QST the end!

 All ARRL fees are up from the 1st January 2024.

An international 3 year ARRL membership, including QST, rises from $217 to $282 a rise of 30% from the 1st January. That's another one I won't be renewing.

Something that is supposed to represent Amateur radio, does not provide good value for money for it's membership.With that sort of hike many members will leave and it will do nothing to encourage new members into the ARRL.







Steve, G1KQH, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from England. Contact him at [email protected].

23 Responses to “QST the end!”

  • Chuck KR4SF:

    The cost of printing and shipping, especially out of the US, has become astronomical. Try switching to a digital subscription ($140 for three years). That way you can have it forever, and only print things you really want. I have started doing that for most of my subscriptions when they come up for renewal.

  • Joe KK3JOE:

    I feel ARRL ripped me off. I paid for a subscription that ends in September, and part of my subscription was the magazine. If they CANCEL the Magazine, they should refund part of my dues as well.
    I called them and all but they could care less. They said we didn’t cancel the magazine, we just cancelled printing it.

    I will be thinking long and hard next September! Glad I only paid one year!!!

  • Steve NO9B:

    IMHO: The ARRL is there to keep the government from selling our frequencies to the highest bidder. I will always support the ARRL no matter if I get a direct benefit or not. I love Ham radio and if I have to give out some cash to help prevent it from becoming CB bands, I will.

  • Larry Wheeler W9QR:

    The ARRL has paid very large salaries to its management staff for decades. The Life Membership costs have been a great burden. I suspect that the league’s investment portfolio has taken quite a hit over the years. I joined in 1959. My mentor was the
    League’s first salaried “Chief Operator” when the HQ station was called 1MK. Bob’s call was 9TW. The “Old Man” described him as being the best Morse operator that he had ever
    met. If Bob Parmentor were here today, he would say “don’t bite off more than you can
    chew”. That would be good advice for the League’s management.

  • Larry Wheeler W9QR:

    One more comment. While the membership cost may no longer be justifiable, a yearly donation for the spectrum defense fund would help the League cover the fund’s expenses. Just a few dollars from each ex-member would far surpass the funds that are earmarked for the fund as it is now.

  • David WB4ONA:

    ARRL goes from 3 years for $217 to $282, a total increase of 30%. That’s 36 paper issues of QST for $7.83 an issue pro-rata, a substantial amound of which goes to the ever-increasing US Postal Service Union-Led black-hole. AmIRight?. Does the ARRL have an option for a digital-only QST subscription? I abandoned the ARRL way back when they abandoned us U.S. Hams to HOAs and Landlords. Since then, due to antenna restrictions in my area I have never really been back on the air. That may change soon though, inflation is pricing me out of where I live. I don’t think living on the street has any antenna restrictions – right? A squatters tent with a three-element beam, hmmm…

  • Steve (G1KQH):

    ARRL doesn’t individually send QST’s out to UK recipents, but bulk ships QST out to the country concerned and they are posted out from the company handling the service to the member. Hence costs are a lot lower than using US surface post. Digital copy to me is like washing soap suds down the drain, you never own it.

  • G3LIV:

    Hi Guys
    Thats a shame
    I was 90 last month so lots in it are for the
    more (younger) up-to-date guy.
    Its near ending for me I think.
    Time to think hard
    But it has been getting thinner as well.

    AH Well

    73 Johnny G3LIV

  • Milton, N6MG:

    The future of our hobby is in our numbers.
    Like it, or not, the ARRL is good for the welfare of all of us.
    Larry, W9QR commented on the large salaries paid to the staff at ARRL. May I ask your source of information? It’s simply not out of line.

  • Dave KF6XA:

    In the past, I’ve set my account to “no printed QST” while traveling for several months at a time. Although I do like having the printed copy, I have found that about every three years I throw them out without having re-read any. The platform for reading online is not great, but I haven’t seen one yet that is. Hmm, I do have a 27 inch monitor now, maybe that will help.

    However, I DO think that ending printed magazines before the end of paid-for memberships is a violation of contract. I expect a lawsuit, which will cost more than the savings hoped for by ending printed publication early. It would have been much smarter to apply a credit toward you next renewal.

    Also, I asked if, now that there is no physical product, we could consider our membership a donation. They said “no,” but that is debatable, and between you and the IRS.

  • Tom N1YR:

    I also have been telling non-renewers to donate something to the Spectrum Defense Fund instead of just going away. U.S. Amateur Radio does need a voice in Washington.

  • Gary KØBKW:

    I understand costs are going up, I also think current subscriptions to print QST should be honored. I just renewed because as bad as ARRL has become they are our only voice at the gov’t level. So if you aren’t a member you have NO complaint or voice with them and the only way to fix it is to vote new people in starting with any local officials and work our way to to top, and yes as with any corporate entity I firmly believe the the CEO’s and such are badly overpaid for the service they provide, as an old politician I once met said, thank goodness we don’t get all the gov’t we paid for. Stay in and work to fix the problem, I am.

  • Ken N2VIP:

    The ARRL has converted all non-life member memberships to “digital only” and as before, you retain digital access to ALL ARRL publications. The League is offering pro-rated print subscriptions – my membership renews in June, they wanted me to pay $14.82(I think) to get print QST thru June. They are not publicizing this very well, but their website made it easy to pay that fee.

    I don’t like that they made print QST an add-on to my membership, but I appreciate the pro-rated charge.

    I paid for now, I’ll see what I feel like in June, 2024 – the new membership fee and print charge is pretty steep – they need to do a MUCH better job explaining to me why it’s worth so much money to remain a member of the League…

  • Mike, N4PF:

    But CEO Minster will get his $350,000 per annum salary!

  • Dennis, KE4I:

    Being an older ham and now on Social Security I find it very difficult to pay high membership fees for anything. The membership fee is to high for ARRL in my opinion. After all wasn’t it the “old” hams that paved the way for the young? I can live with the digital QST, but not the membership cost. I’m not a fan of the digital issues of anything, but if interested in something I will look it up.
    The bottom line for me is to lower the price of membership even if it means going to digital and I’ll try to enroll in membership again.

  • Ron NI7J:

    I am truly a devastating to learn that QST is increasing their price! OMG!
    With that, my Social Security payments will not allow me to enjoy Kilt lifter beer anymore, I will have to go back to drinking Budweiser, it’s a sad day to say the least!
    Going in to see my shrink on Monday!


    HI, Guys I am a life member and I paid $350 for a life membership.
    I really enjoyed QST and the articles were great and I am sure
    they still are.
    Really sorry to see the ARRL and the members at odds with each other.
    Funny thing, when I switched to digital QST I did not understand
    how to sigh-in and was locked out of QST for almost two years.
    I finally learned how to get in and I have had no problems sense.
    I am 74 now and I live in the Philippine Islands, love it here but not
    ham action on HF at all.
    I wish the ARRL and it’s members the best, work it out guys!

  • R. Anderson WA2QYA:

    I don’t know where you got your numbers, but a three year renewal in the US is $140 and includes digital QST and On the Air. If you’d like the printed edition of either QST or OtA, add $75.
    Your comment is unfair, imho. Joining the ARRL is the best bang for the buck for all you get.
    Tell me what publications have not gone up in price?
    International is $217 including a printed QST.

  • Larry Wheeler W9QR:

    In answer to Milton’s question about management pay, a few years ago the figures were posted on the web. Having owned an engineering business for decades, I am in the know as to what needs to be offered for top talent. The figures that I read were handsome to say the least. It’s difficult to judge what is going on at the League because of its cloak of secrecy. That has been a point of contention for many years. I re-joined last June. By August I still had not received confirmation of my new membership nor a copy of QST. It took phone calls to HQ and my Division Director to wake them up. They did cash my check in June. I hope that the League can restructure itself and adjust to the loss of members.

  • Truman WB8ISV:

    At my last move, 25 years of QST didn’t comes. To me it’s just another change to the things that used to be. For better or worst it is just another inevitable change. It’s sad to see contentions among a group of fine committed people.
    Change also gives us an opportunity to grow and improve. The paths may not be clear but our commitment to one of finest hobbies ever should be our focus.
    73 Truman,

  • Goody K3NG:

    I was an adamant ARRL proponent, getting a life membership 20+ years ago. Over the years ARRL has slowly but continually eroded my support. I think ARRL needs to split into two organizations: a non-profit dedicated to advocacy, regulatory, legal, and lobbying, and a for-profit publishing entity. The advocacy and revenue-generating missions are at odds with each other. Magazines have been dying a slow death the past two decades. It’s time to abandon a monthly published format and paper and have an online portal with free and premium/member content, like a Patreon model. ARRL needs to take a hard look at the operating expenses that are driving the membership dues needs and get rid of line items that have a low bang-to-buck ratio. I get the sense there are services and elected management overhead structure costs that around only because they’ve been historically supported.

  • N9KLK:

    Yes as others have stated QST magazine will be missed. I enjoy having a paper copy! My subscription expires in April I contacted ARRL to question why are you stopping the magazine before the end of my (Paid) subscription ? I didn’t receive the answer I wanted and after polite short conversation I was informed that I could pay a reduced amount to extend my QST magazine until April. Well that was nice of them considering that I steady paid for a full year. Anyway as others have mentioned maybe supporting the frequency defense fund is the way to go! Anyway I’ve enjoyed the QST magazine for 40 plus years.

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