Hillsdale Communicator

August 2017


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be September 21.  No meeting in August.


Eight members attended the July 20 club meeting that was held at Hi-Lex Controls in Litchfield.  Tommy Palmer KD8WWW and Joe Gosla KD8UJS presented the program, a tour of the facility that manufactures window regulators for several vehicle companies.  We saw several processes on the manufacturing floor and visited the sound and the metrology labs.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, August 12, at 8am at Ray's Tavern, 14 S Main in Reading (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The July breakfast was held at theYesterday's Diner in Litchfield and was attended by five members and one XYL.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 15 as of July 31.  There were no new members or renewals in July.



Board Meeting

The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 9 at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members and invited guests are welcome to attend.  The meeting is rescheduled from August 2.



Election Day August 8

Tuesday, August 8 is Election Day in Michigan.  There are no elections scheduled in Hillsdale County.



New Amateur Radio Parity Act Bill Introduced In US Senate

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12.  Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors.  The measure will guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowner's association or subject to any private land use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes.  The Senate bill is identical to HR 555, which passed the US House of Representatives in January.  Click here to follow the progress of S 1534.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Calls For Members To Reach Out To Their Senators To Support S 1534

ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR is calling on League members to urge their US Senators to support the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017, S 1534.  ARRL has opened a RallyCongress page to simplify the task.  Roderick said the campaign to secure passage of the bill scored a major victory earlier this year when HR 555 passed unanimously in the US House of Representatives.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Publishes 2016 Annual Report

ARRL announces the release of its 2016 Annual Report.  This year’s report departs from past reports in that it focuses on the people who make up ARRL and the larger Amateur Radio community.  More than 140 call signs appear in the report, and more than 80 of these call signs belong not to ARRL Headquarters staff or Board members, but rather, to ARRL members.  Dan Romanchik KB6NU has an interesting review of the report on his website.  (ARRL story)  (Annual report)  (KB6NU review)  (KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog)



Special Events On The Air To Mark Solar Eclipse In August

Radio amateurs from several states will gather in southern Illinois on August 17-21 to operate special event station W9E, leading up to and during the 2017 solar eclipse on August 21.  W9E will operate from Marion, Illinois.  “This will be the first total eclipse on American soil since 1991, the first on the mainland United States since 1979 and the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918.  Check out this ARRL article to read about more special event stations.  (ARRL story)



Solar Eclipse Simulation

On August 21 a solar eclipse will cut across the entire United States.  Wherever you are you will be able to see it, even though the “totality” is only 70 miles wide, the whole country (even Alaska and Hawaii) will experience a partial eclipse.  You can check out what the eclipse will look like in your zip code with this neat simulation from vox.com.



NASA Will Use Research Jets To Take Images Of Sun During Solar Eclipse

Two NASA's WB-57F research jets will chase the coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the hopes of capturing "the clearest images of the Sun's outer atmosphere" ever.  The jets also have the goal to take the first thermal images of the planet Mercury while chasing the eclipse on August 21.  "These could well turn out to be the best ever observations of high frequency phenomena in the corona," Dan Seaton, co-investigator of the project, said in a NASA news release.  (mlive.com article)  (NASA eclipse website)



Revised FCC Form 605 Will Ask Applicants “The Felony Question”

A revised FCC Form 605, Quick-Form Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur, Restricted and Commercial Operator, and General Mobile Radio Services, going into effect in September will ask all applicants to indicate if they have been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony.  The Communications Act obliges the Commission to ask “the felony question,” as it did on the old Form 610 and still does on other applications.  This action will correct its omission on Form 605, which has existed for years.  Applicant responses and explanations will be used to determine eligibility to be a Commission licensee.  The FCC told ARRL that it’s still deciding whether to issue a public notice on the change.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Contest Rule Changes, Clarifications Announced

ARRL has announced rule changes and clarifications to League-sponsored contests.  These include an improved process for submitting logs and reporting scores.  Unless otherwise noted, these changes become effective starting with the September VHF Contest.  “These changes reflect current ‘best practices’ in the contest community and help us improve the quality of the competition and reporting of results,” ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke W9JJ said.  “For example, getting the log data into log checking more quickly will allow us to post preliminary results online for nearly all contests.”  (ARRL story)



History Of CB Radio

The website of radio amateur RF-Man has an interesting article on the history of CB radio that covers UK usage from the mid-1960s and the early development of CB in the USA.  The UK Citizen's Band Association was formed in 1976 to campaign for a legal CB service in the UK.  Check out the links on the Southgate Amateur Radio News page.



Great Lakes HamCon Update

Several club members and other county hams attended the Great Lakes HamCon Founding Member Club Gathering at Michigan International Speedway on July 15.  Attendees toured a hospitality suite on pit row, pit row, the winner’s circle and track in the finish line area as well as one of the garages.


Anyone interested in getting a campsite and/or flea market table?  Campsites and tables ordered at the same time have a greater chance of being together.  Contact a member of current club leadership by August 6.


The Great Lakes HamCon hamfest will be held at Michigan International Speedway on October 7 & 8.  Ticket prices are $17 in advance and $20 at the gate.  Each ticket is good for both days.  Children under 12 are free with a paid admission.  A child’s ticket must be requested when purchasing adult tickets.


Camping spaces are $35 without electric and $50 with electric for Friday and Saturday nights.


Flea Market spaces are available for purchase by phone only.  Spaces are $40 for a 12x20 foot space on pit road.  Adjacent spaces may be obtained only by ordering the spaces at the same time.  Call 888-905-7223 between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.


GLHAMCON Resources

Website: http://www.glhamcon.org

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

Flyer: http://glhamcon.org/FlyerDaytonColor051417.pdf

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/

Online Ticket Portal: http://www.mispeedway.com/About-MIS/Special-Events/Great-Lakes-HamCon.aspx

Most Recent Newsletter: http://glhamcon.org/newsletter/

Newsletters: June 17, June 6, May 8, April 2



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

None in July



Silent Keys

David Francis KA8HZU of Litchfield became a Silent Key on July 4.  Club members remembered him from working at the Jonesville Riverfest canoe races many years ago.  He was also interested in astronomy, liked double stars and had the nickname Double Dave.  He was also a big Elvis fan.  (Obituary)



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

House Version: 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)


Senate Version: S 1534, the Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the on July 12 and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  Click here to follow the progress of S 1534.


PRB-1 Resources

ARRL Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 webpage

HR 555 status page

S 1534 status page

ARRL RallyCongress page



FCC Enforcement News

Crackdown on Pirate Broadcasters Targets Amateur Licensees: The FCC Enforcement Bureau has targeted an amateur in New Jersey after receiving information that he was operating a radio station on 90.9 MHz from his residence.  In late May, the Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Violation to a California amateur alleging that he had engaged in pirate radio broadcasting on the FM band.  The Enforcement Bureau also sent Notices of Unlicensed Operation to other individuals in the Greater New York City area as well as to individuals and couples in Massachusetts and Florida.  (ARRL story)




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.


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 April 3.  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.  So far only Bill Hicks WB8FFO has qualified for 2017.


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

August 12 – Ham Breakfast

August 12 – Angola Hamfest

August 17 – No Club Meeting

September 9 – Ham Breakfast

September 9 – GRAHamfest

September 10 – Findlay Hamfest

September 16 – Hoosier Lakes Radio Club Tailgate Hamfest (Warsaw, IN)

September 17 – Adrian Hamfest

September 21 – Club Meeting

October 7-8 – Great Lakes HamCon  NEW HAMFEST

October 14 – Ham Breakfast

October 22 – Kalamazoo Hamfest

October 29 –  USECA Hamfest/Swap & Shop



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