Hillsdale Communicator

November 2020


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, November 7, at 8:00am via Zoom videoconference.  All club members and invited guests are welcome.  Contact K8HRC@arrl.net for the link.



Ham Breakfast

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



Membership Report

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



ARRL Urges Strongly Opposing FCC Application Fees Proposal

ARRL will file comments in firm opposition to an FCC proposal to impose a $50 fee on amateur radio license and application fees.  With the November 16 comment deadline fast approaching, ARRL urges members to add their voices to ARRL’s by filing opposition comments of their own.  The FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking MD Docket 20-270 appeared in the October 15 edition of The Federal Register and sets deadlines of November 16 to comment and November 30 to post reply comments, which are comments on comments already filed.  ARRL has prepared a Guide to Filing Comments with the FCC that includes tips for preparing comments and step-by-step filing instructions.  File comments on MD Docket 20-270 using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System.  (ARRL story)


Read the story and comments on KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog to see what other hams are saying.  (KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog story & comments)


ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams WA8EFK recently sent out an appeal for action to ARRL members.  Click here to read the entire letter from Dale.



2020 ARRL Division Elections

ARRL members should have received by now election materials for the Great Lakes Division election.  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)  Elections are conducted by mail and ballots must be received by the election accounting firm by noon on November 20.



KB6NU Online Tech Class Starts November 2

The next online Technician Class amateur radio license class starts on November 2.  It will consist of four, two-hour sessions starting at 9:00pm and running until 11:00pm (Eastern time).  The cost is $25 for adults.  High school and college students can attend for free.  Click here for more details.



FCC Orders Amateur Access To 3.5 GHz Band To “Sunset”

Despite vigorous and continuing opposition from ARRL and others, the FCC has ordered the “sunsetting” of the 3.3-3.5 GHz amateur radio secondary spectrum allocation.  The decision allows current amateur activity on the band to continue, “grandfathering” the amateur operations subject to a later decision.  The FCC proposed two deadlines for amateur operations to cease on the band.  The first would apply to the 3.4-3.5 GHz segment, the second to 3.3-3.4 GHz.  The FCC will establish the dates once it reviews additional comments.  (ARRL story)  (FCC Report and Order)  


Although the FCC has announced plans to delete the secondary amateur radio 3.3 - 3.5 GHz allocation, that amateur allocation will remain in place right across the northern US border.  Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) said that the FCC action has raised concerns among Canadian amateurs.  (ARRL story)



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.



Presidential 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, and also educational and judicial positions.  There are also two statewide proposals on the ballot.  Absentee voting is available to all voters…you do not need to have a reason.  Utilize absentee voting to avoid lines and possible COVID-19 exposure.  Contact your local clerk to obtain an absentee ballot.  You can still get an absentee ballot up to November 2 and they must be returned to your clerk by the time the polls close on November 3.  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.



ARRL National Convention, Orlando Hamcation Postponed

ARRL and the Orlando Amateur Radio Club (OARC) have announced that the ARRL National Convention and Orlando HamCation, which was to host the convention, have been postponed until February 2022.  Hamcation is one of the largest annually held gatherings of radio amateurs in the US, attracting 24,200 over 3 days in February 2020.  “The joint decision came after considering the national public health emergency including the health and safety of all participants, the uncertainty that continues to impact our organizations, and the reluctance to travel to, and attend, large events,” said ARRL CEO David Minster NA2AA.  “We regret the disruption to the hard work already completed by so many volunteers preparing for the ARRL National Convention and HamCation.”  (ARRL story)



IARU Region 2 Releases 2020 Revision Of Its Band Plan

International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU R2), the Americas, has released the September 2020 revision of its Band Plan and made procedural changes to shorten the time to reflect future adjustments.  The Band Plan includes a change approved at the October 2019 General Assembly to add an Amateur Satellite uplink subband, 21.125 to 21.450 MHz, on a non-exclusive basis.  This matches similar changes in the Region 1 and Region 3 band plans.  (ARRL story)



Solar Physicist Predicts A Slightly Better Solar Cycle 25

Solar physicist Leif Svalgaard of the W.W.  Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory at Stanford University has predicted a maximum sunspot number of 128 ±10, slightly better than Solar Cycle 24.  “The overall average is 132 ±47 (median 124),” he said.  “None of these numbers are substantially different, so one could perhaps just go with the ‘wisdom of the crowd.’  All predictions that we consider have the underlying assumption that the sun has not changed its behavior (its ‘spots,’ so to speak) on a time scale of a few centuries (the Maunder Minimum may be a possible violation of that assumption), and that there will be no such changes in the near future, in spite of speculative suggestions.”  Those included one of his own in 2013.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Comments In Orbital Debris Mitigation Proceeding

In comments to the FCC, ARRL targeted two specific areas of concern regarding a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in IB Docket 18-313, mitigation of orbital debris in the new space age.  In an earlier phase of the proceeding, ARRL filed comments and met with FCC staff to discuss the proposed rules.  In comments filed on October 9, ARRL focused on the areas of indemnification and maneuverability/propulsion.  Indemnification places the liability for any possible damage from a satellite on an individual or entity.  ARRL reiterated its assertion that, as a practical matter, an indemnification requirement “would seriously impair the ability of amateur and university experimenters to launch and operate satellites under US auspices” due to the potential liability and high insurance cost.  (ARRL story)



White House Pulls Renomination Of Michael O’Rielly To FCC

The White House has withdrawn the nomination of Republican FCC member Michael O’Rielly for a second term on the Commission.  President Donald Trump had nominated O’Rielly for another 5-year term on the Commission last March.  No reason was given for withdrawing the O’Rielly nomination, who was initially appointed to the FCC in 2013 by President Barack Obama.  The White House has nominated a senior advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Nathan Simington, to the FCC in O’Rielly’s stead.  (ARRL story)  (ARRL nomination story)



FCC Headquarters Relocates

FCC Headquarters has moved.  The new address is 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC 20554.  The change is effective immediately.  The FCC announced plans to move last spring, but the transition was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  (ARRL story)



Equipment For Sale

Helen Jordan, wife of Jerry Jordan KA8IEC (SK), is looking to get rid of Jerry's amateur radio equipment.  If interested in seeing what's available, call her at 517-610-5404.



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County




Snow Totals

It’s that time of the year again.  There have been a few reports of scattered snow flurries around the county, although nothing in Hillsdale City yet.  Here are the monthly snow totals for the past several years, in inches.




































































































Season Total






















Date of First Measurable Snowfall













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 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.


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 schedule 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.  The bills must be passed by the end of the legislative session on December 31 or they will die.  (ARRL Michigan Section post)



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.


November 7 – Board Meeting

November 14-15 – Fort Wayne Hamfest CANCELED

December 5 – FCARC WinterFest CANCELED



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