Join the club image
We welcome applications from anyone interested in amateur radio, related technologies, or emergency communications (EmComm).  Having an FCC amateur radio license, radio operating experience, or an NIH ID, or even an interest in emergency communications are not required to join. 
We have members who are current and past NIH personnel, members of the local community, and others who have traveled to various DX/geographical zones and participate remotely. 

If you are just curious about ham radio or electronics as a hobby but you are not sure about joining, consider attending our meetings. 
We do ask that children are accompanied by responsible adults, but other than that an interest in or curiosity about the many aspects of amateur radio will find a home in our Club. For any inquiry, write us to

To join our Club, complete a Membership Application form and mail it or e-mail it to the address on the form. Important: the Club rescinded the membership fee requirement. You do not need to send a fee with your application. Voluntary donations are welcome, however.

Membership Benefits

Membership benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Access to our Club’s facilities and resources.
  • Participation in meetings, which often include technical presentations and discussions.
  • Participation in projects and activities, from simple DIY projects to more complex -- some of our members are accomplished engineers and have contributed to radio communications projects that are reported in publications.
  • Optionally, serve as the backbone of the NIH emergency communication system during scheduled outages and in case of an emergency event. Club members often participate in emergency communications drills and demonstrations, but participation is optional and voluntary, although highly encouraged (see below).
  • Access to experienced hams and engineers that can advise you in your own projects.
  • Assistance to get your FCC ham radio license. We do not administer tests, but we are familiar with organizations nearby that do.
  • Access to experienced advice before your acquire your own ham radio and related hobby equipment. Sometimes members can borrow equipment from other members or the club for evaluation before purchasing their own.
  • Have a say in our planning of activities and projects.

Our NIHRAC-L email reflector

All our members are added to our email forum at Non-members can also join by going to this link. You can also request assistance subscribing or unsubscribing to Among others, the list is used for meeting announcements, advertise other Club activities, and general hobby discussions and news. To control the email flow, participants have the option to receive a daily digests that will include all the daily communications in a single email instead of individual emails. This forum is meant to be used for Club-related topics only. The list managers reserve the right to remove participants who engage in inappropriate communications.

Participation in Emergency Communications Activities

There is no requirement to participate in our emergency communications activities to join the Club. However, we encourage members to participate on, or witness such activities as they are excellent learning and community service opportunities (and usually a source of meaningful personal satisfaction, and reportedly fun). 

NIHRAC is affiliated with the Montgomery County Auxiliary Radio Service (MCARC), which is our local equivalent to ARES. We encourage members to join MCACS or the local ARES equivalent in your place of residence.

NIHRAC EmComm demonstration at WRNNMC - 2012 Bethesda, MD