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Our North Florida Section Emergemcy Coordinator, Arc Thames is issuing a Monthly challenge to send a VOICE Radiogram.

For the next serveral months Arc is issuing a challenge to all hams within our section to send a Radiogram using phone/voice over one of our local or section nets. Each month there will be a new request for information to send.

Here is a link to the North Florida QST where the current months challenge is posted. You will need to scroll down to locate the section from Arc in the newsletter to find the challenge. Please be sure to include your county name.

The section website,, also has a net listing. Many of these nets have a traffic representative/liaison that can pass your traffic up to a section net to allow the traffic to reach Arc.

We do not have a local VHF traffic net so you would need to be able to use HF. The Florida Phone Traffic Net is held daily at 0700 on 3940MHz. If you do not have HF, then maybe we could work something out if you are interested in participating.

I have posted a mostly blank Radiogram here with Arc's info filled in. (His last name is pronounced TIMS).


  • ARRL - Radiogram
  • FSD 218
  • ARRL - Numbered Radiogram (FSD 3)

  • North Florida Comm Plan

    Marion County Comm Plan

    Alachua County Comm Plan

    FEMA RECCWG Region 4 and 6 Exercise

    outage map

    We are being asked to participate in this Exercise being held on May 31 and June 1.

    Our Section Emergency Coordinator, Arc Thames is asking for a lot of participation from Florida in this exercise....
    Hi Team,
    Please share this with your local teams and let’s have a ton of participation from Florida. Anyone with Winlink capability can participate in this exercise, it does not have to be from an EOC station. Agency teams that have SHARES capability may also participate with their SHARES station.
    The step by step instructions are included in the attached PDF. Please participate in this exercise if you have Winlink capability over the air or even just via telnet on the internet. Part of this exercise is to see how well we can mobilize our teams so it is critical that you participate if you have the capability.
    Thanks, Arc

    Here. is the instructional pdf for for this exercise.

    We are being asked to use Winlink, either with or without radio to provide "Ground Truth" (already made up for you, don't improvise) from both in and out of the impacted area. You are being asked to provide YOUR ACTUAL GPS LOCATION as part of the report. We learned how to obtain our GPS location using an app on your phone in a previous drill. You could also get an inexpensive GPS receiver and follow the instruction in the document also posted on this site (see article below) to automatically fill in this information.

    Using GPS while on location

    It is important to know exactly where you are when in a disaster and deployed. You may need to report to the Incident Commander about a situation and the pricise location. Installing a GPS receiver on your computer to use with your radio could be invaluable.

    Here. is an instructional pdf for installing two different GPS receivers that I have used. These are not the only ones, but two that are inexpensive.

    Columbia ARES Simulated Emergency Test 2021
    This year we are going to participate in the October SET. It is scheduled for Saturday October 2, 2021. The exercise will be from 0900 to 1100 with a Hot Wash at the Columbia EOC immediatly following the exercise.

    Read the Exercise Plan here.
    Read the Exercise AAR/IP here.

    Tropical Storm Elsa
    Elsa came up the west coast of Florida and briefly reached Hurricane status before making landfall. She was down graded to a Tropical Storm by the time she reached Columbia County.

    Read the Incident AAR/IP here.

    Whirlwind Boom Exercise
    Friday March 19, 2021

    Participate in this drill to practice your skills. You can use VHF or HF, voice and data.

    Columbia ARES will participate and I am looking for operators to join in.

    Here is the draft version of the exercise plan for our county to add to the main plan. I will be adding more information here as it unfolds!
    Read the Full Exercise Plan here.
    Read the Full Exercise AAR/IP here.

    Read the "Columbine County" Exercise Plan here.
    Read the "Columbine County" AAR/IP here.

    Now is the time to work on your individual skills. If you haven't moved a "radiogram" in a while, read up a bit. If you've never tried Winlink peer-to-peer, that is fun! The Florida Winlink Net every Monday provides huge opportunities for practice and is HEAVILY subscribed! If you've never done PSK31 using FLDGI or other platforms, give that a try! Charge up that battery, find a backup antenna idea, and think about LIGHTING.
    Last zoom conference is Thursday, March 18 7PM
    Meeting ID: 895 3074 1792 for those coming in on telephone.

    Meeting February 27th
    We will have a planning and preparation meeting this Saturday, February 27th at 1400 at the Lake City Baptist Temple. Bring your go box!

    American Red Cross Distaster Drill
    Saturday November 14, 2020

    Participate in this drill to practice your Winlink skills. You can use Telnet, VHF or HF.
    Drill Instructions FAQ Weather Statement

    Why We Have Nets

    Any list of the major strengths of Amateur Radio in an emergency setting includes our abilities to share information in a “group setting” in real time across multiple locations and even multiple served agencies. Unlike many other types of communications, our radio messages can be heard by everyone in the group at once — and they can respond. This gives flexibility to emergency response managers, which is very useful. During an emergency communication situation, a high volume of disorganized messages can quickly turn an overloaded communication system into a disaster of its own. To prevent this from happening, Amateur Radio operators use regular protocols called a “network” or “net” to organize the flow of messages. The mission of the net is to effectively move as much traffic as accurately and quickly as possible. Nets can be either formal or informal, as needs dictate. Nets can be conducted via voice, Morse code, or digital modes, depending on the situation.
    Read more of the article from ARRL EC001 Class Here...