WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-19

FLORIDA QSO PARTY SCHEDULED FOR 4/25/20 AND 4/26/20

The Florida Contest Group has announced the Florida QSO Party will be held this year as scheduled.  The Florida QSO Party is scheduled for Saturday April 25, 2020 and Sunday April 26, 2020. At the present time, mobile operation will be allowed this year as in years past.  For detailed information on contest rules, suggested frequencies of operation, and log entry – submission information go to the Florida QSO Party website at http://www.floridaqsoparty.org/.  The Florida Contest Groups has also establied a Florida QSO Party groups.io list and is open for anyone to join.  Anyone wishing to subscribe to the Florida QSO Party email reflector may send an email request to George Wagner, K5KG at k5kg@k5kg.com, who is administrator of the list.  Upon receiving your request to join, George will send you an invitation to subscribe to the reflector.  When you receive the invitation, simply follow the instructions, and sign yourself up.

The Florida Contest Group simply requests that everyone follow the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and enjoy the contest.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

 

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-18

SECTION ARES MEETING FOR SPRING 2020 AND APRIL 2020 TARCFEST CANCELLED

Ben Henley KI4IGX, our Section Emergency Coordinator, has cancelled the Spring 2020 ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Luncheon and ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Meeting both scheduled for Saturday April 11, 2020 in Sarasota County.  This cancellation is due in keeping with guidelines issued by the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  The next scheduled Section ARES Luncheon and Section ARES Meeting will be on Saturday July 11, 2020.

Biff Craine K4LAW, one of our Assistant Section Managers, relayed the following information from the Tampa Amateur Radio Club, “TARCFest has been held in April since its beginning but will be cancelled this April due in part to park closure and our inability to provide a responsible event that would not contribute to efforts to stem the spread on COVID-19. This action is consistent with other tailgates from Dayton to Zephyrhills.”  The next scheduled TARCFest will later in the year in August.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-17

HAMFEST AND CLUB MEETING CANCELLATIONS CONTINUE DUE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS

The cancellations of hamfest, some club meetings, and amateur radio related events continue as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  The following additional hamfests, local radio club meetings, and amateur radio events have been cancelled since Thursday March 12 when WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-16 was issued:  The ZAARC Hamfest 2020 scheduled for Saturday March 21st has been cancelled.  The Pasco County Hamfest Spring 2020 scheduled for Saturday March 28th has been cancelled.  The Highlands County Amateur Radio Club monthly club meeting scheduled for Monday March 16th has been cancelled.  The Glorious Society of the Wormhole monthly club meeting scheduled for Saturday April 4th has been cancelled.  The Sarasota Amateur Radio Society monthly club meeting scheduled for Tuesday March 17th has been cancelled.  The Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club monthly VE test session schedule for Wednesday April 1, has been cancelled.

The ARRL News announced on Sunday March 15, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association has cancelled the Dayton Hamvention for 2020 scheduled for May 15 through May 17.  The ARRL News announced on Friday March 13th, that ARRL HQ has discontinued all public tours of ARRL HQ and W1AW until further notice.

Here in the ARRL West Central Florida Section, several county emergency management agencies have gone to some kind of partial activation   in response to the COVID-19 virus.  On Saturday March 7th, the State of Florida Emergency Operations Center went to a Level 2 activation to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 response.  On Monday March 9th, Governor Ron Desantis issued Executive Order 2020-52 declaring a state of emergency in the State of Florida.  On Friday March 13, the Florida Department of Education announced that all Florida public school districts to close from the period of Monday March 16th through Friday March 27th.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section will continue to issue WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASES as cancellations notices of hamfests and local radio club meetings and or VE test sessions come to our attention.  Please continue to monitor the latest information being issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the Florida Department of Health at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/index.html.

Update:  The State of Florida EOC is now at a Level 1 activation as of Sunday March 15 to deal with the COVID-19 response.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

 

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-16

EVENT CANCELLATIONS AS A PRECAUTION AGAINST COVID-19

The following hamfests and amateur radio related events in the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been cancelled as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID-19, or as it is informally known the coronavirus:

The Spring 2020 Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club Hamfest scheduled for Saturday March 14 has been cancelled.  The Sarasota Emergency Radio Club 2020 hamfest scheduled for Saturday March 28 has been cancelled.  The Hardee County Health, Safety, and  Hurricane Expo scheduled for Saturday April 4 has been cancelled.

If any more hamfests and or amateur radio related events are cancelled, additional WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASES will be disseminated to announce those cancellations.  For the latest information on the COVID-19 virus you may go to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

 

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-15

THE WCF PRESSER ISSUE #47 MARCH 2020 IS NOW PUBLISHED

The WCF PRESSER Issue #47 for March 2020, 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/.

 

 

 

 

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-14

FLORIDA ARES TASK BOOK NOW AVAILABLE

The Florida ARES Task Book is now available for download from the West Central Florida Section ARES webpage on the Section website at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-section-programs/ares/.  The Florida ARES Task Book, originally adopted from the ARES Task Book created by the ARRL South Texas Section, has been compiled for use in the entire State of Florida by all three ARRL Florida Section ARES organizations.  The three ARRL Florida Section Emergency Coordinators worked together on the compilation of the Florida ARES Task Book, and received numerous inputs from the ARRL Emergency Coordinators in all three ARRL Florida Sections.  The Florida ARES Task Book is intended for amateur radio operators who have made themselves available for deployment outside of their own county of residence for a mutual aid response in times of disaster, when such mutual aid is requested by a served agency.

The ARES Task Book is a concept first introduced in the new ARRL ARES Plan which came into effect in January 2019.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-13

NEXT NVIS TEST SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY 3/07/20

On Saturday March 7, 2020 at 0900 a Near Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS) test is being conducted on 75 Meters.  Larry Gispert KR4X, an ARRL Official Emergency Station and Fred Seely AA4ME, who is with Highlands County ARES, will be overseeing these tests.  The test will take place on a frequency of 3913 KHz on Lower Sideband (LSB).  Depending upon the Maximum Useable Frequency, test may also be conducted on 60 Meters at 5370 Khz USB (CH-3), and on 40 Meters at 7282 KHz. Note: 60 meters is USB in order to keep emissions within the F.C.C. mandated channel limits. Also the Maximum Useable Frequency (often called the FoF2) info will be used to determine which frequency to use. NVIS theory suggests using the amateur band that is closest but below the projected FoF2 frequency.

Gispert stated the following concerning the NVIS test, “The current data does indicate that any Horizontal HF antenna mounted at a height of less than a quarter wave length above ground does exhibit some NVIS tendencies. We realize that most hams have their 80/75 meter antennas mounted at a height of less than 60 feet and those antennas do exhibit some NVIS radiation. We adopted the height of less than 15 feet to insure maximum NVIS radiation… We were interested in proving the viability of this form of transmission for covering distances between 100 to 300 miles of separation by using High Frequency (HF). The thought was that during times of emergency the normal internet, telephone and VHF/UHF repeaters might be over crowded or disabled and two or more HF stations could provide the necessary communications links between identified emergency locations.”

At 0900 Gispert and Seely will meet on 3.913 kHz LSB running NVIS antennas (horizontal dipoles mounted at a height of 15 feet or less).  KR4X, will be setup at Picnic Island Park at the southern tip of the Interbay Peninsula in South Tampa and AA4ME will be setup in Highlands County (a distance of at least 100 miles apart). We will start at power levels of 100 watts and decrease incrementally to determine the viability of the communications path.  All stations are welcome to listen in or participate with their NVIS antenna.  GIspert and Seely have previously conducted these test in the 2009 and 2010 time frame and on a few occasions since then.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-12

ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES MEETINGS LOCATION SWITCH

Due to construction at the Polk County Emergency Operations Center in the months of April and May, the locations for the ARRL West Central Florida Section Quarterly ARES Meeting for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 have been switched.  The Spring 2020 meeting, scheduled on Saturday April 11, 2020 at 1300, will be held at the Sarasota Red Cross Headquarters, preceded by the Section ARES Luncheon at the Der Dutchmen Restaurant at 1100 on the same date.  The Summer 2020 meeting, scheduled for Saturday July 11, 2020 will be held at the Polk County Emergency Operations Center, preceded by the Section ARES Luncheon at Sonny’s BBQ on Recker Highway in Winter Haven.

A sincere thanks to Sarasota ARES and Polk ARES for agreeing to the date switch to accommodate the construction taking place at the Polk County Emergency Operations Center.  The special events calendar on the Section website has been updated to reflect these changes.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-11

RIVER RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULED FOR ARISS CONTACT ON TUESDAY 3/03/20

According to the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station website (http://www.ariss.org), an International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at River Ridge High School, New Port Richey, FL. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 15:17 UTC (10:17 EST) on March 3, 2020. The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be direct between NA1SS and Ralph McCullough WA3YFQ, who also serves as the ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Pasco County. The contact should be audible over the state of Florida and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.800 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) inspires students, worldwide, to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and math through amateur radio communications opportunities with the International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit crew.  Students learn about life on board the ISS and explore Earth from space through science and math activities. ARISS provides opportunities for the school community (students, teachers, families and community members) to become more aware of the substantial benefits of human spaceflight and the exploration and discovery that occur on spaceflight journeys. Students have the opportunity to learn about space technologies and the technologies involved with space communications through exploration of amateur radio.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section wishes the amateur radio team at River Ridge High School success in their contact and ask all other amateur radio operators to not to transmit on the downlink during the contact time.  Also remember that the signal from the International Space Station will experience Doppler effect and that the signal will be slightly above frequency early in the pass and will decrease slightly in frequency as the International Space Station passes overhead.

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #20-10

SCHEDULE AND PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS FOR 6TH ANNUAL TECHCON ARE NOW AVAILABLE

The speaking schedule and the program descriptions list for the 6th Annual TECHCON Saturday Presentations are now available for download from the TECHCON webpage on the Section website at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/wcftechconference/.  These documents are located in the “Conference Information” section of that page.   The presentations and or papers written for the conference will go live in the morning on Saturday February 22.  If you are planning on attending, and have not done so already, please be sure to fill out the TECHCON Registration Form at http://arrlwcf.org/section-forms/wcftechconfregistration/ so we will have a proper count to have enough supplies for TECHCON.

END OF PRESS RELEASE