Minutes & Updates

June 24, 2017

Andrew Frame WD4RCC will step down as Hendry County Assistant EC, Big Lake ARC Vice-President, and Director, and Net Control Operator effective June 30, 2017, after a period of 18 months. Andrew will remain an EM Reservist through the 2017 hurricane season.

Permanent replacements to those posts will be discussed at a future date.

Gus Fruauff KI4LFF has volunteered to take over social media, e-mail, and website duties, in addition to Net Manager.

June 17, 2017 at Clewiston Fire Department, Clewiston
Approved and posted, 2
6 June 2017

The meeting was called to order at 1000 hours in the Clewiston Fire Department upstairs meeting room by Andrew WD4RCC. Bagels and coffee were provided.

Frank WA4PAM introduced guests Ed NQ6U, Charles WB2SNN, and Dale KJ4YDI, present to update and educate about DMR.

David KM4EWE updated the group on Field Day planning. It will be at the EOC on June 24-25, starting at 10am each day. Most of the group indicated they would attend, and enough indicated they would bring equipment that it should make for a good multi-operator station.

Gus KI4LFF encouraged membership to take a swing at net control. The club is doing very well with how many have so far volunteered for a shift in the last few months.

Brian KJ4WIC updated that Christina Mercado, the Finance/Logistics chief at Emergency Management has moved to Hendry County EMS, and he was beginning the process to recruit a replacement. The EM office is wrapping up grants and paperwork as their fiscal year is closing, so if the Club wanted any funding for supplies, now was the time to submit and proposals and requests. We are now officially in hurricane season. Brian also reinforced that the present leadership of the club would be stepping down at the end of the year, and volunteers would be needed to take over.

On behalf of Wayne WT4FEC, Andrew WD4RCC updated the group on the EOC antenna array begun in May. Six ten-foot masts were attached to the building parapet to support UHF/VHF and HF antennae in a configuration to be determined at a future date. The DMR antenna would be placed on one of the masts.

Lori KM4RAZ requested a copy of the club logo to print on certificates and guest cards for future use.

Ed K9GZT related a very successful event from the Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club involving on-site presence during Lowe’s of Cape Coral’s recent Severe Weather store promotion. The FMARC was congratulated by store management for good presentation and invited back next year. There are Ace hardware stores in Labelle and Clewiston that could be used for the same kind of promotion.

The floor was opened to guests Ed NQ6U, Charles WB2SNN, and Dale KJ4YDI to demonstrate and educate about DMR, the internet connected repeater system, based on commercial technology. They set up a fully functional demo unit, and brought the club up to speed on what to expect when the system in installed at the EOC. Ed K9GZT and Frank WA4PAM are regular users of DMR.

A final pass was made around the group. No additional comments. Meeting adjourned at 12pm.


  • KM4RAZ Lori Shula
  • K9GZT Ed Radke
  • KJ4CIQ Tony Bevis
  • WB2SNN Charles Benn
  • KJ4YDI Dale Gosney
  • KM4EWE David Hegley
  • KI4LFF Gus Fruauff
  • NQ6U Ed Anthony
  • WD4RCC Andrew Frame
  • KN4AFW Brandi Frame
  • KJ4WIC Brian Newhouse
  • WA4PAM Frank Harris

April 15, 2017 at Beef O’Brady’s Restaurant, Labelle
Approved and posted, 24 April 2017

Meeting called to order by Andrew WD4RCC at 12N after lunch

The group wished Bill safe travel to the Cumberland for the summer

ID Badges with the Big Lake logo from Ham Crazy dot com are $12

Gus KI4LFF restated the need for more members to take a net control shift. He will send the script and the checklist to the membership so folks can see how it is done.

Members were also asked to check and correct/confirm their contact information so we could create an Everbridge group for the Club, and create SMS alert groups in members phones who wish to.

Brian KJ4WIC indicated he’d like to see more on-air activity, including additional formal or informal nets, e.g. a Newbie Net, Traders Net, etc.

Wayne is now a Tram antenna dealer, and has 3500 feet of brand new LMR-400 coax for sale at 70 cents/foot.

Brian said we have 10 people who have expressed interest in attending a CERT class. He also floated the idea of having a study group for license upgrades, and visiting other Clubs on their meeting nights as a group.

Frank WA4PAM is going to post information on DMR to the mailing list. In the simple explanation, DMR connects repeaters through the internet, and allows operators to select regions that they would like to communicate with. Ed K9GZT is a regular user of DMR.

Saturday, April 22, from 9a-1p, FEMA and the University of Hawaii’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center will hold a AWR-343 Hurricane Awareness seminar at the EOC. This training will discuss the latest hurricane science in forecasting and warning in addition to ways to better mitigate the impacts of high winds, heavy rain, and storm surge. Register through SERTrac. (Postscript – About 20 were in attendance. Excellent program from NDPTC-UH’s Henry Smith & Glenn Cober)

Saturday, April 29 from 9a-4p Formidable Footprint will hold a tabletop pandemic exercise at the EOC called “Zombie Apocalypse”. Check with Cristina at EOC, 863-674-5400, or Margaret KM4OVY to register.

Saturday, May 6th, 8a-12N, installation of the antenna and weather station stanchions on the EOC roof. Wayne is the project lead. Lori & Ed, Gus, and Dave have volunteered for ground crew. Andrew, Brian, Eric and Wayne will be roof crew. There is room for more hands for both crews.

The NOAA Hurricane Awareness Tour stop in Miami at the US Coast Guard Air Station Miami located at Opa-Locka Executive Airport on Friday, May 12th. Two USAF C-130 hurricane hunter aircraft and one NOAA P-3 aircraft will be onsite. Margaret KM4OVY will be conducting a group to the event. EM Reservists and guest will get a pre-show visit with the display.

Andrew will work on finding the date of the 2017 State EOC ARRL Hurricane amateur radio drill. Last year it was on May 18.

The National Hurricane Center WX4NHC annual station test has not been announced, but should be on May 27th if they stay with using the last Saturday in May as years past.

Weekend of June 24-25, Field Day. Dave KM4EWE is coordinator. Gus and Brian are going to contact the local Boy & Girl Scouts to see if they would like to attend to work on merit badges. Andrew or Brandi will check with 4-H. We will operate on the EOC property. Brian will see if he can get a bucket truck to help us hang dipoles from the parking lot light poles.

The statewide SARnet will have an EOC check in on June 30 at 9am.

Unless we have an activity that arises, the next meetup will be in July at the EOC in Labelle. Wayne Wt4FEC will present a class on grounding and bonding.

A final pass was made around the group. No additional comments. Meeting adjourned at 1pm.

Updates to the minutes will be posted to Signals and the website.

K9GZT Ed Radke KM4RAZ Lori Shula
KE0MCV Brian Bantz
KI4LFF Gus Fruauff
KI4QIQ Bill Roy
KJ4WIC Brian Newhouse
KM4EWE David Hegley
KM4WJV Eric Fitzgerald
NG1J Frank Martin
WA4PAM Frank Harris Tena Harris
KN4AFW Brandi Frame WD4RCC Andrew Frame
WT4FEC Wayne Eckert Chris Eckert

March 18, 2017
Due to participation in the Sugar Festival, no formal meeting was held.

February 26, 2017
Due to participation in the Swamp Cabbage Festival, no formal meeting was held.

January 29, 2017

Update for 1/21/17 – Regarding passing SAR (Station Activity Report) traffic to the SWFTN for Southern Florida Section Manager Jeff Beals, WA4AW, as mentioned in the December 17, 2016 Club minutes:  After being asked by Andrew Frame WD4RCC if he had been receiving the messages, and indicating he had not, Jeff instructed the Club to pass all SAR traffic to Frank Harris Sr., WA4PAM to include in his monthly EC report from this point forward.

Update for 01/21/17 – Hannah McColough, Tom McColough, and Brandi Frame passed the Technician license examination. Andrew Frame WD4RCC passed the Extra.

Update for 1/23/17 – December Club minutes posted on the Signals mailing list for member review.

Update for 1/24/17 – Hannah McColough received the callsign KN4AFU, Tom received KN4AFV, and Brandi received KN4AFW.

Update for 1/25/17 – Hendry County ARES conducted a Severe Weather exercise net in connection with the National Weather Service’s #tornadodrill event. Six members participated on the Labelle repeater, two on Clewiston; KM4EWE, KJ4WIC, KM4WJV, K9GZT, KN4AFW, KI4QIQ, WT4FEC, & WD4RCC. Hendry EM Director Brian Newhouse KJ4WIC received television coverage on the tornado drill from WINK-TV Fort Myers while at the Emergency Services Council Meeting.

Update for 1/28/17 – A breakfast social was held at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Labelle, in place of a January meeting. 19 members and guests were in attendance. With no changes to the December minutes received, approval to publish on the club website was forwarded by Acting Secretary KC0SJU and seconded by Club Director KN4AFW.

  • updated by WD4RCC, 1/29/2017

Minutes of the Meeting December 17, 2016
approved January 28, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 1000 hours in the Clewiston Fire Department upstairs meeting room by Andrew Frame WD4RCC. Reading of November minutes were dispensed by group agreement. Brian Newhouse KJ4WIC moved and and David Hegley KM4EWE seconded for publication to the Club website.

Frank Harris, Sr., WA4PAM presented Andrew Frame WD4RCC with ARRL Assistant Emergency Coordinator for West Hendry County designation certificate.

Visitor Sam Thomas W3ALE introduced to group.

The new Big Lake ARC business cards were made available and members were encouraged to post them around their communities.

Frank gave his presentation on Near-Vertical Incident Skywave antennas. History, design, and usage. Handouts were provided to members. Frank said he will give a future presentation on NBEMS, Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System, a group of protocols for digital message transmission that do not require any special hardware other than a laptop and a portable radio.

Future meetings will have Ed K9GZT and Lori KM4RAZ going into more advanced message handling, and Wayne WT4FEC presenting a class on foxhunting, and one of grounding and bonding for lightning protection.

Gus Frauaff KI4LFF confirmed net controllers for the balance of December and January, and said he will post a net controller schedule for 2017-Q1 to the club’s Signals mailing list. Gus said we had check-in’s from Belle Glade and Immokalee on the December 13th net.

In order to facilitate traffic handling training, a traffic net to pass Station Activity Reports will be run on or about the first of each month. Traffic will be collected and passed to the Southwest Florida Traffic Net in Fort Myers, to go to the ARRL Section Manager.

No new ARRL updates from EC, Frank WA4PAM.

County EM Director Brian KJ4WIC said the EOC will host a Skywarn class in first quarter. Dates to be announced. Open to all members of the community. The Big Lake club meeting would be dropped for the Skywarn class. Also, a Wildfire multi-agency symposium/workshop is planned for late first quarter. Also open to the community.

Club agreed by consensus that Saturday morning meetings with shifting between Labelle and Clewiston are working out well. Members were encouraged to be aware of hams or interested persons who might like to join.

Brian KJ4WIC said he would like us to start thinking about ARRL Field Day. The EOC can easily host the event, and it could be turned into an Emergency Management open house/community day as well. Dave Hegley agreed to be our Club-EM coordinator for the event. Wayne WT4FEC will handle engineering.

Frank WA4PAM and Gus KI4LFF will coordinate radio communications with the parade and pavilion for Swamp Cabbage at the end of February. Brian KJ4WIC will check with the Sheriff’s Office to see if we need any clearances. Volunteers are needed to walk the parade and work a control table.

Andrew WD4RCC Big Lake members were reminded they were welcome to operate the EOC radio room anytime during regular business hours. Register with Cristina when entering the office.

Lunch socials were decided by consensus to be held three times per year: January, May, and September. Locations to vary between Clewiston and Labelle.

Brian KJ4WIC solicited help to work on the EOC pickup truck. The cap needs to be removed, the bed cleaned and Herculined, and a mobile command box overhauled and installed. This would be a multi-day project, but extra hands would only mostly be needed for the heavy-lifting of the cap and command box.

Bill KI4QIQ is going to work with Brian on a specific to-do list for volunteer activites around the EOC.

Brian KJ4WIC commented on the delineation between EM and Big Lake as separate entities. Although both worked closely for common goals, membership in Big Lake Amateur Radio Club does not automatically commute into a vetted EM Reservist position. Members wishing to be EM Reservists would need to fill out required County documentation and have a background check.

Lori KM4RAZ inquired about how to categorize time reported. Brian KJ4WIC clarified that “HCEM” time is for Reservists working on EM-directed projects, including self-training and FEMA classes. “ARES” was for any Big Lake ARC specific activities, including on-air net participation, club meetings, and public activities like providing parade communications.

Brian KJ4WIC brought up checking with the School Board to be able to do Amateur Radio/EM presentations in the schools, and possibly making amateur Radio part of the STEM curriculum. Group consensus that it would be a way for younger people to learn of the hobby.

Meeting adjourned at 1130am.

Acting Secretary
Brandi Frame

The meeting was attended by 12 members:


Minutes of the Meeting November 19, 2016
approved December 17, 2016

The meeting was called to order by Andrew Frame, WD4RCC, at the Hendry County Emergency Operations Center (HCEOC) at 1010 Hours EST.

Andrew presented the meeting agenda. There were no corrections or additions.

Andrew introduced Lori Shula, KM4RAZ and Ed Radke, K9GZT, who held a training session of Radio Traffic handling. By general consent all radio traffic being timed in a 24-hour clock at local time. All forms for traffic handling can be found on the ARRL website at the NTS (National Traffic System) tab. There is a traffic net in Fort Myers on Thursdays at 1000 hours on 147.345 Plus 600 PL 135.5. Training ended at 1116 hours recessing for a break.

Andrew called the meeting back to order at 1128 hours.
The minutes of the last meeting were presented. Minutes of the last meeting were previously emailed to all members dispensing with reading of the minutes.

Andrew asked for any corrections to the minutes;
1. On page 2, paragraph 2, AARP should read ARRL.
2. On page 1, paragraph 4, Gus Fruauff should be deleted from the Board of Directors.
3. In all incidents of the name Brian Newhouse, WJ4WIC, should be corrected to read, Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC.

Gus Fruauff, KI4LFF, moved the minutes be approved as corrected. Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC, seconded the motion. Hearing no objection, Andrew declared the minutes approved as corrected.

Andrew opened the floor for discussion about the monthly nets. Members are encouraged to participate in all nets held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Gus Fruauff, KI4LFF, advised that he would prepare a schedule of Net Controllers for the month. Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC, suggested that Net Controller schedules should be made for a full quarter.

Andrew opened the floor for discussion about the HCEOC Radio Room. The radio room is open to all members during normal business hours Monday through Friday. All members operating in the radio room are asked to put a copy of their operating license in the radio room procedure notebook. The radio room is set up to operate UHF/VHF, 40 and 80 meters. Andrew Frame, WC4RCC, and Wayne Eckert, WT4FEC, are continuing to improve the radio room and to add additional frequencies.

Andrew asked Tony Fanska, KC0SJU, for a brief update for the Community Emergency Response Team meeting on 11/15/2016.

Andrew opened the floor for any other general discussions;
1. A list of locations for all members with map coordinates. Map coordinates can be found with a Google Maps search.
2. The possibility of getting signs placed at all major roadways into Hendry County listing the club name and operating frequencies.
3. The idea of getting wallet licenses laminated.
4. The idea of holding a social meeting for club members, inviting people that might be interested in becoming a licensed operator.
5. Putting member names of the club website. Suggested was first name, last initial, city of location and call sign.
6. Discussion of local area Hamfests. A list can be found on the Big Lake ARC website (biglakearc.org) under the Regional Hamfest Calendar tab.

Andrew discussed operation at the major Hendry County events; Swamp Cabbage, Sugar Festival and ARRL Field Day. Discussions were moved to next month’s agenda.

Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC moved that the meeting adjourn. Gus Fruauff, KI4LFF, seconded the motion. Hearing no objection Andrew Frame, WC4RCC, adjourned the meeting at 1158 hours.

Tony Fanska, KC0SJU
Acting Secretary

The meeting was attended by 13 members:

  • David Burroughs, KR4YD
  • Tony Bevis, KJ4CIQ
  • Chris Eckert
  • Wayne Eckert, WT4FEC
  • Tony Fanska, KC0SJU
  • Eric Fitzgerald, KM4WJV
  • Andrew Frame, WC4RCC
  • Brandi Frame
  • Gus Fruauff, KI4LFF
  • Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC
  • Ed Radke, K9GZT
  • Lori Shula, KM4RAZ.
  • Bill Roy, KI4QIQ

Minutes of the Meeting October 29, 2016
approved November 19, 2016

The meeting was called to order by Andrew Frame, WD4RCC, at Tiki & Galley Grill, 920 E. Del Monte Ave., Clewiston, Florida 33440 at 12:02 PM EDT.

Andrew appointed Tony Fanska, KCØSJU, as acting Club Secretary to record the meeting minutes.

Andrew called for introduction of the group attending, by volunteer Roll Call and individual sharing interest in the Big Lake Amateur Club.

Andrew introduced Frank Harris, WA4PAM, for an update on the incorporation of the club.

Frank explained the benefits of incorporating the club. The Federal paperwork for our 501(c)3 has been approved and Frank is currently working on the necessary paperwork with the State of Florida.

For filing purposes the following list are the incorporating officers: Frank C. Harris, Jr., WA4PAM, President.

The Board of Directors comprises Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC, David Hegley, KM4EWE, Andrew Frame WD4RCC, and Brandi Frame.

Andrew introduced Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC, who gave a brief history of the Big Lake Amateur Radio Club.

Brian continued with comments and congratulations to the members of the club for their work and deployment during Hurricane Matthew. Brian advised the members that the EOC Radio Room was up and running with VHF/UHF, HF and Digital communications. The Radio Room has been set up for multiple communication paths both analog and digital. The Radio Room is open to all members, during normal business hours, to practice and monitor radio communications. Brian asked that any member using the Radio Room log into the Radio Room computer and log their use and traffic. Brian then briefly explained the STEM Program. There was a question about vetting of members. Brian explained that Hendry County recently changed Human Resources Director and that background checks were currently in process and some were now complete. Further information will be forth coming about identification badges.

Andrew opened the floor for discussion about BLARC radio nets. By group consensus it was decided that the Monthly Nets would be held the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm EDT or EST. The group consensus was that Gus Fruauff, KI4LFF, would be the Master Net Controller, with Wayne Eckert, WT4FEC, Andrew Frame, WC4RCC, and Ed Radke, K9GZT, as rotating controllers and Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC as backup controller. The controllers are working toward adding digital communications to the monthly net in the future.

Andrew opened the floor for group discussion about monthly meetings. By group consensus the BLARC with meet the 3rd Saturday of each month at 10:00 am EDT or EST. The next meeting of the BLARC will be held at the Hendry County Emergency Operations Center, 4425 FL-80, LaBelle, Florida 33975 on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 10:00 am EST.

Andrew introduced Tony Fanska, KCØSJU, to discuss upcoming Technician Class training. Classes are currently being planned for after the first of the New Year. Tony reminded the group about the importance of filling out time sheets and getting them in on a timely manner. ARRL EC reports are due on the 4th of each month and time sheets need to be returned to Tony by the 3rd of each month so the correct numbers can be reported to ARRL.

Andrew introduced Wayne Eckert, WT4FEC, who opened the floor for discussion about future training and exercises. Wayne explained what and how a Fox Hunt was as used in a locating exercise. By group consensus it was decided that training at club meetings in 2017 would be about digital communication and traffic passing.

Andrew discussed The Club web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Andrew adjourned the meeting at 12:58 pm EST.

E.A. (Tony) Fanska
Acting Secretary

The meeting was attended by 16 members:

  • Tony Bevis, KJ4CIQ
  • Becky Eckert
  • Christopher Eckert
  • Wayne Eckert, WT4FEC
  • Tony Fanska, KCØSJU
  • Andrew Frame, WD4RCC
  • Brandi Frame
  • Gus Fruauff, KI4LFF
  • Frank Harris, WA4PAM
  • David Hegley, KM4EWE
  • Brian Newhouse, KJ4WIC
  • DeAnna Newman
  • Ed Radke, K9GZT
  • Laura Roy
  • Bill Roy, KI4QIQ
  • Lori Shula, KM4RAZ