WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-20

FORMER SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER AND LAKELAND ARC VICE PRESIDENT SK

Wilbur “Chet” Carruth AB4XK became a Silent Key on Monday March 29, 2021, following complications from COVID-19 and heart failure.  Carruth was 78 years old.

Carruth had been an avid CW operator and traffic handler in the National Traffic System and was originally licensed as an amateur radio operator in the early 1960’s.  Carruth served as the first Section Traffic Manager for the ARRL West Central Florida Section from 2000 through 2004.  Carruth also founded the Eagle Net, the NTS Traffic Net for the ARRL West Central Florida Section in 2001.  Carruth started the Eagle Net on the NI4CE Repeater System, owned and operated by the West Central Florida Group Inc., right after their first repeaters on 145.430 MHz and 442.950 MHz went on the air in 2001, where it still operates today.

Carruth was a veteran of the United States Navy where he served aboard the USS Newport News CA-148 during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.  Carruth operated his own business, Precision Petroleum, installing and serving fuel pumping stations for fuel stations and in the latter part of his career worked for Precision Petroleum until his retirement.  Carruth was a member of the Inman Park Church of Christ.

A celebration of life memorial is being planned and will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers anyone wishing to make a donation, should send it to Inman Park Church of Christ 1750 6th Street Winter Haven, FL 33881.

Herman “Top” Smith WB6ZEQ became a Silent Key on Friday April 2, 2021, following complications from contracting COVID-19.  Smith was 83 years old.

Smith was originally licensed as an amateur radio operator in the 1960’s while serving in the U.S. Marines.  Smith was serving as Vice President of the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club, was a member of Polk County ARES, and participated in multiple public service events that used amateur radio communications every year.

Smith retired from the U.S. Marines in 1976 after having served since 1956, including service in Vietnam.  Following his retirement from the U.S. Marines, Smith worked for and retired from Raytheon Service Company.  Smith was a member of the Turkey Creek Baptist Church, and sang for the Florida Worship Choir.

A memorial service will be held, Thursday April 15, 2021 at 1600 at Turkey Creek First Baptist Church, 4915 W. Trapnell Rd. Plant City, FL 33566. Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-19

THE WCF PRESSER ISSUE #58 FOR MARCH/APRIL 2021 IS NOW PUBLISHED

The WCF PRESSER Issue #58 for March/April 2021, has been published on the Section website.  An announcement of the publication of the WCF PRESSER will be disseminated on the ARRL remailer shortly. If anyone has any information that is amateur radio related that you would like to go into the next issue of THE WCF PRESSER, please send that to our newsletter editor, Jim Weslager K3WR via email at weslager@gmail.com.

For the PDF version of this newsletter and past issues in PDF format go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-18

SPRING 2021 QUARTERLY ARRL WCF SECTION ARES MEETING TO BE HELD VIA ZOOM

The Spring 2021 ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Meeting will be held on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 1400 EDT, as a Zoom meeting, instead of a “face to face” meeting due to the continuing COVID-19 situation.  The information to log into the Zoom meeting is located the Section ARES page at : http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-section-programs/ares/

The Zoom meeting will be open for attendees to check in 15 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to start at 1400, to allow participants time to log in and be sure their video and or audio is functioning.  Everyone is welcome to attend the Zoom meeting, but due to the terms of our Zoom account we are limited to a seating of 100.

We will also be live streaming our meeting via the Section YouTube Channel and the meeting will be recorded on our YouTube Channel to be available for future viewing.  The ARRL West Central Florida Section YouTube Channel is located at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFA4-HEjr-lYMFisVG_Nk5A.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-17

CHARLOTTE AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY PLAN ANOTHER EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS DRILL

The Charlotte Amateur Radio Society is planning another simulated emergency communications test on Saturday April 24, 2021 from 1000 through 1300 hours.  The following information below was submitted as a press release by Doug Young KM4LKC:

“This exercise is part of the Charlotte Amateur Radio Society’s long-term multipart educational program to ensure that radio amateurs in our area have a way to grow the skills that may be used in a variety of emergency communications situations. Our April 24th, 2021 exercise is the second in a three-part series that involves a simulated emergency.   This simulated emergency includes a loss of regular emergency communications through telephone, cell phones, and internet services.

The primary objective in this training phase is to quickly establish communication facilities across the County, using no services from any outside organization, and demonstrate that our members can communicate to each other and pass messages between operators county-wide.

The parameters of the drill specify that radio communications may not utilize any repeater services nor any internet services, instead strictly relying on radio-to-radio communications. This amateur radio exercise is designed to test the capabilities of portable stations and to evaluate the usage of specific forms of digital communications as well as voice communications for passing traffic.

We will work primarily on HF frequencies with some operations testing on VHF and UHF communications. The Charlotte Amateur Radio Society will have portable stations located across Charlotte County Florida with stations in Englewood, Murdock, Punta Gorda, and Babcock Ranch Community. Operations begin at 10:00 local time and will conclude at 13:00 local time.

Setting up the four(4) stations will include radios, power systems, antennas, and shelter for the operators at remote locations selected for radio coverage across the county.  Licensed Amateur radio operators from Charlotte County and the directly surrounding counties that are not members of CARS are encouraged to visit the CARS website for information about how they can help on the day of the event from their own radios.  See www.carsfl.org.

If news organizations wish to observe the stations during setup and operations please contact Douglas Young, KM4LKC email to: km4lkc@arrl.net

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-16

THE 24th ANNUAL FLORIDA QSO PARTY SET FOR LAST WEEKEND OF APRIL

The Florida Contest Group has recently announced the 24th Annual Florida QSO Party will be held on Saturday April 24, 2021 from 1600Z (Noon EDT) through 0159Z (9:59 PM EDT) and on Sunday April 25, 2021 from 1200Z (8:00 AM EDT) and 2159Z (5:59 PM EDT), which is a 20 hour total operating period.   The 40, 20, 15, and 10 Meter bands will be used.  All 67 Florida Counties will be eligible for activation, the Florida QSO Spelling Bee will be featured again this year, and mobile operation will resume this year after being curtailed last year due to COVID-19 limited shutdown that was in effect at this time last year.

For all the details on the Florida QSO Party, please go to their website at http://www.floridaqsoparty.org

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-15

LAKELAND ARC DOING COMMUNICATIONS AT SUN N FUN FLY INN

The following is a press release generated by the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club concerning their activation of a special event station with the callsign W4S at the Sun N Fun Fly Inn to be held at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport from Tuesday April 13, 2021 through Sunday April 18, 2021:

“The Lakeland Amateur Radio Club (LARC) is pleased to announce that we have been selected as the host amateur radio station club for the 2021 Sun-N-Fun Fly-In – W4S, April 13-18. Jeff Schuck – WA4MMO has been selected as Committee Chair Person for the event and Todd Rush – W7STR as Assistant Chair. The Lakeland Amateur Radio Club will be erecting a temporary tented radio station on site at Sun-N-Fun with both HF and VHF/UHF radio stations. LARC would like to offer a daily operating position to all licensed amateurs for this event. You may request either an 8AM-12PM or 1PM-5PM operating time. Please contact Todd Rush at 307-250-3706 or w7str@yahoo.com to make your request. Each operator will receive 1 event pass and parking pass for the day of operating. We look forward to seeing you there and supporting a great event.”

For more information about this event as it becomes available, you may go to the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club website at http://lakelandarc.org or the club news blog at http://blog.lakelandarc.org.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-14

MIKE LUNSFORD KB4FHP APPOINTED AS PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR

On Friday February 25, 2021, Mike Douglas W4MDD appointed Mike Lunsford KB4FHP to be ARRL Public Information Coordinator for the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Lunsford succeeds Rich Kennedy N4ESS who had served as Public Information Coordinator since 2017 and recently decided to step down.

Lunsford was first licensed at KN4ITQ in 2018, but had a long time interest in Amateur Radio working with several organizations, including CERT and ARES, in his professional career before retirement.  After retirement, Lunsford’s wife encouraged him to get a hobby and amateur radio was the obvious choice.  After getting his Technician class ticket Lunsford became quickly involved in the amateur radio community and became a member of the Lake Wales Radio Amateurs, Lakeland Amateur Radio Club, Polk County ARES, and a member of the ARRL  In 2019, Lunsford obtained the vanity callsign of KB4FHP, inspired by his time a as a volunteer with the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary, upon upgrading to General class.  Lunsford currently serves as an ARRL Technical Specialist for digital voice modes, and is Secretary for the Lake Wales Radio Amateurs.

Lunsford in his professional career was employed by Polk County Fire Rescue for 40 years and retired as a Battalion Chief over Special Operations, which included Office of Professional Standards, specialized response units, special events, and law enforcement liaison.  Lunsford also dealt with the Public Information Office section from Polk County Fire Resuce and other agencies on a daily basis.  Lunsford was the 451st person to hold a paramedic license in the State of Florida, and has maintained his license even in retirement.  Lunsford also volunteered for 35 years as a Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary State Trooper and retired with the rank of Major.  Lunsford also owns a part time business, since 1981, doing electronics and two-way radio installations in law enforcement, fire, and EMS vehicles.

Lunsford had the following to say about his appointment as Public Information Coordinator, “My Civics teacher in high school impressed upon me one day with this comment. He said, ‘If you use anything your community provides…it is good civics to put something, (meaning yourself), back into that community.’  I have always tried to put something back by volunteering.  The discovery of what I had been missing all these years in friendship and a ‘niche’ that all hams have, loving to talk to someone you do not know, became a daily event.  Becoming a General Class ticket holder opened even more doors and developed interest in the hobby’s newer technologies. I have a broad interest in digital technologies and am excited at the potentials these have in disaster communications in the future.”

Lunsford’s other interests are participation as a coach for Special Olympics, as his son is an athlete, for Bocce, Golf, Bowling, and being active at his church, First Baptist Church in Lake Wales, as a ministry volunteer.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-13

SANFORD WYATT KM4WXX APPOINTED AS NET MANAGER OF SECTION ARES AND INFORMATION NET – VHF/UHF


On Monday February 22, 2021, Mike Douglas W4MDD appointed Sanford Wyatt KM4WXX to be the Net Manager of the Section ARES and Information Net on VHF/UHF, which is held on Monday evening at 1930 on the NI4CE Repeater System.  Wyatt succeeds J.C. Rivero K4RTC who had served as Net Manager since January 2015 and stepped down in December 2020, due to increased commitments with his employer.  Randy Payne K4EZM continues in his role as Net Manager for the Section ARES and Information Net on HF, which is held on Saturday morning at 0730 on 3940 KHz.

Douglas had the following comments to say about of Wyatt, “Sanford has been elevated to ARES Net and Information Manager for 2 meter/70 centimeter section, replacing J. C. Rivero, K4RTC. Please welcome Sanford in his new role.”

Wyatt became interested in shortwave radio in the late 1950’s and received a Novice license in 1958 at Ft Myers, FL.  Wyatt had gotten out of amateur radio for a period of time and in 2016 was re-licensed with his current callsign of KM4WXX after retiring.  In 2018, Wyatt was appointed as an ARRL Net Manager as an Assistant Net Manager of the Eagle Net, the NTS traffic net for the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Wyatt also serves as Net Manager for the Sarasota Agriculture Recovery Group (SARG) Net, which provides service to ESF-17.  Wyatt is also a member of Sarasota Emergency Radio Club, Sarasota County ARES, a certified NWS Skywarn Spotter, and an alternate operator for the Sarasota County EOC to the weekly State EOC SARNET on Wednesday at 1300.  Wyatt also provides service as a member Florida State Agriculture Recovery Team (SART).

Wyatt in his professional career was in marine and the heavy construction industry for 42 years.  Wyatt also served in the U.S. Air Force during the time of the Vietnam war.  Wyatt is also currently a member of the American Legion Post 266 in Sarasota.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-12

CHUCK JOHNSTON W4CWJ APPOINTED AS AN ASSISTANT SECTION MANAGER

On Friday February 25th, 2021, Mike Douglas W4MDD, appointed Chuck Johnston W4CWJ as an Assistant Section Manager as Rural Communities Coordinator.

Douglas had the following comments to say about the appointment of Johnston, “I can not take credit for this appointment, it was suggested to me by Sanford Wyatt, KM4WXX. After hearing Sanford’s reasoning, I almost instantly processed Chuck’s appointment. Chuck has a lot of ties and influence with agriculture in the rural areas of Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, and Hardee counties. That same influence extends throughout the state as well as Tallahassee. Please help me welcome Chuck as he settles into his position as a new ASM.”

Johnston was originally licensed in 2015 and is a Florida native.  Johnston’s interest in radio started with building kits in his father’s radio shack as a teenager.  Johnston obtained a commercial radio operator license, and then started working at the Sarasota Fire Department in the communications division.   Johnston help to start the Sarasota Agricultural Recovery Group (SARG) in 2010 and is currently the coordinator for SARG.  SARG is an organization composed of farmers and ranchers from the local area, many of whom are amateur radio operators.  The members of SARG provide service to rural communities during disasters, and operate in support of the ESF-17.

Johnston had the following comments to say about his appointment as Assistant Section Manager, “Experience has shown that the communications challenges in the heartland areas of the state vastly differ from that of the coastal areas. I hope to work with Mike, our Section Manager, to identify opportunities to enhance ham radio’s effectiveness when called on.”

Johnston in his professional career currently raises beef cattle in eastern Sarasota County.  Johnston previously worked in fire rescue and in his final assignment was Emergency Management Director for Sarasota County.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #21-11

NORMAN XANDERS WX4NEX APPOINTED AS AN ASSISTANT SECTION MANAGER

On Monday February 22, 2021, Mike Douglas W4MDD, appointed Norman Xanders WX4NEX to be an Assistant Section Manager as Liaison to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Ruskin.

Douglas had the following comments to say about the appointment of Xanders as an Assistant Section Manager, Norman is a ham familiar to many of you, especially those of you in Polk County. Norman is Assistant EC for Polk County and can be heard every Wednesday at 7:00 PM on the Polk County ARES and Information Net. I have appointed Norman to be Assistant Section Manager, Skywarn Liaison to the National Weather Service. Norman has also been made an Official Emergency Station. Please make Norman welcome and offer any help as he settles in with his duties.”

Xanders was originally licensed in late 2016. Xanders has been a storm chaser for over 20 years here in central Florida, specifically in Polk County.  One day Xanders got the RadarScope app for his smartphone and was looking at other Spotters on the map and saw some with call signs, inquired into it, and found out they were part of a Skywarn Net.  This is where Xanders began his amateur radio journey.  Since becoming licensed, Xanders has volunteered extensively for Polk County ARES as a net control operator.  Xanders then became an Assistant Net Manager, and then Net Manager for the Polk County ARES Net.  In 2019, Xanders became the Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Operations for Polk County ARES.  Xanders also serves as a net control statoin for the National Weather Service SKYWARN Information Net, which is held on the NI4CE Repeater System every Tuesday at 2100 hours.

Xanders had the following to say about his amateur radio experience, “I believe volunteering in your community is important and Is the reason I do it, I like helping others.”

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