Hillsdale Communicator

May 2017


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, June 15 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  There will not be a club meeting in May.


The April meeting was held on April 20 and attended by six members and two guests.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, May 13 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 April breakfast was held at Ray's Tavern in Reading and was attended by seven amateurs.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 15 as of April 30.  There were no new members or renewals in April.



Repeater Update

On April 10, the KC8QVX 147.06 MHz repeater failed.  Investigation revealed that the power supply went bad, possibly as a result of storms that moved through the area during the day.  There may also be a problem with the antennae and feed line.  The cost of repairs is unknown at this time.


A local ham stepped up with a commercial grade power supply and a substantial monetary donation.  At the April club meeting it was decided to open a repeater fund account.  Further monetary donations were collected at the meeting.


We can use your help.  A savings account has been opened at County National Bank, titled as the Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club Repeater Fund.  If you want to make a donation, you may make it directly at any CNB branch (locations) or send to club treasurer:


Joe Gosla KD8UJS

2175 Blackmer Drive

Jonesville, MI  49250


Thanks for your support.



Amateur Radio Volunteers Needed CAA Head Start Picnic

The Community Action Agency (CAA) Head Start Picnic is Friday, May 19.  Amateur Radio volunteers with HTs are needed from 10:30am to 1:30pm to work the parking lot detail.  Free lunch is available to volunteers.  CAA is located at 55 Barnard in Hillsdale (map).  This is a weekday and many people are working, so if you are available we really need your help.  Check with your employer to see if they provide paid time off for community service.  Also note that May 19 is the first day of the Dayton Hamvention.  To volunteer, contact club President Don Gambill KC8WAU at 517-437-4172 or KC8WAU@arrl.net.  If you're not working and you're not going to the Hamvention, we need your help!



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.



Field Day

At this point, it looks doubtful that the club will sponsor a Field Day event this year.  If anyone would like to lead the effort or host the event, please contact club leadership.  (HCARC Field Day page)  (ARRL Field Day home page)  (ARRL Field Day locator page)  (ARRL Field Day merchandise)



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 3 at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members and invited guests welcome.



Election Day May 2

Tuesday, May 2 is Election Day in Michigan.  The only item in Hillsdale County is a millage proposal in the Jonesville Community School District.  Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website to generate a sample ballot so that you can arrive at the voting place prepared.



Announcing A New Net In Town!

Beginning on April 14 a new net hit the airwaves on the W8IRA Independent Repeater Association link system.  The IRA Link System Michigan Noon-time Roundup Net is held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with the possibility of expanding to a five-day schedule if interest and participation are sufficient.  The purpose of the net is to promote activity on the IRA Link System, and also to help identify and trouble-shoot any problems that might be occurring with system repeaters.  (ARRL Michigan Section post)



Jackson/Lansing TV Station Going Off-Air Due To FCC Spectrum Auction

WHTV, a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station serving Jackson and Lansing, has announced it will go off the air.  The announcement, posted on the station's website home page, says WHTV will cease broadcasting at midnight on May 17 (pushed back from April 30).  The development comes as part of the Federal Communications Commission's Broadcast Incentive Auction, part of the FCC's efforts to redistribute spectrum usage rights in the U.S.  (Mlive article)  (Wikipedia WHTV article)



Club Log Is Now A LoTW Trusted Partner

Club Log has become the first logging service to achieve Trusted Partner status for Logbook of the World (LoTW), ARRL and Club Log have announced.  Radio amateurs holding LoTW “callsign certificates” who have uploaded logs to Club Log now can readily cross-post them to the highly secure LoTW, the world’s largest repository for confirming Amateur Radio contacts.  (ARRL story)



Article Links Amateur Radio Growth To Emergency Communications

An April 11 article, “Emergency Communications Driving Increase in Amateur Radio Operators,” in Emergency Management magazine links the growth in Amateur Radio numbers to interest in emergency communications.  “There has been a tremendous amount of interest in emergency preparedness since 9/11 and Katrina, and this is true for the Amateur Radio community as well,” ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey KI1U told the publication.  “Emergency communications is a gateway into Amateur Radio, and many join our ranks through an interest in being better prepared themselves and as a way to serve their community.”  (ARRL article)



FCC PRS Revisions Impact GMRS, FRS, CB, Other Part 95 Devices

The FCC announced rule changes affecting the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), the Family Radio Service (FRS), the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS or “CB”), as well as other applications that fall under the FCC’s Part 95 Personal Radio Services (PRS) rules and regulations.  Part 95 devices typically are low-power units that communicate over shared spectrum and, with some exceptions, do not require an individual user license from the FCC.  Common examples of PRS devices include “walkie-talkies;” radio-control cars, boats, and planes; hearing assistance devices; CB radios; medical implant devices; and Personal Locator Beacons.  (ARRL story)



Great Lakes HamCon Update

The Great Lakes HamCon hamfest will be held at Michigan International Speedway on October 7 & 8.  Hamfest organizers have a booth at the Dayton Hamvention and need volunteers to staff it.  Those interested in volunteering can send an email to volunteer@glhamcon.org.  The hamfest website is http://www.glhamcon.org.


GLHAMCON Resources

Website: http://www.glhamcon.org

ARRL Hamfest Info Page: http://www.arrl.org/hamfests/great-lakes-division-convention-1

Window Sticker & Ordering Instructions: http://glhamcon.org/sticker.html

Recruitment Letter: http://glhamcon.org/letter.html

Volunteer Email Address: volunteer@GLHamCon.org

GL HamCon Online Store: https://glhamcon.qbstores.com/



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

04/03/17 KJ4VOC, SANBORN JR, EDWARD E, address updated from out of county

04/17/17 N9UGT, JONES, WAYNE K, address updated from out of county



Weather Summary

April was a warm month compared to last year.  The average high was 61.1 compared to 56.2 last year.  The average low was 41.5 compared to 36.6 last year.  Total snow for the month was 0.4 inches in Hillsdale City, brining to total for the season to 32.0 inches.  Hopefully the snow is done for the season.  Last year we had a trace of snow in May.  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)


Trace / 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


3.9 / 8.1

42.1 / 50.5

27.3 / 33.0


0.4 / 6.8

61.1 / 56.2

41.5 / 36.6

Season To Date Totals

32.0 / 52.0

44.1 / 45.6

29.8 / 29.8





Current Season / Last Season



Michigan Distracted Driving Legislation Update

Distracted driving bill was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives on March 30.  Click here to follow the progress of HB4466.



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)



FCC Enforcement News

FCC Proposes Levying Huge Fine On New York Police Radio Jammer: The FCC has proposed a fine of more than $400,000 on a Queens, New York, man who has admitted making unauthorized transmissions on New York City Police Department (NYPD) radio frequencies, maliciously interfering with NYPD officers’ communications.  The man is alleged to have transmitted false bomb threats, false claims of criminal activities involving firearms, false distress calls from purported NYPD officers, and threats against individual NYPD officers.  (ARRL story)  (FCC Notice of Apparent Liability)




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 next siren test and meeting will be on May 2.  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.


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 and includes the bus ride from Ann Arbor, continental breakfast, door prizes 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.


Michigan State Parks On The Air: Starting April 1 Michigan hams embarked on the most ambitious on-the-air project ever, the Michigan State Parks on the Air (MSPOTA).  Previous State Park activations on the air around the country have focused on a single weekend.  The Michigan State Parks system as a whole will be 100 years old in 2019.  Some of our parks actually began operation in 1917.  Hence, the celebration began in 2017 and continues through 2019.  That is three years of State Parks on the Air!  Lots of time for activators and chasers alike!  This event includes 117 MDNR Parks & Recreation sites including State Parks, Recreation Areas, Scenic Sites and State Trails rotated over the 3 years.  That adds up to about 50 parks across the state active in each event year.  (More info at MSPOTA website)



Upcoming Events

May 3 – Board Meeting

May 7 – CROP Walk

May 13 – Ham Breakfast

May 19 – CAA Head Start Picnic

May 19-21 – Dayton Hamvention  NEW LOCATION

June 3 – Fulton County Amateur Radio Summer Swap

June 3 – IRA Hamfest (Hudsonville)

June 4 – Chelsea ARC Swap Meet

June 15 – Club Meeting

June 18 – Monroe Hamfest

June 24-25 – Field Day

July 7-8 – ARRL Michigan Section Summer Family Outing

July 16 – Van Wert Hamfest

July 29 – CMARC “Outdoor” Hamfest (Holt)



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