NIHRAC banner with official logo

 Welcome to NIHRAC   

The National Institutes of Health Radio Amateur Club
 [HQ @ Bethesda, Maryland, USA]

 -- 54 years of ham radio and public service! --

Membership is open to any individuals who have an interest on ham radio, radio communications engineering, hands-on radio experimentation or emergency communications services in support of their local community or the nation.


The renovation of the NIHRAC office space, also known as the NIH Volunteer Emergency Communications Facility (VECF), is at its final implementation stage. The new facility will have a specially-designed radio operations room with multiple radio workstations and a work area for amateur radio repair and experimentation. The Club will also have access to a new shared conference room for meetings, and a large closet-storage area with emergency power, illumination and a/c for additional Club equipment, materials and supplies. Click on the pictures below for a larger view.

NIHRAC/VECF Renovation (11/29/2017)  
(Pictures taken 11/28/2017)

The renovated radio operations room will have custom workstation furniture. Volunteers will be needed for assembling the workstations and associated radio equipment after the room is finished, potentially in January 2018.

IMPORTANT: Our antenna farm on the roof of the building, including our telescopic antenna tower, is in urgent need of repairs. This work will have to be done by a specialized contractor. Funding is needed to perform these repairs. Please consider donating to the Club. Contact us at for donations or inquiries. 


The Club meets the first Saturday of every month at 1pm at Building 11, Room 305 in the NIH Bethesda campus. Due to construction work, we are temporarily meeting at an alternative place. Please check our email list or contact us to for updated meeting information. We welcome anyone -- club membership or a ham license are not required. See our About Us page for directions and additional information. We also have a weekly "net", or on-the-air meeting, every Monday at 9:00 p.m. on our 2 meter repeater (see below).  We welcome check-ins from all stations over the air or through the Internet via EchoLink (we are K3YGG-R).



We welcome applications from anyone interested in amateur radio, telecommunications or emergency communications services.  Membership is free. A NIH badge is NOT required for membership or to access our Club facilities in the NIH campus. For more information, visit our Membership page.

NIHRAC makes a number of resources freely available for use to its members. Our facility, now being fully renovated, has radio stations and antenna systems for a variety of analog and digital radio communications modalities, office space for meetings and other hobby activities, and tools and equipment for radio experimentation and DIY projects. Visit our Club Resources page to view details.

 We maintain a repeater in the 2-meter band that is openly available to anyone with a radio amateur license, except under exceptional circumstances. We also make regular use of a local 70-centimeter repeater. Our 2-meter repeater frequencies are 144.69 MHz input / 145.29 MHz output. PL5A (156.7 Hz) encoding is required for access. For more details, please visit our Repeaters page.  

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