Hillsdale Communicator

May 2019


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).


There was no club meeting in April.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, May 11, at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The April breakfast was held at Spangler's Family Restaurant in Jonesville and was attended by eight amateurs.  It was our first time at this new restaurant.  Check out these articles about Spangler's from the Hillsdale Daily News and The Collegian.



Club Leadership Elections

Club leadership elections for 2019 were to have been held at the November meeting, but that meeting was canceled.  We tried again at the February meeting but we did not have a quorum present to conduct 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.  We’ll try again at the next club meeting.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, May 4, at 10:30am at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members are welcome.  Use the south entrance off city parking lot F.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 16 as of April 30.  No activity during the month.



New Hams

Congratulations to new ham Michael Murphy KE8LYB of Jerome.  He was granted his Technician license on April 11.




Congratulations to Michael Murphy KE8LYB of Jerome for passing the element 3 test and being granted General privileges on April 26.



Consolidated Election May 7

Tuesday, May 7 is Consolidated Election day in Michigan.  There is a countywide proposal for a new millage 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.  Use the menu button in the upper right corner to access additional options.



Microsoft Announces End Of Support For Windows 7

Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009.  When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support to focus investment on supporting newer technologies.  The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020.  (Announcement and FAQ)



CAA Head Start Picnic Volunteers Needed

The Community Action Agency (CAA) Head Start Picnic is Friday, June 7.  Amateur Radio volunteers with HTs are needed from 10:30am to 1:30pm to work the parking lot detail.  Free lunch is available to volunteers.  CAA is located at 55 Barnard in Hillsdale (map).  This is a weekday and many people are working, so if you are available we really need your help.  Check with your employer to see if they provide paid time off for community service.  To volunteer, contact club President Don Gambill KC8WAU.



ARRL President Commends Amateur Radio’s Volunteer Public Service Role

ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR used the occasion of National Volunteer Week to highlight Amateur Radio’s role in helping the public as volunteers.  “It is the reason many new hams enter the hobby today, to support their communities and our served agencies during emergencies, disasters, and community events,” he said.  “I want to thank the thousands of Amateur Radio operators who continue to provide this valuable service.  It shows the great value Amateur Radio plays in providing an army of communicators in times of need.  I’m proud to be associated with such a fine group of volunteers who commit their time and effort to help others.”  (ARRL story)



Three Articles About Rural High Speed Internet Access

FCC To Hold 5G Auction, Spend $20B For Rural Internet: The U.S. government will hold a massive auction later this year to bolster 5G service, the next generation of mobile networks.  President Donald Trump showcased the announcement Friday, declaring that the race to stand up these faster, more powerful networks is a competition “America must win.”  Trump also announced a $20 billion plan to expand broadband access to rural areas currently without it, a decadelong extension of an existing program.  (Detroit News story)


Program On Hold As Rural Areas Struggle To Access Internet: There is a way around the notoriously sluggish internet in West Virginia.  You just need a car and some time.  Across rural America, a bandwidth gap separates communities from an increasingly digital world where high-speed Internet has become a fundamental component of modern life, putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to economic growth and quality of life advancements.  A $4.5 billion federal grant program earmarked to expand wireless internet in rural areas was supposed to address the problem, but it’s on hold while the Federal Communications Commission investigates whether carriers submitted incorrect data for the maps used to allocate grants.  (Detroit News story)


Why It's So Hard For Some Americans To Get High-Speed Internet: The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband map says Sharon Township, Mich., has a decent selection of choices for high-speed internet access.  But people who live in that rural area, only half an hour’s drive west of Ann Arbor, disagree.  Where the FCC map says two different DSL services and a couple of wireless-data providers offer connectivity, this township is effectively a broadband desert, where getting online at an acceptable speed can require getting in a car and driving somewhere with a quality connection.  (Yahoo! story)



Honda Portable Generators Recalled Due To Potential Fire Hazard

American Honda has announced that it’s voluntarily recalling some 200,000 of its portable generators sold in the US due to a potential fire and burn hazard.  The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says the affected portable generators can leak gasoline from the fuel valve.  Users should stop operating the recalled generator and contact an authorized Honda dealer for a free repair.  For more information, visit the CPSC website.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Rolls Back Outgoing QSL Bureau Rates To 2011 Prices

ARRL is rolling back Outgoing QSL Bureau rates to 2011 levels effective May 15.  Any cards received before May 15 will be charged the current rate.  There will be no adjustments for cards received before May 15.  (ARRL story)



ARRL And FCC Sign MOU To Implement New Volunteer Monitor Program

ARRL and the FCC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that paves the way to implement the new and enhanced Volunteer Monitor program.  The memorandum establishes the Volunteer Monitors as a replacement for the Official Observers (OO) program.  Current OOs have been encouraged to participate in the new program.  ARRL officials estimate that within 6 to 9 months the first Volunteer Monitors will be in place and ready to begin their duties  (ARRL story)



Hamvention Free On Final Day Of Show

Hamvention has announced that it will open the gates to all, without charge, on the final day of the annual gathering at Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.  Hamvention 2019 General Chair Jack Gerbs WB8SCT said the idea is to encourage the curious to see what attracts some 30,000 visitors to Hamvention each spring.  (ARRL story)



ARRL CEO To Connect Directly With Hams Via W1AW

ARRL CEO Howard Michel WB2ITX will host an on-the-air opportunity for ARRL members and the larger Amateur Radio community to get to know him better.  Michel, who joined the team at ARRL Headquarters last October, is still a relative newcomer.  The “Put Howard to Work!” event is being sponsored by the ICQ Amateur/Ham Radio Podcast to give radio amateurs a chance to chat with Michel in a natural Amateur Radio setting.  Michel will be on the air from W1AW on Monday, May 13, starting at 2 PM (1800 UTC), around 14.254 MHz.  (ARRL story)

UPDATE 05/03/19: Event canceled.  (ARRL story)



Silent Keys

Astronaut Owen Garriott W5LFL: Owen K Garriott W5LFL, the US astronaut who pioneered the use of Amateur Radio to make contacts from space, died April 15.  He was 88.  Garriott’s ham radio activity ushered in the formal establishment of Amateur Radio in space, first as the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) and later as Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS).  Garriott spent 2 months aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 and 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 during a 1983 Space Shuttle Columbia mission.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

04/05/19 AC8GF, HENDERSON, FRED J, address updated within county

04/09/19 KC8DAO, VAN WIEREN, ANGIE K, license status set to expired

04/11/19 KE8LYB, Murphy, Michael P, new licensee Technician

04/19/19 KD8LOS, BICK, JOSEPH D, license renewed

04/26/19 KE8LYB, Murphy, Michael P, upgraded to General from Technician



Snow Totals

March brought just two tenths of an inch of show, bringing the season total to 45.5 inches.  The average high was 57.4 degrees with an average low of 38.6 degrees.  The high for the month was 74 degrees on April 22 and a low of 20 degrees on April 1.  Here are the unofficial snowfall totals (in inches) in Hillsdale City for the last few seasons.



















































































Season Total









Date of Last Measurable Snowfall












Hillsdale County Emergency Management: HCEM is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test.  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 2019.  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)


New General Class Question Pool Released, Effective July 1: The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee has released the 2019-2023 Element 3 General Class Question Pool into the public domain.  The new Question Pool is effective for Element 3 exams administered on or after July 1, 2019.  The current General question pool, released in 2015, is valid until June 30, 2019.  (ARRL story)


ARROW Sponsoring Bus To Dayton Hamvention: ARROW Communications Association is sponsoring a bus trip to the Dayton Hamvention on Saturday, May 18.  The cost for the round trip is $65 and includes the bus ride from Ann Arbor, continental breakfast, the right to sell your stuff from the ARROW attended booth space in the flea market and the opportunity to win one of many ARROW door prizes.  Click here for more details.  Please note that this does not include the Hamvention ticket.  (ARROW Trip Flyer)



Upcoming Events

May 4 – Board Meeting

May 11 – Ham Breakfast

May 15 – Club Meeting (Wednesday)

May 17-19 – Dayton Hamvention

June 1 – FCARC Summer Swap

June 1 – IRA Hudsonville Hamfest

June 2 – Chelsea Swap Meet

June 7 – CAA Head Start Picnic

June 15 – BCARC License Exam Session

June 16 – Monroe Hamfest


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