Have you heard? (ex-President's Message)
By Ron Adcock/KK4YCW
April 24, 2017
I’ve been wondering about the future of Amateur Radio for some time now. Why do people want to become amateur radio operators (“hams”)? Once again calling on long-term memory, I can recall sitting in my neighbor’s shack when I was about 12 years old. I listened to the contacts he made. Some of them were of the rag chew variety, talking with other radio operators he had gotten to know over the years. Some of them involved passing important messages to non-ham families in our area. I also remember that a fair amount of time was used to arrange and execute “phone patches.”
Seven or eight years later, I would find myself parked in a chair at our college radio shack (W4NDI, a call now held by a ham in Orlando). The hams in our school (how I wished I was one) were mostly veterans on the GI Bill. They participated in a number of nets and talked with buddies from around the country. It was mostly SSB and some CW. Once again I was exposed to phone patches.
How things have changed! Today, most people have one or more wireless communication devices. The ubiquitous cell phone will put you in touch with other people around the world. You can use voice or text message. Laptop computers give us portable email capabilities and social networks. And then, of course, there is the “Citizens Band” (CB) radio (with or without the illegal amplifiers). When I attend non-ham conventions, I frequently see the little Family Radio Service (FRS) handhelds being used. Others can be seen using the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) handhelds. And I’m sure there are other radio and wireless communications services that don’t immediately come to mind. And none of these require you to take a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license exam to use them.
So, you might think that fewer and fewer people would have any interest in becoming hams.
But, according to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) during the last three years more than 90,000 new ham licenses were issued in the United States. At the end of March 2017, there were a total of 743,806 licensed hams in the FCC’s database. A trend analysis of the FCC’s database showed a strong, steady growth in ham licenses (see http://www.ah0a.org/FCC/ARRL/2017/USA-X.html). If world-wide wireless communication is so easy (and cheap), why so many new hams? Well, it seems that a large percentage of new hams have gone to the trouble of getting an FCC Amateur Radio license because they know that nothing is more dependable in an emergency than ham radio.
So why have you gotten, or kept (renewed), your ham license? I’m sure that there are a lot of reasons. And I’m pretty sure that one of those reasons is that you want to have access to dependable emergency communication. But are you truly prepared?
During a recent Board meeting of The Villages Amateur Radio Club, there was a short discussion about updating the membership on the need for, and the contents of, an amateur radio “go-kit” for emergencies (see http://www.k4vrc.com/emergency-comm-team.html). Our officers are considering a program that would help us be better prepared if we are called upon to offer our services in the event of a community, state or national emergency. I think that this would be a worthwhile endeavor and would add to the value of the club to The Villages and surrounding areas.
Give it some thought.
• TVARC Ragchew
– Net meets 7 PM Monday
– 443.225 MHz (+5) PL 103.5 & Echolink at K4VRC-R
• QCWA Ragchew
– Net meets 10 AM Friday
– 443.150 MHz (+5) PL 103.5 & Echolink at K4LFK-R
– Net meets 8:30 PM Sunday
– 147.030 (+600) PL 123.0
• Sumter EMCOMM NET
– Net meets 8:30 PM Monday
– 146.925 (-600) PL 123.0
Emergency Communications Team
The ECT has been established to maintain information on members who are willing to be called upon during an emergency for communications assistance within The Villages. No training, no paperwork. Just give us your contact information and pertinent equipment. We have 43 volunteers and growing. . .
To sign up Click HERE
To Read about this Program, Click HERE.
TVARC QSL Cards are now available
For ordering information select WHO WE ARE above, then select Logo Items & TVARC QSLs. Or, just click HERE.
-- Our Next Meeting --
May 18, 2017 Eisenhower Rec Center
6:00 PM Social/Swap Tables (rules click HERE)
6:45 PM Business Meeting
7:30 PM Program - "Survival Communications" -
by Don Fraser (K2DF)
"Cookie Monster" for this meeting - Michael Mulanax (KL7HIM)
TVARC club meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at the Eisenhower Recreation Center (except for the month of December), at 3560 Buena Vista Blvd., in The Villages, Florida. Anyone interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.
You need not be licensed to attend or join. You do NOT need a Villages ID.
Events & Activities (Upcoming & Past) ...
TVARC DXCC Standings is calling for your submissions.
For information, click HERE. To view standings, click HERE.
Hurricane Expo 2017 will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017, at the Rohan Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. Our club will again be participating in it by staffing an information table. Setup 7:30a to 9:30a; Expo from 10a to 2p. Contact Event Chair Tony Hackenberg (N8SK) for more details. We have enough volunteers already.
TVARC Field Day 2017 will be held on June 24 - 25, 2017, at the Sheriff's Annex Bldg (on CR 466 near intersection of Morse Blvd.). For more details and to volunteer, contact Event Chair George Briggs (K2DM). You can also volunteer by clicking HERE.
NEED Chairpersons for 2 Upcoming Club Events
Our club needs a member to volunteer to be the chair of the "Radio on the Square" event (Nov. 25, 2017). We also need someone to volunteer to chair the club's festive "Christmas/Holiday Party" event (Dec. 21, 2017). Contact Earle Hancock (TVARC's President; KM4ISN) if you would like to volunteer for these positions.
NEED Emergency Communications Team Lead
Our club needs a member to volunteer for this leadership opportunity position. Contact Tony Hackenberg (TVARC's Secretary; N8SK) if you would like to volunteer for this position.
Radio Rodeo 2017 was held on April 1, 2017, at the Brownwood® Paddock Square, in The Villages, FL. This year mother nature cooperated and provided a beautiful weather day for this club event designed as a ham radio outreach to the general public. Based on the public's foot traffic at the information tables & their curiosity at the radios operation area, this club event was a resounding success. Event Chair Marty Brown (WB2VYK), co-chair Wayne Brown (N4FP) & the club thank the club members who helped make this event a success. To view photos click HERE.
"MS Walk 2017" was held on March 25th, 2017. On a beautiful weather day, TVARC's MS Walk Emergency Communications (EC) Team successfully provided emergency communications for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Walk at the Polo Field. The crowd was manageable and our equipment worked, well most of it anyway (since we had spares all went well). This annual event raises money for research & to help care for people afflicted with MS. Certainly a worthy cause! By providing emergency communications for this event, our TVARC members (& EC Team) gained valuable training in setting up and using ad hoc nets. Thank you all for being there! Event Chair (KM4ISN) & the club extend our thanks to these club members who assisted in the event: Jeanette Ellis NP2C; Art Fenn KB9MI; Earle Hancock KM4ISN; Stan Jacobs KA1HNR; David Mizikar K3ILA; Joe Signorelli AB3CR; John Vlastos KF4PUY & Ralph Whitacre N8RW. To view photos click HERE.
"Licensing Exam Session 2017" was held on March 25, 2017, at the Eisenhower Recreation Center. The club thanks Rich Erlichman (ND4G, ARRL VE Liaison) & his team of Volunteer Examiners (VEs).
"Technician Licensing Class 2017" wrapped-up on March 18, 2017. Ten students completed this club-sponsored class and are looking forward to taking their licensing exam. We thank Ron Adcock, KK4YCW, (Educational Coordinator) for his leadership in this endeavor. Ron thanks the members of his teaching team: Bob Averitt WA3EWK; Rich Erlichman ND4G; Earle Hancock KM4ISN; Ed Nance N4ZIV; Al Schroedel KM4RME; Joe Signorelli AB3CR & Ralph Whitacre N8RW. For lending their assistance, Ron also thanks Tony Hackenberg N8SK & Chuck Wyrick N1UC.
"TVARC's Election 2017" was held at our club meeting on February 16, 2017. Here are the results:
President - Earle Hancock (KM4ISN)
Vice-President - Rich Erlichman (ND4G)
Secretary - Tony Hackenberg (N8SK)
Treasurer - Pete Stafford (K2PS)
"TVARC Christmas/Holiday Party 2016" was held on Thursday, December 15, 2016. Event Chair Earle Hancock (KM4ISN) thanks everyone who attended & the setup/clean-up crews (click HERE for his thank-you). Attendees enjoyed a very festive party, including lots of dancing to the DJ's music. Earle's stand-up comedy routine was a hit. To view photos, click HERE.
"TVARC Radio on the Square 2016" was held on November 26, 2016. Event Chair George Briggs (K2DM) thanks all the club members who helped. To view George's "wrap-up" report on this event, click HERE. To view media coverage, click HERE. To view photos, click HERE.
"TVARC Camp Villages - Amateur Radio Hour 2016" was held on August 4, 2016. Thanks to these club members the 14 kit builders had fun: Event Chair Larry Russo, K3TFU; Ron Adcock, KK4YCW; George Briggs, K2DM; Tony Hackenberg, N8SK; Paul Nittel, KM4PIH; & Ralph Whitacre, N8RW. To view photos click HERE.
Echolink Tips from Wayne Brown, N4FP. Click Here
2015 TVARC Antenna Guide Get Brad Castelli's, KN9B, presentation on antennas for The Villages. Click Here
TVARC Reflector - Communicate with TVARC
Membership in TVARC is required. Send a request to join the reflector: Click HERE