West Central Florida
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- Darrell Davis KT4WX
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THE WCF PRESSER: ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION NEWS
Issue #17 – June 2016
By Darrell Davis KT4WX
ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager
(For the PDF version of this newsletter you may download and read offline go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/)
2016 HURRICANE SEASON HAS ARRIVED - BE PREPARED.
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts today on Wednesday June 1, 2016, and will continue until Wednesday November 30, 2016. It has been 10 years since the last hurricane impact and so it is easy to become complacent. Now would be a good time for all amateur radio operators to prepare themselves and their families for a potential hurricane impact. Now is the time to determine if you are able to shelter in place or will you have to evacuate and to determine where you will go if you know you will have to evacuate. You will want to inventory and check your radio equipment and supplies which would include but not limited to: food, water, medicine, and first aid supplies. Remember you may not be able to get supplies for several days after a storm impact until emergency relief becomes available. For helpful tips you may go to http://www.floridadisaster.org for information on how to formulate or update your emergency plan.
16th ANNUAL WCF SECTION FIELD DAY CARAVAN
The annual ARRL Field Day, which will be on be Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th will soon be here once again. I am planning to do the WCF Section Field Day Caravan once again as has been the tradition in our Section, since its inception in 2000. To try to make it as fair as possible for everyone, I will take the trip around the Section in reverse of the route that was taken by Ben and I last year. Ben will not be able to join me for this year’s caravan due to his ongoing health issues. Christine Duez KK4KJN our Section Youth Coordinator will be joining me on the caravan this year.
If you wish to have a visit from the Field Day Caravan, be sure to register your visit on the ARRL website as you normally would and have it registered by Saturday June 11th so I will have time to plan an itinerary. I will post the Field Day Caravan itinerary to the Section website Field Day Caravan page at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/west-central-florida-section-field-day-caravan/ as soon as I have it completed approximately one to two weeks before Field Day. I look forward to seeing many of you on Field Day weekend.
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.
35TH ANNUAL ARRL AND TAPR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE BEING HELD IN THE WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION IN 2016.
The annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) is the premier annual digital communications conference in amateur radio in the United States. This year the West Central Florida Section is privileged to be the local co-host for the conference. The conference will be held on Friday September 16th through Sunday September 18th in St. Petersburg at the Hilton Bayfront near downtown. For more details you may go to the DCC page on TAPR's website at http://www.tapr.org/dcc. This conference has in attendance many of the “movers and shakers” in amateur radio digital communications. To see what DCC is like, you may go to the HamRadioNow youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/HamRadioNow. There you will find past presentations from previous DCC gatherings and you will see how very high quality these presentations are. Mark your calendars now and I look forward to seeing many of you there.
NEW EC APPOINTED FOR SARASOTA COUNTY ACS (ARES) - RON WETJEN WD4AHZ SK.
Ron Wetjen WD4AHZ, Emergency Coordinator for Sarasota County ACS (ARES) retired as Emergency Coordinator on Sunday May 1, 2016, citing health issues. Wetjen had served as an ARES volunteer for over 30 years, over 10 years as Emergency Coordinator, and in 2015 had the radio room at the new Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center, named in his honor, “The Wetjen Radio Room”. Ed Gansen K8DSS, Assistant Emergency Coordinator, succeded Wetjen as the new Emergency Coordinator for Sarasota County ACS effective on Sunday May 1, 2016.
On Monday May 9th, shortly after stepping down as ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Sarasota County, Ron Wetjen WD4AHZ lost his battle with cancer and became a Silent Key on Monday May 9th. He was 55 years old and had been licensed since 1976. In addition to his service in Sarasota County ACS and ARES, Wetjen was an avid CW contester and member of the Florida Contest Group. A memorial service was held on Friday May 14th at Toale Brothers Funeral Home in Sarasota. In memory of Ron, the Ron Wetjen Memorial Fund has been established. More information can be found at http://floridacontestgroup.org/WD4AHZ-Memorial/
Ed Gansen K8DSS, has been licensed for many years and had been an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Sarasota County ACS for over 10 years and had been filling in for Wetjen in many capacities due to Wetjen’s recent health issues.The ARRL West Central Florida Section thanks posthumously Ron Wetjen for ten plus years of service to Sarasota County ACS and extends our condolences for his family. The ARRL West Central Florida Section welcomes Ed Gansen as the new Emergency Coordinator for Sarasota County ACS and wishes him well in his new duties.
UPCOMING HAMFESTS IN THE SECTION:
We are now out of the hamfest season. However there are some hamfests coming up that are out of our normal hamfest season to keep things interesting:
Saturday July 23: LARCFEST – Revolution Church, Lakeland, FL.
Saturday August 20: TARCFest XXXVII – Tampa ARC Clubhouse – Tampa, FL
HOT WEATHER HAS ARRIVED. STAY WELL AND SAFE.
Our time for hot weather and afternoon thunderstorms is getting started. Be sure to stay properly hydrated when working outside on projects or chores, or work on these during the cooler parts of the day. This is a good time to work on that project on the workbench in the air conditioning. Also check your filters regularly in your A/C units (especially if they are window mount style) to keep them working properly. Also keep your eyes out now for the afternoon or morning thunderstorms, depending upon where you live that can come unexpectedly.
2016 MS CITRUS BIKE TOUR – SATURDAY MAY 21 AND SUNDAY MAY 22:
The 2016 Annual MS Citrus Bike Tour is now in the history books. Jason Triolo KD4AGC and I would like to thank the nearly 50 amateur radio operators that came out to help with this year’s events. With the dedicated help of these volunteers, who did long hours in the heat and humidity, the Tour was once again very successful. Due to the fact that the starting point was Fantasy of Flight and the ending point was the Omni Hotel at Champions Gate, 98 percent of the bike ride was in Polk County and therefore the West Central Florida Section. In the July and August editions of the WCF PRESSER we will have some pictures taken by some that helped out with communications for the event. If you have pictures that were taken during this event, please send them to me via email at email@example.com or if you have then on an online file server, send me the link to that server so I can download them. Mark your calendar for the 2017 MS Citrus Bike Tour: May 6-7, 2017. Look forward to seeing and hearing many of you next year.
UPDATE ON BEN HENLEY KI4IGX – SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR:
Ben Henley KI4IGX, our Section Emergency Coordinator, just retired from his paying job with Highlands County Emergency Management on Wednesday May 25, due to his decline in health recently. Ben once he recovers his health will be resuming his duties as Section Emergency Coordinator and there is work going on to get him back on the air from his base station at home. Randy Payne K4EZM, will continue as interim Section Emergency Coordinator, until Ben returns to good heath and can resume his responsibilities.
For any needs for ARES in the Section please continue to contact Randy Payne K4EZM by telephone at (863) 446-0913 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.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 in the next 30-60 days 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. Check the website and check it often.
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.
ARRL NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR COMING TO A NATIONAL PARK NEAR YOU.
There is a lot of excitement about this event already. The ARRL is sponsoring the National Parks On The Air (NPOTA). This event started on January 1, 2016 and will run until December 31, 2016. This event is not a contest, per se, but a radio operating event similar to Field Day. The event is being held by the ARRL to commemorate the centennial of the National Park Service. There are 433 National Park Administrative (NPA) units in the United States that are eligible for activation. There is only one NPA unit in the West Central Florida Section and it is Desoto National Memorial just north of Bradenton on the shore of the Manatee River. Desoto was activated by the Mid Florida DX Association on New Years Day. You will find a report on this in the March issue of THE WCF PRESSER. However there are four NPA units in the Southern Florida Section and five NPA units in the Northern Florida Sections.
The ARRL website has a web page devoted to NPOTA information at http://www.arrl.org/npota. I have added a new web page to the Section website with a lot of good information about the National Parks On The Air at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/npota-wcf/.
UP TO 5 COSPONSORS IN THE SENATE BILL (S. 1685) AND UP TO 126 COSPONSORS OF THE HOUSE BILL (HR-1301):
Update 5/28/16: To quote the ARRL news article, “After 2-1/2 months of intense negotiations, ARRL has reached an agreement with the Community Associations Institute (CAI) — the national association of homeowners associations — concerning amended language of the Amateur Radio Parity Act. This will allow H.R. 1301 to proceed to what is hoped will be passage of the bill in both houses of Congress this year.” For the complete ARRL news article go to http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-reaches-agreement-with-community-associations-institute-on-parity-act
In mid November, Senate Bill 1685 (S. 1685), gained three additional co-sponsors, to bring the total co-sponsors to four. House Resolution 1301 (HR 1301), the U.S. House of Representatives version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, is up to 126 co-sponsors as of May 12th.
US House Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced the bill on March 4th 2015 with 12 original co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle: seven Republicans and five Democrats. US Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the companion bill S 1685 on June 26, 2015 with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) as the original cosponsor, into the United States Senate. HR1301, the original House bill is now up to 126 co-sponsors as of May 12th . As of press time, two Representatives with districts that are in the West Central Florida Section: Representative Daniel Webster, 10th District, that covers the north central part of Polk County and Representative Tom Rooney, 17th District, that covers Charlotte, Desoto, Hardee, Highlands, southeastern Hillsborough, eastern Manatee, and southern Polk Counties.
The direct link to the ARRL page devoted to the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 is ttp://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act. The following is a quote from the ARRL website, “The Amateur Radio Parity Act would require 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.”
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MONTH OF MAY:
On Saturday May 7, I attended and facilitated the Hardee County ARES table at the 3rd Annual Hardee County Hurricane and Safety Expo at the Hardee County Agri-Civic Center. This was a big improvement being it was indoors. On Saturday May 21st, Christine Duez KK4KJN and I participated with the communications team for the 2016 MS Citrus Bike Tour. Christine served at the Command Post and I provided communications for Rest Stop C. On Saturday May 28th, Dee Turner N4GD, Geoff Haines N1GY, and I attended the 2016 Wormfest at Freedom Lake Park in Largo. It was hot but the hamfest was well attended and enjoyed by all who attended.
SECTION MANAGERS CONTACT INFORMATION AND CONCLUSION:
Here is my contact information:
U.S. Mail: 6350 Mills Road Fort Meade, FL 33841
Telephone: (863) 245-9923
The Section also has a website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
In the July and August issues of the WCF PRESSER, we will have some pictures from the events and hamfests from the first half of 2016. Look for them. Also we will be resuming as well the Section ARES and Traffic reports as well. Press deadlines did not permit inclusion in this issue.
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.
- ARRL West Central Florida Section Website, ARRL West Central Florida Section Facebook Page, ARRL West Central Florida Section Twitter Page
West Central Florida Officials
Section ManagerDarrell Davis KT4WX
Assistant Section ManagerSeth T. Craine K4LAW
Section Youth CoordinatorChristine E. Duez KK4KJN
Assistant Section Manager,Bennie E. Henley KI4IGX
Section Emergency Coordinator
Assistant Section ManagerJudson L. Bracewell KJ4IDH
Official Observer CoordinatorDennis B. Griffin W4DG
Assistant Section Manager,Geoffrey E. Haines N1GY
Section Traffic ManagerDouglas J. Williams N2DW
Assistant Section ManagerGerald D. Turner N4GD
Assistant Section ManagerRandall M. Payne K4EZM
Affiliated Club CoordinatorJeffrey A. Bronsing KJ4NEO
Public Info CoordinatorKenneth J. Treffinger K4RSQ