ARRL

ARRL Sections - West Central Florida

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:

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #8 - 1200 - 9/02/16:  HURRICANE HERMINE MAKES LANDFALL AND EXITS FLORIDA

Tropical Storm Hermine, after becoming a Category 1 Hurricane yesterday afternoon, made landfall at approximately 0130 this morning near St. Marks, which is near the Wakulla and Jefferson County line, which is southeast of Tallahassee.  At 1100, Tropical Storm Hermine was centered about 55 miles west-southwest of Savannah, Georgia and headed towards the northeast at 18 MPH.  Maximum sustained winds have dropped to 50 MPH.  Hermine will continue its path along the southeast United States coast and re-emerge over the western Atlantic and begin to transition into an extra tropical low.

All Hurricane Warnings have been discontinued.  All Tropical Storm Warnings for the State of Florida have just been discontinued, except for Nassau County as of 1100.  Flood Warning remain in effect for several WCF Section Counties due to swollen rivers and creeks from recent tropical rainfall.

Due to the lowering of all Hurricane Warnings and Tropical Storm Warnings for all the State of Florida except Nassau County which is on the border with Georgia, this will be the last WCF Section Special Bulletin for Tropical Storm Hermine.

The West Central Florida Section would like to thank all the ARES, ACS, and CERT groups that activated and did communications duty for Hermine.  Everyone have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

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WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #7 - 2030 - 9/01/16:  HERMINE BECOMES A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE, NEARS LANDFALL AND LOCAL TORNADO WATCH IS ISSUED.

Earlier this afternoon, Hermine was upgraded from a Tropical Storm to a Category 1 Hurricane.  At 2000, Hurricane Hermine had sustained winds near 80 MPH near the center and was located just 45 miles south-southeast of Apalachicola.  Hermine is expected to make landfall late this evening or early Friday morning.

The National Hurricane Center has extended the Tropical Storm Warning to Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties as well as the coastal waters of Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties.  Also the National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Polk Counties in the West Central Florida Section and many counties to the north as well.  A main squall line is now coming ashore in the Tampa Bay Area.

Please continue to monitor the latest advisories from the National Hurricane Center.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

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WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #6 -- 1200 - 09/01/16:  TROPICAL STORM HERMINE HEADED FOR THE PANHANDLE NEAR TALLAHASSEE – WCF SECTION PREPAREDNESS.

 

At 1100, Tropical Storm Hermine, formerly Tropical Depression #9, was located approximately 220 west of Tampa or 170 west-southwest of Apalachicola.  Tropical Storm Hermine, is currently headed north-northeast at 14 MPH and is expect to make landfall in Wakulla County late Thursday evening or early Friday morning.  Tropical Storm Hermine is expected to become a minimal hurricane just before landfall.  If it does become a hurricane, it will be the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Wakulla County, just south of Tallahassee.  A Hurricane Watch is still in effect for the coastal region of Pasco County in the West Central Florida Section and the coastal counties north of Pasco County all the way to Bay County in the Panhandle.  A Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for all of Pasco County in the West Central Florida Section and all of the coastal counties north of Pasco County all the way to Bay County in the Panhandle.  Also at this time there are Flood Warnings in effect for portions of the Peace River, Anclote River, and the Myakka River and other flood prone areas.   Heavy Rain in the Tampa Bay Area and northward can still be expected but some heavy rain is still possible across much of the West Central Florida Section, although the chances outside of the Tampa Bay Area may be somewhat diminished.

At this time Pinellas County ARES/ACS, Hillsborough County ARES/RACES, and Sarasota County ACS have been requested by their served agencies to partially active, due to the Flooding potential in their areas.  Other county ARES groups are on standby in case they are requested to activate.  All ARES members in the West Central Florida Section are encouraged to continue to monitor the latest National Hurricane Center advisories, check their own supplies and equipment, and check with their local ARES Emergency Coordinator to see if their group has been requested to activate by their served agencies.

Also the Hurricane Watch Net was activated at 1000 this morning in support of Tropical Storm Hermine.  The Hurricane Watch Net is operating on 14.325 MHz on 20 Meters, mainly during the day, and on 7.268 MHz on 40 Meters, during the night.  Unless you are involved in submitting real weather data from the areas affected by Hermine, please avoid these frequencies while the Hurricane Watch Net is in session.  For more information on the Hurricane Watch Net go to http://www.hwn.org.

The next special bulletin will be issued at 1200 tomorrow unless conditions warrant a special bulletin to be issued sooner.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

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WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #5 - 1200 - 8/31/16: TROPICAL DEPRESSION #9 FORMS EARLIER THIS WEEK AND HEADED FOR BIG BEND AREA - WCF SECTION PREPAREDNESS.

At 1100, Tropical Depression #9 was located about 415 WSW of Tampa. Currently its motion is stationery but it is expected to resume its path towards the north and then turn towards the northeast later today. The center of Tropical Depression #9 is expected to make landfall near the west end of the Big Bend area of the Panhandle of Florida.

There is a Hurricane Watch in effect for the coastal region of Pasco County in the West Central Florida Section and the coastal counties north of Pasco County all the way to Bay County in the Panhandle. There is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for all of Pasco County in the West Central Florida Section and all of the coastal counties north of Pasco County all the way to Bay County in the Panhandle. Also at this time there are Flood Warning due to go into effect for portions of the Peace River, Anclote River, and the Myakka River very soon. Heavy Rain can be expected from 3 to 6 inches across much of the West Central Florida Section and especially in the Tampa Bay area which is closer to the area most impacted. Higher amounts can be expected along the coastal counties especially northern coastal counties.

At this time Pinellas County ARES/ACS and Hillsborough County ARES/RACES have been requested by their served agencies to partially active. Other county ARES groups are on standby in case they are requested to activate. All ARES members in the West Central Florida Section are encouraged to continue to monitor the latest National Hurricane Center advisories, check their own supplies and equipment, and check with their local ARES Emergency Coordinator to see if their group has been requested to activate by their served agencies.

The next special bulletin will be issued at 1200 tomorrow unless conditions warrant a special bulletin to be issued sooner.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

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THE WCF PRESSER: ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION NEWS

Issue #19 – August 2016

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/

 

THE WEATHER IS HOT AND THE TROPICS ARE HEATING UP.

According to the National Weather Service Office in Ruskin, July 2016 was one of the hottest July's since records have been kept. For the next month or so be very careful in this heat: Try to save your outdoor strenuous activities for early or late in the day, take frequent breaks, stay well hydrated. Remember proper hydration is water or drinks with electrolytes. As much as we love soft drinks, they are not proper hydration, in fact they will de-hydrate you. Also the tropical Atlantic will be producing tropical waves starting now from the coast of Africa. The peak of the season will be on September 10, about 5 weeks from now. Regularly check the latest Tropical Weather Outlooks from the National Hurricane Center. Also check your equipment and supplies in case you are activated for communications duty in your local ARES or CERT group.

  

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 and is just a little over 90 days away. 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.

I want to dispel a myth about DCC that I may have unintentionally help to foster. It is the premier digital communications technology amateur radio conference in the country but it is not just for the RF and software engineers among us. There is something at DCC all technical levels of amateur radio operators: beginners, intermediate, and advanced. There is a whole second track that have introduction sessions for beginners to compliment the main program track. In case you were wondering, the West Central Florida Section Technical Conference is patterned almost entirely after DCC.

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.

 

WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST – 10/01/16.

At the last quarterly West Central Florida Section ARES Meeting in Manatee County EOC, it was decided to hold a Simulated Emergency Test on Saturday October 1st. This SET will be primarily a communications test between the ten county EOC's in our Section and between the ten county EOC's and the State EOC. Some of the local ARES groups are planning a local drill to coincide with the Section SET on that date. Look for more information on the Section ARES SET as plans are developed.

 

NEXT WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES MEETING – 10/15/16.

The next West Central Florida Section ARES meeting will be held on Saturday October 15, 206 at 1300. The meeting will be held at the Pasco County EOC. As is customary, the meeting will be preceded by the Sonny's BBQ at XXXX Little Road, in New Port Richey. For information on the Section ARES Luncheon go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-luncheon-1016/ and for more information on the Section ARES Meeting go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-meeting-1016/. I look forward to seeing many of you there as can make it.

 

41st ANNUAL TAMPA BAY HAMFEST AND 16th ANNUAL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION CONVENTION – 12/09/16 AND 12/10/16. 

That time of the year is coming around again soon. The 41st Annual Tampa Bay Hamfest and the 16th Annual West Central Florida Section Convention will be held on Friday December 9th and Saturday December 10th. This years hamfest will still be held in Plant City at the Strawberry Festival Grounds but at the Expo Center building instead of the Agricultural Show Center, which is about 2 blocks away. The Agricultural Show Center was unavailable but the Expo Center was made available and the forum rooms are a tremendous improvement over what was available before. For more details go to the hamfest website at http://www.fgcarc.org.

  

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 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.

 

UPCOMING HAMFESTS IN THE SECTION:

We are still out of the hamfest season. However there are some hamfests coming up between now and the start of the next hamfest season to keep things interesting:

  

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. 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/.

 

HOUSE SUBCOMMITEE PASSES MODIFIED VERSION OF AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT IN THE U.S. HOUSE – H.R. 1301:

Update 7/13/16: The full House Energy and Commerce Committee at a markup session on July 13 unanimously adopted a substitute bill in the form of an amendment to the Amateur Radio Parity Act. (H.R. 1301). For the complete news article go to http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-parity-act-receives-favorable-house-energy-and-commerce-committee-report. The next step for the bill as amended is for consideration by the full House. There is no current timetable for that action. On May 28, 2016, the ARRL published a press release announcing the agreement reached with the Community Associations Institute (CAI), the representatives of the HOA's. For the complete news article go to http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-reaches-agreement-with-community-associations-institute-on-parity-act.

In November 2015, 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, 2016.

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 JULY:

On Wednesday July 6th, Darrell Davis KT4WX attended and did a compilation of several presentations at the monthly Sun City Center Amateur Radio Club. The meeting was well attended and enjoyed by all who attended. On Saturday July 9, 2016, Darrell Davis KT4WX, Ben Henley KI4IGX, Randy Payne K4EZM, Dee Turner N4GD attended the quarterly West Central Florida Section ARES meeting. On Saturday July 23rd, Darrell Davis KT4WX attended and facilitated the ARRL table at the LARCFest 2016 in Kathleen, just outside of Lakeland. In spite of the hot weather the hamfest was well attended and the ARRL VE test session held at the hamfest produced successful candidates including Liam KM4STS, who is only 8 years old, upgrading to General. Liam plans on upgrading to Extra. On Saturday July 30th, Darrell Davis KT4WX attended and participated in the Lake Wales Radio Amateurs monthly QRP and ARES Go-Kit radio sprint. In spite of the very hot weather, ten turned out for the event.

 

SECTION MANAGERS CONTACT INFORMATION AND CONCLUSION:

Here is my contact information:

The Section also has a website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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