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West Central Florida

West Central Florida

Contact Information

Section Name:
West Central Florida
Contact:
Darrell Davis KT4WX
Daytime Phone:
863-245-9923
Evening Phone:
863-245-9923
Email:
kt4wx@arrl.org

Basic Information

Division:
Southeastern
Description:

 

THE WCF PRESSER: ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION NEWS
Issue #28 – August 2017

By Darrell Davis KT4WX
ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager

NOTE:  This site does not allow us to upload the accompaning graphics.  To dlownload the full PDF version go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/

 

TROPICAL STORM EMILY AND STAYING VIGILANT

On Monday July 31 (just before we went to press) in the early morning hours, Tropical Storm Emily spun up in the Gulf of Mexico just easy of the mouth of Tampa Bay, then made landfall at 1100 EDT at Anna Maria island on the coast of Manatee County, moved through Hardee and southern Polk Counties and by the morning of Tuesday August 1, had moved across Indian River County and exited the east coast near Vero Beach. Several ARES organizations here in the West Central Florida Section had been on standby in case of activation, thankfully. The winds never reached more than 40 miles in most places and the main event was localized flooding and very heavy rain. Thankfully as some one put it, Tropical Storm Emily was “The storm that was not”.

I have to admit, I have been keeping an eye on the National Hurricane Center Tropical Weather Outlook, which is issued four times a day, and it surprised me. These tropical cyclones, given the right circumstances, can spin up very quickly and with almost no warning. This little storm that was a non-event, could have been much much worse and given the right circumstances many of us could have been in a middle of an emergency and providing our services on short notice to our served agencies. The lesson we learned or in some cases re-learned is to stay vigilant on what is going on in the weather forecasts for your area and to the National Hurricane Center forecasts. Two products that are very useful are the Tropical Weather Outlook – Text and Tropical Weather Outlook - Graphical, which are issued four times a day by the National Hurricane Center and the Area Forecast Discussion issued by the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin which is updated several times a day. You can read both of these products on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. There are smartphone and tablet apps you can install on your device to read them as well. Check your supplies and equipment often. Use your ARES Go-Kits on occasion to be sure they are in working order, both equipment and batteries. Most of all have your emergency plan for you and your family complete ahead of time.

 

WCF SECTION SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST SCHEDULED FOR 8/12/17:

The WCF Section Simulated Emergency Test for 2017 will be held on the morning of Saturday August 12th and will be scheduled from 0900 through 1130 hours. The goal of the Simulated Emergency Test is to test communications, without the use of the NI4CE repeater system or the statewide SARNet, between the ten county EOC's and the State EOC in Tallahassee, to test the VHF an UHF capabilities of the county EOC's to communicate either on simplex or on local repeaters only and to test communications on HF via NVIS between the ten county EOC”s and the State EOC's.

For more information on the SET, you may go to the WCF Section Simulated Emergency Test page at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/west-central-florida-section-ares-simulated-emergency-test/. We look forward to the participation of the ten county EOC's in the SET.

 

ARRL STATION APPOINTEE MONTHLY REPORTS ARE DUE:

Just a reminder to all in the WCF Section who hold an ARRL Station Appointment. Your monthly reports are due for the previous month of activity. You may file your reports on the Section website at http://arrlwcf.org/section-forms/. You may also send your report via email to the respective cabinet member that is the coordinator for your appointment as well. Many thanks to all of you who do file your reports. Filling a monthly report is a requirement to hold an ARRL Station Appointment. If you do not file a report at least once a year, you appointment may be canceled due to lack of activity.

 

NEXT WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES MEETING – 10/21/17:

The next West Central Florida Section ARES meeting will be held on Saturday October 21, 2017 at 1300. The meeting will be held at the Hillsborough County EOC. As is customary, the meeting will be preceded by the Section ARES Luncheon, which will be held at , just a few blocks from the EOC. For more information on the Section ARES Meeting go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-meeting-1017 and for more information on the Section ARES Luncheon go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-luncheon-fall-2017/. I look forward to seeing many of you there as can make it.

 

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT REFILED AND PASSED BY THE U.S. HOUSE AND ON TO THE U.S. SENATE:

Update 7/12/17: The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors. The measure will, for the first time, guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowner's association (HOA) or subject to any private land use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes. The Senate bill, S. 1534, is identical to H.R. 555, which passed the US House of Representatives in January.

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, is calling on League members to urge their US Senators to support the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017, S. 1534. ARRL has opened a RallyCongress page to simplify the task. For more information see the ARRL News article at http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-president-issues-call-for-members-to-reach-out-to-their-senators-to-support-s-1534.

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017, refiled in the U.S. House or Representatives on January 13, 2017, was passed unusually quickly on January 23, 2017. The Amateur Radio Parity Act will required the FCC to amend its Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 federal preemption policy to include homeowners association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as 'covenants, conditions, and restrictions' (CC&Rs). At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to include private land-use agreements without direction from Congress.”

 

CLUB WEBSITE AND NEWSLETTER OF THE MONTH: Lakeland Amateur Radio Club:

Each month we will select, and not in any order, a club website and newsletter of the month to show you. That way you will become more acquainted with all the great amateur radio clubs, here in the West Central Florida Section. It will take a while to go through them all, so please be patient and we will get to them all.

Lakeland Amateur Radio Club: Based in the city of Lakeland, in Polk County. They have a website, an events blog to communicate their latest news, operate a repeater on 146.685 MHz with a PL of 127.3 Hz. that is running in Analog/Fusion automatic mode selection, and do a monthly VE testing session. They recently began holding an annual hamfest as well. One interesting fact to note that their club President Matthew R. Stevens is 23 years old.

Lakeland Amateur Radio Club News Blog: This is what the club uses to disseminate their latest news.

Lakeland Amateur Radio Club Website: A screenshot of the home page.

 

CHECK OUT THE SECTION WEBSITE - http://www.arrlwcf.org:

If you have not done so lately, check out all the information that is posted on the Section website at http://www.arrlwcf.org. The latest WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASES, upcoming special events, monthly club meetings, are all posted there. We will be adding more content to the Section website here during the summer months including the VE test session calendar, local radio net schedule, and lists of the various ARRL Station Appointee that serve you here in the West Central Florida Section.

 

COMPUTER APPLICATION OF THE MONTH: FLDIGI

If you are looking to get into HF text digital communications or even try Digital text communications on VHF or UHF, then a great program is FLDIGI, developed by David Freese W1HKJ. FLDIGI can do CW, RTTY, PSK31, MFSK16, FSQ, Hellschreiber, Olivia, MT63, and many other digital modes. The only modes it will not do is SSTV and JT65/JT9. FLDIGI can be downloaded for FREE and there are versions for Windows, Linux, and the Macintosh platforms. David also also has program additions for transceiver control, file encapsulation for error free transfers over amateur radio, and even a logbook program with works with FLDIGI. You may download all of these programs at David's website at http://www.w1hkj.com.

The screenshot below is a view of FLDIGI open with several options being viewed on the screen:

 

CURRENT WCF SECTION NET SCHEDULE. PARTICIPATE IF YOU CAN:

The WCF Section holds several different nets for different interests in amateur radio. The listing below gives you the net name, date, time, frequency, and net managers name and call. Here is a listing of the current Section Nets:

  • WCF Section ARES/Information Net – VHF/UHF: Monday 1930 – NI4CE Repeater System –
    Net Manager is J.C. Rivero K4RTC, ARRL Net Manager.

  • WCF Section Technical Net: Thursday 2100 – NI4CE Repeater System -

    Net Manager is Geoff Haines N1GY, ARRL Technical Coordinator.

  • WCF Section ARES/Information Net – HF: Saturday 0730 - 3940 KHz. -
    Net Manager is Neil Lauritsen W4NHL, ARRL Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator.

  • Eagle Net – WCF Section Daily NTS Net: Daily 2030 – NI4CE Repeater System -
    Net Manager is Dave Rockwell W4PXE, ARRL Net Manager.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section would like to thank the West Central Florida Group, the owners and operators of the NI4CE repeater system, for allowing the VHF/UHF Section Nets to operate on the system. For more info on the system you may go to http://www.ni4ce.org.

 

SECTION MANAGERS CONTACT INFORMATION AND CONCLUSION:

Contact Information U.S. Mail: 6350 Mills Road Fort Meade, FL 33841 Email: kt4wx@arrl.org Telephone: (863) 245-9923 Website: http://www.kt4wx.org.

Section Information Section Website: http://www.arrlwcf.org Section Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/arrlwcf Section Twitterhttps://www.twitter.com/arrlwcf  

That is all for this issue of THE WCF PRESSER. Otherwise, see you all at a hamfest, meeting, or other special events this month. 73 de Darrell KT4WX.

 

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WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #2 - 8/01/17 - 1100 EDT:  TROPICAL DEPRESSION EMILY EXITS THE FLORIDA PENINSULA.  ALL WATCHES AND WARNINGS DISCONTINUED

 

Tropical Storm Emily made landfall at 1100 EDT on Monday July 31st at Anna Maria Island in coastal Manatee County.  Emily moved east through Manatee County and northern Hardee County in the afternoon hours, and then moved through southern Polk County in the evening hours.  Emily continued moving through Indian River County in the early morning hours and exited the east coast of Florida near Vero Beach.   Emily is currently located 120 miles east of Cape Canaveral and is moving towards the northeast at 14 MPH.  All watches and warnings for the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been discontinued except for a few localized river Flood Warnings in Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section would like to thank all of the ARES, ACS, CERT and SKYWARN amateur radio operators who were on standby and ready to be deployed in case their services were requested by their served agencies.

This will be the last WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN on Tropical Depression Emily.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

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WCF SPECIAL BULLETIN #1 - 7/31/17 - 0800 EDT:  TROPICAL STORM EMILY FORMS WEST OF TAMPA BAY EARLY THIS MORNING

At 0600 EDT, the National Hurricane Center began issuing Advisories on Tropical Depression Six, that formed overnight from an area of low pressure in the eastern Gulf of Mexico approximately 100 miles west of Tampa Bay.  At 0800, the National Hurricane Center found 45 MPH winds and upgraded Tropical Depression Six to Tropical Storm Emily.

cone graphictime of arrival graphic

At 0800 EDT, Tropical Storm Emily was located about 45 miles west-southwest of Tampa or about 50 miles west-northwest of Sarasota.  The maximum sustained winds are at 45 MPH and were located in the south side of the storm and movement was toward the east at 8 MPH.  The minimum center pressure was about 29.71 inches of mercury.   A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect for coastal Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

To quote the National Hurricane Center, "The primary threat with this system is expected to be locally heavy rainfall across portions of the Florida peninsula during the next couple of days. However, an isolated waterspout will also be possible in the coastal waters within the warning area."

Please stay tuned to the latest advisories from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin, which covers all of the West Central Florida Section.  Also any ARES, ACS, or CERT, or SKYWARN amateur radio operators should be ready to activate in the highly unlikely event they are requested to do so by their served agencies.

END OF PRESS RELEASE 

 

 

 

Links:
ARRL West Central Florida Section Website, ARRL West Central Florida Section Facebook Page, ARRL West Central Florida Section Twitter Page

West Central Florida Officials