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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 #26 – June 2017

By Darrell Davis KT4WX

ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager

 For the PDF version of this newsletter, which will include any pictures and graphics, you may download and read offline go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/.

 

HURRICANE SEASON STARS 6/01/17 – FINISH YOUR PREPARATIONS FAST:

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins this month on June 1, 2017. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disseminated their hurricane forecast for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season on Thursday May 25th. You may read the entire press release at http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/above-normal-atlantic-hurricane-season-is-most-likely-year. In the press release, Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center stated, “The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,”.

Now is the time to be bringing to completion any improvement or repairs to your Go-Kit and be sure to test them. Now is the time to complete the check your inventory of supplies, medicines, water, etc., and you should you check for not only quantity but quality. Do not wait until a storm is bearing down upon you, when the local stores where you normally shop may be out of stock on the items you need.

NOAA just completed their 2017 Hurricane Season awareness webinars that covered the following topics in a series of four seminars on each of the following topics: New NOAA Satellite Capabilities and Tropical Cyclone Research, Storm Surge Warnings and Graphics, NHC and Local NWS Offices Overview of New Products and Services, and Hurricane Inland Flooding – Risks and Warnings. The PowerPoint slides and presentation audio will be available soon at http://www.regions.noaa.gov/secar/. These are excellent webinars and are about each one hour in length. These are particularly good for all ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel to watch.

 

WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION FIELD DAY CARAVAN – 6/24/17
INSTRUCTION AND SUGGESTIONS FOR SENDING YOUR FIELD DAY MESSAGE:

Coming up on Saturday June 24th, and Sunday June 25th will be ARRL Field Day for 2017. The 17th annual ARRL West Central Florida Field Day Caravan. Two teams will take to the roads and tour the Section:

  • Darrell Davis KT4WX, Section Manager, and Christine Duez KK4KJN, Section Youth Coordinator will tour Polk, Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties.

  • Ben Henley KI4IGX, Section Emergency Coordinator and Randy Payne K4EZM, Assistant Section Manager will tour Highlands, Hardee, Desoto, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.

Both teams should be able to complete their tours sometime on Saturday. For more details as time approaches go to the Section website Field Day caravan website at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/west-central-florida-section-field-day-caravan/. If you wish a visit from the Field Day Caravan, please register your Field Day operation at the ARRL Field Day site at http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator. Also during the tour you will be able to track where your Section Manager, Darrell Davis KT4WX, is located during his travels via APRS. He will be running K4WCF-9.

The following is a quote of the criteria from the ARRL Field Day rules for the Field Day message to the Section Manager, “You should include the club name, number of participants, Field Day location, and number of ARES operators involved with your station. The message must be transmitted during the Field Day period and a copy of it must be included in your submission in standard ARRL radiogram or no credit will be given. The message must leave or enter the Field Day operation via amateur radio RF.”

Also there are several methods available to you that you may send a message to Darrell Davis KT4WX, your Section Manager, for your Field Day message:

  • APRS Instant Message: Send an NTS Radiogram as an APRS Instant Message to K4WCF-9 on Saturday or Sunday. The tracker will be operational for 24 hours from Saturday 6/24/17 at 0900 until Sunday 6/25/17 at 1400.

  • Winlink 2000: Send an NTS Radiogram via Winlink 2000 to my email address at kt4wx@arrl.net. Remember you must use a WL2K Client station that originates the message on RF from your site. This method is legal per the Field Day rules.

  • Eagle Net Special Session: Saturday June 24, 2017 at 2030 EDT on the NI4CE Repeater System. For repeater frequencies and coverage maps: http://www.ni4ce.org.

  • Regular NTS Traffic Nets on HF: Go to the West Central Florida Section website for a list of the HF Net Frequencies and times that are available during the Field Day period at http://arrlwcf.org/home/wcf-section-nets/.

Remember, the message does not have to be DELIVERED during the Field Day period, only ORIGINATED during the period. It can be delivered after the period and you will still receive the credit. All messages that are received will be acknowledged during or right after the Field Day period.

 

NEXT WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES MEETING – 7/08/17:

The next West Central Florida Section ARES meeting will be held on Saturday July 8, 2017 at 1300. The meeting will be held at the Hardee County EOC. As is customary, the meeting will be preceded by the Section ARES Luncheon, which will be held at Paul's Kitchen near downtown Wauchula, 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-0717 and for more information on the Section ARES Luncheon go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-luncheon-summer-2017/. I look forward to seeing many of you there as can make it.

 

4th ANNUAL TECHCON DATE AND VENUE ESTABLISHED:

The Date and Venue for the 4th Annual TECHCON for 2018 has been established. TECHCON will be held on Saturday February 24th, 2018, at the Polk County Emergency Operations Center, which is located at 1890 Jim Keene Blvd., in Winter Haven. Jim Keene Blvd., is located just off of State Road 540 between Winter Haven and Lakeland, not too far from the State Road 540 exit off of the Polk County Parkway. Mark this date on your calendar and plan now to attend. Many of our speakers from previous years will be doing new programs next year. More information will come out late this year and early next year.

 

2017 MS CITRUS BIKE TOUR A SUCCESS AND 2018 MS CITRUS TOUR – 5/05/18 AND 5/07/18:

The 30th Annual MS Citrus Bile Tour was once again a success. Thirty Five volunteers were successful in providing communications for this event once again and the event had almost 800 riders. This year's communications were the smoothest and best flowing in recent years and it is thanks to all of you who participated and made this event a success. The MS Society is very depend upon us for the services that we provide and grateful to all of you who make this event a success. Mark the date of May 5-6, 2018 in your calendar as that is the date for the 2018 MS Citrus Bike Tour. We reached the absolute minimum level of volunteers needed to provide communications for this event. We will be in need of about 10-15 more volunteers next year to properly provide adequate levels of volunteer staff to do this event justice. Be thinking about this in the months to come and how you may be able to help out next year. Also we look forward to the return of our communicators from this year as well.

 

UPCOMING HAMFESTS IN THE SECTION:

Hamfests are over now in our Section until August. The schedule is light through September:

 

CLUB WEBSITE AND NEWSLETTER OF THE MONTH: Tamiami Amateur Radio Club – TARC Communicator

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.

Tamiami Amateur Radio Club: Based in the Venice area of southern Sarasota county. They have a website, their monthly newsletter, the TARC Communicator and operate two repeaters: 146.805 MHz and 444.100 MHz (DMR).

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

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Tamiami Amateur Radio Club – Newsletter: TARC Communicator: A screenshot of the newsletter front page.

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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.

 

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: VLC Media Player

This month's featured application is called VLC Media Player. It is a good universal media player that if configured upon installation, it will play almost any media file format out there including MP3, MP4, and FLV file formats. It will also play contents from DVD and CD's as well (if you have a DVD drive in your computer). VLC Media Player is available in Windows or Linux distributions. Here is a screenshot below of what VLC Media Player looks like playing the ARRL Centennial Video. You can download the latest version of VLC Media Player at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

[Screenshot would have been here ]

 

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

Update 1/23/17: The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017, refiled in the U.S. House or Representatives on January 13, 2017, and was passed unusually quickly on January 23, 2017 by unanimous consent and has been passed now to the U.S. Senate for consideration. The previous version, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, died in the U.S Senate on December 9, 2016 primarily due to the opposition of one U.S. Senator: Senator Bill Nelson, one of own Senators from Florida. For more information you may read the news article as http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-vows-continued-pursuit-of-the-amateur-radio-parity-act-in-the-115th-congress. The ARRL has already been in contact with the sponsors of the bill to allow for an early introduction, which will give more time to obtain success.

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.”

 

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 0830 - 3911 Khz or 3913 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://wp.ni4ce.org.

Please Note: The HF Edition of the WCF Section ARES and Information Net on Saturday at 0830 will be on 3911 or 3913 Khz until the ARRL Emergency Coordinators can discuss this at the next Section ARES Meeting on July 8th, at the Hardee County EOC. An attempt was made to QSY to 3940 at 0830 but the frequency is in use during that time period and we were not aware of this. Our apologies to all for the confusion.

 

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.

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