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

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