Help / Getting the Most from this Site

We hope you find this website useful. To help you get going, there are a few features anyone in the amateur radio community might find useful, this page will hopefully help you use them!

Home Page

Our home page features blog posts. As we create posts, the newest will appear at the top of the home page.
Help - Home Page - Blog Post

Navigation

Help - Nav Bar - Events

As expected, at the top of every page is the navigation bar. If you hover over (or click if on a “touch” device [tablets, smart phones]) on an item, a sub-menu may pop up. Clicking on an item will take you to that page. Clicking on the graphical banner right below the navigation bar will take you to the home page of the website.

Comments and Social Media

Help - Sharing, Comments, and Liking

You can comment on pretty much any content on the site. When reading a page, comments, if any, will be at the bottom of the page. If you don’t have an account, your comment will be held for moderation (sorry!) You can also put a link to the content on your Facebook wall, twitter, or a number of other social sites.

Events

Help - Events - Menu

We have a community calendar! In the navigation bar at the top of the page you will find “Events”. If you click on “Events” at the top of the page a menu will pop up.

Anyone can add events to our “Events” calendar. You don’t even need to be a member! Your events won’t show up right away (it will be held for moderation), but we will approve things quickly.

We do ask that you take the time to fill out the form properly! Please do not put daily nets on the calendar, they go on a separate list. To create an event, click on “Add an Event” and then

    1. Give a short title and a longer description
    2. Pick the appropriate categories
    3. Optionally add an image.
    4. Pick the date and time. All times should be entered in Eastern time.
    5. Set the location and decide if you want a google map if it’s a “in person” event.
    6. Fill out the appropriate parts of the organizer information.
    7. Enter the primary and backup frequencies. Please make sure to note repeater offsets, PL tones, wide or narrow band, etc.
    8. Check the box that says “I am not an evil spammer”.
    9. Click “Submit Event”.

We will moderate the event ASAP.

Events have two views.
A “calendar” view:
Help - Events Calendar

A “list” view:
Help - Events List

Right now, the events system does not directly integrate into EventBrite. If there is enough desire from the community, EventBright integration is available. (But it’s not free, so we aren’t getting it until needed!)

Interactivity

Help - Interact Menu

This site is also a community social site. Kind of like Facebook or Twitter, this site is a “Social” site. You can register for an account (more details below) and create groups, post updates on the group’s “wall”, start or participate in conversations in the “forum” associated with each group. Groups can be public or private. They are there for you. Request an account and start interacting with fellow members.

Staying Informed

If you’re not familiar with RSS feeds, well, you should be! There are numerous places on this site where you can subscribe via RSS feeds. (To posts, to comments, or to specific groups). An RSS feed is basically a special webpage that software on your computer “auto-fetches” on a regular basis and also “auto-deletes” on a regular basis. Most operating systems support having the RSS feed show up as a special “mailbox” in your e-mail client. So things that happen on this site show up, not in your e-mail box, but in your e-mail app in a separate spot where they are typically deleted after a month – read or unread. Give RSS feeds a try!

Registering

You can register as a member of the site for even more features. Registration is simple. Just click “Register” at the bottom of the “Interact” menu. Fill out the form and wait a short while for one of us to approve your account. Yeah, yeah, we’re doing lots of moderation because we hate spam as much as you do!

There are multiple types of accounts that we can create based on who you are and what you would like to do. If you can’t do something on the site you think you should be able to do, look at this list and see what permissions you think you should have and send a message to K3DER once logged in.

      • Non-member of PCACS typically is a Subscriber + Forum Participant = somebody who can manage their profile, create events, participate in groups (create as well, but not have a forum), create topics and edit their own topics and replies.
      • Specially approved non-member of PCACS might be a Contributor + Forum Participant = same as above, but adds the ability to write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them (they are held for moderation)
      • Member of PCACS typically is an Author + Forum Moderator = same as above, but adds the ability to publish a post without moderation, create a group with a forum, edit that forum, and moderate that forum.
      • A staff member of PCACS is typically an Editor + Keymaster = same as above, but adds the ability to to manage posts of other users and create and edits pages and moderate any forum – not just ones they have created.
      • A select few members of PCACS are Administrator + Keymaster = can do anything on the site.

Once you have your account and login you will have a new “bar” running across the top of your screen.
Help - Registered User

      • If you click on “Pinellas County ACS/ARES” you’ll see a link called “Dashboard”. More on that in a moment.
      • The next icon, the “call out bubble” (not pointed to by an arrow in the above picture), tells you if you have any comments awaiting moderation.
      • The “+ New” on that bar allows you easy ability to create new events, posts or pages. Using this bar to add events will bypass moderation if you are an “Author” or above.
      • If anyone has comments on your posts, you’ll see that notification under the “box shaped” call out.
      • If you have messages the round circle will have a number other than “0” in it.
      • Speaking of messages, if you click on your name you’ll see you can send messages to another user straight through this site. It will e-mail them to their registered e-mail address as well.

For you social media types, I suggest you go to “Dashboard” and pick “JetPack” you can link your account on this site to your (free) wordpress.com account. Doing so will enable a bunch of features including one click social media publicizing of posts/pages, have spelling and grammar checks run on your posts, members of PCACS (“Authors”) will be able to see “stats” on the pages in the site, post to the blog by sending an e-mail to a special e-mail address and more! Oh, and for you Apple iPhone users, you can get mobile notifications of comments pushed to the WordPress app.

Author hints

    • We suggest you do not put your phone number or email on a page. (You may on a post). Link to the staff page instead. Ideally put your role vs. your name. That way if someone changes phone #s or e-mail or role, we only have to update the “staff listing” page and not comb through the pages looking for changes. (A page is meant to stay around, commonly access, forever. A post is more “transitory” – yes, it’s forever archived, but it’s importance diminishes over time.
    • For Maps we have MapPress installed. It’s quite useful. The maps for shelter locations and WD4SCD repeaters were done using it. This page has a “mashup” where the software automatically merged those two maps. Consider using MapPress for all community service events. You can draw routes and annotate where various people should deploy to.
    • For tables, use TablePress. It easy and simple to create tables. Plus it lets you sort, filter, scroll, paginate, and import and export your table to other formats including CSV.
    • The best suggestion: look at a page, post or event you like and see how it was put together. Copy it making the changes you require.
    • For the few Administrators we have: don’t forget two useful items:
      • In the Dashboard you can go to “Settings” -> “Notification Bar” and enter a notification. That will create a banner going across the top of the page for every visitor to the site, regardless of whether they have an account. A good choice might be “SKYWARN Activated” or “SKYWARN to be activated at 1300” or something. (Along with a radio frequency reminder!)
      • Under your username in the upper right you can “Compose” a message to all users. It shows up as a bar across the top of the page when someone is logged in. They can “click to delete” the banner. This might be appropriate for something we don’t want publicized to non-users but is important that everyone see.
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