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
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
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
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
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,
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
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