Ian has come and gone, we’re still here! (and stuff still happening…)

So Hurricane Ian has come and gone and thankfully spared the Lakeland area the catastrophic damage that our friends to the south are dealing with. For those of you still without power, rest assured Lakeland Electric and the other power companies are doing all they can to get you back on,

From an amateur radio standpoint it looks like the repeaters in the area are on and things are operating normally.

For those of you that were planning on going to the Melbourne Hamfest next weekend, it is on as scheduled. As for the Gulf Coast ARC swapmeet Saturday and the Manatee ARC hamfest on October 15, we’re still looking for updates.

SET for October 1 is cancelled

Because of Tropical Storm Ian and all of the necessary preparations that go along with a possible hit in Florida, the Simulated Emergency Test scheduled for October 1 has been cancelled.

Please keep an eye on the weather forecasts, including those from the National Hurricane Center and make preparations now! Once watches and warnings get issued, preparations need to be done.

Also check http://arrlwcf.org/ for information as we go. ARRL West Central Florida Technical Coordinator Darrell Davis, KT4WX does a great job with updates and issues press releases as necessary. If you’re not on the ARRL WCF mailing list, this would be a great time to sign up for it.

Simulated Emergency Test coming October 1

On Saturday, October 1 ARES members in the West Central Florida section of the ARRL will be participating in a simulated emergency event called “Service Denied”, which will simulate a cyber-attack taking down communications and various other services. ARES groups from the entire state will be participating.

All amateur radio operators are welcomed and encouraged to participate, not just ARES members. If you’ve thought about participating in ARES this would be a perfect time to get your feet wet.

For more information, please check out the ARRL WCF website at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-special-events/west-central-florida-section-ares-simulated-emergency-test/ and the Polk ARES website at polkares.org

August TARCfest is Saturday!

August TARCfest is this coming Saturday, August 20th from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00/person and tailgating is free with paid admission.

Event will be held at the Tampa Amateur Radio Club clubhouse at 7801 N 22nd St in Tampa.

See you there!

Up early on Saturday morning? Check out the WCF and SFL HF ARES nets!

On Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m. the ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES net is on the air on 3940 kHz. You don’t have to be an ARES member to check in, all are welcome. It’s a great opportunity to check the “close-in” communication capability of your station.

But wait…there’s more!

At 7:45 a.m. (or after the WCF net if it runs long) on the same frequency is the South Florida ARES net, and they welcome check-ins from all stations and run it as a combined net with WCF. They are looking for check-ins from Polk county so lets make sure we represent!

“LWRA QRP & Tech Tailgate” on Saturday, 7/30

On Saturday, July 30 our friends at the Lake Wales Repeater Association are hosting their monthly QRP Saturday and adding DMR to the mix. This month it will be at Lake Shipp park in Winter Haven from 9:00 a.m. until noon. If you’re interested in portable QRP operation, DMR or just want to enjoy the company of some fellow hams, come on out!

Are You Covered?

One of the greatest benefits of ARRL membership is the ability to purchase insurance on your amateur radio equipment. The premium is $1.40/$100 value (minimum premium $20) and covers your equipment for various losses with either a $25 deductible to repair or $50 to replace. For example, your resident blogger was able to cover his station equipment for $32/year! Considering we live in the lightning capital of the world, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Go to the website at https://www.arrlinsurance.com/ and check it out!