Southern Arizona Radio Resources

Also known as: SARS! Don’t worry, it’s not contagious. This page will be regularly updated and serve as an index of educational and other radio related resources throughout Southern Arizona available to folks looking to learn more about radio communications and related items.

“Getting Started” Resources on this site

The following pages may help you get your GMRS radio dialed in if you’re new to the hobby.

  1. A Guide for Newcomers
  2. Getting a GMRS License
  3. List of Repeater Capable GMRS Radios
  4. Arizona GMRS Repeaters – see the Southwest Community Radio System to sign up for use.
  5. If you’re on the air on the repeater system; throw out your callsign and ask a question!

Amateur Radio Licensing & Study Resources

GMRS is a highly capable radio service on its own and has a leg up on family licensing, however because of its low barrier to entry and capabilities, we often have folks develop a further interest in other operating modes outside of analog UHF FM such as digital voice, data, satellite, and other bands in general such as shortwave and VHF. If you desire a more open platform for experimentation after getting your feet wet on GMRS, we strongly recommend taking the next step and getting an amateur radio license in addition to your GMRS license. Don’t let the exam fool you, you can absolutely get that ham ticket in no time at all!

There are several study and testing resources available in the area:

  1. Tucson GMRS Events page and Amateur Radio Posts for listings of local examiner sessions and classes that we know of.
  2. ARRL Licensing Education and Training Guide.
  3. HamStudy.org.
  4. ARRL Book Store (other vendors such as DX Engineering and Ham Radio Outlet also carry many of these materials)

Southern Arizona Amateur Radio Clubs

If you’re looking to dig deeper into the ins and outs of radio communications, the Tucson GMRS Association recommends seeking out contact with local Amateur Radio Clubs to further learn technical abilities and explore various other forms of radio communications. Attending club meetings or reaching out to these groups does not usually require an amateur radio license and can connect you to a wealth of vetted knowledge already well established in the community.

  1. Eastern Arizona Amateur Radio Society
  2. Radio Society of Tucson
  3. Oro Valley Amateur Radio Club
  4. Green Valley Amateur Radio Club
  5. University of Arizona Amateur Radio Club
  6. Cochise Amateur Radio Association

Would you like to add your club? Please let us know at info@tucsongmrs.org!

Does Tucson GMRS hold regular meetings?

We focus primarily on providing on-air infrastructure and will attend and host events that benefit our on-air groups, such as Kamp Kerchunk, Ham Fests, and Field-Day exercises. So if you’re looking to meet and gather with a few of the folks on the air with us, keep an eye on the events calendar and an ear on the southwest regional net announcements on Sundays.

By itself, we do not hold regular and recurring club meetings no do we offer memberships; this is largely because of the fact that there are already a number of radio-oriented groups already established in the community.

Emergency Communications & Related Resources

The following is a list of emergency or incident oriented publicly sanctioned groups and resources in the community; these may have volunteering opportunities depending on your background and skill sets.

  1. Pima County Office of Emergency Management – Communications Division.
    1. Joining the Pima County OEM Comms group requires a ham radio license and completion of the ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-700 and ICS-800 courses: FEMA Incident Command System (ICS) Courses
  2. Tucson SkyWarn.
  3. Southern Arizona Red Cross.
  4. CISA Field Operations Guides.

Did we miss a recognized emergency group? Please let us know at info@tucsongmrs.org!

Radio Swap Meets (“Ham Fests”) & Field Activities

  1. Check our events calendar

Did we miss a local radio event? Please let us know at info@tucsongmrs.org!