Category Archives: general

FCC License Fees to Start April 19

The day we all knew was coming is here.

Today it was announced that the FCC will begin collecting license fees for amateur radio licenses on April 19. If you’re within your 90 renewal window, you want to change your callsign or upgrade your license, you have until April 18 to do it at no cost. Beginning April 19, it will cost $35 to do any of those things.

We knew this day was coming so no one should be surprised, and quite honestly, at $3.50/year, an amateur radio license is a bargain!

The FCC plans to start collecting the fees within the ULS system. More details will be shared as they come available.

Hey! We have an email discussion group, too!

For those who aren’t interested in communicating via social media (or maybe you’re just looking for something different), we have an email discussion list, too!

If you look at the top of this page you’ll see a tab called “LARC Mailing List”. Now this isn’t just any old mailing list. If you click on that tab and sign up, not only will you get the latest and greatest news about the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club (and no spam!), but it’s a great way to communicate with your fellow hams, exchange ideas, talk about radios, talk about antennas, talk about hamfests, talk about pretty much anything you can think of (but please, as in any polite form of communication, keep the politics and religion off of it).

The LARC mailing list isn’t just for dissemination of information…think of it as an open forum where you can express your ideas too (because that’s exactly what it is). Try it out!

LARC Picnic This Saturday!

The LARC Spring Picnic will be this coming Saturday, March 12 at Lake Parker Park. There will be folks arriving early, so whenever you feel like coming out, come on out! There will be portable HF stations set up and operating from the site. If you have never operated a portable station on HF, now’s your time to see how it’s done.

The club will be furnishing the meat (hot dogs and BBQ pork) and is requesting everyone bring a dish to share or drinks. Lunch will start around 11:00-11:30.

Lake Parker Park is at 910 E Granada St, Lakeland, just east of Joker Marchant Stadium.

See you there!

Hamfest Season Isn’t Over Yet!

But it is slowing down. However, there are some great events coming up as soon as tomorrow:

Peace River Radio Association Hamfest 3/5

The ZAARC Tailgate is 3/19

Last but not least (but no flyer at this time), TARCfest is coming up on April 9. Additional details to come.

Get to a hamfest while you can! After that there isn’t much happening until Melbourne in October.


Have You Ever Wanted to Operate a Special Event Station…

And what does an airplane have to do with it? Well, this isn’t just any special event station.

The Lakeland Amateur Radio Club will be operating a Special Event Station during the Sun ‘N Fun Aerospace Expo, which runs April 5-10 at the Lakeland Linder International Airport.

If you wish to operate the station, which will be on the air from April 5-9, please contact Todd Rush via email at or text him at 307-250-3706. A parking and attendance pass for the event will be provided for that day that you sign up to operate, and food will be provided.

Voice of America 80th Anniversary Special Event Stations

If you’ve ever spent any time as a shortwave listener (which is how many hams got interested in amateur radio), you’re familiar with the Voice of America. VOA is still on the air, however the shortwave service to America is long gone. It is possible, however to hear broadcasts targeted to other areas of the world.

VoA started on February 1, 1942 with the aim of “correcting” propaganda that was being broadcast by Nazi Germany. Over the years it morphed into telling news to the shortwave listeners of the world from an American perspective and is still a valuable source of information for people worldwide.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of that first broadcast, three special event stations are taking to the air on February 19th & 20th (sorry for the late notice hihi). W3V, W8O and W4A are taking to the air from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day on the HF bands. Electronic QSL cards will automatically be provided to anyone whose information is correct in QRZ, and paper QSL cards will be available for the asking after the event.

For additional info, see the Special Event stations info page in the February issue of QST, or the individual station pages on QRZ. Good luck!

Scenes from Hamcation

The 2022 Orlando Hamcation is behind us now. The weather was great (Friday and Saturday, not so much on Sunday), the swaps were plentiful and the forums were informative. Many of our members made the trek, and if you didn’t, here’s just a sample of what you missed:

Preparing to storm the gate
Do we hit the main building first or drop our ticket in the prize barrel?
Prize barrel it is (in the north building)!
The ARRL booth was popular, as always
ARRL WCF Section Manager Mike Douglas, W4MDD
Rick the Sign Man, NV5A was already busy
If you’re on DMR, you need to know about F-DARN
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR getting his picture taken with PIO Jimmy Russ, AB4KA
Our own Dan Gagnon, NZ1P working his magic
The Auxcomm forum Friday morning was popular
North building swap area picking up steam
The food court was busy early!
ARRL WCF Emergency Coordinator Christine Duez, K4KJN spoke at the ARES forum (and did an excellent job)
The East Coast Reflector discussion forum was very popular on Saturday…something else that DMR aficionados should check out if they haven’t already
ARRL Southeast Division Director Mickey Baker, N4MB moderated the ARRL Membership Forum on Saturday
ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA speaking at the membership forum
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR at the membership forum

Kudos to the Orlando Amateur Radio Club for once again putting on a heck of a show! See you next year 🙂

Time for the LARC meeting…Valentine’s Day edition!

Come to the February LARC meeting tomorrow night, Monday February 14 at 7:00 p.m. You’ll love that we won’t be talking about Valentine’s Day, we’ll be discussing better things like the BikeMS Citrus Tour (March 5 & 6) and Field Day (which will be here before you know it).

But wait…there’s more! The Sun N’ Fun Aerospace Expo is coming up in April, and once again we will have a special event station in operation.

Come to the meeting to learn about all the upcoming events…you never know who’ll you run in to!

New Rules for Field Day 2022

After taking a few detours over the past couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ARRL Field Day rules are being updated on a permanent basis starting this summer. ARRL conducted a Field Day community survey with invitations propagated far and wide, and direct emails sent to more than 15,000 individuals and ARRL-affiliated clubs. After sorting through, reviewing, and discussing the survey results, the ARRL Programs and Services Committee recommended a number of rule changes for ARRL Field Day, which will take place this year over the June 25 – 26 weekend.

Starting this year, the maximum PEP output for a transmitter used by anyone submitting a Field Day log will be 100 W. The power multiplier of 2 will remain in place, and the high-power category will be removed from the rules. Until this year, the maximum low-power limit had been 150 W for most ARRL-sponsored operating events. The power multiplier will remain at 5 for QRP participants running a maximum of 5 W or less. As previously announced, 100 W is now the low-power category limit for all ARRL and IARU HF Contests, effective January 1, 2022.

A couple of changes instituted initially as accommodations for the COVID-19 pandemic will remain. Class D (Home) stations will continue to be able to earn points for contacts with other Class D stations. The club aggregate scoring change initiated in 2020 as a temporary measure will become part of the permanent rules. In the aggregate scoring plan, the scores of individual stations are combined under the score of a single club.

Another change, involving Rule 7.3.2 Media Publicity, has been modified. Rules to date have offered 100 bonus points for attempting to obtain publicity and demonstrating same. With the ease of posting via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various other media websites, Field Day participants will now be required to obtain publicity, not just try to do so. Any combination of bona fide media hits would qualify for the bonus points. For example, posting the details of your upcoming or ongoing Field Day activity, or your Field Day results, on a club or news media site, on Facebook, or via Twitter and Instagram would meet the bonus criteria. Photos and videos are encouraged as part of media posts.

(courtesy ARRL)