Check out the LARC Facebook page and group!

For various reasons, the LARC Facebook page was…let’s say “neglected” for lack of a better word. On top of that, the LARC group page wasn’t seeing much action either. Well…business is picking up! In today’s world it seems that Facebook (for better or for worse) is one of the primary modes of disseminating information, and it’s time that the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club gets in on the action. Please “like and share” the LARC Facebook page, and if you haven’t already be sure to join the LARC group page. These are just a couple of ways we can continue to get the word out about this greatest of hobbies, Amateur Radio!

LARC Monthly Meeting notes, August 2020

Once again this month’s meeting was conducted online via Zoom. We had a great turnout with at least 30 people participating (more about that later) and a great program put on by club president Mike Shreve, N6MRS and Matt Stevens, NJ4Y.

The meeting was called to order at 1900 with Mike leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a couple of announcements:

Pursuant to last Monday night’s board meeting, Jimmy Russ, AB4KA was introduced as the new Public Information Officer for LARC. Jimmy will be taking care of the club’s blog and Facebook pages, as well as general dissemination of information as required to the club, other hams and the public, as well as “other related duties as required”. He will also be an honorary (non-voting) board member.

It was also announced that, as LARC is currently without a Secretary, Matthew Stevens, NJ4Y will take on the position of Acting Secretary until the next election for club officers. Kudos to Matthew for taking that ball and running with it!

Once introductions were completed, Matthew Stevens, NJ4Y conducted a wonderful presentation on his portable VHF & UHF operations during recent contests. He had lots of great photos of his contest setups at remote locations, which I’m sure will encourage others to get out and get portable. Great job, Matt!

After that, Mike Shreve, N6MRS gave us an extremely informative discussion on different ham radio websites. Some of the sites he discussed were: the quintessential ham radio website HF Propagation prediction website online spotting website online spotting website (great for checking your own signal) THE place to go for solar forecast information Fascinating website showing real-time lightning strike info worldwide

(one note to add…please look up your own information on and make sure it is accurate!)

Big thanks to Matt and Mike for an excellent program!

At this time we’re not sure when or where our next “in person” meeting will be, so be on the lookout for news here on the blog. As always, make sure you’re “in the know” by visiting our blog at and the website at as well as the club Facebook pages (it’s my understanding that business on the FB pages is picking up!)

So back to tonight’s attendance, please accept this humble apology from your new PIO if he missed your callsign, your last name or the fact that you were there at all. Keeping attendance of online meetings can be a challenge and he promises to do better next time! But such as it is, here is a list of dubious accuracy of tonights attendees:
N6MRS Mike Shreve (club president)
NJ4Y Matthew Stevens (acting secretary)
W7STR Todd Rush (club treasurer)
AB4KA Jimmy Russ (public information officer)
KT2T Mike Oliver
WB6ZEQ Top Smith
KO4AWJ Glenn Smith (Li’l Top)
N4HES Lee Hess
KB0QMN George Rezac
KM4BAO Bob Doherty
NC8I Bob Berquist
WA4MMO Geoff Schuck
K4KJN Christine Duez
KN4PIH Jay Lennon
KC1JYS Dan Haslam
KO4FXP Howard Pierce
N4FRK Victor Saxe
KO4MA Drew Glasbrenner
K4YQ Steve Sexton
KM4STS Liam Holzer
N4ESS Rich Kennedy
KI4WRZ Dave Zdanowicz
W4XDS Jim Stewart
Buddy Morgan
Bill Johnson
Andrew Stevens
David Perrin
Eric Clark

73 to all and see you on the airwaves! Jimmy Russ AB4KA


LARC will hold our general membership meeting via Zoom at 7 PM on Monday, August 10th, the second Monday of the month.

For those familiar with the Zoom platform, this will be a piece of cake. If you have not used Zoom for meetings before, it is not too complicated, provided you follow a few basic guidelines. We held our July meeting this way and had 26 participants. Hopefully, a few more will decide to join us this month.

I will post in Meeting ID and passcode on the blog and email it to the general membership this weekend, so be watching for that information.

We plan to begin the meeting at 1900 hrs, as we normally do, but we will have the Zoom meeting set up 20-30 minutes in advance so you can get familiar with checking in and participating in the meeting.

Mike, N6MRS

Lakeland Amateur Radio Club is meeting again! (Sort of)

The LARC Board of Directors has decided to try a Zoom meeting for the general membership to be held at 7 PM on Monday, July 13th, the second Monday of the month.

For those familiar with the Zoom platform, this will be a piece of cake. If you have not used Zoom for meetings before, it is not too complicated, provided you follow a few basic guidelines.

There are many ways to join a Zoom meeting. Most smartphones have an app available if you wish to download it. This makes things a little easier. Tablets and notebook computers are also options. If you want us to see you, you have to have a camera; to be heard, you have to have a microphone. For this reason, many people choose to use their smartphone for Zoom. The downside is that you have to hold it in your hand or find a stable place to locate it. You will have to give the app permission to use your microphone and camera in some cases.

You don’t have to have an app. All you really need is an internet connection. The link is:

You will be prompted for a meeting ID, it is:    Meeting ID 839 298 4986

ProZoom requires me to require a password of you. The password, very highly secure, is:  LARC  (case sensitive) If that password doesn’t work, try: 378901

We plan to begin the meeting at 1900 hrs, as we normally do, but we will have the Zoom meeting set up 60-90 minutes in advance so you can get familiar with checking in and participating in the meeting.

Mike, N6MRS

Bill Johnson, KI4ZMV, steps down as LARC Secretary

After more years than he would care to remember, Bill Johnson has decided to step down from his long-held position as Secretary of the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club. He served with a consistently upbeat and “can do” attitude and was always willing to take on the myriad of thankless tasks the club required.

In addition to his duties as Secretary, he managed the LARC blog, kept track of years of the club’s pictures, archives and paraphernalia, was the de facto club photographer and provided limitless support for those responsible for other club functions.

Bill was always the “embedded walker” at the March for Babies and Wounded Warrior events, often making multiple loops around Lake Hollingsworth to provide on scene radio contact.

Pictures of Bill are hard to find because he is usually behind the camera. Here is Bill with Rip, AA4HT, at the 2019 Field Day event.

LARC Member: (important info)

At the meeting June 1, the Board of Directors decided that our monthly meetings would resume on July 13th – the second Monday. Shortly thereafter, in response to spikes in new cases of the COVID-19 virus here in Polk County and in concern for their congregation, Parkview Baptist Church decided to delay the reopening of their facilities until August. We are currently trying to determine the best course of action regarding the July LARC meeting: meet outdoors, find a different indoor venue, or simply wait until August to begin meeting again. We are open to any and all suggestions. Please read your email and check the blog frequently.

Wish I had better news and more detailed information. At least the sun managed to produce a few sunspots for us. 73

Mike Shreve, President, Lakeland Amateur Radio Club

LARC Field Day 2020 – Something Different

We can safely say 2020 has NOT gone as anyone expected… and this year’s LARC Field Day is no exception. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be slacking off, the LARC board feels it still would not be prudent to hold a large scale event with many people in close quarters, sharing food and microphones etc.

So, instead of our usual group operation at the Kathleen Historical Society, we are encouraging people to operate at home. The ARRL has tweaked the rules for this year, to allow all stations to work each other. Normally, Class D home stations are not allowed to work other home stations – however, this year you can.

They have also added a feature to the log submission system to allow for “aggregate scoring.” This is similar to many other contests, where members from the same club can count their scores together for a club competition. This way, even though we will be operating from home, we can still be scored as a club.

  • Operate from home, or in small groups with people you’re comfortable with
  • Submit your log and mark your club as “Lakeland ARC”
  • Send in photos of your own mini-field day operation! You can send them to

Check out the full list of 2020 rules variations at

Have fun, and stay safe.

WCF Experimenter Spring 2020 Issue

The West Central Florida Experimenter Spring 2020 issue is available for downloading. This edition includes an excellent article by LARC’s own Buddy Morgan, WB4OMG, on the current status of FT8 on 2 meters and higher bands.

You can find a link to the WCF Experimenter and other useful information on the WCF website:

or you can download this and other WCF Experimenter issues at:


Long time LARC member Carl Johnson, has passed away. His obituary from Sunday’s Ledger is found below:

HENDERSONVILLE, TN. – Carl T. Johnson, age 84, of Hendersonville, TN and formerly of Auburndale, FL, passed away peacefully on May 2, 2020.

Carl was born on January 21, 1936 in Sturgis, Michigan to the late Carl and Geraldine Johnson.

Carl was a proud veteran of the United States Coast Guard, retiring at the rank of Lt. Commander with 25 years of service. Following his military service he continued his career as a systems engineer with Northrup Grumman for 20 years. He enjoyed amateur radio, golf, marksmanship, sailing, and fishing.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Neal Johnson. He is survived by his wife, Ann Johnson; sons, Todd Johnson (Kimberly) of Hendersonville, TN and Andrew Johnson of Bowie, MD; 8 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren; siblings, Hugh Johnson and Kathi Sonetz.

In accordance with his wishes, Mr. Johnson was cremated and there will be a memorial Mass held at a later date. Arrangements Entrusted to: Sumner Funeral & Cremation, Gallatin, TN (615) 452-9059 www.sumnerfuneral. com