Thank you for visiting the web pages for the Socorro Amateur Radio Association (SARA). We would like to invite you to learn more about the association and have you consider joining SARA and the many activities of the association. How active you are and what you elect to participate in is entirely up to you.
Amateur radio has been part of the landscape in Socorro since the 1930's. By the mid-1970's, informal meetings of members and their families were occurring and SARA made the transition to a formal association on May 1, 1976. Although participation in the association has ebbed and flowed since, SARA has remained a vital element of both the amateur radio and Socorro communities since its formation. Although a smaller southwest community, Socorro is very high tech. The ARRL featured Socorro and SARA in the QST article, "Socorro, New Mexico -- Ham City, USA? (QST, December 1996, pp. 43-45)," an article by Dave Finley (N1IRZ) that highlighted the area's high per capita interest in amateur radio. New Mexico Tech is a high quality, Socorro-based university offering bachelors degrees through doctorates in science, mathematics and engineering disciplines. The NSF-funded National Radio Astronomy Observatory is located on the NMT campus and coordinates activities of the Very Large Array and Very Large Baseline Array. Employees from diverse research endeavors ranging from the geophysics to defense make Socorro and SARA home.
There are actually two amateur radio associations in Socorro - the other being the Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA). TARA members include students and staff from the university and represents a 'sister' organization to SARA. Many of these students and staff are also active in SARA. The two groups collaborate in several activities over the course of each year.
Although the earliest activities of the association revolved around getting a repeater up on Socorro Peak, it would be a mistake to characterize SARA as a "repeater club." Today members of the association chase DX, challenge conditions with qrp rigs, experiment with various digital modes, serve the community with their communications skills, provide leadership for county emergency planning and services as well as a host of other activities. Socorro County ARES is one of the most active groups of its kind in the state. Field day stations are operated by SARA each year and each Fall SARA co-hosts the SARA/TARA Hamfest which attracts amateur radio enthusiasts from around the region.
SARA meetings are held, beginning at 7:30 pm on the second Wednesday of each month (except December) in the Socorro County Annex, 198 Neel Ave. Visitors are always welcome - just come on by to see what is going on - invitations are not required. Most meetings feature presentations on topics of interest to amateur radio operators. SARA is incorporated as a not for profit 501 c3 and holds its annual meeting and election of officers at the regular time in May of each year. The formal December meeting is forgone for an informal social gathering of members to celebrate the season.