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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 #24 – April 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/

 

SPRING IS HERE. HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS ON 6/01/17:

Spring, which officially began on March 20, at 0629 EDT, has come once again to the Northern Hemisphere. Like I said last month, from my perspective it means another sweltering hot summer and fall. I should have been born up north :-) Hurricane for 2017 starts in 60 days or less (depending upon when you read this). Now is the time to make that improvement or repair to your Go-Kit and test it. Now is the time to check your inventory of supplies, medicines, water, etc. Not only should you check for quantity but quality. Check your canned goods to be sure they are not beyond the expiration date. Do not wait until the hurricane season is bearing down upon you and more importantly a storm is coming. Your local stores where you normally shop may be out of stock on the items you need. And plan to participate in any Simulated Emergency Tests that your local ARES, ACS, CERT, or other preparedness groups may have.

 

NEXT WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES MEETING – 4/08/17

The next West Central Florida Section ARES meeting will be held on Saturday April 8, 2017 at 1300. The meeting will be held at the Pinellas County EOC. As is customary, the meeting will be preceded by The location of the Section ARES Luncheon is now being finalized and will be announced soon. For more information on the Section ARES Meeting go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-meeting-0417/. I look forward to seeing many of you there as can make it.

 

MUNICIPAL PARKS ON THE AIR START DELAYED UNTIL 1/01/18

UPDATE 3/20/17: The start of Municipal Parks On The Air will be delayed until January 1, 2018. This will allow the proper time to identify all of the city, town, and county parks in the ARRL West Central Florida Section and to assign designators for contact. For more information see WCF Section Press Release #10 at http://arrlwcf.org/news/2017/03/20/wcf-section-press-release-10-2/. MPOTA will be similar to National Parks On The Air in style, but will make eligible for activation of all city, town, and county parks in the West Central Florida Section. This will allow for more participation by local hams as activators and more opportunities for chasers. If we do find out about a municipal park after the start, we will add it to the list so it does not get left out. WCF Section Press Release #6, which you can see on the Section website at gives more information about Municipal Parks On The Air. The link to that press release is http://arrlwcf.org/news/2017/01/30/wcf-section-press-release-6-2/.

 

FLORIDA QSO PARTY FOR 2017 – SATURDAY 4/29/17 AND SUNDAY 4/30/17

The Florida QSO Party is fast approaching and will be here before you know it. It will run on Saturday April 29th and Sunday April 30th. For this event, Florida stations are on the receiving end of the pileup. For more information of the specifics of the contest download the PDF copy of the contest rules athttp://arrlwcf.org/download/wcfevents/FloriidaQSOParty_Rules.pdf. For more information go to http://www.floridaqsoparty.org

 

2017 MS CITRUS BIKE TOUR – 5/06/17 AND 5/07/17

In just a little over 30 days from now will be the 2017 MS Citrus Bike Tour. The good news is the route as of right now is the same route as last year and it is not on Dayton Hamvention weekend this year. According to Mike Bresse W2YS, the Amateur Radio Co-Coordinator, as of press time, we had 26 volunteers. Mike indicated the need for 40 volunteers total. If you are planning on volunteering you will need to register. There is a new site for registration and information at http://www.citrustour.org. This new site, once you register is a one stop source for route and rest stop maps in several formats, which is a major improvement new for this years event. The MS Citrus Bike Tour is a good opportunity to practice your communications skills for use in emergency communications without an actual emergency.

 

ARRL FIELD DAY – 6/24/17 AND 6/25/17

Coming up on Saturday June 24th, and Sunday June 25th will be ARRL Field Day for 2017. This is a tradition that the ARRL has sponsored since 1933. It started out as a communications emergency exercise but now has morphed into several different things for different amateur radio operators. To some it is a contest, to some an emergency exercise, to some a big social event with a large meal or meals and some radio contact, and some do a combination of all the above. The main thing is that you are safe during your Field Day operation, promote amateur radio when you can and enjoy yourself.

The 17th annual ARRL West Central Florida Field Day Caravan will once again take to the road for the 2 days and approximately 500 mile trip. 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

 

SILENT KEY – GEORGE SCOTT WE4H

Ben Bogard KM4DE, President of the Bradenton Amateur Radio Club informed me that George Scott WE4H, of Bradenton became a Silent Key of a sudden heart attack on Friday March 24, 2017. Scott was a member of the Bradenton Amateur Radio Club and was active on HF and on VHF/UHF as well and occasionally was heard on the Section Nets as well. There was a memorial luncheon at the Golden Corral in Bradenton on Saturday April 1, 2017. George will be missed by all who knew him.

 

UPCOMING HAMFESTS IN THE SECTION:

Take a look at the hamfest schedule as it appears to be quite busy but slowing down. The hamfest season here in Florida may be getting longer than it use to be:

 

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.”

 

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 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.

 

COMPUTER APPLICATION OF THE MONTH: FRITZING

Starting this month, I will bring to your attention a Windows or Linux (or even an Android or iOS app) program that you may find useful. Some months it will focus on experimentation, some months operational, or some months just a useful program in general. I promise to not list all technical oriented applications.

The application for this month, I will bring to your attention is called Fritzing. Fritzing is a real neat software based breadboarding simulator that has a lot of components in its library and you can add more. It can also help you produce to final version with a printed circuit board layout. In other words you can breadboard your project on your computer screen before you ever get out your first resistor or capacitor. I am still learning how to use this program. You may read all about it and download it at http://fritzing.org. There are versions available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which is real nice. There is an introduction video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Hxhd4HKrWpg and also tutorials as well on its use.

If you are reading the PDF edition, you will see below a sample screen shot of a project in breadboard using an Arduino. If not, you may go to http://blog.fritzing.org/wp-content/uploads/FritzingBreadBoard.png to see the image.

 

SARNET – STATEWIDE AMATEUR RADIO NETWORK.
QUARTERLY COMMUNICATIONS TESTS NOW BEING CONDUCTED.

SARNET, in case you have not heard, is a linked repeater system of 28 privately owned repeaters (as of press time) throughout the State of Florida that are linked together by the microwave backbone network operated by the Florida Department of Transportation. This is a great partnership of amateur radio and the Florida Department of Transportation. One of the purposes of SARNET is to provide another means of communications between the 67 county EOC's and the State EOC. However this is not its only purpose. It is open for all amateur radio operators to use but beware that when you do get on the system to call another amateur or converse you are tying up 28 repeaters and it is recommended to keep you conversation timely so it is available for others to use and in case someone does have an emergency.

You may read all about the details of SARNET as http://www.sarnetfl.com. There is a quarterly net at 0900 hours on the months that have a 5th Friday to take checkins from any county EOC's that are on and general checkins. The first net was on March 31, 2017 and the remaining three for 2017 is
June 30th, 2017, September 29th and December 29th, all at 0900. The net is called by repeater site starting in the panhandle and going down the west coast and coming back up the east coast.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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