Hillsdale Communicator

December 2018


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Christmas Party

The Christmas party will be held on Saturday, December 15 at 2pm at the Fayette Street Church of Christ, 131 W Fayette in Hillsdale (map).  The church is located directly behind the Market House.  All area hams and their guests are welcome.  Dinner will be a potluck.  The club will provide the meat dishes, probably chicken and ham.  Appetizers, side dishes and desserts are suggested to bring.  Drinks (water, coffee, tea) and table service will be provided.  There will be a gift exchange ($10-$15) for those who want to participate.  RSVPs are requested and can be made by clicking here or by contacting Don Gambill KC8WAU at KC8WAU@arrl.net or 517-437-4172.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, December 8 at 8am at Ray's Tavern, 14 S Main in Reading (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


This November Ham Breakfast was held at the Draft Horse Diner in Litchfield and was attended by five amateurs.



Club Leadership Elections

Club leadership elections for 2019 were to have been held at the November meeting.  The meeting was canceled.  Elections will be held in January or February.  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

No Board meeting in December.  The next Board meeting will be in January.



Membership Dues For 2019

Rates are unchanged from last year and are $10 for regular membership, $5 for household membership (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  You must print and fill out an updated membership application as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at club events or mailed to club Vice President Dan Sprow KC8RYF (click for address).  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.  You must renew by March 31 to maintain your membership status.



Membership Report

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



Monday Night Net Certificate

Congratulations to Logan Crook K8LRC 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, Joe Gosla KD8UJS, Don Gambill KC8WAU and Dave King KQ8R qualified previously.  Click here to view participation results.  The Board has decided that the program will run again in 2019.



Amateur’s Tower Request Upsets Neighbors

A Kettering (Ohio) resident wants to put up an amateur radio tower on his property and some residents who live on the road don’t want the tower built in their neighborhood.  More than 30 people who live in the neighborhood submitted a petition to the Kettering Board of Zoning Appeals Monday night at a hearing to discuss the issue.  Wynn Rollert W6CDR has requested approval to be granted a variance on his property in order to install a 50-foot tower in the rear of his yard.  Kettering’s Zoning Code allows for amateur radio towers to be 25-feet without a variance, so that is why he wants approval for the extra 25-feet.  (Dayton Daily News story)



India Gains Three New Bands; Sweden, Montenegro, Lithuania Get 60-Meters

Radio amateurs in India now have access to three new bands.  India’s Ministry of Communications’ Department of Telecommunications has published an updated National Frequency Allocation Plan, effective October 25, which lists the new bands at 5 MHz (60 meters), 472 kHz (630 meters), and 136 kHz (2300 meters).  All allocations are on a secondary basis.  Sweden’s IARU member-society SSA reports that radio amateurs there gained routine secondary access to 5,351.5 – 5,366.5 kHz at 15 W EIRP on November 1.  (ARRL story)  Montenegro and Lithuania have also received 60 meter allocations (ARRL 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 project is pretty much complete except for a few details, such as painting and trim work.  The elevator has been inspected and is in use.  The building dedication is scheduled for January 20.  (Church website updates)



Silent Keys

Dennis McCormick, of Jonesville, passed away November 20.  A former amateur, he had not been licensed for many years.  Click here to read the obituary.



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

11/23/18 KD8YTR, Wells, Marc S, address updated from out of county to in county



Snow Totals

This year the first measurable snowfall occurred on November 9, the earliest in the last eight seasons.  Fall isn’t even over yet and we’ve already had a good dose of winter weather with 10 inches of snow in November.  According to data from accuweather.com, in the 50 days starting October 12 and ending November 30, there have only been 6 days where the high temperature was above the historical average.  During that period, the average high temperature was 7.72 degrees below normal.  Here are the unofficial snowfall totals (in inches) in Hillsdale City for the last few seasons.



















































































Season Total


















Date of First Measurable Snowfall











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.



FCC Enforcement News

FCC Fines Amateur Radio Licensee $25,000 For Operating Unlicensed FM Station: A New Jersey Amateur Radio licensee has been penalized $25,000 for allegedly continuing to operate an unlicensed FM radio station.  The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order on October 30.  The fine followed an April 2018 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) issued for alleged “willful and repeated violation” of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934 by operating an unlicensed FM radio station on 90.9 MHz.  (ARRL story)


California Radio Amateur Receives Notice of Unlicensed Operation: The FCC Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NoUO) to a California amateur for allegedly operating an unlicensed FM radio station.  An Enforcement Bureau agent from the FCC’s San Francisco Office responded to a complaint of an unlicensed FM station operating on 95.7 MHz .  The agent confirmed by direction-finding techniques and the amateur subsequently admitted that he was the operator of this station, the FCC said in the NoUO.  (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.  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

December 1 – FCARC WinterFest (Delta OH)

December 15 – Christmas Party (RSVP here)

January 12 – KB6NU One-Day Tech Class



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