Hillsdale Communicator

September 2016


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, September 15 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Park in city lot F and use the east entrance off the alley and follow the signs.  Everyone welcome!


There was no club meeting August.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, September 10 at 8am at the Sidekick Cafe, 4682 Hudson Road in Osseo (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The August ham breakfast was held at Ray's Tavern in Reading and was attended by four members.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 15 as of August 31.  No activity in August.



Board Meeting

The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members and invited guests welcome.



Club Leadership Position Available

One club leadership position remains open.  The Secretary position had no nominations during annual elections last year or subsequent special elections.  Those interested should check the club constitution on our website for information about officer duties and election procedures.  Feel free to contact any of the current club leadership for more information.  A special election will be held at the next club meeting to fill the position.



Monday Night Net Certificate

Two amateurs have qualified for an award certificate for exceptional participation in the Monday night net.  Bill Hicks WB8FFO and Joe Gosla KD8UJS both have earned enough points to qualify.  The purpose of the program is to encourage participation in the net, both as check-ins and as net control station.  The certificate will be awarded to participants that attain at least 75 points during 2016.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.



New Hams

There are a couple of new hams in the county, as indicated by updates in the FCC ULS database.  Darrell Walton KB8CDJ updated his address to Hillsdale County from Ohio on August 11.  Gary L Smith Jr KD8SHD updated his address to Hillsdale County from Branch County on August 20.



Study Class & Exam Session Canceled

The Amateur Radio Technician License One Day Study Class & Exam Session scheduled for August 27 was canceled.  We had no candidates register online or attend the orientation meeting.



Hillsdale County Central Dispatch 911 Construction Update

Construction continues on the new Central Dispatch 911 building in the Hillsdale Manufacturing and Technology Park.  Progress continues but it is harder to see now as they are working more on the inside.  Cabinets are in, painting is almost done, carpet has been delivered and electric has been run to the building.  The furnaces are all in place and most of the data and telephone wire is in place.  All of the outside doors are hung but none of the interior doors.  The generator has been delivered.  Lots of finish work and cleanup remains but the end is in site.  The new site is located at 204 Development Drive (map).



Adrian Hamfest At New Location

The Adrian Hamfest, scheduled for September 18, is being held at a new location this year.  The hamfest will be held at Lenawee County Airport, 2651 West Cadmus Road in Adrian (map).  (Hamfest web page  Hamfest flyer  ARRL hamfest info page)



GRAMfest Changes Date

The date of the GRAMfest in Wyoming has been changed to September 17 (was September 24), according to John Streyle W8QZ, co-chair of the event.  (Hamfest flyer  GRARA home page  ARRL info page  map)



New Location For Dayton Hamvention

The Dayton Hamvention announced it will be moving to the Greene County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Xenia, Ohio, after 52 years at Hara Arena.  That’s about 16 miles east of Dayton off US Route 35.  “The Greene County Agricultural Society is absolutely committed to providing a world-class experience for the Dayton Hamvention and its attendees, exhibitors, volunteers and staff,” said Greene County Agricultural Society Board of Directors President Dan Bullen.  “We are so appreciative of the opportunity to host the event and the faith placed in us by the Hamvention leadership.  This will be an enormous event for the Fairgrounds & Event Center, and we are confident the Hamvention will be a great success in 2017 and beyond due to the way the community has wholeheartedly embraced this event.”  Hamvention 2017 will be held on May 19-21.  Click here to view a video of the new Hamvention site.  (ARRL stories  1  2)  (WHIO story)    Hara Arena recently announced that it would be closing.  (ARRL story)



Growth In New Amateur Radio Licensees Ahead Of Last Year

The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator reports that over 20,000 new US Amateur Radio licenses have been issued since January 1.  That’s nearly 1500 ahead of the number that had been issued by this time last year.  At the present pace, the US is on track to exceed 30,000 new radio amateurs for the third straight year.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Supports Activities That Strengthen Emergency Communications

The ARRL Board of Directors approved revisions concerning the management and governance of its National Traffic System (NTS) program.  In response, some NTS participants have proposed to form a new organization with the stated purpose of engaging in current NTS activity, independent of ARRL.  This action, in part, was a reaction to ARRL’s announcement regarding the creation of an enhanced emergency communications plan, scheduled for implementation later this year.  The ARRL plan will address the role of programs such as NTS, which can provide important capabilities to ARRL partner agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army.  In a statement the ARRL said “We encourage all NTS participants to be involved in current National Traffic System activities by continuing their existing assignments and duties,” the statement said.  “However, if NTS members wish to explore alternative programs... we do not wish to discourage that exploration.”  (ARRL story)



Ham Radio Outlet Reopens Former AES Milwaukee Store

Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) opened its latest Amateur Radio retail outlet at the site of the former Amateur Electronic Supply (AES) headquarters store in Milwaukee on August 27.  AES closed on July 28, following a surprise announcement 4 weeks earlier that it was going out of business after 59 years as a ham radio equipment supplier.  A couple of weeks later, HRO announced plans to make over the Milwaukee outlet and reopen it as its “superstore”, now HRO’s largest. Several former AES Milwaukee employees now are working for HRO, which undertook a rapid remodeling project to make the store over in its own brand.  Click to view a video tour of the new store.  (ARRL story  Video tour of store)



HAARP Facility To Reopen In 2017 Under New Ownership

Alaska’s High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility will reopen in 2017.  The sprawling facility now is under the ownership of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the UAF Geophysical Institute is preparing HAARP for a new sponsored research campaign that’s set to begin early next year.  (ARRL story)  The facility, subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists, closed in 2013.  (ARRL story)



US Air Force Wants To Plasma Bomb The Sky Using Tiny Satellites

The US Air Force is working on plans to improve radio communication over long distances by detonating plasma bombs in the upper atmosphere using a fleet of micro satellites.  Since the early days of radio, we’ve known that reception is sometimes better at night.  Radio signals bouncing between the ionosphere and the ground they can travel great distances.  (New Scientist story)



FCC “Symbol Rate” Rule Making Proposal Open For Comment

In a July Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 16-239, the FCC proposed to revise the Amateur Service Part 97 rules in response to the ARRL’s so-called “Symbol Rate” Petition for Rule Making (RM-11708), filed in late 2013.  The proceeding, published in The Federal Register, will remain open for public comment until November 10.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Encourages Comprehensive Noise Floor Study

In anticipation of an FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC) investigation into changes and trends to the radio spectrum noise floor to determine if there is an increasing noise problem, ARRL asserted that such a study is long overdue.  The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology announced plans for the TAC study in mid-June and invited comments and answers to questions that the TAC posed concerning the methodologies for such a study.  The League’s comments also praised the TAC for tackling the issue and expressed the hope that the noise study might, provide a useful, objective basis for spectrum overlays and other future allocation decisions.  ARRL allowed that while a noise floor problem exists, “The magnitude of this problem and the extent of it in the 21st century is virtually unknown.”  (ARRL story)



Search Is On For GPS Buoys Intruding On 10 Meters

Radio amateurs in Portugal have intensified the search for GPS buoys that are illegally operating and intruding on 10 meters.  A recent International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS-R1) report indicated that one such buoy was operating on 28.100 MHz, using F1B mode (RTTY), 51 baud, 270 Hz shift.  IARUMS-R1 also has posted a lengthy and growing list of intruding driftnet fisheries buoys, transmitting CW in various parts of 10 meters.  A group of Portuguese radio amateurs has volunteered to identify the location of GPS buoy clusters that have been transmitting “for years” on 10 meters, an exclusive Amateur Radio allocation.  (ARRL story)



Companies To Plead Guilty For Fixing Prices Of Electrolytic Capacitors

The US Department of Justice announced this week that three companies have agreed to plead guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the US and elsewhere.  The companies are Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co Ltd, and Holy Stone Holdings Co Ltd.  “The Antitrust Division has now charged five companies and one individual for their participation in this international price-fixing conspiracy,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said in a news release.  “The electrolytic capacitors conspiracy affected millions of American consumers who use electronic devices containing capacitors every day.”  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

08/11/16 KB8CDJ, WALTON, DARRELL G, address updated from out of county

08/20/16 KD8SHD, Smith Jr, Gary L, address updated from out of county



FCC Enforcement News

California Amateur Fined: The FCC has imposed a $25,000 fine on a California ham for intentionally interfering with the transmissions of other radio amateurs and transmitting prohibited communications, including music.  The penalty represents the full amount proposed in a December 2015 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and, the FCC said in a lengthy Forfeiture Order, “is based on the full base forfeiture amount as well as an upward adjustment reflecting the ham’s decision to continue misconduct after being warned that actions violated the Communications Act and the Commission’s rules.”  (ARRL story)


New York City Unlicensed Operator: A New York City man faces a $23,000 fine for operating on Amateur Radio frequencies without a license and for transmitting a false officer-in-distress call on a New York City Police Department (NYPD) radio channel.  The FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture that details a history of complaints and alleged illegal radio operation dating back to 2012.  “The Commission previously warned (the man) that unlicensed operation of this station was illegal and that continued operation could result in further enforcement action,” the FCC said in the notice.  (ARRL story)



PRB-1 Legislative Update

HR1301, the House version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, has 126 cosponsors as of August 31, unchanged from July 31, including Tim Walberg of Michigan's 7th district, which includes Hillsdale County.


S1685, the Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, has four cosponsors as of August  31, unchanged from July 31.  The club has collected 24 pairs of signed letters to Michigan’s senators urging them to support the bill.


PRB-1 Resources

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 webpage

ARRL “Clarity on Parity” statement.  (ARRL story)  (Statement)

ARRL “Clarity on Parity” video.  (ARRL story)  (Video)

HR1301 status page

S1685 status page




ARRL National Parks On The Air Event: The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, and radio amateurs will be able to help mark the occasion with the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event.  NPOTA will run throughout 2016, with activity promoted and encouraged from each of the official NPS administrative units and affiliated areas across the US.  This includes all 59 National Parks as well as National Battlefields, Historic Sites, Memorials, Preserves, Reserves, Rivers, Seashores, National Scenic Trails, and other units.  (ARRL story)  (NPOTA website)  Click here for more detailed information about the contest from ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R.


Meeting Programs: We are always looking for interesting ideas for meeting programs.  It doesn’t always have to be about ham radio.  It could be something community related or maybe you know somebody that would be an interesting speaker.  Club Vice President Dan Sprow KC8RYF leads the effort to arrange meeting programs for the club.  If you have ideas for programs or are willing to present something yourself, contact Dan or any member of club leadership.



Upcoming Events

September 7 – Board Meeting

September 10 – Ham Breakfast

September 11 – Findlay Hamfest

September 15 – Club Meeting

September 17 – GRAHamfest (Wyoming)  DATE CHANGED

September 18 – Adrian Hamfest NEW LOCATION

October 5 – Board Meeting

October 8 – Ham Breakfast

October 16 – Kalamazoo Hamfest

October 20 – Club Meeting

October 30 – USECA Swap & Shop Hamfest (Madison Heights)



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