Ham radio clubs can be a great place to meet other hams and to find out what's going on in the local ham community. In the Charleston area, there are two formal clubs that I'm aware of. I've been a member of the Charleston Amateur Radio Society (CARS) since I got licensed, and recently learned about the Trident Amateur Radio Club (TARC).
CARS has their regular meetings on the second Monday of each month, and while the meetings are a good source of info for what's happening in the area, they're rather business-like and can be kind of boring. TARC meetings are on the third Monday of the month. I haven't made it to a TARC meeting yet but from what I've seen on their website, their meetings seem a little more casual.
Outside of regular club meetings, I haven't come across many other gatherings of local radio people. There's a Monday/Wednesday/Friday breakfast meetup at the Bojangles on Ashley Phosphate. It's a nice little meetup that I've had a couple of opportunities to get to when I have an excuse to be in that area for work. It's not something I can get to on a regular basis though.
It got me thinking that it would be nice to have a regular evening or weekend gathering where local radio people can get together. There are numerous possibilities for things to do:
- talk about radio
- get on the air and play radio
- check out the newest rig
- make things
- share/collaborate on projects
- code practice
- study group for getting/upgrading your amateur radio license
- sharing radio know-how
- just hang out for some face-to-face rag chewing.
As for meeting places, it could really be anywhere. Coffee shop, someone's garage, out in a park or field somewhere.