The Nantucket Amateur Radio Association (NARA) is the local affiliate of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), a national organization established to promote and advance the art, science, and enjoyment of amateur radio. NARA began as a social group that brought together amateur radio operators (“hams”) of various interests: occasional operators, tinkerers and experimenters, members of the Nantucket Amateur Radio Emergency Service (NARES), and non-resident hams visiting the island.
In May 2015 the Nantucket Chief of Police, also an amateur radio operator, called a meeting of Nantucket resident hams. At that meeting the chief proposed that an ARRL affiliated club be formed for the purposes of licensing a new repeater and call sign, and creating an association between on-island hams and the Nantucket Emergency Management team. As a result of that meeting the Town of Nantucket purchased and installed the repeater, and NARA was chartered on November 2, 2015 as an ARRL affiliated club.
Over the years NARA has evolved as an official entity, providing a number of services to the island community, including
- supplying amateur operators for NARES,
- “radio activating” Nantucket Island for amateur radio field days, county fairs, lighthouse celebrations, and other public events, and
- offering education and licensing test sessions for new hams and for current hams seeking to upgrade their licenses.
Meetings | Directions
NARA members gather for quarterly business meetings, generally on the first Saturday of March, June, September, and December. Business meetings are held at 12:00 p.m. at the Nantucket Police Station, 2nd Floor Training Room, 4 Fairgrounds Road. These meetings are open to the public, and guests are always welcome.
Throughout the year NARA members join each other for breakfast Tuesday mornings at 8:00 a.m. Our meeting place is usually the Downyflake Restaurant at 18 Sparks Avenue. In the off-season when the Downyflake is closed our breakfast gatherings move to the Island Kitchen at 1 Chin’s Way. All are welcome.
Repeater | Club Station
The Association maintains the NARA repeater with the call sign W1TUK:
- Frequency: 146.79 MHz
- Offset: -0.600 MHz
- PL tone: 107.2 Hz
The repeater is located atop the Polpis water tower and can be reached from all points on the island.
All hams are welcome to check into the Nantucket Amateur Radio Emergency Service Net on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. on the NARA repeater, call sign W1TUK.
Activities and Training
The Nantucket Amateur Radio Association participates each year in the ARRL Field Day held on the fourth weekend of June. The photo here shows three NARA members running the 2007 field station at Tom Nevers.
Our Field Day location varies from year to year, so check the NARA calendar for details.
Each year NARA observes the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, generally held on the third full weekend in August. The photo at left shows visitors approaching the NARA ILLW field station at Sankaty Head Light on August 17, 2019. Note the antenna hanging from the top of the lighthouse and the vertical antenna to the right of the tent.
That day over fifty visitors saw NARA members using their high-frequency (HF) radios to make contact with other stations in the U.S. and overseas. Some of our younger visitors even got on the air!
Many thanks to the Trustees of Sankaty Head Lighthouse for granting NARA access that day.
NARA offers formal and informal training for aspiring hams and for those seeking to upgrade their licenses. During the winter of 2019 NARA members taught an eight-week course through the Nantucket Community School. In addition, review and practice test sessions were held at the Nantucket Atheneum throughout the year.
In April and December 2019 licensing test sessions were run on the island, and our community gained five new amateur radio operators. Also, five hams upgraded their licenses to obtain greater on-air privileges.
Are you interested in becoming a ham? Let us know! We can help you get started. And check the NARA calendar for upcoming classes, reviews, and test sessions.
Members Only | Documents & Roster
NARA members may access our meeting minutes, bylaws, and other club documents on our Members Only page, This page also displays a roster on which NARA members may opt to be included.
The password to enter the Members Only section may be obtained from the club secretary.
Membership | Join Us
NARA has several classes of membership, including
- Full member
- Short Wave Listener
- Student member
- Family member
Annual dues of $20.00 per year are waived for student members.
Download our membership application.
For more information about NARA, please write to:
Nantucket Amateur Radio Association
4 Fairgrounds Road
Nantucket, MA 02554
We also can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about amateur radio in general please visit the American Radio Relay League at arrl.org.