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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 #31 – February 2018
By Darrell Davis KT4WX
ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager

(To download the full PDF version which contains all the graphics go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/)

 

WINTER IS CERTAINLY BUSY WITH AMATEUR RADIO EVENTS:

January began with a cold snap that lasted for almost a week and is the coldest we have seen since January 2010. However during these winter months things will be pretty busy in the Section. Orlando Hamcation, various local hamfests, and TECHCON will all be coming up in the next couple of months. I look forward to meeting many of you at any number of these events in the next couple of months.

We are in the final planning stages for an operating event which will be starting in the next couple of months. Our initial plan was to start it last year but we were not ready. Work on the program is nearly complete and almost ready for publication. Our goal is to unveil next month our new operating event for the West Central Florida Section: Municipal Parks On The Air (MPOTA). It will be an event similar to National Parks On The Air in 2016 but will focus on county, city, and town parks here in the West Central Florida Section. Many thanks to Mike Douglas W4MDD, our Affiliated Club Coordinator for finalizing the park list (which is quite extensive). There will be a webpage on the Section website with a list of the parks and event rules in the next 30-60 days.

 

72nd ANNUAL ORLANDO HAMCATION – 2/09/18 THROUGH 2/11/18. JUST AROUND THE CORNER:

Coming up shortly is the 72nd Annual Orlando Hamcation. Orlando Hamcation will take place from Friday February 9th through Sunday February 11th. The ARRL News just announced that ARRL HQ will have an expanded presence at this year's Hamcation. Your Section Manager and many of your Section Staff will be at Orlando Hamcation. We look forward to meeting and greeting many of you. For more information please see the ARRL News article on Hamcation: http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-to-offer-expanded-orlando-hamcation-presence-february-9-11

 

MS CITRUS BIKE TOUR: 5/05/18 AND 5/06/18:

The MS Citrus Bike Tour will take place on May 5, 2018 and May 6, 2018. The routes and rest stops location will remain unchanged that we are aware of as of press time. We will need many volunteers to make this a success. The MS Citrus Bike Tour will start at Fantasy of Flight in northern Polk County and end at Champions Gate just inside of Osceola County and reverse the next day. Online registration will begin soon. Registration is now open. Please note: If you have already register last year, you will not need to re-register but just log in. Upon login, you will be prompted to update your information. For the latest information and to register to volunteer for the first time, please go to the amateur radio communications website for the bike tour at http://www.citrustour.org. Registration for new volunteers is now open.

 

4th ANNUAL TECHCON COMING UP IN FEBRUARY – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN:

Coming up on Saturday February 24th, 2018, will be the 4th Annual TECHCON, the annual Technical Conference for the ARRL West Central Florida Section and will be held at the Polk County Emergency Operations Center, located between Winter Haven and Lakeland in Polk County. Our special guest speaker from the ARRL Lab will be Bob Allison WB1GCM. Attendance is free of charge but please register to attend at the TECHCON Registration Page on the Section website.

Many of our speakers from previous years are planning on returning this year as well with new programs. However, we are still looking for new speakers that would like to do a presentation on any technical topic that is amateur radio related. For more information go to the TECHCON page at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/wcftechconference/

 

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.

 

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 still have planned to add the following content: VE test session calendar, local radio net schedule, and lists of the various ARRL Station Appointees that serve you here in the West Central Florida Section. This is one goal we have still not achieved but are attempting to get done. Thank you to all of you for your patience with us.

 

UPCOMING HAMFESTS IN THE SECTION

The 2017-2018 hamfest season has fully resumed and is very busy:

 

Local Ham Assists in Puerto Rico Communications Effort
By Andrew Stevens WX4AMS
ARRL Public Information Office:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on September 20th, 2017, most infrastructure was disabled or destroyed in Puerto Rico. In the tradition of Amateur Radio, many hams from around the world stepped in to assist with emergency communications; however, there was a unique factor in this operation: the language barrier. With most of the residents of Puerto Rico speaking Spanish as a primary language, the call went out early on for bilingual hams to help pass traffic. Among those that responded was Mike Shreve, N6MRS. Because of his frequent business travels to Central and South America, Shreve speaks Spanish fluently; an ability that helped greatly in the emergency nets.

"I honestly didn't do a whole lot myself" Mike said. "The guys in Puerto Rico and the Net Control operators did most of the work." The SATERN net, or Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, was the Net in which Mike and many other hams took part. It was organized so that net control stations were in Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, Virginia, and other optimal locations, with relays in New England and the southeast, including Florida. To make sure traffic got through in sometimes less-than-ideal band conditions, NCO stations would repeat back incoming messages, which were then re-transmitted by the relays, both in English, as well as Spanish. Because of Shreve's fluency in Spanish, he was also able to assist net control and the other relays at times, since geography and other message parts can be difficult to copy for those not familiar with the language.

Many hams took part in SATERN for Hurricane Maria alongside Shreve, including ARRL Headquarters (W1AW), and a host of others. These "unsung heroes" assisted with one of the largest communications emergency of this decade, and while too many to be mentioned here, deserve recognition for their service to the amateur radio community and the citizens of Puerto Rico.

 

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT PASSED U.S. HOUSE – STILL BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE. HUDSON DIVISION DIRECTOR TESTIES IN FAVOR OF BILL:

Update 1/26/18: ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, testified Thursday (January 25) before a session of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding Amateur Radio’s readiness to respond in an emergency. In his testimony, Lisenco reminded the panel members that the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 is now pending before the Committee. “[Senate Bill 1534] is a balanced, completely bipartisan bill that would fully protect both the entitlement of Amateur Radio volunteers to…provide emergency, disaster relief and public service communications, while…protecting the aesthetic concerns and the jurisdiction of homeowners’ associations,” Lisenco said in his written remarks, noting that the bill is unopposed. “We are in desperate need of this legislation, and without it, the volunteer emergency communications services provided by Amateur Radio will be precluded. We urge the Committee in the strongest terms to please approve and send this legislation forward without delay,” Lisenco said. For the full ARRL News release of this testimony please go to http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-hudson-division-director-promotes-amateur-radio-parity-act-before-senate-committee.

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 2017. 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.”

 

COMPUTER APPLICATION OF THE MONTH – GIMP:

If you are looking for a great program to edit photos or almost any other graphics but cannot afford Adobe Photoshop, then GIMP is for you. It has many of the tools that are available in Adobe Photoshop, except the price. GIMP is available for download and is free. GIMP is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms at https://www.gimp.org/. Below is a screenshot of the GIMP screen with a picture open for editing:

(Picuture can be found in the PDF version at the Section website)

 

FLORIDA REPEATER COUNCIL BECOMES FASMA:

If you have been recently looking to coordinate a repeater, updating a repeater coordination, or just simply looking up repeater, some changes have been in motion. The Florida Repeater Council was re-organized into the Florida Amateur Spectrum Management Association (FASMA) in late 2017. The FASMA website is http://www.fasma.org. The old URL of http://www.florida-repeaters.org has been migrated over to the FASMA website. They also have a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fasma as well. Both the website and the Facebook answer an extensive amount of questions about the change from FRC to FASMA. They also plan to have a booth at the 2018 Orlando Hamcation in just a few days from the date of this issue going to press, to answer questions from amateur radio operators.

 

CLUB HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: Lake Wales Radio Amateurs (LWRA):

Based in the city of Lake Wales in Polk County. They are the newest ARRL Special Service Club in the Section and have a website, operate two repeaters: 147.330 MHz with a PL 127.3 Hz in Lake Wales and 442.425 MHz with a PL of 127.3 Hz in Dundee. They have a monthly QRP radio expedition at a local city or county park.

Lake Wales Radio Amateurs (LWRA): A screenshot of the home page.

(Picuture can be found in the PDF version at the Section website)

 

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. See you at either at the Orlando Hamcation, TECHCON, or an upcoming hamfest or club meeting. 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