Hillsdale Communicator

March 2017


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, March 16 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Everyone welcome.


There was no club meeting in February.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 11 at 8am at Yesterday's Diner, 119 Marshall in Litchfield (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The February ham breakfast was held at the Coffee Shop in North Adams and was attended by seven amateurs.



Membership Dues For 2017

Club membership dues for 2017 are due.  You must renew by March 31 to maintain your membership status.  Rates are unchanged from last year and are $15 for regular membership, $5 for household membership (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  All members are asked to print and fill out an updated membership application as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at club events or mailed to club treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS, 2175 Blackmer Drive, Jonesville, MI 49250.  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 16 as of February 28.  There was one new member and no renewals during the past month.  Twelve members have renewed for 2017.  Three members have not yet renewed and are in the grace period, which ends March 31.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on March 8.  The meeting is postponed from March 1 due to Ash Wednesday services at the church where the meeting is held.



Club Leadership Positions Available

Two club leadership positions remain open.  The Secretary and Board Member At Large positions had no nominations during annual elections in November 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 positions.



New Hams

Congratulations to new county ham Trever Bernath KE8FXV of Waldron.  He was granted his Technician license on February 1.



Daylight Saving Time Starts March 12

Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday March 12 at 2am.  Turn your clocks forward one hour.  During this period Hillsdale County will be on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) with a minus 4 offset from GMT/UTC.  Daylight Saving Time runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.



Another Outstanding Year For Amateur Radio Licensing

Last year was another outstanding one for Amateur Radio licensing.  “New Amateur Radio licenses issued were up by 1% over 2015, and this is the third year in a row that the total number of new licenses has exceeded 30,000,” ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Manager Maria Somma AB1FM reported.  She said 32,552 were granted in 2016, 32,077 in 2015, and 33,241 in 2014.  (ARRL story)



Michigan Tops ARES 2016 Annual Report For Volunteer Hours And Value

Recently ARRL Field Services staff have made a concerted effort to improve reporting within the ARES program.  The main objective was to use information, submitted from ARRL Section Emergency Coordinators (which is derived from monthly reports by Emergency Coordinators and District Emergency Coordinators) to generate a basic report showing the value that ARES provides to our communities, states and the nation through collaboration with partners at all levels.  The report shows that ARES members provided a total value of $7,947,225.  Michigan topped all states with 61,596 hours with a total value of $1,170,324.  (ARRL ARES E-Letter story)  (Annual report)



New Hamvention Site Drone Video

Check out this video from DX Engineering of the new Dayton Hamvention site at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Xenia, Ohio.  (Youtube video)



ARROW Sponsoring Bus To Dayton Hamvention

ARROW Communications Association is sponsoring a bus trip to the Dayton Hamvention on Saturday, May 20.  The cost for the round trip is $65 ($55 before April 1) and includes the bus ride from Ann Arbor, continental breakfast and the right to sell your stuff from the ARROW attended booth space in the flea market.  Click here for more details.  Please note that this does not include the Hamvention ticket.



Xenia High School Closing On May 19 To Let Students Attend Hamvention

Xenia High School has announced that it will cancel classes on Friday, May 19, so students there can attend the opening day of Hamvention.  The largest Amateur Radio gathering in the US will take place in Xenia for the first time this spring after being forced to relocate when long-time venue, Hara Arena, closed.  A message on the high school’s website says, “Xenia will welcome Hamvention to our community for the first time ever this year.  Hamvention will be taking place May 19-21.  Since this is the first year of Xenia hosting it, we want our students to have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the sessions associated with this program.  (ARRL story)



VOA Celebrates 75 Years On The Air

The Voice of America marked its 75th anniversary on February 1.  Not 2 months after the US officially entered World War II, a live, 15-minute shortwave broadcast was transmitted into Germany from a small studio in New York City.  Announcer William Harlan Hale then said, “We bring you Voices from America.  Today, and daily from now on, we shall speak to you about America and the war.  The news may be good for us.  The news may be bad.  But we shall tell you the truth.”   (ARRL story)  (VOA site)



ARRL Board Of Directors Adopts Legislative Objectives For 115th Congress

The ARRL Board of Directors unanimously adopted five legislative objectives for the 115th US Congress.  The first objective is to seek early congressional passage of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017.  The ARRL Board agreed that the League would oppose any legislation that would lead to the reallocation of Amateur Radio spectrum or to sharing arrangements that reduce the utility of existing allocations.  ARRL also will oppose legislation “that diminishes the rights of federal licensees in favor of unlicensed emitters or encourages the deployment of spectrum-polluting technologies.”  Further, the League will seek recognition of the unique resources, capabilities, and expertise of the Amateur Radio Service in any legislation addressing communication issues related to emergencies, disasters, or national security.  Finally, ARRL will support the complementary legislative objectives of other radiocommunication services.  (ARRL story)



AT&T’s Multi-Gigabit Wireless Over Power Lines Heading To Trials This Year

AT&T says it is in advanced discussions with power companies to start trials of a new broadband technology in at least two locations by this fall.  This is an update on the Project AirGig that AT&T announced in September 2016.  AirGig is a wireless technology even though it depends on the presence of power lines.  Antennas that are placed on utility poles send wireless signals to each other; AT&T says the power lines "serve as a guide for the signals," ensuring they reach their destination.  AT&T says the wireless signals could be used to deliver multi-gigabit Internet speeds for either smartphone data or home Internet service.  (Ars Technica story)



Alaska’s HAARP Facility Once Again Open For Business

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute 18 months ago.  “Experiments will largely focus on artificial radio-induced airglow that potentially can be photographed from nearly anywhere in Alaska”, UAF Researcher Chris Fallen KL3WX told the ARRL.  Fallen said that the HAARP transmissions will take place within the facility’s transmitter tuning range of 2.7 to 10 MHz and should be audible outside of Alaska and may even produce visible effects within the state.  (ARRL story)



FCC Invites Comments On ARRL Petition To Allocate New 5 MHz Band

The FCC has invited comments on the ARRL’s January 12 Petition for Rule Making to allocate a new, contiguous secondary band at 5 MHz to the Amateur Service.  The League also asked the Commission to keep four of the current five 60-meter channels (one would be within the new band) as well as the current operating rules, including the 100 W PEP effective radiated power (ERP) limit.  The federal government is the primary user of the 5 MHz spectrum.  The FCC has designated the League’s Petition as RM-11785 and put it on public notice.  Comments are due by March 20 and can be made by using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (RM-11785).  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

02/01/17 KE8FXV, Bernath, Trever D, new licensee Technician



Great Lakes Hamcon Update

The new Great Lakes HamCon hamfest will be held at Michigan International Speedway on October 7 & 8.  ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R has been making the rounds of area clubs soliciting support.



PRB-1 Legislative Update

New Amateur Radio Parity Act Bill Passed In US House: A new Amateur Radio Parity Act bill, HR 555,  was introduced in the US House of Representatives on January 13 and was passed just 10 days later.  The bill was sent to the Senate, where it was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  The bill calls on the FCC to establish rules prohibiting the application of deed restrictions that preclude Amateur Radio communications.  Click here to follow the progress of HR 555.  (ARRL story)



Weather Summary

An unusually mild February featured less than an inch of snow and several days suitable for warm weather activities instead of shoveling snow.  The average high was 44.2 degrees and the average low was 27.9 degrees   Total snow for the month was 0.8 inches in Hillsdale City.  Average temperatures for March are high 44 degrees and low 24 degrees, with a record high of 86 degrees in 2012 and a record low of negative 14 degrees in 1967.  The table shows a summary for Hillsdale City created with data from Accuweather.com and local measurements.  Total unofficial snowfall in Hillsdale City for winter 2015-2016 was 52.0 inches, compared to 40.3 inches in 2014-2015, 90.9 inches in 2013-2014, 28.6 inches in 2012-2013 and 39.6 inches in 2011-2012.



Snow (inches)

Average High Temp (degrees Fahrenheit)

Average Low Temp (degrees Fahrenheit)


0 / Trace

October not included in season totals.


Trace / 11.1 

53.1 / 53.1

36.8 / 35.3


18.2 / 1.8

30.6 / 45.2

21.6 / 33.7


8.7 / 7.9

34.4 / 31.7

24.2 / 18.8


0.8 / 16.3

44.2 / 36.8

27.9 / 21.4

Season To Date Totals

27.7 / 37.1 

40.4 / 41.7

27.5 / 27.3

Current Season / Last Season

March forecast vs last year actual

3.8 / 8.1

46.9 / 50.5

27.4 / 33.0




No SKYWARN Training In County This Year: SKYWARN training will not be offered in Hillsdale County in 2017.  Click here for a complete schedule of training for the National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office, including registration links.


Hillsdale County Emergency Management: HCEM is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test.  The first siren test and meeting of the year will be on March 6.  Contact the HCEM office if you are interested.  Meetings and siren tests are normally held on the first Monday of the month in the evening, March through October, with a few exceptions.


Monday Night Net Certificate: The club will award certificates for exceptional participation in the Monday night net.  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 2017.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.


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.  Contact Dan or any member of club leadership if you have ideas for programs or are willing to present something yourself.



Upcoming Events

March 8 – Board Meeting (postponed from March 1)

March 11 – Ham Breakfast

March 11 – Lowell Amateur Radio Youth Club Hamfest

March 16 – Club Meeting

March 18 – Michigan Crossroads Hamfest

March 19 – Toledo Hamfest

April 5 – Board Meeting

April 8 – Ham Breakfast

April 15 – Michigan QSO Party

April 20 – Club Meeting

May 19-21 – Dayton Hamvention  NEW LOCATION


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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


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