Hillsdale Communicator

October 2018


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting time and location has not yet been determined.  Due to construction at the church (see below), our normal meeting room is not available this month.  Watch for more information to be announced after the board meeting, or check the club website calendar or news page.


There was no club meeting in September.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, October 13, at 8am at 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 seven.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 12 as of September 30.  No activity during the month.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 3, at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Due to construction, use the tower door off North Street.  All club members and invited guests are welcome.



Scientists Detect More Mysterious Radio Signals From Distant Galaxy

For the past decade, scientists have been puzzling over powerful, millisecond-long flashes of energy from deep space.  Some scientists think these “fast radio bursts,” or FRBs, come from natural sources, such as newborn neutron stars or black holes.  Others think they could be signals from alien civilizations.  (NBC News story)



Sweden’s Telecom Regulator To Require Fee To Run More Than 200 W

Effective on November 1, radio amateurs in Sweden who want to run more than 200 W PEP in certain Amateur Radio allocations will have to apply for a transmitter license to do so and pay a yearly fee.  Sweden’s telecoms agency PTS has announced a modified listing of license-free transmitters that spells out the changes for Amateur Radio and other services.  Sweden eliminated Amateur Radio licenses in 2004, and Amateur Radio in Sweden is “permission free,” but prospective radio amateurs still must pass an examination.  A certificate and a call sign, valid for life, are issued without any future fees.  Up until now, the maximum permitted power on most HF bands has been 1 kW with no additional authorization required.  (ARRL story)



IARU Region 1 Monitoring Reports Disappearance Of Broadcast Intruders

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) reports that two long-time broadcast intruders on 40 meters are gone.  IARUMS Coordinator Wolf Hadel, DK2OM, said in the August IARUMS newsletter that Radio Hargeisa in the Republic of Somaliland on 7.120 MHz, and Radio Ethiopia on 7.140 MHz, departed the band during the last week of August.  (ARRL story)



FCC Chairman Speaks At Hillsdale College

The Hillsdale College Federalist Society hosted Chairman Ajit Pai, who spoke on the future of digital opportunity.  “Your school’s unique commitment to a classical liberal arts education - to ‘understanding the good, the true, and the beautiful’ - isn’t just excellent preparation for life,” Pai said.  “It’s preparation for working in the digital age.”  (Hillsdale Collegian story)



ARRL News Hurricane Florance Coverage

09/10/18 – ARRL Headquarters, Hurricane Watch Net, SATERN Monitoring Active Storms

09/11/18 – ARRL Headquarters Emergency Response Team to Activate on September 12

09/14/18 – Hurricane Watch Net Remains Active as Florence Makes Landfall in North Carolina

09/14/18 – Hurricane Watch Net Stands Down after Nearly 40 Hours of Operation

09/16/18 – FCC Grants ARRL Temporary Waiver to Permit PACTOR 4 Use in Hurricane Relief

09/16/18 – South Carolina Amateur Radio Volunteers Assist with Emergency Communication



The Illustrated History Of The Magical 1968 Detroit Tigers Season

This has absolutely nothing to do with Amateur Radio, but 2018 marks 50 years since the Tigers won the World Series.  Check out this animated recap of the championship season.  (MLive story)



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.  The elevator is 95% complete and actually goes up and down.  Drywall is being installed.  The new heating system needs to be tested.  The project timeline has slipped due to unanticipated challenges and is currently to be complete on November 2.  (Church website updates)



Silent Keys

Dale Marks, ex K8GK and formally of Camden, became a Silent Key on September 16.  Click here to view obituary.



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

09/04/18 KD8TKR, Moore, Craig A, address updated to out of county

09/06/18 N8DCC, TROMBLEY, EDMOND R, license renewed



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

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)




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.  So far this year Bill Hicks WB8FFO and Joe Gosla KD8USJ have qualified.  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 30 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)


Great Lakes HamCon 2018 Has Been Cancelled: Great Lakes HamCon 2.0, set to occur in October at Michigan International Speedway, has been cancelled.  This would have been the second Great Lakes HamCon, which had been sanctioned as the 2018 ARRL Michigan State Convention.  In announcing the cancellation, sponsors said failure to come to a final agreement for the use of the speedway led to the difficult decision to cancel the event.  "With just 2 months remaining before the event, the issues caused by the lack of agreement were found to be insurmountable,” the announcement said.  Information about refunds for event tickets purchased is posted on the HamCon website.  (ARRL story)  (GL HamCon website refund info)



Upcoming Events

October 3 – Board Meeting

October 6-7 – Great Lakes HamCon CANCELED

October 13 – Ham Breakfast

October 21 – Kalamazoo Hamfest & Amateur Radio Show

November 10 – Ham Breakfast

November 17-18 – Fort Wayne Hamfest & Computer Expo



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