The West Allis Radio Amateur Club, Inc. (WARAC) was founded in 1954 by hams in
West Allis, Wisconsin and the southwest suburban area of Milwaukee. Today, the club has
active members from all parts of the Metropolitan Milwaukee area. From its beginning,
the club has been dedicated to public service and to the training of new hams. WARAC
has conducted entry level classes in Amateur Radio for most of it's existence. WARAC
has long been affiliated with the
American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
Regular meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm at New
Berlin Community Center, 14750 W Cleveland Avenue (handicapped accessible - all on one level).
Regular meetings consist of a program on a topic of interest and a short business meeting.
This is followed by refreshments and comaraderie to round out the evening. Meeting
announcements and club news are published monthly in
HAMTRIX, the WARAC newsletter.
The WARAC Scholarship Fund was established in 1988 and more than $45,000 has been awarded
since then. Donations by the club and individuals allow the fund to continue
providing scholarships. Donations to the WARAC Scholarship Fund are tax deductible under
IRS Code Section 501(c)3.
One WARAC David Knaus Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually in
the amount of $1500. The scholarship is available to Wisconsin residents holding
an Amateur Radio license and registered with a college, university or technical school in
a course leading to an Associate or Bachelor degree. The David Knaus Memorial Scholarship is
administered by the
ARRL Foundation and application information is available on our
The primary fund raising activity of the club is our Annual Midwinter Swapfest held each January since 1973. Filling three
buildings of the Waukesha County Expo Center, this radio and electronics swapfest
provides a place for hams, electronics and computer hobbyists from the area to sell and
swap their excess gear and acquire new pieces of equipment.
The Midwinter Swapfest is known in Wisconsin and surrounding states as a well attended
event. Profits from this event help support club activities including the WARAC
Scholarship Fund and gifts to various Amateur Radio related causes. In addition to the
Midwinter Swapfest, WARAC sponsored ARRL Central Division Conventions in 1976 and
WISCONSIN QSO PARTY
The annual Wisconsin QSO Party has been sponsored by WARAC
since 1979. WIQP is an on-the-air operating competition that focuses on Wisconsin
and is popular not only in Wisconsin, but across the country and the world
with over 300 logs submitted each year.
The objective for Wisconsin hams is to make contact with hams in as
many Wisconsin counties and other states as possible. Amateurs in other states try to
contact as many Wisconsin stations in as many counties as they can. Awards are given to
high scoring entrants in several categories.
WORKED ALL WISCONSIN COUNTIES AWARD
WARAC sponsors an award program, the Worked All Wisconsin
Counties Award, available to any Amateur who can show evidence of having confirmed
contacts with an Amateur in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties occurring during or after the
1995 Wisconsin QSO Party. This award is available to all Amateur Radio operators
Each June, WARAC members take to the field and set up functioning stations with the goal
of making as many contacts with other Amateur stations in the United States as possible
in a 24 hour period. This event, sponsored by the ARRL, is an exercise in emergency
preparedness as well as being an exciting operating activity. This picture, which
appeared in the 1996-97 CQ Magazine Amateur Radio Calendar, shows Mike Falk, AA9RK and
Jim Westover, KB9KBK operating at the 1995 WARAC Field Day site.
WARAC is a Life Member Society of the Radio Amateur
Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), having contributed thousands of dollars towards
the development and construction of Orbiting Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio (OSCARs).
Designed and built by hams, OSCARs have been orbiting the earth since the mid-1960's,
providing hams worldwide with endless high-tech excitement in pursuit of their hobby.
From time to time, WARAC members engage in other group activities. The club holds an
annual dinner at which awards are presented to members who have earned distinction within
Membership in WARAC is open to "all persons of good character with a genuine interest
in Amateur Radio." Full membership is available to licensed Amateur Radio operators, with
Associate membership available to non-licensed individuals. A filled-out
WARAC application form may be presented at any meeting.
Dues for membership are $15.00 for Full members and $10.00 for Associate. In addition,
there are special rates of $18.00 for families with two or more licensed hams in the
household, and $10.00 for full time students and individuals who are retired or are
living on a fixed income.
Sound interesting? For more information on Amateur Radio or the West Allis Radio
Amateur Club, visit our website at www.warac.org/, email
us, or you may write to us at the address at the top of the page. Also, anyone is welcome
to attend our meetings on second Tuesdays