Hillsdale Communicator

October 2017


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, October 19, at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Everyone welcome.


Six members attended the club meeting held on September 21.  Club Treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS presented the program, an overview of the Allstar Link system that was recently installed on the 147.06 repeater.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, October 14, 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 September breakfast was held at the Coffee Shop in North Adams and was attended by nine amateurs.



Membership Report

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



Monday Night Net Certificate

Three amateurs have qualified for the Monday Night Net Exceptional Participation Award.  Bill Hicks WB8FFO, Joe Gosla KD8UJS and Dan Sprow KC8RYF all have earned enough points to qualify and were presented certificates at the September club meeting.  The purpose of the program is to encourage participation in the net, both as check-ins and as net control station.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.



Board Meeting

The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 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.



Allstar Link System Installed On Local Repeater

The local repeater system recently had an Allstar Link node installed on it.  Allstar is a system similar to IRLP that allows repeaters to be linked through the Internet enabling communications worldwide.  The node number is 46089.



Equipment For Sale

Bill Hicks WB8FFO has some equipment for sale.  Included are a Kenwood TS570 transceiver (like new), hand mike, Heil GM-4 gold desk mike, Dentron Super tuner plus and a cross needle SWR power meter (300 w).  Asking $600.  If interested contact Bill at 517-287-4286.



Amateur Radio’s Force Of Fifty Answers The Red Cross Call In Puerto Rico

Fifty of the nation’s most accomplished Amateur Radio operators responded within 24 hours to the call of the American Red Cross to deploy to Puerto Rico and provide emergency communications.  At the behest of Red Cross, ARRL rallied the US Amateur Radio community to provide up to 25 two-person teams of highly qualified hams.  The group’s principal mission will be to move health-and-welfare information from the island back to the US mainland, where that data will be entered in the Red Cross “Safe & Well” website.  (ARRL story)  (ARRL request for volunteers story)  (KB6NU blog story)



ARRL Seeks Donations To Ham Aid Fund

In a letter to all ARRL members, ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR asked for contributions to ARRL’s Ham Aid fund.  “Equipment has been flying out the door since Hurricane Harvey struck the US mainland,” he emphasized.  “From meeting requirements in aid of Hurricane Irma victims in the US Virgin Island and Florida, our store of Ham Aid kits has been depleted.”  ARRL’s Ham Aid program loans Amateur Radio equipment kits to established Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups and partner agencies during disaster responses, in order to establish Amateur Radio communication support.  Ham Aid is supported by donations from individuals and corporations, including many of our ham radio industry partners.  To make a donation online, go to the ARRL donation form and select “Ham Aid.”  To donate by mail, print a donation form, and mail it with your check payable to ARRL, noting “Ham Aid” on the memo line of your check.



During Hurricanes, Emergency Officials Turn To Ham Radio

Operators of amateur radios, also known as ham radios, play a vital role in the gathering of information during hurricanes like Irma.  “We take for granted our communications,” said Etta LoPresti, emergency management coordinator for Indian River County.  “But when you have something catastrophic like they do in the Keys and in the west coast of Florida, where you’re not going to have communication, these amateur radio operators take care of things for us.”  (USA story)



Michigan's Most Notable Natural Disasters

When it comes to natural disasters, Michigan's bragging rights often boil down to their scarcity here.  Hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires are not the type of events we worry much about happening in this state.  Which is not to say that natural disasters in Michigan are nonexistent.  From tornadoes to blizzards to floods, we've had our tangles with Mother Nature.  Here are some of Michigan's more memorable natural disasters.  (MLive story and list)



FCC Opens 630 & 2200 Meter Bands; Must Register Before Operating

The FCC has approved usage of 630 meter and 2200 meter bands for three years.  You must register your station information and wait 30 days prior to operating.  You may not be approved if your station is within one kilometer of a Power Line Carrier system.  Mobile operation on the use bands is not allowed.  (ARRL story)  An updated ARRL frequency chart is now available that includes the new bands.  (ARRL download page)



FCC’s Updates Rules Governing Personal Radio Services

The FCC recently adopted a comprehensive reorganization of and update to the rules governing the Personal Radio Services (PRS).  These include a wide variety of wireless devices used by the general public for personal communication, including hand-held Family Radio Service (FRS) transceivers, radio-controlled models, Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs), medical implant devices, and others.  The FCC also enhanced the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) to allow new digital applications, allot additional interstitial channels, and extend license terms from 5 to 10 years.  It also allotted additional channels to the FRS and increased allowable power on certain FRS channels from 0.5 W to 2 W.  It also updated the Citizens Radio Service (CB) rules to allow hands-free headsets, eliminate a restriction on DX communication, and remove other outdated requirements.  (ARRL story)



Solar Eclipse Effects On Amateur Radio

At the 36th annual ARRL and Tucson Amateur Packet Radio Digital Communications Conference (DCC), held in September in St Louis, HamSCI members presented preliminary evidence that the August 21 solar eclipse had a significant effect on HF propagation.  In their presentation, “HamSCI and the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse,” HamSCI members showed initial results of the Solar Eclipse QSO Party and other HamSCI eclipse experiments.  Their presentation demonstrated that the number of 14-MHz Reverse Beacon Network spots decreased, while the number of 1.8 MHz and 3.5 MHz spots increased during the eclipse totality.  The HamSCI researchers say this suggests a decrease in both maximum usable frequency and D-layer absorption during the eclipse.  (ARRL story)  Professional ionospheric researcher Phil Erickson W1PJE of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at MIT’s Haystack Observatory, said he can say categorically that there was a definite, large, and measurable effect in the ionosphere from the eclipse.  (ARRL story)



MCM Shutters Plants, Announces Merger With Newark element 14

MCM Electronics, in business for 40 years, will close two plants and its corporate headquarters in Ohio and lay off more than 90 workers, the Dayton Daily News reported earlier this summer.  The company, which carries an electronics inventory of more than 300,000 items, including 3-D printers, tools, wire, cable, and other items, has been a Dayton Hamvention vendor.  MCM announced that it is partnering with Newark element 14 and that MCM products will become available via the Newark website   (ARRL story)



ARRL News Hurricane Coverage

There was a slew of emergency activity in September as Hurricanes Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee and Maria churned away.  ARRL News published several hurricane related stories.


09/04/17 - Some Amateur Radio Preparations Under Way for Hurricane Irma

09/04/17 - Hurricane Watch Net to Activate for Hurricane Irma

09/05/17 - FEMA Announces Regions that Could Activate on 60-Meters for Hurricane Irma

09/05/17 - Amateur Radio Preparations Ramp Up as Irma Strengthens to Category 5 

09/06/17 - Hurricane Watch Net Now Watching Three Atlantic Basin Hurricanes

09/07/17 - ARES Teams in Three West Central Florida Section Counties Ready to Support Shelters

09/08/17 - VoIP Hurricane Net to Activate

09/08/17 - Operating Procedures During Hurricane Irma

09/08/17 - Hurricane Irma Amateur Radio Emergency and Priority Traffic is Moving; Health & Welfare Traffic Queued For Later Delivery

09/11/17 - Amateur Radio Volunteer Response Continues to Historic Hurricane Irma

09/12/17 - Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net Requests Clear Frequencies

09/12/17 - Hurricane Irma Extensively Damages International Broadcast Station in Florida

09/15/17 - St.  Croix Amateur Radio Club Supports Irma Response in US Virgin Islands

09/18/17 - Hurricane Redux: Amateur Radio Community Goes on Alert for Maria

09/18/17 - Caribbean Emergency Weather Net Activates; FEMA Announces Interoperability Nets

09/19/17 - W1AW Supporting Partners in Hurricane Response; Bulletins and Visitor Operations Currently Suspended

09/20/17 - Reports of Hurricane Devastation on Dominica Relayed by Amateur Radio, Picked up by Media

09/20/17 - Caribbean Emergency Weather Net Requests Clear Frequency

09/21/17 - Hurricane Watch Net, VoIP Hurricane Net, WX4NHC Stand Down from Maria Activations

09/22/17 - Colombian Radio Amateurs Asked to Assist in Reconnecting Family Members in Caribbean

09/22/17 - Caribbean Emergency Weather Network Handling High Volume of Post-Storm Traffic

09/22/17 - W1AW Suspending Transmissions This Evening, Will Pass Health-and-Welfare Traffic from Puerto Rico

09/23/17 - Amateur Radio Reports: Arecibo Observatory Dish Sustained Serious Damage from Maria

09/23/17 - Caribbean Situation Critical, Clear Frequencies Essential

09/24/17 - American Red Cross Asks ARRL’s Assistance with Puerto Rico Relief Effort

09/25/17 - Amateur Radio Volunteers Aiding Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

09/26/17 - Amateur Radio’s Force of Fifty Answers the Red Cross Call in Puerto Rico



ARRL News Mexican Earthquake Coverage

ARRL News articles about amateur radio support in the wake of earthquakes in Mexico.


09/08/17 - Emergency Net Activated in Wake of Earthquake in Mexico

09/12/17 - State of Emergency Continues in Southern Mexico, Emergency Net Could Activate

09/13/17 - Help the Ham Aid Response Effort in Florida and the US Virgin Islands

09/19/17 - Amateur Radio Emergency Net Active in Wake of Earthquake in Central Mexico



Great Lakes HamCon Update

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.  The dollar off advanced ticket promotion ended on June 30.


Volunteers are still needed.  You can volunteer by sending an email to volunteer@GLHamCon.org.

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 September.



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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)




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 smart phone.  The net schedule and results are posted on the club website.


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

October 4 – Board Meeting

October 7-8 – Great Lakes HamCon  NEW HAMFEST

October 14 – Ham Breakfast

October 19 – Club Meeting

October 22 – Kalamazoo Hamfest

November 16 –Club Meeting & Leadership Elections

November 18-19 – Fort Wayne Hamfest

December 2 – Fulton County Winter Hamfest


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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


Send us your comments and suggestions to K8HRC@arrl.net

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