Hillsdale Communicator

June 2018


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

There was no club meeting in May.


The next club meeting time and location has not yet been determined.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, June 9, at 8am at Sidekick Cafe, 4682 Hudson Road in Osseo (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The May breakfast was held at the Coffee Shop in North Adams and was attended by nine amateurs.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 12 as of May 31.  No activity during the month.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 6, at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Due to construction, use the main entrance off Manning Street (green doors).  All club members and invited guests are welcome.



Club Leadership Positions Remain Unfilled

Three club leadership positions remain open.  The Secretary, Treasurer 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 First United Methodist Church Construction Project Update

The First United Methodist Church in Hillsdale, site of many club meetings over the past few years, is undergoing a major construction project that started April 2.  The primary objective is to install an elevator that reaches all four levels.  Excavation of the elevator pit is complete.  Concrete for the elevator footing will be poured soon.  Underground plumbing upgrades have been completed and inspected.  Hillsdale Board of Public Works installed 3-phase electrical service for the elevator.  Walls for the mechanical room have been adjusted to make room for new equipment.  Contractors have been relocating water, sewer and heating lines to make room for the elevator shaft.  Work on building the shaft should begin soon.  The project also includes upgrading the heating system and the old boilers have been removed.  Work is proceeding on schedule to be completed in mid-September.  Click here to read an article that recently appeared in the Hillsdale Daily News.



Local Hams Support CROP Walk & CAA Head Start Picnic

CROP Walk: Two hams provided volunteer services to the Hillsdale County CROP Walk held May 6.  Walkers started at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsdale and walked along the Baw Beese Trail for two miles to Sandy Beach before returning.  Amateur radio volunteers directed traffic to parking areas and monitored the trail, assisting walkers as necessary.  Thanks to amateur radio volunteers Don Gambill KC8WAU and Dan Sprow KC8RYF.


CAA Head Start Picnic: Over 400 people attended the Community Action Agency Head Start Picnic held May 18.  Amateur radio volunteers Don Gambill KC8WAU and Wayne Jones N9UGT directed vehicles to parking spaces, maintaining an orderly flow of traffic throughout the event.



Field Day

Field Day is June 23-24.  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)



Hamvention Wrap-Up

Friday was damp at the Dayton Hamvention, but the rain showers did little to deter the crowds.  In fact, many seemed to even prefer overcast conditions to the alternative: sun and heat.  As with most Dayton Hamventions, Saturday was the big day.  The crowds were large with streams of people moving from building to building.  The rain showers persisted, accompanied by an afternoon thunderstorm, but the wet episodes were relatively brief.  On Sunday, the sun burst forth and the bargain hunters flocked to the Xenia Fairgrounds.  A number of exhibitors commented that it was the largest Hamvention Sunday attendance that they had seen in a long time.  (ARRL roundup articles:  Friday  Saturday  Sunday)



Report: Former Hamvention Home Hara Arena Getting A New Owner

The Dayton Daily News is reporting that developer Michael Heitz of Garrett-Day LLC Properties, is in the process of buying Hara Arena, which served as home to Dayton Hamvention from 1964 until 2016.  Heitz told the Dayton Daily News that he bought out income tax liens on the property from Montgomery County.  The six-building Hara Arena complex includes some 120 acres of real estate, 25 acres alone devoted to parking.  (ARRL story)



Amateur Radio Featured On National Public Radio

Ruth Willet KM4LAO is a college student at Kettering University in Flint who’s trying to revive the amateur radio club there.  Recently she was interviewed by Cynthia Canty, host of the NPR radio show Stateside.  The eight-minute segment covers how and why she got started in amateur radio and how she’s trying to get other students interested in our hobby.  (KB6NU blog story)  (Michigan Radio story and audio link)  Ruth was also the keynote speaker at the 2017 Dayton Hamvention DX dinner (Youtube link) and the 2018 winner of the Radio Club of America’s “Young Achiever Award.”  (ARRL story)



Radio Hams Involved In Nuclear Plant Emergency Exercise

The Herald-Palladium reports Southwest Michigan emergency response agencies have passed a test of their ability to respond to a simulated nuclear accident at Palisades nuclear power plant.  A response drill in southwest Michigan was well received by the US agencies of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Emergency service agencies plus schools, public health, amateur radio operators, Palisades, WCXT radio, the American Red Cross and others from Van Buren, Berrien and Allegan counties took part.  (Southgate ARC News story)  (Herald-Palladium story)



ARRL Asks FCC To Protect Amateur Radio Millimeter-Wave Bands

ARRL has asked the FCC to avoid authorizing developmental technologies in two Amateur Radio bands above 95 GHz that some radio amateurs may not be unaware of.  The ARRL commented on May 2 in response to a Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order in ET Docket 18-21, released in February.  The so-called “Spectrum Horizons” proceeding seeks to make the bands above 95 GHz “more readily accessible for new innovative services and technologies.”  (ARRL story)



Last Man Standing On Fox TV

Season 7 of the popular Last Man Standing show in which Tim Allen KK6OTD plays radio amateur Mike Baxter KA0XTT will be shown on Fox TV.  In May 2017, ABC inexplicably axed the show, which attracted over 8.3 million viewers.  (QRZ story)  (Southgate ARC News story)



Scouts BSA Expected To Enhance Ham Radio Opportunities For Girls

Boy Scouts of America’s Radio Scouting Coordinator Jim Wilson K5ND says that although the program name for ages 11 to 17 will change to “Scouts BSA” and begin admitting girls starting on February 1, 2019, the organization’s name remains the same.  “Perhaps the big difference is that girls will now be eligible to earn the Radio merit badge as part of their Scouting program,” Wilson told ARRL.  “Girls are already a part of Venturing, a coed program for ages 14 to 20.”  He pointed out that Venture Scouts of both sexes have always been able to earn the Amateur Radio Operator Rating Strip and the Morse Code Interpreter Strip.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Renews MoU With Salvation Army

ARRL and The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organizations that spells out how they will work together in disaster and emergency responses.  ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR signed the MoU on behalf of ARRL on Hamvention’s opening day in Xenia, Ohio.  SATERN National Liaison Bill Feist WB8BZH represented SATERN at the signing and delivered a copy of the MoU already signed by The Salvation Army.  ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey KI1U said ARRL and SATERN have enjoyed a formal working relationship since 1976, and that the MoU was up for renewal.  (ARRL story)



Guitarist Joe Walsh Promotes Amateur Radio In Media Announcements

Legendary rock guitarist Joe Walsh WB6ACU of the Eagles is featured in a just-released set of ARRL audio and video public service announcements promoting Amateur Radio.  ARRL will provide the 30- and 60-second PSAs to Public Information Officers to share with their Section’s television and radio stations.  The ARRL Media and Public Relations Department also will provide these announcement files directly to interested television and radio outlets.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

05/23/18 WA8PNN, GEE, IMO J, license status set to expired



Michigan Distracted Driving Legislation Update

Distracted driving bill was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives on March 30, 2017.  Click here to follow the progress of HB4466.



PRB-1 Legislative Update

Amateur Radio Parity Act Language Inserted in National Defense Authorization Act: ARRL has praised the work of US Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), and Mike Rogers (R-AL) for their successful efforts in securing language in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that asks the FCC to grant radio amateurs living in restricted communities the right to install effective outdoor antennas.  Text from the proposed Amateur Radio Parity Act HR 555 formed the basis for the Courtney-Hartzler-Rogers Amendment to the NDAA.  (ARRL story)


House Version: HR 555 was introduced in the US House of Representatives on January 13, 2017 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, 2017 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

Michigan Ham Who Interferes With Public Safety Communications Loses License: A Michigan ham has lost his license and been fined for interfering with public safety radio.  According to the FCC, Cameron Thurston N8CAM, a 19 year old from Grayling, admitted that “over a two-year period, he illegally operated on, and caused interference to, the Michigan Public Service Communication System. He was fined $3,000 and has to surrender his amateur radio license for two years   (KB6NU blog story)  (reddit story)




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 March 5.  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 2018.  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.


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, 2017, 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)


ARRL International Grid Chase: A new and exciting operating event kicked off on January 1, when the ARRL International Grid Chase got under way.  The objective is to work stations on any band (except 60 meters) in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible, and then upload your log data to ARRL’s Logbook of The World (LoTW).  Registration is free, and it costs nothing to use LoTW.  (ARRL story)  (Grid Square Calculator)


NASA On The Air Event: The Amateur Radio clubs at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers around the US have invited the Amateur Radio community to join the NASA On The Air (NOTA) special event.  NOTA started in December 2017 and continues through December 2018.  In addition to being the agency’s 60th anniversary, 2018 will mark 50 years since NASA orbited the first human around the moon, and 20 years since the first elements of the International Space Station (ISS) were launched into low-Earth orbit.  (ARRL story)


Rave Alert and Smart911: Hillsdale County Emergency Management (HCEM) recently announced that the county has contracted with RAVE Mobile Safety to provide two new products to better serve citizens.  Rave Alert provides officials the ability to quickly deliver urgent messages, including severe weather information, to targeted areas or the entire county.  Rave Alert replaces CodeRED, which the county has been using for a few years.  CodeRED will continue to automatically send tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings until June but will no longer be used by the county for special notifications starting soon after the first of the year.  Register for Rave Alert to continue receiving notifications.  Smart911 allows you to create a safety profile for your household that will be sent to 911 dispatchers when you dial 9-1-1.  Visit the County of Hillsdale website and click on the About Emergency Notifications link on the right side for more information and to sign up.  HCEM obtained a grant to pay for these services so there is no charge to citizens who choose to use it.  Any questions please call HCEM at 517-437-7384.


NCVEC Releases New Technician License Question Pool: The Question Pool Committee of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators has released the 2018-2022 Element 2 (Technician) question pool.  The pool will take effect on July 1, 2018, and will remain valid until June 30, 2022.  The current Technician question pool, released in 2014, is valid until June 30, 2018.  (ARRL story)



Upcoming Events

June 2 – FCARC Summer Fest

June 2 – Hudsonville IRA Hamfest

June 3 – Chelsea Amateur Radio Swapmeet

June 6 – Board Meeting

June 9 – Ham Breakfast

June 17 – Monroe Hamfest

June 23-24 – Field Day

July 14 – Ham Breakfast

July 19 – Club Meeting

July 22 – Van Wert Hamfest

July 28 – Central Michigan ARC Hamfest



Get this newsletter sent directly to your email by contacting us at K8HRC@arrl.net.


Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


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

HCARC Home Page