Hillsdale Communicator

November 2018


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, November 15, at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Church construction lingers and may necessitate a change in date and/or location.  Watch for additional email and website updates.  This is an important meeting because we will be electing leadership for next year.  Please consider volunteering to serve your club, your hobby, and your community.


There was no club meeting in October.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, November 10, at 8am at the Draft Horse 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 seven amateurs.



Club Leadership Elections

Club leadership elections for 2019 will be held at the November club meeting.  The club seeks enthusiastic, qualified amateurs to lead the club.  The club has not had a full slate of board members since 2014.  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.  We really, 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.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 7, 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.



Membership Report

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



Monday Night Net Certificate

Congratulations to Don Gambill KC8WAU and Dave King KQ8R for becoming the latest to qualify for an award certificate 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.  Bill Hicks WB8FFO and Joe Gosla KD8UJS qualified previously.  Click here to view participation results.



General Election November 6

Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day in Michigan.  Positions being voted on include governor, state and federal lawmakers, secretary of state, attorney general, university boards and county offices.  There are three statewide proposals on the ballot.  There may be additional items on the ballot in your precinct.  Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website to check if you are registered and find other election information, including a map to your polling place and a sample ballot.



ARRL, FCC Discussing Issue Of Uncertified Imported VHF/UHF Transceivers

ARRL has taken a minor exception to the wording of a September 24 FCC Enforcement Advisory pertaining to the importation, marketing and sale of VHF and UHF transceivers and is in discussion with FCC personnel to resolve the matter.  The Enforcement Advisory was in response to the importation into the US of certain radio products that are not FCC certified for use in any radio service, but identified as Amateur Radio equipment.  “While much of this equipment is actually usable on Amateur bands, the radios are also capable of operation on non-amateur frequencies allocated to radio services that require the use of equipment that has been FCC-certified,” ARRL said.  “Such equipment is being marketed principally to the general public via mass e-marketers and not to Amateur Radio licensees.”  (ARRL story)



FAA Reauthorization Act Overhauls Tower Marking Requirements

Thanks to ARRL efforts on Capitol Hill, language in the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, recently signed by the president, resolves the issue of problematic or preclusive rules affecting some rural Amateur Radio towers.  The previous FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 had instructed the FAA to enact tower-marking requirements, similar to those in some state statutes, aimed at improving aircraft safety in the vicinity of meteorological evaluation towers (METs).  These towers are typically between 50 and 200 feet and set up in rural areas, often on short notice.  (ARRL story)



FCC Propose Revised Interference Protection For Class A AM Stations

New FCC proposals would take into account the rising noise levels in the AM broadcast band (535-1605 kHz) caused by power lines, LED and CFL lights, computers, etc.  The FCC seeks comment on revised proposals for amending protections to Class A AM stations, which include alternative protection standards for critical hours and nighttime hours.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)  (FCC proposal)



Wireless Electricity Transmissions In Texas

KWTX reports scientists are studying wireless electricity transmission in Central Texas  An oddly shaped, but prominent, roadside construction project along Interstate 35-East just north of Carl’s Corner is actually a high-tech study into the feasibility of transmitting electricity from place to place without wires.  It has a large circular base, a smaller round structure jutting from the top, and on top of the pole sits a large, round, metal-looking ball.  Guesses ranged from some kind of electric-powered car charging port, or airport radar, maybe something to do with the Internet and even a suggestion that it might be a prop on a new Star Trek movie set.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News 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 done but can’t be used until it is inspected.  The new heating system is still not running yet.  Some tile work needs to be finished. The project final sign-off is pushed back from November 2.  (Church website updates)



Daylight Saving Time Ends November 4

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 4, 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.



Silent Keys

John Turner, Jr. KD8EWZ of Coldwater, and formally of Reading, died unexpectedly on October 1  Son of John Sr. KD8EWV and Cindy KD8HFA Turner of Reading, he was only 28 and leaves behind a wife and young son.  Click here to view obituary.


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Peggy Sue Gerron ex-K5PSG, who inspired singer Buddy Holly’s 1957 rockabilly hit “Peggy Sue,” died on October 1.  First licensed in 2004 as KE5AKW, she later obtained the vanity call K5PSG.  Her license expired in 2014, and K5PSG has since been reissued.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

10/06/18 N6CRV, BANNICK, DONALD H, license renewed

10/22/18 KC8VXH, Chase, Byron L, address updated to out of county



Snow Totals

Winter is almost here!  Here are the unofficial snowfall totals (in inches) 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, 2017.  Click here to follow the progress of HB4466.  The bill must be passed by the end of the legislative session on December 31 or it will die.



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)


If one of the bills does not pass before the end of the legislative session on December 31, the effort will have to be restarted in the next congressional session.




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)



Upcoming Events

November 7 – Board Meeting

November 10 – Ham Breakfast

November 15 – Club Meeting

November 17-18 – Fort Wayne Hamfest & Computer Expo

December 1 – FCARC WinterFest (Delta OH)



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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


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