Most Recent WCF Section Press Releases

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-36

THE WCF PRESSER ISSUE #43 NOVEMBER 2019 IS NOW PUBLISHED

The WCF PRESSER Issue #43 November 2019, 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 #19-35

MIKE SPRENGER W4UOO IS AWARDED THE AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE TO SCOUTING AWARD

W4UOO

The ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award has been awarded to Mike Sprenger W4UOO.  Sprenger, who resides in Valrico in Hillsborough County, is an Extra Class amateur radio operator first licensed in 1992 at the USF Radio and Electronics Club and himself achieved Eagle Scout rank in 1982.  Currently, Sprenger serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster in BSA Troop 686, currently teaches Radio Merit Badge, and is a member of the Tampa Amateur Radio Club and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association.  Combining a lifelong interest in space and NASA, operating highlights include applying for and operating a successful Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) 2m radio contact with Dr. Ronald Parise WA4SIR/SK aboard STS-67 in 1995 from the South Florida Museum / Bishop Planetarium enabling 11 middle school students to ask Dr. Parise questions about life in space.  Sprenger has served on staff at two BSA National and one World Scouting Jamboree, which include operating the 2013 National Scouting Jamboree and facilitating a 2 Meter ARISS contact enabling Scouts to speak with Major Luca Parmitano KF5KDP about life aboard the International Space Station.  At the 2019 World Scouting Jamboree, Sprenger operated the NA1WJ telebridge connection to ON4ISS enabling the ARISS contact for 16 Scouts to talk to Astronaut & Scoutmaster Drew Morgan KI5AAA aboard the ISS.  Sprenger in his professional career works as a Production and Digital Event/Webcast strategist and in his spare time can be found enjoying the pace of an Florida AM group QSO with a Hallicrafters SX-43 receiver, that belonged to his uncle Ken Wise who originally held the callsign of W4UOO and is now a silent key, and using a BC-610 transmitter for the ultimate reclined armchair QSO.  Sprenger is also active in his church technology ministry, and plays the bass guitar.

The Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award was officially established through a resolution that the ARRL Board adopted at its 2013 Annual Meeting. It builds on the long relationship between the BSA and ARRL that began with the development of the Wireless Merit Badge in 1918 and is today Radio Merit Badge.  The League’s award recognizes radio amateurs who, as registered Scouting leaders, make a significant contribution to give Scouts a memorable experience with Amateur Radio.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-34

BIKE MS CITRUS TOUR 2020 DATE ANNOUNCED AND VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED

The MS Society has announced that the date of the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020 will be Saturday March 7, 2020 and Sunday March 8, 2020, which is two months before the tour was held this year and in previous years.  Mike Bresse W2YS, our Assistant Section Manager and amateur radio coordinator for the Bike MS Citrus Tour, has opened up the Citrus Tour website for new and returning volunteers for the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020.  Amateur radio operators who wish to volunteer for the first time for this event should register at http://www.citrustour.org.  Volunteers returning from a previous Bike MS Citrus Tour do not need to register again but should login into the Citrus Tour website with their credentials and will be prompted to update their contact information.  If a returning volunteer needs assistance with their login credentials, please contact Mike Bresse W2YS via email at mbresse@slbsservicesgroup.com and Mike will be glad to assist you.

Bresse has been informed by the National MS Society that the route for the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020 will be similar to this years route.  The ride on both days will start and end at the Omni Hotel at Champions Gate which is just off of I-4 just inside of Osceola County.  Approximately 98 percent of the route will be on the northeast, east and southeast side of Polk County, which is in the ARRL West Central Florida Section.  Darrell Davis KT4WX said the following about the Bike MS Citrus Tour, “The Bike MS Citrus Tour is basically an ’emergency without the emergency’.  The Bike MS Citrus Tour is a great opportunity for ARES, ACS, and CERT volunteers to practice their communications equipment, their operating skills, and to build camaraderie with other amateur radio volunteers.  When you have done the tour once you will want to do it again.  ARES personnel from ARES groups in all three ARRL Florida Sections participate in this event and work together as a team.”

More details about the Bike MS Citrus Tour 2020 will be coming out as they are made known.  The amateur radio communications has been sponsored by the ARRL West Central Florida Section since 2018.  This will be the third year that the ARRL West Central Florida Section has sponsored amateur radio communications for the Bike MS Citrus Tour.  For more information you may go to the Bike MS Citrus Tour web page on the Section website at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/bike-ms-citrus-tour/.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-33

THE WCF PRESSER ISSUE #42 OCTOBER 2019 IS NOW PUBLISHED

The WCF PRESSER Issue #42 October 2019, 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 #19-32

SECTION NET CANCELLATIONS FOR OCTOBER

The HF edition of the WCF Section ARES and Information Net that is scheduled for Saturday October 12th and Saturday October 19th at 0730 on 3940 KHz or immediately following the Florida Phone Traffic Net, will be cancelled due to Melbourne Hamfest on Saturday October 12th, which is also the ARRL Florida State Convention for 2019, and the WCF Section ARES Meeting on Saturday October 19th.  The HF edition of the WCF Section ARES and Information Net will resume its normal operation on Saturday October 26 at 0730 on 3940 KHz or immediately following the Florida Phone Traffic Net whichever is later

END OF PRESS RELEASE.

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-31

NEW EMERGENCY COORDINATOR FOR SARASOTA COUNTY ARES APPOINTED

Gary Wells WB9AYD was appointed as the ARRL Emergency Coordinator for the recently formed Sarasota County ARES.   Wells is active on SSB, CW, digital modes such as PSK31, FT8, Pactor, VARA and several other modes, and is also am involved with HF, VHF, and UHF Winlink both involving ham radio and SHARES.  Wells enjoys experimenting with his go box capabilities utilizing NVIS and AREDN and enjoys using his Flex Radio for DXing from home.  Wells was first licensed in 1969 as a novice as WN9AYD and then progressed to WB9AYD as an Extra Class ham.

Wells in his professional carreer was in the process control/industrial/factory automation world and has been retired for 11 years.  Wells and his wife moved to Sarasota from the Chicago/Milwaukee area in 2009 and now live in Sarasota County year around.  Wells said the following about his new role as ARRL Emergency Coordinator, “Ham radio is my passion and I look forward to working with other ARES members and hams going forward in my new role.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #15 – 0900 – 9/14/19

TROPICAL STORM HUMBERTO – WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #15 – 0900 – 9/14/19

At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Humberto was located near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 76.6 West. Humberto is moving toward the northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this motion is
expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northwest is expected by Sunday and a slower northward to northeastward motion is forecast to occur by Monday. On the forecast track, the system will gradually move away from the northwestern Bahamas later today, and then will move well offshore of the east coast of Florida this weekend and early next week.  Maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast, and Humberto is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday night.  Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km)to the north and east of the center.  The estimated minimum central pressure just reported by an Air Force reconnaissance plane was 1004 mb (29.65 inches).

The only watches or warnings in effect for Tropical Storm Humberto is the following:  A Tropical Storm Warning for…Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island.  There are no tropical storm watches or warnings for the continental United States at the present time.  The Tropical Storm Watch that had been issued for the Florida east coast counties was discontinued at 2300 EDT yesterday evening.

The following is an excerpt from the 0500 EDT Forecast Discussion issued by the National Hurricane Center, “During the next few days, a low- to mid-level ridge over the eastern United States and the western Atlantic is expected to slide southeastward, with a weakness in the ridge developing due to a mid- to upper-level trough over the northeastern U.S. This change in the steering pattern should cause the storm to slow down and turn northward off the east coast of Florida in 36 to 48 hours. Subsequently, the northeastern U.S. trough should dig southward, and this change should turn Humberto  northeastward and then eastward away from the U.S. The track guidance has shifted a little more to the east during the first 72 h, and the new NHC track has been nudged eastward as well during this time. The new forecast track lies near the various consensus models…Southwesterly vertical shear and dry air entrainment caused by the upper-level trough to the south is forecast to diminish during the next 2-3 days while Humberto moves near or over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. This should allow intensification, and Humberto is expected to become a hurricane in about 48 h.”

Since the issuance of the WCF SECTION SPECIAL Bulletin yesterday has significantly changed and for the State of Florida is a much improved outlook.  The following was included in the 1700 EDT Forecast Discussion that was issued yesterday afternoon, “An Air Force plane extensively investigated the disturbance near the Bahamas during the past several hours, and in the last portion of the mission, the crew was able to locate a center of circulation, although weak, near the convection. The center was a little bit to the east of the previous estimates…The track guidance has shifted to the east again, and this shift is larger due to the eastward formation of the center. Consequently, the NHC track forecast was adjusted in that direction, but it remains on the western edge of the guidance envelope.”  The National Hurricane Center discontinued the Tropical Storm Watch with the issuance of the 2300 EDT advisory yesterday evening.

At this time, all ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel should continue to monitor the latest advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center on Tropical Storm Humberto.  There are several more areas of potential development that are active in the Atlantic basin that are being monitored for additional development as we are in the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.  Due to the significantly reduced threat to the ARRL West Central Florida Section and the State of Florida, the ARRL West Central Florida Section will not activate for Tropical Storm Humberto at this time.

This will be the last WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN issued for Tropical Storm Humberto, unless the track of Tropical Storm Humberto changes drastically.

END OF BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #14 – 09/13/19 – 1100


At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the disturbance was centered near latitude 25.0 North, longitude 74.5 West or about 280 east-southeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. The system is barely moving, but is expected to resume a slow motion toward the northwest and north-northwest later today. On the forecast track, the system is anticipated to move across the central and northwestern Bahamas today, and along or near the east coast of Florida Saturday and Saturday night.  Maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph (45 km/h) with higher gusts. The disturbance is forecast to become a tropical depression or a tropical storm later today or Saturday.  Environmental conditions are favorable for a tropical depression or a tropical storm later today or Saturday.  Formation chance through 48 hours…high…80 percent.  Formation chance through 5 days…high…90 percent.  The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb (29.80 inches).  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Jupiter Inlet to Flagler-Volusia County line which includes: Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Brevard, and Flagler Counties on the Florida east coast.

The following from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1100 EDT for Potential Tropical Cyclone #9 explains the situation well, “The disturbance is embedded within a moderate shear environment, but
this parameter is not expected to be strong enough to halt development. The NHC forecast still calls for this system to become a tropical cyclone later today or Saturday. Global models develop the system and guidance suggests that the cyclone could even reach hurricane intensity by the end of the forecast period. By then, the system is expected to be over the Atlantic well southeast of the coast of the Carolinas. Due to a lack of a well-defined center, the initial motion is highly uncertain. It appears that there has been little motion during the past few hours. A weakness in the ridge over the western
Atlantic is forecast to develop and this pattern should steer the system slowly toward the northwest and then northward. In about 3 days, an eastward moving mid-latitude trough will force the system to recurve away from the coast toward the Atlantic. The guidance has shifted a little to east this morning and consequently the NHC track forecast was adjusted in that direction. However, the official forecast is still on the western edge of the guidance envelope. If the disturbance develops a little more to the east, the track forecast will probably adjusted to the right later today.

At the present time there are no watches or warnings in effect for the ARRL West Central Florida Section counties.  At the present time, ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES will remain at a no activation status until a greater threat from this system emerges and this will be re-evaluated with each advisory.  Please continue to monitor the latest advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center.

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN is scheduled for release following the 1100 EDT advisory tomorrow, unless conditions warrant a bulletin to be released sooner.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-30

STATEMENT CONCERNING VOLUNTEERING FOR HURRICANE DORIAN RELIEF IN THE BAHAMAS

There have been recently some inquiries about amateur radio operators volunteering for possible communications duty in the Bahamas following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian.  The following statement from the ARRL West Central Florida Secton will hopefully address and clarify some of these questions:

“Any mutual aid that is to be mobilized through the ARES program, which is under the ARRL Field Organization, must be at the direction of ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT.  Per ARRL policy, any mutual aid that is requested outside the Southeastern Division must be directed by ARRL Headquarters.  The Bahamas is a foreign county and therefore outside the Southeastern Division.  If there are any request for assistance either from or through the ARRL, the ARRL will notify the West Central Florida Section and the West Central Florida Section will issue a WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE concerning that request.  Individual amateur radio operators or informal groups of amateur radio operators may volunteer for another served agency on an individual basis if that served agency requests such assistance.  That arrangement must be made between the served agency and that individual amateur radio operator or a group of amateur radio operators.  As is normal, the ARRL recommends that amateur radio operators do not self deploy to a disaster but volunteer through a served agency.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-29

FLORIDA ARES EMERGENCY NET TO BE DISCONTINUED
ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION ARES DEMOBILIZING FOLLOWING HURRICANE DORIAN RESPONSE

Per request of the State EOC, the Florida ARES Emergency Net on 3950 KHz, that was scheduled to run from 0700 through 1900 daily is to be discontinued after 1900 EDT this evening.  The Florida ARES Emergency Net on the SARNET repeater system is being discontinued after 1900 EDT this evening.

Due to the discontinuance of the Florida ARES Emergency Net on 3950 KHz and on the SARNET repeater system, the response to Hurricane Dorian by ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES is concluded.  ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES will demobilize at 2000 this evening and return to a No Activation status.

According to Karl Martin K4HBN, the Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator, 41 amateur radio operators had filled out the Florida ARES Operator Application and were willing to be deployed for mutual aid if necessary, which never materialized.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager Darrell Davis KT4WX said the following, “I am extending my sincere thanks to all of you who took time away from your familes, friends, and even jobs, to serve the public interest with your amateur radio skills. Without you, we could have not served our served agencies.  Again, thank you for your service.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

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