Hillsdale Communicator

June 2020


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Ham Breakfast

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the ham breakfast is canceled until further notice.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 2, at 7:00pm at a venue to be determined.  All club members and invited guests are welcome.  Check the website calendar for updates.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 10 as of May 31.  There was no membership activity during the month.



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 schedule for available dates.



Field Day

Field Day is June 27-28.  The club has no plans to sponsor a Field Day activity this year.  Check the ARRL Field Day locator page for a nearby site if you are interested.  (HCARC Field Day page)  (ARRL Field Day home page)  (ARRL Field Day locator page)  (ARRL Field Day merchandise)



Temporary Rule Waivers Announced For 2020 ARRL Field Day

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly modify their participation for safe social distancing practices.  The temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.  The ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has adopted two temporary rule waivers for the event, for 2020 only.  First, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.  Second, aggregate club scores will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club, like the Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club.  (ARRL story)



FCC Adopts A New Official Seal

In anticipation of its upcoming move, the FCC has adopted a new FCC seal.  The redesigned seal is the product of an agency-wide contest that solicited proposals from employees and contractors.  The winning design was selected by a vote of the agency’s employees and contractors.  (ARRL story)





FCC Providing Flexibility In Developing Remote Testing Methods

The FCC has clarified that nothing in its rules prohibits remote amateur radio testing, and no prior approval is needed to conduct remote exam sessions.  “The Commission provides flexibility to volunteer examiners and coordinators who wish to develop remote testing methods or to increase remote testing programs already in place,” the FCC said in an April 30 news release.  “We recognize that some volunteer examiner coordinators may not have the immediate capacity for widespread remote testing.  We expect those volunteer examiner coordinators with limited remote testing capacity to work closely with those requesting such testing to prioritize any available remote testing slots.”  ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Manager Maria Somma AB1FM said she’s gratified to see that the FCC appreciates the need for remote testing.  (ARRL story)  (FCC Chair comments)



66-Year-Old Man Rescued From Ham Radio Tower

Firefighters were called to rescue a 66-year-old man who was stuck on a friend's amateur radio tower in Rapid City, South Dakota.  The man was stuck about 20-feet above ground and the Sheriff’s office says his arm was pinned under a retractable part of the tower.  A high angle rescue was performed and the jaws of life were then used to free the mans arm from the tower.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)  (KNBN NewsCenter1 story with video)



‘Birds Of Prey’: New Safety Video For Tower Workers

A new video from NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association highlights the importance of hazard and environmental awareness among tower technicians who might encounter birds of prey nesting on communications towers.  Birds such as eagles, ospreys, ravens and crows roost in more than 7,500 towers across the United States.  Raptor ecology expert Marco Restani, who offers insight throughout the four-minute video, calls the “best-case scenario” one in which the tower owner or carrier already has informed workers that a nest exists, allowing them to plan accordingly.  (National Safety Council story)  (Birds Of Prey video)



ARRL Seeks Clarification Of Amended Amateur Service RF Safety Rules

ARRL has filed a Petition for Clarification addressing two issues arising from amended FCC RF safety rules that go into effect on June 1 for the Amateur Service and other FCC-regulated services.  Licensees will have 2 years to determine if an RF safety evaluation is now required under the new rules and to perform an evaluation and implement any needed mitigation measures.  Current rules already require amateur stations to meet RF exposure limits, but more radio amateurs will have to evaluate their stations under the new rules.  The revised final rules, adopted last November, appeared in the April 1 edition of The Federal Register.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Announces New Life 70+ Membership

The ARRL Board of Directors recently voted to create a special Life Membership opportunity for individuals who are at least 70 years old.  Starting on June 1, the Life 70+ Membership will be available to individuals who have turned 70 and have a combined 25 years of paid annual ARRL membership.  Life 70+ Members receive all benefits of an annual membership.  In addition, each Life 70+ Member will receive a Life Member pin and a window decal and may purchase an exclusive Life Member plaque.  (ARRL story)  (ARRL membership page)  (KB6NU blog commentary)



Judge Rules Titanic Radio Used To Make Distress Calls Can Be Salvaged

A federal judge has ruled that a salvage firm can retrieve the Marconi wireless telegraph machine that broadcast distress calls from the sinking Titanic ocean liner.  In an order US District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith agreed that the telegraph is historically and culturally important and could soon be lost within the rapidly decaying wreck site.  (CBS News story)  (Titanic Deleted Scene: The Wireless Room & The Californian)



Director, Vice Director Nominations Invited In Five ARRL Divisions

Nominations are being invited in five ARRL Divisions, including Great Lakes, for the volunteer positions of Director and Vice Director, for 3-year terms that start January 1, 2021.  A nominee must be at least 21 years old, hold a valid amateur radio licensee, and have been a full ARRL member for a continuous term of at least 4 years immediately preceding nomination.  Nominations are due by noon EDT on August 14.  (ARRL story)



Ten-Year-Old Gets Ham Radio License

When ten-year-old Jacob Hoschar's school in Forks, Washington, shut down due to coronavirus, he and his father Andrew studied for their amateur radio exam and now have the call signs KJ7NZC and KJ7NXN.  When the school shut down, they started sending homework packets for the students to do.  Andrew looked at the first packet and knew it would be a battle keeping Jacob focused and interested in school with only paperwork.  Andrew I spoke with Jacob's teacher, and the principal, and received the go-ahead to use amateur radio as the majority of his curriculum.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)  (Forks Forum story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

05/20/20 N8DMH, KEEHN, JACK D, license status set to expired (SK 04/04/17)




147.06 MHz Repeater Back On The Air: The 147.06 MHz repeater is back on the air after being down since early February 2019.  The repeater transmitter is located in Jonesville with a receive site in Hillsdale at Becker & Scrivens.  Use PL 118.8 with the standard positive transmit offset.  Thanks to Mark Seevers KC8QVX for getting the repeater up and running.


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 2020.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website


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)


New Amateur Extra Question Pool Available: The Question Pool Committee of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) has released the 2020-2024 Amateur Extra Class question pool.  The pool will take effect on July 1, 2020, and will remain valid until June 30, 2024.  The current Amateur Extra question pool, released in 2016, is valid until June 30, 2020.  (ARRL story)


US Census: Every 10 years, the Census Bureau conducts a census to count every resident in the United States.  When you respond to the census, as required by law, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you lived as of April 1.  The data collected is used to determine congressional representation and how federal spending is allocated, as well as providing a wealth of demographic information.  The first census was in 1790 and the population counted was 3,929,625.  The current US population is estimated to be just under 330 million, according to the US and World Population Clock.  (Census home page)


Income Tax Deadlines Pushed Back Due To Coronavirus Pandemic: The US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced March 21 that the 2020 federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15 to July 15.  Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15 to July 15 without penalties and interest.  (IRS post)  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-26 on March 27 ordering similar changes, delaying state income tax deadlines to July 15 and city income taxes to July 15 or July 31.''



Upcoming Events

June 6 – FCARC Summer Hamfest

June 6 – IRA Hudsonville Hamfest CANCELED

June 21 – Monroe Hamfest CANCELED

June 27-28 – Field Day

July 2 – Board Meeting

July 11 – Auburn's Classic City Hamfest

July 11 – Summer Eat, Great and Swap meet (Temperance)

July 19 – Van Wert Hamfest



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