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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 #32 – March 2018
By Darrell Davis KT4WX
ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager

 

(Note:  For the full PDF version with all graphical content go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/)

 

SPRING IS UPON US. TIME TO PREPARE FOR FIRE AND HURRICANE SEASON:

Spring 2018 officially begins on March 20. However the month of February, with the near to record breaking warm temperatures that lasted most of the month, felt more like late April to early May. With the warm temperatures and little to no rainfall means the spring fire season will soon be upon us. Please be careful when you are spending time outdoors, that you do not start a fire by accident. Also there is a small possibility that your ARES, ACS, or CERT group could be activated in case of a wild fire. Just be aware of that possibility.

The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is now only 90 days away from starting. Now is the time to begin your preparations for the new hurricane season. Now you can work on your preparations slowly and have time to complete your re-stocking of hurricane supplies, repairs or upgrades on your equipment. If your local ARES or ACS group is doing a booth at their local Hurricane Expo or participating in a Hurricane Exercise, participate when your local ARES or ACS calls for volunteers.

 

NATIONAL HURRICANE CONFERNCE AMATEUR RADIO FORUM – 3/27/18 at 1030:

The following information is from the ARRL News on the ARRL website: The annual National Hurricane Conference is set for March 26 – 29, in Orlando, Florida. The theme this year is “Improving Hurricane Preparedness.” Some 1,500 attendees are expected. The Amateur Radio session will take place on Tuesday, March 27, at 10:30 AM. Presenters will address various aspects of the Amateur Radio response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. For more details go to the ARRL News article at http://www.arrl.org/news/national-hurricane-conference-in-late-march-to-include-amateur-radio-session.

 

SPRING QUARTERLY ARES MEETING AND ARES LUNCHEON – 4/21/18:

The Spring 2018 West Central Florida Section ARES meeting will be held on Saturday April 21, 2018 at the Manatee County EOC at 1300. The Section ARES meeting will be preceded, as is the usual custom, by the quarterly Section ARES Luncheon at 1100. The Spring 2018 West Central Florida Section ARES meeting will be held at. This is a great opportunity for anyone involved or interested in Emergency Communications to meet with others involved with ARES or ACS outside of your local area.

For information on the location of the Spring 2018 Section ARES meeting you may go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-meeting-spring-2018/ and for information on the Spring 2018 Section ARES Luncheon you may go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-luncheon-spring-2018/.

 

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

The MS Citrus Bike Tour will take place on Saturday May 5, 2018 and Sunday 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.

 

12 HOURS OF SEBRING SPECIAL EVENT STATION – 3/14/18 through 3/17/18:

The Highlands County Amateur Radio Club will be putting on a special event station in conjunction with the 66th running of the 12 hours of Sebring car race which will be held on Saturday March 17th. The special event station, using the Highlands County Amateur Radio Club callsign W4HCA, will run from Wednesday March 14, 2018, 1200 EST, to 2400 EST, Saturday March 17, 2018. Any band or mode may be used. If you have any questions feel free to contact either Jeff Bronsing KJ4NEO via email at kj4neo@gmail.com or Brad Haag KM4VRU via email at km4vru@arrl.net. General special event information can be found at the club website at http://highlandsamateurradio.com/.

 

FLORIDA PARKS ON THE AIR – 4/07/18 through 4/08/18:

The Lakeland Amateur Radio Club is once again sponsoring the Florida Parks On The Air event for 2018. The first Florida Parks On The Air was held in 2017. The operating event will be held on Saturday April 7, 2018 and Sunday April 8, 2018 from 1000 through 1800 EDT each day. This time frame allows for individual or groups to setup, operate, and take down of stations in the time the Florida State Parks are open which is typically from 0800 to sunset but some parks vary. For more information on rules, log entries, and to register potential activation go to the Florida Parks On The Air website at http://flspota.org.

 

21st ANNUAL FLORIDA QSO PARTY – 4/28/18 through 4/29/18:

The Florida Contest Group, which has its “headquarters” in the West Central Florida Section, is once again sponsoring the Florida QSO Party. The operating event will take place on Saturday April 28, 2018 from 1200 EDT through 2159 EDT and on Sunday April 29, 2018 from 0800 through 1759 EDT. For more information on the QSO Party rules, log entries, and to register planned mobile activations, you may go to the Florida QSO Party website at http://floridaqsoparty.org. During this contest you have the opportunity to be at the end of the pileup.

 

MUNICIPAL PARKS ON THE AIR – UPDATE:

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. Stay tuned.

 

WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION SPONSORING BIKE MS CITRUS TOUR AMATEUR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS:

In early February it was announced that Darrell Davis KT4WX, the Section Manager for the ARRL West Central Florida Section, in agreement with Craig Shapiro N1MSS the logistics coordinator for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Jason Triolo KD4ACG the amateur radio communications coordinator Bike MS Citrus Tour in 2017, that the West Central Florida Section would provide sponsorship of amateur radio communications for the Bike MS Citrus Tour. Volunteer levels had slightly declined and it was felt that with assistance of the West Central Florida Section that recruitment of new volunteers could fall under “one banner” and be given concerted effort.

On Thursday February 1st, 2018, Darrell Davis KT4WX appointed Mike Bresse W2YS as an Assistant Section Manager for the Special Project of the Bike MS Citrus Tour. Bresse is the new amateur radio coordinator for the Bike MS Citrus Tour starting this year and had previously been the SAG vehicle coordinator for a number of years. Darrell Davis KT4WX said the following about the WCF Sectoin assuming sponsorship of the Bike MS Citrus tour amateur radio communications, “...Everyone who has been doing all their respective assignments will continue to perform their assignments as they have been doing them with no changes. Mike W2YS is the amateur radio coordinator and will continue in his new role as he has before and is doing a great job with the new Citrus Tour website as well. We shall continue to welcome help from all those who have helped in the past and hopefully we will see a lot of new volunteers this year.”

 

UPCOMING HAMFESTS IN THE SECTION:

The 2017-2018 hamfest is starting to wind down but still busy:

 

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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/FloridaRepeaters/. Both the website and the Facebook answer an extensive amount of questions about the change from FRC to FASMA. (Editor: The Facebook page link was given in error and the link just mentioned is the correct link).

 

CLUB HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: East Pasco Amateur Radio Society (EPARS):

Based in the Dade City area of Pasco County, EPARS has a website, a Facebook page, operates two Yaesu System Fusion repeaters on 146.880 MHz (PL 146.2 Hz) and 443.600 MHz (PL 146.2 Hz), which both operate in Automatic Mode Selection with a Wires X node on the 146.880 MHz machine. They meet on the 2nd Saturday of every month, have monthly VE testing, and in 2017 started an annual tailgate hamfest in Dade City.

East Pasco Amateur Radio Society (EPARS): A screenshot of the home page.

 

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.”

 

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.

 

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 Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/arrlwcf  

 

That is all for this issue of THE WCF PRESSER. See you at 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