Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Marvin Johnson Becomes a Silent Key

Marvin Johnson passed away, April 22, 2017. He was 83 years old. Marvin was a long time ham, and faithful supporter of LARC. He held the position of Treasurer for many years. Always a gentleman, know for his kind smile, he will be missed.

Marvin Johnson being presented with an award for his his many years of service as club Treasurer by then President and now Treasurer, Patrick O'Neil. This picture was taken in 2012.

 The service will be held Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 1:00 PM at the Lakeland Funeral Home Chapel, Lakeland, FL.You can get directions, and learn more at Funeral Arrangements

Sunday, April 23, 2017

March For Babies 2017

As in years past, our club is supporting this event in two ways. Please contact Bob Doherty to volunteer to work a station. Around fifteen volunteers will be needed to cover all the locations. Bring your HT.

The club will sponsor walkers again this year as well. Please let Bob know if you will be walking in support of this cause.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Meeting

These are times of change. The most obvious is our new meeting location. It is much more comfortable than the last location from the point of view of space and acoustics. It is easy to be heard and understood, even without a microphone.

Field Day
The venue for Field Day 2017 has changed. Plans are to hold this year's event at the Kathleen Historical Society grounds. This facility is air conditioned, making it more comfortable for participants. For those not familiar with this location, you can visit their website at

Deadline for MIGS
The deadline for Member In Good Standing status was April 1. If you have not paid your dues, and still wish to be a club member you should contact Patrick to pay your dues.

Club Records Update
April is also the time of year when we look at club records. Mike Oliver and Bill Johnson will be making a push to make sure club records are up-to-date. If you have not made changes to the paper that was circulated during the meeting, you will be contacted by phone. If the phone number we have for you is not current, then we will contact you by email. If neither phone nor email is current you will simply be unreachable. This could be disadvantageous, so unless you chose to be a Stealth Member, you should contact the Secretary to update your records. :-)

Sheets
As secretary I soon became aware that from day one, LARC has always had sign-in sheets at meetings and some events. No one ever questioned this, and to my knowledge no one has ever made use of them. I suppose on the outside chance you need an alibi for where you were on the first Monday of the month they might come in handy, but only if they are accurate. This is one reason we are considering the bar-code approach to attendance records, but there are others.

Generating bar-codes is not a big deal. If you wife is not also a ham, I created a bar-code with the suffix XYL for her. I also created a bar-code for you if you bring your son, YM or YL if you bring your daughter.

Other than being rather cool looking, and related to amateur radio in the sense that they were inspired by the Morse Code,bar-codes are a very practical and efficient way of generating attendance reports. A marked up sheet of bar-codes can be scanned into a worksheet in less than two minutes. But then what? For those interested, here is the workflow:
  1. Members circle their call sign
  2. Scan bar-codes into a spreadsheet - less than two minutes
  3. Port data to a table in a data base - about a minute
  4. Marry the scanned data with other information in the database, print out a hard copy, and generate a soft copy for publication. about five minutes. 
We are going to try this for a while. There have been suggestions made to affix a bar-code to the back of your membership card. This is very doable, but it requires that you carry your membership card in your wallet. The concept of bar-coded tattoos on the forehead was rejected out of hand. However, judging from the amount of ink we see these days, maybe sometime in the future. :-)

So what does a hard copy look like: (Please keep in mind that we are in the process of updating our records so if you paid your dues, or your information is not accurate, please be patient. Feel free to contact me with any updates and corrections.)

AA4HT Roberet (Rip) H. Van Winkle YES YES NO NO
AB1DX Oliver L. Richards NO NO NO NO
AE4RM Roger O. Meadows YES NO NO NO
K1DU Fredrick (Fred) A. Delaney, III NO NO NO NO
K2EUH Robert F. Foxworth YES YES NO YES
KA2BVC Alwin (AL) E. Pogue YES YES NO NO
KF4Q William R. Busbin YES YES NO NO
KG4PWF James (Jim) O Scott YES NO NO NO
KG4YNI Ernest (Ernie) H. Haynes, III YES YES NO YES
KI4ZMV William (Bill) Johnson YES YES NO YES
KJ4AFB Patricia E. Morris YES NO NO NO
KJ4AYU Victoria L. Walker YES NO NO NO
KJ4MJ Joy Gafford NO NO NO NO
KK4FEM Matthew R, Stevens YES YES YES YES
KK4YXR Franklin F. Fitzgerald NO NO NO NO
KM4BAO Robert Doherty YES NO NO NO
KM4CUG Debra (Debbie) M. Leahy YES YES NO NO
KM4STU Leon T. Holzer YES NO NO NO
KR4R Johnnie M. Ritter, Jr. NO YES NO NO
KT2T Michael (Mike) Wayne Oliver YES LIFE YES YES
N2TE R. Edward Marchese YES NO NO NO
N4ESS Richard (Rich) Kennedy YES LIFE NO YES
N4KWR Kevin W. Rought YES NO NO NO
N4PEG Margret (Peggy) Lang YES YES NO YES
N7CUC Samuel (Sam) H. Shaver YES NO NO NO
W4MQB Barbara S. Ritter NO YES NO NO
W4XDS James (Jim) Stewart YES NO YES NO
W4ZSC Albert (Al) P. Sheppard, Jr. YES YES NO YES
WX4AMS Andrew Stevens YES NO NO YE

What? You were there but you did not circle your name. Guess you will just have to make a point to do it next time. :-(

Guest Book
 In the past we have asked guests to sign in at the bottom of the sign in sheet. There wasn't much space to do this and we did not ask for their email. That has changed. We now have a sign-in book, with a place for email so that those who visit can keep up with club activities, and maybe even become members someday.

Testing Testing 1,2,3 Testing
Left to right, George, Thomas KN4BOE, Joh, KM4MTQ, Mark Tech, Duain TECH, A, and Richard. Jon Byrd is now Extra, Thomas Conner General, Mark Welch General, and Dwain Hoffman is a new Tech. Brandon Dye also tested, and is a new Tech.

 Below, Paul Pippin KG4EPU proudly holds his graduation certificate. He is now a General and free to roam the HF bands.Directly to Paul's right, and also in the picture above is Chris AA4CB a visiting VE from the East Pasco Amateur Radio Society.

Congratulations to all

Don't Forget -March For Babies Is Coming Up. 
See Bob To Volunteer
Bob presenting a first contact award to Thomas Connor. Congratulations Thomas.

Our Guest Speaker - Ben Henley
  Digital or analog? Itt all depends. The choice is yours.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LARC Participation at Kathleen Historical Society A Great Success

Interest in Amateur Radio was high at the Kathleen Historical Society Event this year. Rich, Bob and Bill chatted with a total of  fifty-one attendees during the day. Some were interested in becoming Hams, others just curious, and one gentleman was writing a book and wanted to check some facts about EMP, or Electro-Magnetic Pulse, for a fictional novel he is writing. When all else fails, tube radios still work! Of particular note was a middle-schooler named Hunter who was sending code with an electronic paddle after only a few minutes of practice.

Besides the three Hams manning the booth, several others stopped by to show support.  A very special  thank you goes to Chris AA4CB for taking the pictures at this event. 

Bob, Bill, and Rich fielding questions at the same time.  

Bob our VP and George Rezac conferring.

Rich handing out information about our club and our new meeting location.

Bill extolling the benefits of  Ham Radio to a father and son. What  a great way to keep in contact.


On The Outside Chance That You Missed The Announcment

There has been concern among some of the club members that a few members will show up at the wrong location for the April meeting. Not to worry. We have this eventuality covered. I have hired this man, and he is a professional, to station himself by the old meeting place. He has already been paid; so don't let him con you into asking for more money to give directions!

Thursday, March 9, 2017


A message from Herman A Munster to all members of LARC:

Starting April 3, 2017 LARC monthly club meetings will be held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church School building located at 1435 Gilmore Ave, Lakeland, FL 33805. This facility is located one street East of Lakeland Hills Blvd. Turn onto Parkview Place,  in the direction opposite to the Lakeland Hospital Emergency Entrance.

 Click Here For Directions

Compared to our previous location, the new facility is quite spacious. The board members are looking forward to seeing you at the new location starting in April. The times for testing and the meeting are the same.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Congratulations Tom Connor

An event deserving of a pint of the black stuff!

Tom Conner passed the Technicians Exam on Monday. Due to the marvels of technology, the team was able to present him with his new call sign within minutes of reporting his score to the FCC. Welcome to the ranks, KN4BOE!