Hillsdale Communicator

November 2017


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, November 16, at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  This is an important meeting because we will be electing leadership for next year.  Everyone welcome.


The October meeting was canceled.



Ham Breakfast

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


The October breakfast was held at the Sidekick Cafe in Osseo and was attended by eight amateurs.



Membership Report

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



Monday Night Net Certificate

Five 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.  Tommy Palmer KD8WWW and Mark Seevers KC8QVX have also qualified.  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.



Club Leadership Elections

Club leadership elections for 2018 will be held at the November 16 club meeting.  If you are interested in serving as a member of club leadership, check the club constitution on our website for information about officer duties and election procedures.  Unfortunately, we've had less than a full slate of leaders for each of the past few years.  We really need members to step up and fill these positions.  Qualified amateurs must be willing and able to perform the requirements of the position.  Feel free to contact any of the current club leadership for more information.  Please consider volunteering to serve your club, your hobby and your community.  New energy and ideas are welcome.



Board Meeting

The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 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.



New Hams

Congratulations to two new hams in the county.  Thomas Love KE8HZL of Jerome and Mark Potes KE8HZN of Hudson were both granted Technician licenses on October 19.



Daylight Saving Time Ends November 5

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 5, at 2am.  Turn your clocks back one hour.  During this period Hillsdale County will be on Eastern Standard Time (EST) with a minus 5 offset from GMT/UTC.  Daylight Saving Time runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.



Election Day November 7

Tuesday, November 7, is Election Day in Michigan.  According to the Michigan.gov/vote website, the only Hillsdale County elections are in Hillsdale City and Litchfield City.  Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website to see if there is an election in your community, check to see if you are registered, find your polling location and generate a sample ballot.



Inaugural Great Lakes HamCon In The Books

The inaugural 2017 Great Lakes HamCon was held on October 7 & 8 at Michigan International Speedway.  The event also served as the 2017 Great Lakes Division Convention.  Guests included ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR.  There was a day and a half of forums in the meeting rooms along pit road as well as a one-day Tech class and subsequent VE test session.  The ARRL Banquet was held in the Champion’s Club atop the grandstands where Great Lakes Division Awards were presented to deserving individuals.  There were over 1,000 paid attendees.  Your feedback is welcome and can be sent to info@glhamcon.org.  (ARRL Michigan Section News story)



“Force Of 50” Volunteers’ Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Mission Ends

The “Force of 50” radio amateurs who deployed to Puerto Rico earlier this month as American Red Cross volunteers have ended their mission and will be back on the US mainland by week’s end.  They had been in Puerto Rico for about 3 weeks.  “The Force of 50 volunteers demonstrated an extraordinary range of skills possessed by this accomplished team,” said ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher NY2RF.  “There was no task that they wouldn’t tackle.  It also demonstrated the generosity of these volunteers, who not only performed their roles as communicators, but also engaged the population with their many acts of personal kindness.”  (ARRL story)



American Red Cross Hails “New Partnership” With ARRL

The American Red Cross (ARC) thanked ARRL and its “Force of 50” hurricane recovery volunteers who deployed to Puerto Rico earlier in October, and it suggested a new level of partnership now exists between the two organizations.  ARC Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services Harvey Johnson this week wrote ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR and ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher NY2RF to express his organization’s gratitude for “all your amazing volunteers for the unwavering commitment demonstrated during the response to this unprecedented disaster in Puerto Rico.”  Johnson said the team’s actions “made a significant difference” in the lives of those affected.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Expresses Gratitude For Outpouring Of Ham Aid Donations

ARRL is thanking the Amateur Radio community for its generosity in support of the ARRL Ham Aid Fund, which is making it possible to provide relief and recovery communications in Puerto Rico.  Overall, there have been more than 600 donations to the Ham Aid program in response to a call from ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR, and nearly $125,000 has come in from clubs and individuals.  Several Amateur Radio retailers and manufacturers also have stepped up to donate needed equipment.  Roderick said he was amazed at the overwhelming response, including those who answered his call to join the “Force of 50” now deployed in Puerto Rico.  (ARRL story)



UTC Approvals To Use 630- And 2,200-Meter Bands Arriving Via E-Mail

E-mails have gone out to an undetermined number of US radio amateurs from the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), approving the stations’ intention to use 630 and/or 2,200 meters.  The notices apparently began arriving on October 13.  Section 97.313(g)(2) of the Amateur Service rules requires that, prior to starting operation on either band, radio amateurs must notify UTC that they intend operate by submitting their call signs, intended band(s) of operation, and the coordinates of their antenna’s fixed location.  The new rules do not permit any mobile operation.  (ARRL story)



New Ham Bands Spring To Life

Amateur Radio’s two newest bands came to life on October 13.  oth 630 and 2200 meters now are available to radio amateurs who have notified the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) of their intention to operate and did not hear anything back during the ensuing 30 days.  “Many of us filed notices with the Utilities Technology Council on September 15, the day the notification procedure was announced,” said Fritz Raab W1FR, who coordinated the ARRL WD2XSH 630-Meter Experiment.  “We did not expect to hear from the UTC unless they were objecting to amateur operation.  Much to our surprise, on Friday, October 13, a number of operators received ‘okay’ notices.  So, the first amateur operations commenced that night.”  (ARRL story)



Tennessee RadioShack Re-Opens, Partners With Local Ham Radio Club

The Citizen Tribune newspaper in Tennessee recently reported that a newly re-opened RadioShack store in Jefferson City has partnered with the Lakeway Amateur Radio Club (LARC) to offer licensing classes.  Manager Reed Freers also created a new addition to the store, which he has described as the “Makers’ Space,” the newspaper said.  This open area of the store will be home to classes in such subjects as soldering, using drones, setting up a Facebook page, and configuring and using a smartphone.  (ARRL story)  (Citizen Tribune story)



FCC Scraps Telegraph Regulations

The FCC, continuing its drive to remove outmoded regulations and reduce the regulatory burden, has scrapped Telegraph regulations.  Reuters reported the last Western Union telegram in the United States was sent in 2006 and the commission had stopped enforcing the rules in 2013.  The FCC said in a notice it was removing “outmoded regulations” on telegraphs effective in November to “further our goals of reducing regulatory burdens, eliminating unnecessary rule provisions, and making the agency as efficient and effective as possible.”  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)



US Senate Confirms FCC Chairman Ajit Pai For A Second Term

The US Senate confirmed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for a second term on the Commission.  Pai would have had to leave the FCC at the end of the year, had he not been reconfirmed.  President Donald Trump nominated Pai for a new term in January.  His previous term as a commissioner had expired on July 1, 2016, and his new term is retroactive to that date.  (ARRL story)



ARRL News Hurricane Coverage

10/02/17 - “Force of 50” Amateur Radio Volunteers Deploying Throughout Puerto Rico

10/04/17 - Amateur Radio Volunteers in Puerto Rico Meet a Variety of Communication Needs

10/05/17 - FCC Grants Temporary Waiver to Permit Higher Symbol Rate Data Transmissions

10/06/17 - Ham Radio Volunteers in Puerto Rico Install Repeater, Work with Hospitals & Reunification

10/07/17 - ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Arrives in Puerto Rico, Volunteers Aid Hospitals

10/08/17 - ARRL and Local Volunteers in Puerto Rico Working Together in Storm Recovery

10/09/17 - Puerto Rico Amateur Radio Volunteer Force Deploys New Equipment, Groceries

10/10/17 - Red Cross Asks Puerto Rico Amateur Radio Volunteer Team Members to Stay Longer

10/10/17 - FCC Grants Experimental License for Project to Help Provide Cell Service in Puerto Rico

10/13/17 - Puerto Rico Volunteer Aids Burn Victim, Contacts Family via Ham Radio

10/13/17 - Global Effort Under Way to Restore Dominica’s Amateur Radio Capabilities

10/13/17 - ARRL 2018 Puerto Rico State Convention Canceled

10/15/17 - Amateur Radio Facilitates Another Patient Evacuation on Puerto Rico

10/18/17 - “Force of 50” Volunteers’ Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Mission Ends



ARRL News California Fire Coverage

10/12/17 - Ham Radio Bridging the Gap in Wildfire-Stricken California

10/13/17 - ARRL Section Manager Evacuates When Fire Comes Within Two Blocks

10/16/17 - Volunteer Shelter Duty Slots in Northern California Filled on the Fly “via RF”

10/18/17 - California Fire Situation Improves



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

10/04/17 KD8HFA, Turner, Cindy A, license renewed

10/16/17 KB8CDJ, WALTON, DARRELL G, license renewed

10/19/17 KE8HZL, Love, Thomas L, new licensee Technician

10/19/17 KE8HZN, Potes, Mark A, new licensee Technician



Public Service Activities

Brett Smith KC8ZDA helped out at the Crossroads Farms "Murder Under the Big Top" youth event on October 20 & 21.  Brett responded to a call from Doug Sanford N8WFB for volunteers to help out with the parking detail.



Winter's Coming!

The first few snowflakes have already flown around Hillsdale County.  Here is a recap of the unofficial snowfall amounts in Hillsdale City for the last few seasons.

































































Season Total









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)



FCC Enforcement News

FCC Affirms Huge Fine in New York Interference Case: The FCC has affirmed a huge fine of more than $400,000 on a New York man who has admitted to making unauthorized transmissions on New York City Police Department (NYPD) radio frequencies, maliciously interfering with officers’ communications.  The man is alleged to have transmitted false bomb threats, false claims of criminal activity involving firearms, false distress calls from purported NYPD officers and threats against individual NYPD officers.  The unauthorized transmissions began in 2016, according to the FCC.  (ARRL story)




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.


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 you 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

November 1 – Board Meeting

November 11 – Ham Breakfast

November 16 – Club Meeting & Leadership Elections

November 18-19 – Fort Wayne Hamfest

December 2 – Fulton County Winter Hamfest

January 18 – Annual Meeting



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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


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