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:

 

THE WCF PRESSER: ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION NEWS

Issue #23 – March 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/

 

WINTER IS ALMOST OVER. BE THINKING AHEAD:

It is hard to believe but our winter (what we saw of anyway) is rapidly coming to a close. From my perspective it means another sweltering hot summer and fall. I should have been born up north :-) Anyway with the closing weeks of winter and the arrival of spring this month, it also means that hurricane season is coming soon. 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 – NEW OPERATING EVENT

We are going to have an operating event here in the West Central Florida Section, called Municipal Parks On The Air. This 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. Due to the shortage of time, the start of the event will have to be postponed until May 1 and will go through November 30 as scheduled. This will allow us the extra time to finish creating the exchanges for the various parks in our Section. 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 ANNOUNCED

On Thursday February 9th, the ARRL West Central Florida Section received official notice from the Florida Contest Group that the Florida Contest Group is once again sponsoring the Florida QSO Party. It will run on Saturday April 29th and Sunday April 30th. 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

Coming up in about two months 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 skils for use in emergency communications without an actual emergency.

 

UPCOMING HAMFESTS IN THE SECTION:

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

 

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.

 

THIRD ANNUAL TECHCON ONCE AGAIN A SUCCESS

The third annual TECHCON (formerly know as the West Central Florida Section Technical Conference ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 at the Sarasota Red Cross Headquarters on Cantu Ct. in Sarasota. Our attendance was down just a few from last year but the presentation quality was excellent and well received by those who attended. First of all, I extent a sincere thank you to the American Red Cross Suncoast Chapter for allowing us to have the usage of their headquarters building for TECHCON. I also extend another sincere thank you to Den Spiess W2DEN for being the local host coordinator for TECHCON and I extend my sincere thanks to those in the Sarasota Emergency Radio Club who came out and helping with setup and parking. Last but not least, I extend a sincere thank you to all who were presenters at TECHCON this year. Without any of you, TECHCON would not have been a success. If you wish to see the PowerPoints or related PDF documents to the presentations for this TECHCON and past TECHCON you may go to http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/wcftechconference/ and download them.

 

LAKELAND AMATEUR RADIO CLUB PROMOTES AMATEUR RADIO TO STUDENTS
By Rich Kennedy N4ESS

WCF Section Public Information Coordinator and Affiliated Club Coordinator

Opportunities abound in the local school systems to promote Amateur Radio. This time of the year several schools across the state take part in annual science fairs. They are a chance for the children to be exposed to real world technology and present their own projects. Several of the schools invite organizations to bring their presentations to show students other technologies from the surrounding community.

Recently the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club (LARC) had such an opportunity to exhibit Amateur Radio to students at the Winston Academy of Engineering in Lakeland, FL. The school is kindergarten through 5th grade. The students are very motivated and the school is geared to a comprehensive STEM program with an emphasis on Engineering. Very young people studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in the hope that these will be our future engineers. The evening was two hours of students and their parents going from exhibit to exhibit. The LARC presentation included CW and voice HF radios, VHF/UHF radios, antennas, QSL cards, and ARRL information handouts. QSL cards took the top interest with a CW keyer they could play with took a very close second. The CW tones drew them to the table and from there the children chose their own interests. There was also quite a bit of interest in the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. The parents seemed to be the biggest fans for more information. The parents were looking for something the family could do together. Others wanted it just for them while hoping the children would take interest in the future. The parents and children were armed with information handouts and points of contact for the Lakeland club when they left the table. I am sure that LARC will be seeing some of these parents and children again at future meetings.

Each PIO, of a WCF Section club, should take the opportunity to make contact with your local schools. Inquire about science fairs and school career days where Amateur Radio would fit in. Be prepared to explain what Amateur Radio is and bring an ARRL “What is Ham Radio flyer” and a “Ham Radio Youth flyer” both of which are available for download, in .pdf form, from the ARRL website.

Positive education and public information about Amateur Radio will keep the public informed about us. Lots of people are surprised to hear that Amateur Radio is still a viable part of today’s society and taking an active part in promoting today’s technology. PIO’s solicit your club members to provide leads and contacts for you to explore. Keep our clubs active and growing in the WCF Section. Remember Field Day is just around the corner so start planning a promotion for your local Field Day Operations.

I am interested in hearing about your club’s activities to promote Amateur Radio so feel free to contact me.

(Editor: You may contact Rich N4ESS by email at n4ess@tampabay.rr.com or by telephone at (813) 240-5614)

 

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.

 

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