Hillsdale Communicator

July 2020


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County



Ham Breakfast

No ham breakfast scheduled at this time due to the coronavirus pandemic.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 2, at 7:00pm at a venue to be determined.  The meeting will be held via Zoom videoconference.  All club members and invited guests are welcome.  Contact K8HRC@arrl.net for the link.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 10 as of June 30.  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.



State Primary Election August 4

Tuesday, August 4, is Primary Election Day in Michigan.  The election features candidates for federal and state representatives, as well as several offices at the county level.  This election is especially important at the county level because for every office there are no Democrats on the ballot, so the winner of the Republican primary moves on to run unopposed in the November general election.  Mail-in voting is available to all voters.  The Secretary of State has mailed absentee ballot applications to all eligible voters.  Absentee voting is available to all voters…you do not need to have a reason.  Return your completed application by mail, in person or electronically, or complete an application online.  Utilize absentee voting to avoid lines and possible exposure to COVID-19.  Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website to check to see if you are registered, to complete your online absentee ballot application, find your clerk and polling location, and generate a sample ballot.



New Amateur Extra Question Pool Starts July 1

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 took effect on July 1, 2020, and will remain valid until June 30, 2024.  The current Amateur Extra question pool, released in 2016, is no longer valid after June 30, 2020.  (ARRL story)



NWS Hazard Simplification Public Survey

The National Weather Service is seeking public input on simplifying hazard messaging.  The survey will focus on the current message delivery and will help shape the format and content of these messages.  The survey is open until August 21, 2020.  Read More >



New Sunspots Potentially Herald Increased Solar Activity

On May 29, a family of sunspots sported the biggest solar flare since October 2017.  Although the sunspots are not yet visible, NASA spacecraft spotted the flares high above them.  The flares were too weak to pass the threshold at which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center provides alerts.  But after several months of very few sunspots and little solar activity, scientists and space weather forecasters are keeping their eye on this new cluster to see whether they grow or quickly disappear.  The sunspots may well be harbingers of the Sun's solar cycle ramping up and becoming more active.  (NASA story)



ARRL Volunteer Monitor Program Recognizes Good Operators

Volunteer Monitor Program Coordinator Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH said the program has recognized numerous radio amateurs with Good Operator Notices.  “One facet of the ARRL and FCC agreement that set up the Volunteer Monitor Program calls for ARRL to recognize especially good amateur radio behavior, in order to encourage compliance with FCC rules and further the efficiency of the Amateur Radio Service,” Hollingsworth said.  “Seventeen operators in 15 states received Good Operator Notices in the first quarter of 2020.  The Good Operator Notices went to veteran operators as well as newcomers, including a 13-year-old in North Carolina for CW operation during the Youth on the Air Special Event, and a 14-year-old in Wyoming for SSB operation.”  (ARRL story)



Russian-Ukrainian Radio War Continues

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) May newsletter reports the Russian-Ukrainian radio war, which had been raging for years at 7055 kHz LSB (as well as on 7050 or 7060 kHz) reached a new escalation level in May.  “Almost every day, one heard the most massive mutual insults and aggressive, provocative hate rap music in Russian,” newsletter editor and IARUMS Region 1 Coordinator Peter Jost HB9CET said in the May edition.  “Furthermore, from time to time, we saw insulting symbols in the waterfall.”  Jost said it’s believed the perpetrators are located in the border region of eastern Ukraine with the Russian Federation.  (ARRL story)  (IARUMS May newsletter)



Hazard Simplification Public Survey NWS 2020

The National Weather Service is seeking public input on simplifying hazard messaging.  The survey will focus on the current message delivery and will help shape the format and content of these messages.  The survey is open until August 21.  (NWS survey home page)  (Survey)



Rescued Radio Amateur Says, “Ham Radio Saved My Life”

Alden Sumner Jones IV KC1JWR of Vermont is thankful for amateur radio after he suffered a medical incident and lost consciousness on June 15 while hiking.  An EMT from Appalachian Mountain Rescue (AMR), who was hiking nearby, saw Jones pass out but was unable to connect with 911 via his cell phone.  Jones regained consciousness and was successful in contacting Ron Wonderlick AG1W via the Northern Berkshire Amateur Radio Club’s repeater, and Wonderlick initiated what turned into an 8-hour effort to get Jones off the trail and to a medical facility, acting as a relay among Jones, emergency crews, and other agencies involved.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Seeks Vintage DX Logs For Archive

ARRL continues to solicit paper logs of prominent DXpeditions or logs from stations and operators active from more rare locations from the 1950s through the 1980s, for inclusion in The DX Log Archive Endowed by JA1BK.  The DX Log Archive program was created, thanks to an endowment established by Kan Mizoguchi JA1BK to obtain, preserve, and utilize paper logs from rare and significant DXpeditions.  (ARRL story)



Balloon Completes Second Round Trip

A balloon launched on May 20 by “Amateur Radio Roundtable” web show host Tom Medlin W5KUB and team has begun its third circumnavigation of Earth.  The balloon, at 43,000-45,000 feet, completed its second trip around the globe on June 19.  It crossed the Atlantic Ocean “in record time” at a speed of about 170 MPH, the balloon website reported this week.  (ARRL story)  (Balloon website)



Video Explains The Mission And Purpose Of IARU

The video “What is IARU?” is now available on the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 website.  “This video explains the mission and roles of IARU to represent, develop, and defend frequencies for amateur radio around the world,” IARU Region 2 explains.  “It also describes the regional organizations and the critical roles of its more than 160 member-societies.”  (ARRL story)  (Video)



Radio Amateur’s Call For Help Relayed From Across The Atlantic

When Richard Tashner N2EO of Massapequa, New York, suffered a medical emergency on May 18, his DMR radio was closer than his phone.  His call for help was answered by Maxis Johnston GM0MRJ in Scotland, who put out a call for “anyone in the states.”  Kent County Amateur Radio Club member Ken Dix KB2KBD in Delaware heard the call on the local repeater, which was linked to the North American talk group.  Dix called authorities in Tashner’s vicinity, and help was dispatched.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County





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.


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)


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.


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

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

August 8 – Angola Hamfest

August 8 – Elkhart East Hamfest

August 8 – DXE Hamfest, Ohio Section Convention CANCELED



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