Hillsdale Communicator

October 2016


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meeting

The next club meeting will be November 17.  This is an important meeting because we will be electing leadership for next year.  We need to have a quorum present in order to hold the elections.  No club meeting in October.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, October 8 at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The September ham breakfast was held at the Sidekick Cafe in Osseo and was attended by eight.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 15 as of September 30.  No activity in September.



Board Meeting

The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 5 at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members and invited guests welcome.



Monday Night Net

Don’t forget to check in to the net every Monday at 7pm on the 147.06 MHz repeater.  Different flavors of the net take place every week.  The net runs anywhere from five to 20 minutes, depending on the number of check-ins.  Participating regularly in a directed net helps you keep your operating skills sharp.  Set up an alarm in your calendar on your computer or cell phone.  The net schedule and results are posted on the club website.



Monday Night Net Certificate Update

Three amateurs have qualified for an award certificate for exceptional participation in the Monday night net.  Bill Hicks WB8FFO, Joe Gosla KD8UJS and Don Gambill KC8WAU 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.  The certificate will be awarded to participants that attain at least 75 points during 2016.  There is still time for amateurs, especially club members, to attain enough points to qualify before the end of the year.  Serving as net control earns extra points.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.



Hillsdale County Central Dispatch 911 Construction Update

Construction continues on the new Central Dispatch 911 building in the Hillsdale Manufacturing and Technology Park.  Finishing touches continue on the interior.  Minor imperfections in the drywall and paint are being marked for correction.  Work is progressing on the interior doors.  The 125 Kw generator was serviced and started for the first time and the transfer switches were tested.  The Uninterruptible Power Supply was activated and tested.  Parking lot paving is in progress.  The building should be complete by mid to late October.  Some additional tasks need to be completed before 911 operations can move in.  The new site is located at 204 Development Drive (map).  Click here to view a recent article about the new building from the Hillsdale Daily News.



Vintage Radio For Sale

Radio is a Montgomery Wards Airline Radio Model 62-708 from the late 1930s.  Click here to see some Internet pictures of a similar radio.  Receives broadcast and short wave bands.  If interested contact Bonnie or Jo at 517-437-2412.



US House Passes Amateur Radio Parity Act

The US House of Representatives approved the Amateur Radio Parity Act, HR1301 on a voice vote under a suspension of the rules.  The focus of the campaign to enact the legislation into law now shifts to the US Senate.  The House victory culminated many years of effort on ARRL’s part to gain legislation that would enable radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities to erect antennas that support Amateur Radio communication.  The measure calls on the FCC to amend its Part 97 rules “to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private land-use restrictions, and for other purposes.”   The earlier Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, S1685, is no longer in play.  (ARRL story)  The ARRL is asking amateurs to contact their Senators to urge their support of the bill and has created a website to make this task easy.  Click here to follow the progress of HR1301.



FCC Updates Notice On Amateur Radio Operation In CEPT Countries

The FCC has updated its Public Notice on Amateur Radio operation in European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) countries that have adopted certain recommendations regarding the US.  The updated notice includes some additional countries where operation is permitted.  Licensees operating in CEPT countries must have a copy of the Public Notice, proof of US citizenship, and evidence of an FCC Amateur Radio license grant.  These must be shown to “proper authorities” upon request.  (ARRL story)



Higher Bands Will Pick Up This Fall, Smaller Solar Cycles Lie Ahead

Propagation guru Carl Luetzelschwab K9LA of Fort Wayne, says that while conditions on 12 and 10 meters will pick up as they always do in the fall, F2 propagation on those bands will decline thereafter, with only sporadic E during the summer months as a possible saving grace.  On the other hand, the lower bands (160, 80, and 40 meters) should be good going forward, and 20 and 17 meters will be the mainstays of daylight HF propagation.  Luetzelschwab made these observations during an World Wide Radio Operators Foundation sponsored webinar.  He said data suggest that Cycle 24, the current solar cycle, will bottom out in 2020, and advised that radio amateurs may need to lower their expectations on the higher bands (and 6 meters) looking beyond that.  (ARRL story)  (View webinar)  Luetzelschwab was recently appointed Vice Director of the ARRL Central Division.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Outgoing QSL Service Rate Increase

Effective November 1, the rate for 1 ounce of outgoing QSLs via the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service will increase to match the 1 ounce USPS international postage rate.  As of September 2016, this rate is $1.15 per ounce (about 10 cards).  An additional service fee of $7 will be charged per individual transaction.  Although ARRL believes it’s important to maintain the long-standing tradition of the service as a membership benefit, increased administration costs require an increase in rates.  (ARRL story)



AT&T’s New “Airgig” Not Your Father’s BPL

Recalling the earlier efforts of the FCC and telecommunications and utility interests to roll out Broadband over Powerline (BPL), the Amateur Radio community has been buzzing with questions about AT&T’s just-announced “AirGig” BPL plan to make broadband available via apparently similar technology.  ARRL’s earlier anti-BPL campaign and market forces eventually led to the demise of the prior BPL initiative.  ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare W1RFI, who spearheaded the earlier effort to quantify the BPL threat to Amateur Radio’s HF spectrum and remains the resident expert on the subject, said this newest BPL incarnation should not pose an interference issue for radio amateurs.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

09/27/16 K8LRC, CROOK, LOGAN R, address updated to out of county



PRB-1 Legislative Update

The US House passed HR1301 on September 12.  (ARRL story)  The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration.  The ARRL is asking amateurs to contact their Senators to urge their support of the bill and has created a website to make this task easy.


The Senate version of the bill (S1685) is no longer in play.


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




FCC “Symbol Rate” Proposal Open For Comments: 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, remains open for public comment until November 10.  (ARRL story)


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

October 5 – Board Meeting

October 8 – Ham Breakfast

October 16 – Kalamazoo Hamfest

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

November 2 – Board Meeting

November 12 – Ham Breakfast

November 12-13 – Fort Wayne Hamfest

November 17 – Club Meeting & Leadership Elections



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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


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