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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 #27 – July 2017
By Darrell Davis KT4WX
ARRL
West Central Florida Section Manager

For the full version of the newsletter with all the graphivcs please go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-experimenter-technical-newsletter/

 

EDITORIAL: BE CIVIL AND RESPECTFUL

Normally I do not share thoughts like this but a recent experience that I had and observations that I have made recently have brought it to the forefront, and these thoughts are sincere and I hope will be of a help to many of you. On the way home from the Spring 2017 WCF Section ARES Meeting, I was running my Yaesu FT2D handheld on APRS as an APRS Mobile Tracker. I received the following text message from someone: "Hey dummy program your radio correctly". Apparently someone did not like a parameter that was set on Yaesu FT2D and that person took exception to it. The question I asked myself after the comment had disturbed me was the following, "What if I had been a new amateur radio operator or a recently licensed operator?" If I have been a newcomer, I might have become very discouraged with amateur radio and may have given the hobby up and or have become bitter.

There is a lesson to be learned or be reminded of from this incident. We as amateur radio operators should always be civil one to another. This does not mean you cannot disagree with another amateurs viewpoint or even comments. If you do disagree, you can state your disagreement but remain civil about it. Not everyone is going to agree with every thing you say. It does not offend me if someone does not agree with what I say or what I do. I am not offended if they tell me that they disagree with me so long as it is in a civil manner. Lack of civility is sadly a sign of the times we live in. Far too often see today when one states their viewpoint, even when they state it with civility, it is met with rudeness or even with a vitriolic response. In amateur radio we should be the exception to this trend and be civil one to another both on the air and in person, as an example to our peers and to the next generation. Another lesson to be learned here is try to remain aware that sometimes ham radio operators have either technical issues with their equipment or operating procedures (AC hum on the microphone, cracking sounds, wrong parameters programmed on digital modes, improper operating procedure, etc.). It is okay to point out it to them if you know what the problem is, but remember be civil about it. A new amateur radio operator may not have learned all the proper procedures yet. Talk to them in a civil and helpful manner, preferably off the air. Most people if you approach them with a modest and humble attitude, they will listen to what you have to say. If I have a problem, I would want someone to tell me, because I may not know about it.

Last comment I will make on civility here. We all have our favorite modes of operation and parts of the hobby we enjoy. Do not put down or demean another amateur radio operators mode or interests. Invite other hams to join your part of the hobby but if they say no, do not feel slighted. Remember it is not the end of the world. They might on the other hand say yes, but you will not know until you ask. Also if someone tells you about their favorite mode, take the time to listen. You may decide it is not of interest to you and say "No thank you" and that is perfectly okay. But on the other hand you may say "yes".

The Amateurs Code was written by Paul Segal W9EEA in 1928 after another time in which amateur radio had a tumultuous period before regulations fully took effect in the mid 1920's. Fourth point in the code says: "FRIENDLY with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit". For the full text of the code you may go to http://www.qcwa.org/amateur-code.htm. Thanks for taking the time to listen.

 

WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION FIELD DAY CARAVAN ONCE AGAIN A SUCCESS:

On Saturday June 24th, the WCF Section Field Day Caravan took to the roads of the WCF Section for the 17th time. This was the first year that there were two teams doing the Caravan.

Darrell Davis KT4WX and Christine Duez KK4KJN toured Polk, Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties. Their tour started at approximately 0830 and concluded at 0145 early on Sunday June 25th. Their team visited 11 Field Day sites and drove 264 miles.

Ben Henley KI4IGX and Randy Payne K4EZM toured Highlands, Hardee, Desoto, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Their tour started at approximately 0830 and concluded at approximately 1700 hours. Their team visited 7 Field day sites and drove approximately 250 miles.

On the Section Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/arrlwcf, you can see pictures posted by the tour in the Northern end of the Section as they visited those 11 Field Day sites. Also you can follow their tracks from their APRS beacon at http://aprs.fi/k4wcf-9. You can follow the tracks of the southern team APRS beacon at http://aprs.fi/k4wcf-11.

The most interesting Field Day statistics is how Darrell Davis KT4WX received the messages that Field Day sites send to the Section Manager for 100 bonus points. The following is a breakdown of how the Section Manager recevied Field Day messages: Four received by APRS Instant Message, two received by WL2K email (which is legal under the Field Day rules), one was received on 2 Meters on a local repeater, one was received on HF from a Field Day site after the caravan left, two messages from the Eagle Net. Field Day station used more diversified modes to get that radiogram out than have ever been done to our knoweldge.

We look forward to the 18th Annual WCF Field Day Caravan in June 2018. That will our two teams tiime to rest up until next year

 

SUMMER 2017 WCF EXPERIMENTER JUST PUBLISHED

The Summer 2017 Edition of THE WCF EXPERIMENTER has just been published. You may go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-experimenter-technical-newsletter/ and download the latest and issues going back to 2013. Geoff Haines N1GY, is the editor for THE WCF EXPERIMENTER. He is beginning work on the Fall 2017 edition. If you would like to include an article, send it to Geoff via email at n1gy@arrl.net. He will work with you on getting your article ready for publication.

 

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.

 

NEXT WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES MEETING – 7/08/17:

The next West Central Florida Section ARES meeting will be held on Saturday July 8, 2017 at 1300. The meeting will be held at the Hardee County EOC. As is customary, the meeting will be preceded by the Section ARES Luncheon, which will be held at Paul's Kitchen near downtown Wauchula, just a few blocks from the EOC. For more information on the Section ARES Meeting go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-meeting-0717 and for more information on the Section ARES Luncheon go to http://arrlwcf.org/event/wcf-section-ares-luncheon-summer-2017/. I look forward to seeing many of you there as can make it.

 

EAGLE NET HITS ALL TIME HIGH PARTICIPATION IN MAY 2017

In the month of May 2017, the Eagle Net, the NTS traffic net for the WCF Section, had an all time highest number of checkins for the month, and broke the previous record. The number of checkins for the month was 1218, which broke the previous record set in 2015. The net has handled 44 pieces of traffic, thirteen of them not being various net reports.

If you have family members, friends or acquaintances in the United States, or in a foreign county, with which the United States has a 3rd Party traffic agreement, get on the Eagle Net and send them a Radiogram. If you do not know how to format a Radiogram, our Net Manager Dave Rockwell W4PXE will be glad to help. For assistance on formatting an NTS Radiogram contact Dave via email at w4pxe@arrl.net. Also the ARRL website has a page devoted to the National Traffic System at http://www.arrl.org/nts. For local information on the National Traffic System you may go to the Section website National Traffic System page at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-section-programs/nts/

 

42ND ANNUAL TAMPA BAY HAMFEST AND 17TH ANNUAL WCF SECTION CONVENTION - SEAN KUTZKO KX9X TO BE THE ARRL REPRESENTATIVE

The 42nd Annual Tampa Bay Hamfest, which is the host to the 17th Annual ARRL West Central Florida Section Convention, will be held on Friday December 8th and Saturday December 9th at the Expo Hall at the Strawberry Festival Grounds in Plant City. This years representative from ARRL Headquarters will be Sean Kutzko KX9X, the ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager. Sean also was one of those in charge of the ARRL National Parks On The Air event in 2016. Sean is looking forward to being with us this year. For more information on the Tampa Bay Hamfest you may go to the Florida Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Council, the organization that sponsors the Tampa Bay Hamfest, website at http://www.fgcarc.org. For directions you go to the Section website and view the calendar entry at http://arrlwcf.org/event/42nd-annual-tampa-bay-hamfest-day-one/

 

CLUB WEBSITE AND NEWSLETTER OF THE MONTH: Tampa Amateur Radio Club

Each month we will select, and not in any order, a club website and newsletter of the month to show you. That way you will become more acquainted with all the great amateur radio clubs, here in the West Central Florida Section. It will take a while to go through them all, so please be patient and we will get to them all.

Tampa Amateur Radio Club: Based in the city of Tampa, in Hillsborough County. They have a website, their monthly newsletter, and operate several repeaters: 147.105 MHz, 443.025 MHz, and 444.750 Mhz (Analog/Fusion). All their repeater have a PL of 146. Hz. They have a clubhouse located at 7801 N. 22nd. Street in North Tampa not far from Sligh Ave with a very impressive club station that the members can access remotely. They also conduct the TARCFest three times a year at their clubhouse: January, April, and August.

Tampa Amateur Radio Club – Website: A screenshot of the home page.

  

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 during the summer months 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.

 

WCF REPAIR FACILITIES UPDATED ON THE WCF SECTION WEBSITE

During the month of June, Geoff Haines N1GY updated the list on the Section website of repair facilities that he had produced a few years ago. This included some additions and deletions. For the new list you may download it at the Section website Technical Support http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-section-programs/technical/.

 

COMPUTER APPLICATION OF THE MONTH: DesignSpark PCB:

If you neat a really neat Schematic CAD software, a neat package to download and install is DesignSpark PCB. It is produced by RS Components out of the United Kingdom, of which Allied Electronics is their American division. The software is free to download but you have to setup an online account, which is fairly easy and also free of charge. Once you download the software and install, DesignSpark PCB will guide you through the activation process very easily. It will prompt you to either register for a free of charge account or sign in to your account to complete the activation process. The current version is DesignSpark 8.0. You may go to the DesignSpark PCB page https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/pcb-software. Once you draw a schematic DesignSpark can auto layout and route PCB designs that can exported to gerber files to be used by a Printed Circuit Board maker. It also has an extensive component library of components you can choose from or you can design your own. For mechanical drawings there is DesignSpark Mechanical which can be downloaded at https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/mechanical-software and for electrical drawings there is DesignSpark Electrical which can be downloaded at
https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/electrical-software as well.

The screenshot below is a view of the sample project schematic:

The screenshot below is a view of a printed circuit board for the same project.

This software takes a little while to learn but once you learn it it is a very powerful schematic and PCB layout and editor package and best of all it is free of charge

 

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.”

 

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://www.ni4ce.org.

Please Note: The HF Edition of the WCF Section ARES and Information Net on Saturday at 0830 will be on 3911 or 3913 Khz until the ARRL Emergency Coordinators can discuss this at the next Section ARES Meeting on July 8th, at the Hardee County EOC. An attempt was made to QSY to 3940 at 0830 but the frequency is in use during that time period and we were not aware of this. Our apologies to all for the confusion.

 

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