Skywarn Recognition Day 2022

Today, December 3 is Skywarn Recognition Day!

SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service (NWS) and ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® to honor the contributions that SKYWARN volunteers make to the NWS mission — the protection of life and property during threatening weather. During the SKYWARN special event, hams will operate from several NWS offices, as well as from their mobile, home, and club stations. “The relationship between amateur radio operators and the NWS is extremely important for relaying information during storms of any type,” said ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV. “SKYWARN is a perfect example of the value of hams working together with government partners during times of disaster.” 

The SKYWARN Storm Spotter Program has been a mechanism used by the NWS for years to educate people on what to watch for during weather events and to provide a source for information to the NWS offices. Program courses provide information on reportable criteria for cloud formations, and even what to look for during the formation of supercells that may cause tornadoes or other potentially dangerous weather events.

To celebrate, today the National Weather Service office in Ruskin, in addition to having a net on the NI4CE system, opened it’s doors and welcomed amateur radio operators to come in and visit and have a look around…

Dan Noah, WX4DAN showing us around the weather center
Paul Toth, NB9X of the West Central Florida Group was running the net
ARRL WCF Assistant Section Manager (and your friendly neighborhood blogmeister) Jimmy Russ, AB4KA talking with Paul Toth, NB9X
Celebrating Skywarn Recognition Day 2022
Outbuilding where weather balloons are launched twice a day
100′ tower with 28′ radar dish inside

November LARC meeting tomorrow night: Officer Elections!

Tomorrow night, as a part of our regular monthly meeting we will be electing club officers. Ballots have been emailed to all dues-paying club members. At this point mailing your ballot in is (due to time) no longer an option. Please print out your ballot and bring it with you, and there will also be ballots available at the meeting.

You can also fill out your ballot and either scan it or snap a photo and email it to Jim Stewart, W4XDS at DO NOT reply to the ballot email or otherwise send it to the LARC CQ mailing list, unless you want everyone to see your ballot and you don’t want your ballot to count because you sent it to the wrong place.

As always the meeting will be a 7:00 p.m. at Parkview Baptist Church, 509 Parkview Place in Lakeland. See you there!

Want to work some DX the easy way? This is your weekend!

Starting at 0000 UTC tonight, for the next 48 hours the HF bands will be filled with the sounds of amateur radio operators from all over the world trying to contact as many hams across the bands as they can…this is the CQ World-wide SSB DX Contest weekend!

DX will be there for the taking and with 100 watts and a wire you can work the world. See you on the air!

Time for the Fall LARC Meet & Eat!

On Saturday, November 5 the Lakeland Amateur Radio club will meet up and eat up at Lake Parker Park. Fred Delaney, K1DU will be there early with coffee and donuts, and the big eat will be around 11:30 or 12:00 with barbecue sandwiches provided by the club. Everyone else is welcome to bring sides, drinks, desserts or whatever moves them.

We’ll be meeting at the pavilions all the way in the back and all are welcome. See you there!

DMR Resources

DMR is one of the fastest growing areas of amateur radio today, and why shouldn’t it be? The arena can be entered inexpensively (a decent DMR H/T can be purchased for around $100.00, although the sky is the limit!) and we have some great DMR repeaters in our area. If you feel like spending a little more and getting a hotspot, it can open a whole new world…it’s like having a band opening all the time that you can work with an H/T.

Here are some resources from N4RTD, Russ Delaney’s presentation at the club meeting last Monday which he has graciously allowed me to use. If you’re interested in trying something new or just need a little help with DMR there are lots of folks who’d be glad to help. – (where you get your DMR ID) Once you get there, click on “Log In/Sign Up” at the left hand side of the screen towards the bottom of the black options bar. From here you can create an account and work through all of the prompts. You will get to a point where it will ask you to upload an official copy of your FCC license.  If you do not have an official copy of your FCC license, you may obtain one by going to the FCC website. – At this Web site, you will obtain an official copy of your FCC license.  This is needed for you to get your DMR ID at – If you’re still having trouble getting your DMR ID, this is the place to go for support during the process. – Yes, there is such a place, but no one is a dummy in DMR.  Just get on and start learning. – The Florida Digital Amateur Radio Network – DMR repeaters in our area and the talkgroups they support.

An additional resource would be a good video done by TheSmokinApe on YouTube.  This is a DMR for Beginners video and can be found at:


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 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 and the Polk ARES website at