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C.A.R.L. W7ASC Mission Statement

The mission of the Arizona Science Center Amateur Radio Station (W7ASC) is to provide visitors with live, educational and stimulating demonstrations of many elements of the Amateur Radio experience.

By doing so, our intent is to:

1. Educate visitors about the practical, and fascinating aspect of the application of Science to Radio, Internet, and communications: drawing attention to the applications of physics, Math, Space Science, Astronomy, Foreign Language, Geography, etc. to Amateur Radio.  Show how the Amateur Hobby, an activity open to young and old alike, might lead to a career path to Science and Engineering.

2. Involve visitors with an interactive hands-on utilization of the station equipment, how a real station works, Amateur communication modes, and communicating withg other people around the world and in space.

3. Demonstrate how Amateurs are involved in Emergency Communications, linked to and cooperating with Homeland Security, CERT, FEMA, the American Red Cross and regional organizations that provide or utilize Emergency Communications.  These demonstrations show how Amateur Radio continues to operate in emergency situations when normal communications, such as the Internet or cellular phones have failed.

What is C.A.R.L.?

C.A.R.L. (Center for Amateur Radio Learning) is located within the Arizona Science Center and is made up of many local amateur radio operator volunteers who staff the radio shack during the hours that the Science Center is open.  Our goal is to expose the thousands of visitors who visit the Arizona Science Center each year to the hobby of amateur radio as we carry out our stated mission.  

The W7ASC amateur radio station includes a Kenwood TS-790 which has been donated by Kenwood Communications, a Yaesu FT-990 donated by the West Valley Amateur Radio Club and we are using a $5000 grant from the ARRL Foundation to help fully equip the station. In our initial phase of operation we are operating HF, VHF/UHF, and packet radio. In the future we hope to employ as many modes of amateur radio operation as possible including Satellite communications and ATV. 

C.A.R.L. is set in the environment of the Arizona Science Center, a facility dedicated to exposing children and adults to Science and Technology in a friendly "hands on" manner. Approximately 500,000 visitors are expected to pass through ASC each year, half of those being children. Technology has become an essential part of our society and exposing children to radio communications and electronics can lead to a life long interest in science. This is an opportunity not only to recruit new amateur radio operators, but also a project which can lead young people to a career in technology related fields.

In order to realize these objectives C.A.R.L. is actively seeking help from within the amateur radio community to keep the station staffed every day. We have two 4 hour shifts per day; 9 AM to 1 PM, and 1 PM to 5 PM.

Please volunteer your time to this important project. This is a great opportunity to expose amateur radio to a new generation and to keep amateur radio moving into the 21st century.

Amateur Radio Exhibit Celebrates Ten Years

by Rick Checketts, KA0KZB

Join the volunteer Amateur Radio operators of station W7ASC during the month of June as they celebrate their tenth year of operations at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.   W7ASC demonstrates a vast array of technologies for local, state, national, and international person-to-person communications.

Ten years ago a group of dedicated radio enthusiasts approached the Arizona Science Center to set up an Amateur Radio operation known as a ‘Shack’ in an exhibit area called The Tech Zone. Incorporated as the Center for Amateur Radio Learning (CARL), the group organized and scheduled daily demonstrations of worldwide contacts and communications modes. The exhibit was, and still is, successful in providing an active experience for guests visiting the Science Center.

Over 60 operators from around the Valley of the Sun donated 4600 hours of time and talent to provide the Science Center guests the opportunity to generate live, on-the-air video, voice and text messages. Certificates issued by exhibit operators commemorate contact events made by individual guests. CARL also sponsors education classes for initial start-up, operational modes, and privilege upgrades for the hobby.

Operating every day (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) during normal Science Center hours, W7ASC logged over 1200 contacts worldwide, often with ‘shack’ visitors at the microphone or keyboard. These live experiences provide insight on use of technology, physics, geography, culture, time zones and communication skills. Due to the diligence of the volunteer operators, station W7ASC enjoys one of the better “up-time’ percentages of any exhibit in the Science Center.

Many changes in technology and operating rules have occurred over the past ten years and the exhibit has kept pace. Through generous donations and technical upgrades, W7ASC is recognized as a leading example among Amateur Radio Operators throughout the world as both an operating facility and demonstrating location. Tourists to Arizona, visiting from all corners of the globe, who share the Amateur Radio hobby, make a point to stop by and visit by signing the Guest Operator Log. Over 650 thousand people operate Amateur Radios in the United States, with approximately 4 million worldwide.

C.A.R.L. is now located on the third floor in the Digital World of the Arizona Science Center reconfigured for a more modern approach to communications. Operators at C.A.R.L. invite everyone to stop by the W7ASC ‘Shack’ and wish them a great start for many years of demonstrations, contacts, classes, and exhibits.

In Memoriam

The members of Center for Amateur Radio Learning would like to express our condolences the families of the following Silent Key hams who have contributed to the C.A.R.L. organization through the years.

Cody Totman, W2AKZ became a "Silent Key" in 2003.
Rick Checketts, KA0KZB became a "Silent Key" in July 2009.
Bob Strauss, W7JTP became a "Silent Key" in September 2009.

For more information, please contact us at:

Center for Amateur Radio Learning
at the Arizona Science Center

600 E. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ USA 85004-2394
Tel. (602) 716-2000
Email: info4@w7asc.org

Copyright 2016 C.A.R.L. - www.W7ASC.org