NOFARS  Balanced   Modulator

Volume LIX, Number 6                                                                                       JUNE 2024


The next NOFARS meeting is Thursday, June 13th at Hogan Baptist Church, 8045 Hogan Rd.   The meeting starts at 7:00pm and all are welcome to attend.



NOFARS and Duval ARES will participate in the annual ARRL Field Day communications exercise on June 22nd and 23rd at Hogan Baptist Church, 8045 Hogan Rd. in the recreation area.

Todd, K1KVA and Brian, K4BJS are organizing the Jax Field Day and all are invited to attend and participate.   Operators will be contacting similar portable set-ups throughout North America to test the effectiveness of their impromptu installations.   Solar panels and mechanical units will provide power apart from commercial mains.

Efficient antennas are critical to successful portable communications.   Installation starts Friday afternoon, June 21st.   The 24-hour communications marathon begins at 2:00pm Saturday.

Purposes of Field Day include testing equipment and antenna performance while providing experience for operators who may be needed following hurricanes, earthquakes, wide power outages and other disruptions where back-up communications is in short supply, especially during the hours immediately following a disruption.

Those interested in becoming FCC-licensed Amateur Radio Service operators and newly-licensed hams are especially invited to visit and learn more.   Jax Laurel examiners will offer FREE FCC testing at 1pm Saturday at the FD site.



Continuous operation from the old Jax City Hall Annex started on Memorial Day weekend 1999 when an independent group called Friends Of NOFARS provided around $5000 in loans and donations to purchase equipment along with many hours of labor to prepare the top floor area for installation.   The original concept was to use a half dozen remote receivers and links to other repeaters in Starke and Palatka to achieve coverage of the Florida Crown ARES district which stretched from southern Putnam County to the Georgia line.   This capability came in handy after an Amtrak train derailment in 2003 when W4IZ/R helped provide communications for relief efforts between agencies in Jax and the trainwreck site.   Internet connection via Echolink eventually replaced the links and most remote receivers.

The Dames Point remote site and activation of 444.4 followed to provide NOFARS members with a common meeting point at no cost to the NOFARS treasury.   Today, W4IZ/R is probably the most important NOFARS activity.

Henry, WB4LEQ has led technical efforts for the past decade.   He and Bob, KS4CA showed slides and provided background on the present system atop the Wells Fargo Tower at the last meeting.   Original members of Friends Of NOFARS at the meeting included Steve, WA4B; Chris, KF4AAF and Billy, N4UF.



Wayne passed away on May 28th after a long battle against multiple maladies.   WB4YTJ was licensed in 1976 along with his brother-in-law Larry Barber, NI4K.   Both made big contributions over the years.   Wayne was a mainstay on the W4IZ repeater system from the time it was founded in 1999.   He was voted Greater Jacksonville Amateur Radio Operator Of The Year for 2006.

Wayne retired from Prudential as a department head due to severe sight limitations in the 1990s and also served in the Air National Guard starting with the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s.

Wayne started the two-meter NOFARS WWD Net in the 1990s--first on the 146.76 repeater (which was W4IZ/R then) and subsequently on 146.7/444.4.   Prior to that time, WWD only had a ten meter net.   He served many years as the principal two-meter WWD net control station and maintained a ubiquitous presence on W4IZ/R.   He also was an early organizer and participant on the W4SNN Saturday Night Net.

Wayne was always willing to assist other hams and had many friends.   Our condolences to his wife Linda and Wayne's family.   He will be missed!



New laws to limit Florida homeowner associations (HOAs) take effect on 7/1/24.   These will cover a variety of topics and generally benefit owners who apply to make changes to their property and those who receive violation notices.

Of most interest to hams living in HOA-controlled subdivisions is HB-1203.   It passed by large margins in both chambers.   HOAs and COAs (condominiums) have been the focus of many complaints from constituents over the past several years including high-profile cases in south Florida.   HB-1203 had several co-sponsors including Rep. Kimberly Daniels of Jacksonville.

It provides residents cited by HOAs time to remedy violations without being fined.   This could be an opening for easily removable antennas.

And all violation notices and rejected applications must cite specific CCR or bylaw references that support the denial.   Prohibiting changes not specifically cited in CCRs and bylaws is discouraged.   If a subdivision's documents do not prohibit outdoor antennas, it should be more difficult to deny permission for at least a basic antenna, especially if not visible from the street or other lots.

There are also new limits on fines and placement of liens on homes for unpaid fines. Unfortunately, a provision to provide appeal panels for applicants denied permission by HOA architectural reviewers was removed.   These panels would have been able to overrule rejected applications.   Similar appeal panels are already mandated for those ordered to pay fines.   Panels consist of at least three residents who are not HOA board members or officers (or related to same).

If problems continue to attract bad publicity for HOAs, expect more legislation next session.



**Tube-type Transmitters, Receivers, Test Equipment, Accessories.

**Hasselblad Camera Equipment

Contact Bob Meadows, W4RRD at 904-264-2946

E-mail rpmeadow@bellsouth.net



President----John Reynolds, W4IJJ

Vice President----Billy Williams, N4UF

Secretary----Chris Russell, KF4AAF

Treasurer----Todd Lovelace, K1KVA

Activities Manager----Mike Robinson, KG2MM

Director----Roger Knight, KI4PIL

Director----Randy Bahr, KI4RHQ


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