, and collaboration and companionship among our members – which is important for any student organization.
Throughout a year, we do things like participating in ham radio contests, organizing courses like the annual ham radio license course or workshops in topics of interest to our members like GNU Radio and soldering. Field Day is an important event every year, where we travel to a remote location, socialize and run a lot of radio.
Projects, whether they are in the making, not likely to be finished, insane or inane, are an important part of the day-to-day life of the academic radio amateur. Examples of projects include our larger 1-10 GHz project, involving both hardware and software to construct a system for receiving 1-10 GHz over a 3m parabolic dish, various software projects (we also have a Github page), and our continuous fight against the weather to keep our antennas non-QRT. Every now and then, we also publish what we consider quite clever solutions to problems like organizing clusterfucks of rotor controllers, or accumulated tricks we think might be of interest to others.
As an ARK member, a lot is up to what the member itself chooses to do. ARK has the necessary antennas and radio equipment to have a lot of fun with radio, be it contesting, contacts across the world (or space!) or general experimentation. We have the means for going through with projects, for example by having advanced equipment available for free play, or having accumulated a pool of technical experience and knowledge, or just to provide the social network to make the horribly black student life less lonely. Our main “working day” is Mondays (“ARK monday”), where we try to do e.g. maintenance or other pending work. This inevitably often degenerates to a pure social gathering. There is activity at ARK’s rooms all week long. Sometimes even all night long.
Others have also tried to describe what ARK does and is:
- Under Dusken #11 2011 (https://dusken.no/underdusken/2011/11/) page 34 (Norwegian): a good description of ARK’s participation in Field Day, down to the atmosphere and the general vibe.
- “Huset med de rare i 2012H 3” (https://dusken.no/video/5/akademisk-radioklubb/) (Norwegian): video with interviews with ARK members and some footage from SAC SSB 2012 and ARK Monday.