Grant: Southern Amateur Radio Union (SARU) Digital

Date: January 2023
Amount: $10,602

The Southern Amateur Radio Union (SARU) is an amateur radio club located in rural Alabama that serves both southern Alabama and northwestern Florida. Partnering with local area schools, SARU promotes radio infrastructure, fun projects, and emergency communications, with the goal of giving students positive exposure to the radio hobby. Despite securing tower space, the area that SARU serves lacks the infrastructure for supporting WINLINK, APRS, and D-STAR modes, overall negatively impacting the community’s amateur radio and emergency communications.

This grant will provide funding for SARU to add a WINLINK VHF system, an APRS digipeater, and a D-STAR repeater to their acquired tower and to also build a structure to contain the radio equipment. This will not only improve communications in the area, but it will also provide opportunities in the local classrooms for live demos on topics such as how to send emails over radio frequencies using WINLINK, tracking with APRS, and using analog vs. digital audio.

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