Hillsdale Communicator

August 2019


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Attendance at the last couple of meetings has been practically non-existent.  We need at least six members to attend in order to clear a backlog of club business.  Everyone welcome.


There was no club meeting in July.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, August 10, at 8am at Spangler's Family Restaurant, 601 E Chicago in Jonesville (map).  This is the old Cedar’s Restaurant at the corner of US12 and Concord Road.  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The July breakfast was held at the Draft Horse Diner in Litchfield and was attended by six amateurs.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 16 as of July 31.  No activity during the month.



Monday Night Net Certificate

Congratulations to Bill Hicks WB8FFO for becoming the first to qualify for a 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 2019.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.



Monday Night Net Control Stations Needed

We have some Monday night net control slots open.  Serving as net control station builds your skills and earns you extra points towards the net exceptional participation certificate.  If you would like to serve as a net control station once a month please let a member of club leadership know.  Check the Net Control Schedule for available dates.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, August 3, 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.



Consolidated Election August 6

Tuesday, August 6 is Consolidated Election day in Michigan.  There is one countywide proposal 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.



DX Engineering Announces DXE Hamfest With Free Flea Market

DX Engineering will be holding its first “DXE Hamfest” on August 10, featuring a free flea market, giveaways, special discounts, a Go-Kit contest, and satellite operation demonstrations.  The event will take place in DX Engineering’s showroom inside the Summit Racing Retail Super Store in Tallmadge, Ohio 9 am to noon.  The free flea market will run from 8 am to noon in Summit Racing’s paved North parking lot.  (DX Engineering Announcement)  (Map)



ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference

The ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference is being held September 20-22 at the Marriott Detroit Metro Airport Hotel.  It’s an international forum for radio amateurs to meet, publish their work, and present new ideas and techniques.  Presenters and attendees will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about recent hardware and software advances, theories, experimental results, and practical applications.  The conference schedule includes technical and introductory forums, demonstrations, a Saturday evening banquet and an in-depth Sunday seminar.  (Conference website)



New Property Of Light Discovered

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Spain and the U.S. has announced that they have discovered a new property of light called self-torque.  Their findings have been published in the journal Science.  Phys.Org reports that researchers have found that light can be twisted, a property called angular momentum.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)  (Science research article)



Mysterious Radio Burst Traced To Galaxy 3.6 Billion Light-Years Away

For the first time, a single burst of cosmic radio waves has been traced to its point of origin: in this case, a galaxy about 3.6 billion light-years from Earth.  These radio bursts are only millisecond-long radio flashes, and such rapid bursts themselves aren't rare in space. Finding out where they came from is incredibly difficult.  (CNN story)



Historic Amateur Radio Contact Reported Via Moon-Orbiting Satellite

A contact between radio amateurs in Germany and China took place on July 1 via a moon-orbiting.  The two-way exchange was between Reinhard Kuehn, DK5LA in Germany, and the Harbin Institute of Technology club station in China.  The GMSK-to-JT4G repeater onboard DSLWP-B was used to make the contact, the first ever made via a lunar-orbiting repeater.  (ARRL story)



Report: California Earthquakes Disrupted HF Propagation On West Coast

A British Columbia radio amateur said that an Independence Day magnitude 6.4 earthquake in California’s Mojave Desert and multiple aftershocks negatively affected HF propagation on the US west coast.  Alex Schwarz VE7DXW, who maintains the “RF Seismograph” and has drawn a correlation between earthquake activity and HF band conditions, said the radio disruption began at around 1600 UTC on July 4, and continued into July 5.  (ARRL story)



FAA Reauthorization Act Changes Recreational Drone Flying Requirements

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 includes changes to recreational drone flying in the US. Radio amateurs have used drones to inspect antenna systems and terrain and to carry support lines aloft, as well as for other purposes. The FAA considers those who fly their drones for fun as recreational users. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 describes how, when, and where owners may fly drones for recreational purposes. These broad guidelines should apply to most Amateur Radio users of drones.  (ARRL story)



FAA Reauthorization Act To Exclude Vast Majority Of Amateur Radio Towers

Language in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 will exclude all but a small number of Amateur Radio towers from marking requirements.  Thanks to action taken in 2017 and 2018 by the ARRL, the bill’s original language was amended to the extent that amateur towers, as well as residential towers used for over-the-air TV reception, were effectively exempted from marking requirements.  (ARRL story)  (ARRL FAA Tower Regulation Issues page)



Dayton Hamvention 2019 Attendance Approaches All-Time Peak

The Hamvention Executive Team announced that attendance at Dayton Hamvention 2019 was 32,472.  This marks the highest attendance recorded since Hamvention moved in 2017 from Hara Arena to the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center in Xenia, Ohio. Attendance at the show peaked in 1993 at 33,669.  (ARRL story)



Centenarian Radio Amateur Helped Pave The Way To The Moon

The Nashville Tennessean newspaper recently featured the story of a 104-year-old ARRL member who contributed to NASA’s effort to put the first humans on the moon 50 years ago.  Cary Nettles W5SRR, who calls himself the nation’s oldest rocket scientist still alive, was a NASA project manager and research engineer on rocket propulsion systems in the 1950s and 1960s.  (ARRL story)  (Nashville Tennessean story)



No Consensus Reached For FCC On “Symbol Rate” Issues

ARRL-initiated efforts for rival parties to reach consensus on some of the issues they raised in the so-called “Symbol Rate” proceeding have ended. In April, the FCC granted ARRL’s request for a 90-day hold in the proceeding, FCC Docket WT 16-239, to provide an opportunity for ARRL to lead an effort to determine whether consensus could be reached on some or all of the issues that were raised in the FCC’s proceeding.  ARRL filed an interim report with the FCC summarizing its efforts to bring all sides to the table, and on June 28, ARRL requested an additional 60-day pause to pursue promising talks.  (ARRL story)



ARRL 2018 Annual Report Is Now Available

ARRL has announced the release of its 2018 Annual Report to members. The 2018 Annual Report was created by the ARRL editorial staff.  The Annual Report also includes a full accounting of ARRL finances.  (ARRL story)  (ARRL 2018 Annual Report)  (KB6NU blog commentary)



How Did Mayday Come To Be Used As A Distress Call?

Mayday is a distress call that is used to signal a life-threatening emergency, usually on a ship or a plane, although it may be used in a variety of other situations.  A typical distress call will start with the word “Mayday" being said three times in a row so that it is not mistaken for another similar-sounding word or phrase.  This is followed by relaying the information that rescuers would need, including the nature of the emergency, the location or last known location, current weather, type and identity of craft involved, fuel remaining and the number of people in danger.  The distress call has absolute priority over all other transmissions.  (livemint story)



One Dead, One Injured In New Hampshire Ham Radio Tower Mishap

A tower dismantling turned tragic in New Hampshire  when two radio amateurs working some 40 feet up on the tower were carried to the ground when the structure collapsed.  Joseph Areyzaga K1JGA did not survive his injuries sustained in the fall, while the tower’s owner, Michael Rancourt K1EEE was seriously injured.  Rancourt was taking down the tower in preparation for selling his house, and the pair had nearly completed their work.  They were tied into the tower and went down with it as it collapsed.  (ARRL story)



144-146 MHz Allocation Proposal Update

There have been a slew of articles regarding a proposal from France to consider re-allocating the 144-146 MHz band as a primary allocation to the Aeronautical Mobile service.  Click on the article title in the list below to read.

> 144 MHz and the WRC process

> Restraint Urged in Response to 2-Meter Reallocation Proposal

> RSGB letter to Ofcom about 144-146 MHz band

> Portuguese amateur radio clubs reject 144-146 MHz proposal

> IARU President Offers Assurances Regarding French 144 – 146 MHz Allocation Proposal

> 144MHz: VERON writes to Dutch telecom regulator

> 2m band robbery: ARI sent a letter to the Italian ministry

> IARU President offers assurances regarding French 144-146 mhz proposals

> 144 MHz: 'Houston… we have a problem'

> 144 MHz - Austria supports radio amateurs

> 26 Portuguese amateur radio clubs united against 144-146-MHz reallocation

> Dutch 2 meter propagation experiment on local television

> 144 MHz threat: SSA meets regulator

> 144 MHz Threat: Disappointing response from Agentschap Telecom

> 144 – 146 MHz band threat

> 144 MHz Threat: Switzerland's Ofcom suggest Aeronautical co-primary

> 144 MHz: Radio amateurs take part in successful propagation experiment

> Some European Telecoms Regulators Keeping an Open Mind on French 2-Meter Proposal



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

07/15/19 KE8KDK, Parent, Gregory C, Administrative Update




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.  So far this year Bill Hicks WB8FFO has 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.


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)


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)


Distracted Driving Bills Introduced In State Legislature: There are several bills (HB 4181, HB 4198 and HB 4199) that have been formulated in the Michigan House of Representatives that deal with Distracted Driving.  The Michigan ARRL legislative team has been watching as these bills were introduced in the House.  Amateur Radio was granted an exemption (the use of amateur radio while driving) from being considered a distraction. The exemption amendment referenced 47 CFR Part 97, 47 CFR Part 90 and a reference to CB radio.  (ARRL Michigan Section post)



Upcoming Events

August 3 – Board Meeting

August 10 – Ham Breakfast

August 10 – Angola Hamfest

August 10 – DX Engineering Hamfest

August 15 – Club Meeting

September 7 – CMARC Hamfest (NEW LOCATION)

September 7 – GRAMfest

September 8 – Findlay Hamfest

September 15 – Adrian 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