Hillsdale Communicator

October 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.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 10 as of September 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.



New Hams

Congratulations to new ham Patrick Bernklau KE8PPT of Jonesville.  Technician privileges were granted on September 29.



Gerald Jordan Memorial Gifts

The club received $175 in memorial gifts from friends of club member Gerald (Jerry) Jordan KA8IEC, who became a Silent Key on August 22.  His memorial service was held September 12.  Thanks to Jerry’s wife Helen for remembering the club in this way and to those that donated.



Fort Wayne Hamfest Canceled

The Fort Wayne Hamfest Steering Committee has decided to cancel this year’s hamfest for the health safety of  valued guests, vendors, and volunteers.  The committee shares your disappointment and looks forward to hosting a healthy and safe Fort Wayne Hamfest on November 13 & 14, 2021.



FCC Accepting Comments On Amateur Radio Fee Schedule

Comments are being accepted on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which proposes application fees for radio amateurs.  Comments may be filed by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), posting to MD Docket No  20-270.  (ARRL story)  Click here to see what other amateurs are saying about this on KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog.



ARRL Seeks Changes In FCC Proposal To Delete 3.4 GHz Amateur Band

ARRL met via telephone with FCC staff members to emphasize its opposition to the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in Docket 19-348 to delete amateur radio from the 3.3 – 3.5 MHz band.  The FCC will take final action in the proceeding when it meets on September 30.  In comments filed earlier this year, ARRL urged that the secondary status for amateur radio in the band be continued.  (ARRL story)



Online General Class Starts October 5

Dan Romanchik KB6NU will be hosting his first online General Class amateur radio license class starts on October 5.  It will consist of eight, two-hour sessions starting at 9 pm EDT (6pm PDT) and running until 11 pm EDT (8pm PDT).  The cost is $25 for adults.  High school and college students can attend for free.  (KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog post)



National Weather Service Offers Skywarn Spotter Training

The National Weather Service (NWS) Northern Indiana Office (IWX) will be conducting 2020 Skywarn Spotter Training for the fall season in October.  This fall training includes severe weather and winter weather, according to Michael Lewis, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at IWX.  The online training is free and is limited to 150 people per session.  Individual registration is requested and after registration you will be provided a confirmation via email with the webinar link.  The training is not county specific.  Training is open to anyone...you do not need to be a licensed amateur, but it is recommend that participants be at least age 14.  Click here for more information, session schedule and registration links.  All six sessions are identical so you only need to register for one.



Daylight Saving Time Ends November 1

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 1 at 2am.  Turn your clocks back one hour.  During this period Hillsdale County will be on Eastern Standard Time (EST) with a minus 5 offset from GMT/UTC.  Daylight Saving Time runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.



General Election November 3

Tuesday, November 3 is the presidential general election.  In addition to voting for president and vice president, Hillsdale County residents will also vote for representatives in the US Congress and state legislature, State Board Of Education members as well as several state university and judicial positions.  There are also two statewide proposals on the ballot.  Mail-in and absentee voting is available to all voters…you do not need to have a reason.  Contact your local clerk to obtain an absentee ballot.  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, find your clerk and polling location, and generate a sample ballot.



Hillsdale College Professor Helps Discover Precise Center Of Solar System

Hillsdale College Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Timothy Dolch co-authored a paper in The Astrophysical Journal that pinpoints the gravitational center of our solar system.  The team used specially designed software called BayesEphem to narrow down the precise location of the solar system’s gravitational center, called the barycenter.  (Hillsdale College press release)



The Sun Has Started A New Solar Cycle, Experts Say

Every 11 years, the sun completes a solar cycle of calm and stormy activity and begins a new one.  It's important to understand the solar cycle because space weather caused by the sun eruptions like solar flares and coronal mass ejection events can impact the power grid, satellites, GPS, airlines, rockets and astronauts in space (and amateur radio!).  The new solar cycle, Solar Cycle 25, officially began in December 2019, according to an announcement by the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel of international experts.  It can take as long as 10 months to calculate when the new cycle starts, since the sun is so variable.  (CNN story)  (KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog story)



Former Dayton Hamvention Venue Hara Arena Is Being Demolished

Hara Arena, the former venue for Dayton Hamvention and a myriad of sports, entertainment, and other presentations over the years, will soon be history.  In the wake of a failed attempt to revitalize the tornado-damaged complex, officials in the city of Trotwood, Ohio, where Hara Arena is actually located, announced plans last week to raze the complex and rezone the property from commercial recreation to light industrial.  “The complex suffered extensive damage during the 2019 Memorial Day tornado outbreak,” the city said in a news release, taking note of hopes to salvage the complex.  “However, redeveloping the property would be a challenge due to the extent of the damage, so the decision was made, and a contract has been secured to demolish the legendary venue.”  (ARRL story)



Pandemic-Delayed ARRL 2019 Annual Report Released

The 2019 ARRL Annual Report is now available in print and online.  The publication’s release was delayed as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.  Print copies for members who are interested will be available soon.  ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR, called 2019 “an exciting year for ARRL,” with several new initiatives moving through planning and development for rollout in 2020.  (ARRL story)



Maine Radio Amateur Dies After Fall From Tower 

A Maine amateur died on September 2, after apparently falling a reported 80 feet from an amateur radio tower in rural Knox County.  James Larner N1ATO, said to have been a tower professional who had done a lot of work for many Maine broadcasters, was 74.  According to news accounts, Larner was disassembling an antenna on a tower located on Olson Farm Lane.  (ARRL story)  (Bangor Daily News story)



Brazil Proposes Elimination Of Amateur Radio Examinations

Southgate Amateur Radio News reports this morning that Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Telecommunicacoes (ANATEL) is proposing the elimination of amateur radio examinations.  This is part of a broad proposal, known ad CP65, to simplify Brazil’s regulation of telecom services.  (Section 2.15 is the section relevant to the Amateur Radio Service.)  (KB6NU’s Amateur Radio Blog story)  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

09/02/20 KC8PMG, Murray, Michael B, address updated to out of county

09/14/20 KC8PRJ, Supinsky, Joseph M, license renewed

09/29/20 KE8PPT, Bernklau, Patrick, new licensee Technician




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)


FCC Proposes To Reinstate Amateur Radio Service Fees: Amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio license application if the FCC adopts rules it proposed this week.  Included in the FCC’s fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests.  The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act” of 2018, the so-called “Ray Baum’s Act.”  Deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register.  File comments by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System.  This docket is already open for accepting comments.  (ARRL story)  (KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog story & comments)


2020 ARRL Division Elections: The candidates for the 2020 ARRL Division Elections are now official.  ARRL members will choose between two candidates for Director in the Great Lakes Division.  Incumbent Director Dale Williams WA8EFK, who has held the seat since 2014, will face off against Michael Kalter W8CI, who is treasurer of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association.  Great Lakes Division members will also choose from among three candidates to succeed incumbent Vice Director Thomas Delaney W8WTD, who is not running for another term.  They are current Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally N8SY; Jim Hessler K8JH, who is vice president of the Grand Rapids Amateur Radio Association, and Frank Piper KI8GW, Yonally’s predecessor as Ohio Section Manager.  (ARRL story)



Upcoming Events

Note: Many events are being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Although every effort is made to make sure this list is correct at the time of publication, readers should verify event status with the organizers.


October 10 – Northwest Ohio Amateur Radio Club Fall Hamfest CANCELED

October 18 – St Joseph Co MI ARC Trunk Sale

November 7 – Board Meeting

November 14-15 – Fort Wayne Hamfest CANCELED



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