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Northern Florida

Northern Florida

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Northern Florida
Stephen W. Szabo WB4OMM
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May 1, 2017

Greetings North Florida Hams!  Welcome to the GREATEST HOBBY IN THE WORLD!

Wow, I had a busy month in May!

As I am still the EOC and EM fella at the City of Daytona Beach, I ran two seminars, two workshops, and a citywide hurricane tabletop exercise for my City; plus, attended the Volusia County Hurricane Tabletop and After-Action workshop exercises, and the Statewide Hurricane Exercise. Lotsa’ hurricane prep items on the desk….along with planning for the Coke Zero 400 and a Shriner’s Convention in July!  Two trips to the University of Central Florida in Orlando; one locally for the University of Phoenix.  Started delivering a face-to-face UCF course, and taking an online UCF faculty development course.  Mother’s Day!


I was at the OARC (Orlando) club meeting on May 3rd…… usual, had a blast!  Always enjoy this group’s meetings (they have good doughnuts and coffee…….<grin>).  I also got to see the Hamcation folks and some of the club officers in Xenia as they were up there to “scope out” Hamvention.  Friday night I had dinner with these excellent folks and truly enjoyed being with them!  OARC and it’s members are a Class Act!  Thank you for treating me so well. 

I made the trip to Xenia, Ohio for the 2017 Dayton Hamvention in it’s new digs at the Greene County Fairgrounds & the Four Days in May (FDIM) CW/QRP gathering in Fairborn, Ohio during the same time frame.  I only did Vendor night and the banquet for FDIM but saw quite a few nice folks.

So…..Xenia and Hamvention.  Let it suffice to say, DARA’s Hamvention has some “issues” to work out!  But in fairness, a smaller location, new site, new everything presents many new and unanticipated challenges!  With time I’m sure they will get everything worked out.  (For a line by line synopsis, go to my web page and review my Dayton Hamvention post - 


While at Hamvention, I attended the ARRL Forum.  ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher and ARRL President Rick Roderick both spoke.  And to these two presentations, I must provide you the summary and comment.

I was impressed with both of these gents.  Particularly with the statements that we need to re-evaluate how to keep our new licensees and maintain our position in the radio “spectrum”. Technology has changed, America and how we communicate has changed, and the World and how we communicate has changed.  And while both of these fellas made it clear that we are always in a “state of transition” as radio amateurs, they both kept it positive.  I really liked Tom’s analogy of “bricks”.  You build a building one brick at a time.  That individual brick (size, shape, strength, density, ability to withstand pressure) is paramount.  It is the ‘bedrock”.  With all of the other bricks it defines our ability to survive.  Each ham (especially the new folks) are like bricks; when “made right” they support our hobby in a positive way.  When ignored or treated poorly, they are “lost” or become “unusable”.  Both Tom and Rick asked everyone in the audience to, “pick up a brick”.  I support that request and encourage ALL OF YOU READING THIS TO GO OUT AND PICK UP A BRICK.   Go out and mentor a new ham, encourage an interested person to get licensed, introduce a friend or acquaintance to a new mode or facet of the hobby.  Do something new.  Learn something new.  Get better at something you know and SHARE IT.  The analogy wasn’t lost on me.  It makes perfect sense.  We need to change.  We need to “survive”.

I hope to see you soon and say, “Hi” face-to-face!  And a reminder…..wildfires are already here, and hurricane season starts today, so get prepared and get ready! It appears this may be an active season. 

Some upcoming events….

Field Day is this month.  Get out there and get experience!  Invite new folks, try new modes.  Make sure you advertise and send in reports on your operations.  I am waiting on Governor Scott’s office to send me the Florida State Proclamation for Amateur Radio Week……I hope to get it soon, and will forward/post it as soon as I get it.

The Milton Hamfest is July 7th and 8th.  Get more info at:

Check out our fabulous NFL Section Web Page and read our spectacular Newsletter (June issue) QST NFL.

Get involved, get active, get happy!  Stay safe, get on the air, and have fun!!


73, Steve WB4OMM

Steve Szabo WB4OMM

NFL Section Manager 

ARRL, The National Association for Amateur Radio™


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