Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Ham's Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Panama City Amateur Radio Club!

The story behind the video and the live version below.

Panama City Area Activators Guide

The Portable Activation Guide is an aid to local and visiting hams in the Panama City, Florida area. Use it to choose a site and an activation program for your outing. We are blessed with many beautiful sites nearby. Some are on the saltwater gulf or bay which can enhance radio propagation. Our weather allows activations year round.Click on this link or the image.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Panama City ARC Activates the Cape San Blas Lighthouse

Seven amateur radio operators attended the Panama City ARC activation of the Cape San Blas Light Lighthouse in Port St. Joe Florida. The lighthouse is ARLHS USA-135M. We were surprised by the stiff breeze and overcast. That made it chilly but bearable. The preliminary count of contacts is sixty-five. There were many lighthouse chasers eager to work us. Jim K4LIX worked a VK7 in Austrailia on 17 meters. There were five stations operating.
  • Jim K4LIX - Elecraft KX3 and DX Commander vertical antenna.
  • Cory N4UVR - Elecraft KX3 and OCF dipole
  • Bob KK4DIV - Yaesu FT 817 and Chameleon F Loop magnetic loop
  • Bob WB8PAF - Yaesu FT 817 and Alexloop magnetic loop
  • Greg N4KGL & Dennis WA6QKN - Icom 7300 and a 100 ft loop

We also had Bob WB4BLX visit from Panama City and three Port St Joe hams including Jimmy KN4EDZ and Mac W4NFG.
Jim K4LIX, Lew KK4YPA, Bob KK4DIV, Bob WB8PAF, Dennis WA6QKN, Greg N4KGL and Suzy
Here is an excellent video by Bob KK4DIV:

Now the station photos:

Bob KK4DIV station

Jim K4LIX station

K4LIX DX Commander Vertical

Cory N4UVR Station

Bob WB8PAF Station

Dennis WA6QKN and Suzy

Greg N4KGL and Suzy

Greg N4KGL station

Friday, November 10, 2017

Panama City ARC will Activate Cape San Blas Lighthouse on Nov 11th 2017

The Parama City ARC will activate the Cape San Blas Lighthouse ARLHS USA-135M at George Core Park in Port St Joe, FL Saturday, Nov. 11, 1500 UTC to 1900 UTC or 10 AM to 2 PM EST. The grid is EL79IT. Look for W4RYZ/P  on 40 thru 10 meters, SSB, CW, PSK-31, & FT8 modes. Digital stations will identify the location as "WLOL USA-135M"  In particular check 7.270 LSB between 11 EST and Noon and 14.270 USB Noon to 1PM

WB8PAF, K4LIX, KK4DIV, N4URU, and N4KGL will be setting up stations. They will be dispersed around the park. WA6QKN will be assisting and others are welcome.The Port St Joe repeater is 147.300+ 103.5 tone. All club members and families are welcome to come enjoy the park with us. All Gulf County hams are welcome too.

Links of interest:

The Cape San Blas Light House ARLHS USA-135M on World List Of Lights

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Panama City ARC Team Successfully Qualifies St. Vincent Island

A team from Panama City ARC successfully qualified St Vincent Island, Florida for the US Islands Award Program. The island is now USI FL006. The team members included Jim K4LIX, Bob WB8PAF, Bob  KK4DIV, Phil N4STC, Greg KG4LFS, Dennis WA6QKN and Greg N4KGL. The qualification required 25 contacts. However, he team made 128 contacts in just over two hours. Our time was limited to four hours on the island and two hours operating time. The contacts also count for Parks On The Air as KFF-0257. St. Vincent is only accessible by boat. The team used the St. Vincent Island Shuttle to get to the island. The team is eager to do more expeditions.

The following photos capture some of the fun. Also, Bob KK4DIV did an outstanding job on the video!

Left to Right: Phil N4STC, Bob WB8PAF, Dennis Wa6QKN, Bob KK4DIV, Greg KG4LFS and Greg N4KGL

Boarding the St Vincent Island Shuttle

Captain Joey at the helm.


The 100 watt station

The 100 ft loop antenna

Bob KK4DIV's station

Jim K4LIX station
Greg KG4LFS sports his Friends of St. Vincent shirt

Dennis WA6QKN logs contacts

Bob WB8PAF operate 20 meter SSB

The post-event gathering at Indian Pass Trading Company
Enjoy more photos here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

St. Vincent Florida Island Expedition

The Panama City ARC will qualify St. Vincent Island, Florida on Sept 30 13:00 - 15:00 UTC. The call is W4RYZ. We will call CQ US Islands Florida New until 25 contacts. Then we will use FL006. The Island is also Parks On The Air KFF-0257. We will operate primarily 40 and 20 SSB. Other bands and modes will be used based on openings.Contact: Greg Lane at panamacityarc@gmail.com

Qualification means we are the first to operate from the island for the US Islands Awards Program. We have a team of at least seven club members. Access to the Island is only by boat. We will take the St. Vincent Island Shuttle.

Here are some links:

St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge

US Islands Award Program

Parks On The Air WWFF-KFF

Friday, August 25, 2017

Panama City ARC Tailgate Coming September 16th

The Panama City Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring a tailgate on Saturday September 16th at 9 AM until 1 PM. Buy, sell or swap ham radio gear and socialize. Parking and tailgating will be in the field behind the clubhouse. Jack N1HQ is smoking 2 Boston Butts to make pulled pork. There will be BBQ beans and potato salad furnished by Phil N4STC, and you are invited to bring your favorite dish or dessert if you can.The location is the Panama City Amateur Radio Club, 130 N. Church Ave Panama City, FL. The talk-in repeater is W4RYZ 145.210 minus offset 100 Hz tone. Questions about this event can be sent to panamacityarc@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Panama City ARC Field Day 2017

The Panama City ARC had an outstanding Field Day sponsored by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) at the Bay County Emergency Operations Center in Southport, Florida. They operated using callsign W4B, and their category was 2F. 2F means two transmitters from an Emergency Operations Center. The Panama City Club coordinates with the Bay County Emergency Communications Director Mr. Joby Smith and Gulf Coast State College to use the facilities.

The hams setup up on Saturday Morning June 24th. The antennas included a directional Hex Beam mounted on a portable tower and many end-fed wire antennas. Operations began at 1 PM CDT and lasted 24 hours. The operating modes included CW (Morse Code), SSB (Voice) and PSK31 (Digital). W4B communicated with hundreds of other Field Day stations across North America.

This annual exercise demonstrates a capability of amateur radio to support communications if the normal infrastructure is unavailable due to a natural disaster. Messages were passed from the EOC by radio to the National Traffic System (NTS). The emergency power system at the EOC was tested. Representatives from the Red Cross visited the site. The local television station WJHG did a report on the evening news.

Ham radio is also a technical hobby that hams enjoy. They are able to engineer their own stations for use at home, portable or mobile in vehicles. There are on-the-air amateur radio activities to enjoy throughout the year. Some hams build their own equipment and design their antenna systems. If you may be interested in amateur radio visit the club at 130 N. Church Ave in Panama City. There are weekly meetings at 7 PM. Transmitting on amateur frequencies requires a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The license tests are administered each third Wednesday of the month by volunteers at the Panama City Club.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Amateur Radio for 5th Graders

Bob KK4DIV got an invite from his neighbor to give a talk and demo of amateur radio for 5th graders at North Bay Haven K-5 in Panama City, Florida. These students were not going to Space Camp with their classmates. Some tie in with Space was a goal. Bob assisted by Jack N1HQ gave a talk about ham radio and played these videos inside. The students then went outside where Greg N4KGL had demos on Morse Code, energy, and HF communications. Bob and Jack assisted the students with a Fox hunt in the field behind the school. The students were sponges for this material and were very engaged. The hams enjoyed doing it also.

Jack helping students Fox Hunt

Energy Demo

HF Radio Demo

Morse Code Demo

Friday, May 12, 2017

Panama City ARC Hosts ARRL Field Day June 24/25

The Panama City Amateur Radio Club will participate in ARRL Field Day on June 24/25 2017 at the Bay County Emergency Operations Center 700 Highway 2300 Southport, FL. We will be having fun contacting as many Hams as possible operating with similar setups around the United States. However, this will also demonstrate a capability to support emergency communications should normal systems be unavailable. The operating hours are 1 PM Saturday to 1 PM Sunday. A good time for visitors is between 2PM and 6PM Saturday but you can come at anytime. We will have various radios and antennas to operate voice, digital and Morse code. The general public is welcome and youth groups are encouraged to attend.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Panama City ARC Spring Tailgate is April 29th

The Panama City Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring a tailgate on Saturday April 29th  9 AM until 1 PM. Buy, sell or swap ham radio gear. Limited tables in the clubhouse on a first come first serve basis.  Parking is in the field behind the clubhouse. Hot dogs and burgers will be available. License testing will be at 1 PM. Bring $14, picture ID and copy of license if upgrading. The location is the Panama City Amateur Radio Club, 130 N. Church Ave Panama City, FL. The talk-in repeater is W4RYZ 145.210 minus offset 100 Hz tone. Questions about this event can be sent to panamacityarc@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Florida State Parks On The Air Contest April 1st 2017

Be sure to mark your calendar for the first ever Florida State Parks on the Air contest! Whether you are a casual operator, a serious contester, in Florida, out of Florida, or even outside the United States, this contest is for you.

Our inaugural event will be the first Saturday in April, 2017 (yes, it’s April 1st.) Operating time is from 1400 UTC to 2200 UTC. Most Florida parks open at 8:00 AM local time, and close at sundown. The operating time period of 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (local) should allow time to enter the park, set up a station, operate, and tear down in time to leave before park closing. See the rules page for more details.

This happens to coincide with the April 1st RaDAR Challenge. Contacts could also apply for WFF-KFF Parks On The Air. 

We have two State Parks near by namely St Andrews State Park and Camp Helen. They will be AND and HEL respectively in the Florida Parks On The Air Contest.

Greg Lane N4KGL

Monday, March 20, 2017