Category Archives: general

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)

One week to Hamcation!

That’s right friends…one week from now the 75th Annual Orlando Hamcation (and ARRL National Convention) will be happening!

There are lots of great things to see, a fabulous swap meet and some excellent forums going on. Go to https://www.hamcation.com/ for more information. See you there!

Celebration of Life Event for Sam Shaver, N7CUC

A Celebration of Life to honor Sam Shaver, who passed away on January 15th, will be held in the social hall of Parkview Baptist Church on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12th from 1:00pm until 3:00pm. 

It won’t be a funeral or service, just a casual time for family and friends (including his LARC friends) to gather and mingle, and to share memories and stories about our dear Sam.  Light dessert refreshments will be served. 

An RSVP is requested a.s.a.p. so that we may plan.  Please contact Sam’s wife, Kay (KN4OTO) by Email = akfan45@aol.com or leave a phone message= Ph#863-686-8081.  Thanks and hope to see you there. 

Hamcation is almost here!

The 2022 Orlando Hamcation is almost upon us! It actually begins on Thursday, February 10 with some special programs and a luncheon to be held at the Doubletree Orlando near SeaWorld.

The real “meat & potatoes” starts on Friday, February 11 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds with three days of exhibits, forums and a swap area with any equipment you could hope to find!

For more information, go to https://www.hamcation.com/ See you there!

ARRL WCF ARES Quarterly meeting report

Today was the quarterly meeting of the ARRL West Central Florida section ARES group and it did not disappoint!

It began with lunch at Sonny’s Barbecue for those who wanted to meet, and let’s face it…barbecue and ham radio is always a great combination! There were approximately 13 in attendance and good food & good fellowship was enjoyed by all.

This was followed by the ARES meeting which was held at the Pinellas county EOC, and it is quite a place. Approximately 30 were in attendance in person as well as several more over Zoom. Discussion ranged from FEMA’s ICS training and Auxcomm training to the High & Dry emergency exercise and the NXDN capability of the NI4CE repeater system.

Lastly we were introduced to Pinellas county’s own “Go-Boxes”, and to say they are impressive is an understatement.

If you’re at all interested in emergency communications (after all, even the F.C.C. defines Amateur Radio as a service), it would behoove you to learn more about ARES and to attend the quarterly meetings to really get an idea of ARES in action.

Just a part of the Pinellas county EOC
One of the emergency communication set-ups on display
WCF Section (and Polk County’s) Emergency Coordinator Christine Duez, K4KJN
WCF Section Assistant Section Manager – Rural Communities Coordinator Chuck Johnson, W4CWJ

WCF ARES Winter Luncheon & Meeting Saturday, January 22

The Winter 2022 Section ARES Luncheon will be held on Saturday January 22nd at 1100 EST, at the Sonny’s BBQ located at 2250 Seminole Blvd. in Largo.   The Winter 2022 Section ARES Meeting will follow the luncheon at 1300 EST, and will be held at the Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center, 10750 Ulmerton Road, Building 1, Suite 267, in Largo.

The Section ARES Luncheon and Meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend.  The meeting will be available on the Section Zoom account as well.  The Zoom meeting information is available on the Section ARES page which is located at http://arrlwcf.org/wcf-section-programs/ares/.

Are you an ARRL member? If not, you’re missing out!

The Lakeland Amateur Radio Club is a “League Affiiliated” club. The Amateur Radio Relay League has been around for over 100 years, and if it weren’t for the league, amateur radio as we know it today wouldn’t exist.

That being said, there are many benefits to being a league member. Just a few of them are…

  • Journals and Magazines (all league members get their choice of QST or On The Air in print as well as getting all league publications electronically
  • Technical information service
  • Outgoing QSL Service
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Advocacy (this is big! The League is the only voice we have in Washington)

If you’re a League member, thank you! If you’re not, won’t you consider joining?