Hillsdale Communicator

February 2021


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County



Club Meetings

Lacking a quorum at the January 21 meeting we were unable to conduct any official business, including leadership elections.



Zoom Net

The next Zoom net will be Thursday, February 18, at 7:00pm.  If you've never used Zoom before, it is an online videoconferencing app that runs on your computer, tablet or smart phone.  We will send out a link a few days before the net.  If you do not receive the link and want to participate, simply email K8HRC@arrl.net requesting the link and we’ll send it to you.  We'll try to run it like a regular net.  Update your Zoom name to your first name and call sign.  We only have 40 minutes so hopefully we'll be able to get through everyone, maybe even two rounds.  Everyone welcome...you don't need to have an amateur radio license.   Hope to see lots of people Zoomed in!



Board Meeting

The Board met on January 2.  Business was routine.  The next Board meeting will be March 6.



Ham Breakfast

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



Membership Dues For 2021

Club membership dues for 2021 are due.  Rates are unchanged from last year and are $10 for regular membership, $5 for household membership (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  You must print and fill out a membership application as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by check or money order and mailed to club Vice President Dan Sprow KC8RYF (click for address).  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.  You must renew by March 31 to maintain your membership status.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 13 as of January 31.  There were one new member and three renewals during the month.  Five members have not yet renewed for 2021.




Congratulations to Patrick Bernklau KE8PPT of Jonesville for passing element 3 and being granted General privileges on January 7.



Monday Night Net Certificate Program Renewed For 2021

The Board has decided to sponsor the Monday Night Net Exceptional Participation Award for 2021.  Three points are awarded to the net control station, two points for participating in both rounds and one point for participating in less than both rounds.  Club members get 20 bonus points, pro-rated for new members.  The certificate will be awarded to any amateur that attains at least 75 points during the year.  The purpose of the award is to encourage participation in the net, both as check-ins and as net control station.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Participation section of the Calendar page on the club website.  The net currently is held every Monday at 7pm on 147.06 MHz simplex.  Participating regularly in a directed net helps you keep your operating skills sharp.



Hillsdale County Active Licenses Down Four In 2020

There were 121 active amateur radio licenses in Hillsdale County at the end of 2020, based on data pulled from the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS).  This is down 4 from 125 in 2019.  An active license doesn’t necessarily mean an active ham.  FCC ULS active licenses may include club licenses, silent keys, hams that have moved out of the county and not updated their address and inactive hams.  Also included in the active total are 7 licenses that are within the two-year grace period for renewal.  Not included in the total are any hams that moved into the county and did not update their address in the ULS.


2020 FCC ULS Activity In Hillsdale County

New License *


Moved Into County *


License Upgraded


License Renewed


Address Updated Within County


Other Administrative Updates


Issued Vanity Call Sign


Moved Out Of County *


License Expired *


Net Change (includes * items)




Next KB6NU Online Tech Class Starts February 15

Dan Romanchik KB6NU will be teaching an online Tech class will starting February 15 consisting of four, two-hour sessions.  The cost is $25 for adults.  High school and college students can attend for free.  He’ll be using the No-Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide. The PDF version is FREE.  Ebook and print versions are available for a small charge.  Register here.  If you can’t make this class, but would like to know when future classes will take place, subscribe to the KB6NU mailing list.



Dayton Hamvention Cancels 2021 Show

Dayton Hamvention will not take place for the second year.  “Unfortunately, several setbacks in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic make necessary the difficult decision to cancel Hamvention 2021,” a January 11 announcement from the Hamvention Executive Committee said.  Sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, Hamvention was set to take place May 21-23 in Xenia, Ohio.  The committee said the show would return in 2022 and hinted at a QSO party for Hamvention weekend.  (ARRL story)



Voice Of America Museum New Video Series

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting premiered a new free video series.  The collection will include short presentations covering the programs, exhibits, and activities at the VOA Bethany Station.  Each month there will be two or three videos released.  All of the videos and an index will be placed in a library on voamuseum.org and shared on Facebook.  Click here to watch the introduction.



FCC Warns Extremists Turning To Radio To Plan Attacks

Leading up to presidential inauguration, the Federal Communications Commission reminded personal and amateur radio operators that the use of radios to commit or facilitate criminal acts is prohibited.  "The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities," the FCC said in a statement.  (USA TODAY story)  (ARRL story)  ARRL posted this response.



FCC Advises: Radio Users Reminded Not To Use Radios In Crimes

The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the FCC issued this Enforcement Advisory to remind licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, as well as licensees and operators in the Personal Radio Services, that the Commission prohibits the use of radios in those services to commit or facilitate criminal acts.  The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities.  The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes, including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S.  Constitution.  Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes.  (FCC Enforcement Advisory)  (ARRL story)



President Taps Commissioner Rosenworcel As Acting FCC Chair

President Biden designated FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as acting chair of the FCC.  She succeeds, at least temporarily, former FCC chair Ajit Pai, who resigned effective on January 20.  Prior to joining the FCC, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  Before entering public service, she practiced communications law in Washington, DC.  (ARRL story)



International Amateur Radio Union Preparing For WRC-23

Preparations continue on the part of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to represent the interests of the amateur and amateur-satellite services at World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23).  The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) sponsors WRCs, typically every 4 years, to consider revisions to the international Radio Regulations that define frequency allocations for various radio services.  (ARRL story)



Silent Keys

NA Contest Logging Software Developer Dave Pruett K8CC: Contester and logging software developer Dave Pruett K8CC of Allen Park died on December 29.  He is considered to have been a significant contributor to the contesting community.  After obtaining the source code for the CT contest logger, Pruett wrote new code, and “his NA software breathed new life into the program,” expanding it to accommodate multiple contests, said contester Jim Cain K1TN.  He was a log checker for the ARRL 10-Meter and 160-Meter Contests and chaired the Michigan QSO Party.  He served as editor of National Contest Journal for several years.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

01/01/21 KD8TKR, Moore, Craig A, address updated from out of county

01/06/21 KD8JYB, SOUTHWORTH, JOSEPH E, license status set to expired

01/07/21 KE8PPT, Bernklau, Patrick, upgraded to General from Technician

01/19/21 KE8NFN, Fast, Brian E, address updated within county

01/25/21 AC8GF, HENDERSON, FRED J, license renewed



Snow Totals

A little bit more snow in January, but still below normal.  Here are the monthly snow totals for Hillsdale City for the past several years.





































































































Season Total














Monday Night Ragchew Net: Volunteers are needed to run the Monday Night Ragchew Net.  Check the Net Control Schedule on the club website for the schedule and results.  Contact a member of club leadership if interested.  Volunteer to run the net one Monday a month.


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.


ARRL National Convention And Orlando Hamcation Postponed To February 2022: 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)


FCC Reduces Proposed Amateur Radio Application Fee To $35: The FCC has agreed with ARRL and other commenters that its proposed $50 fee for certain amateur radio applications was “too high to account for the minimal staff involvement in these applications.”  In a Report and Order released on December 29, the FCC scaled back to $35 the fee for a new license application, a special temporary authority (STA) request, a rule waiver request, a license renewal application, and a vanity call sign application.  All fees are per application.  There will be no fee for administrative updates, such as a change of mailing or email address.  The effective date of the fee schedule has not been established, but it will be announced at least 30 days in advance.  (ARRL story)  The FCC originally proposed in August to impose a $50 fee.  (ARRL story)


FCC To Require Email Address On Applications: Effective on June 29, amateur radio licensees and candidates must provide the FCC with an email address on all applications.  If no email address is included, the FCC may dismiss the application as “defective.”  Licensees can log into the ULS License Manager System with their FRN and password at any time and update anything in their FCC license record, including adding an email address.  The FCC is fully transitioning to electronic correspondence and will no longer print or provide wireless licensees with hard-copy authorizations or registrations by mail.  (ARRL story)  The FCC has also added a reminder message on the Universal Licensing Service (ULS) landing page.  (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, reader should verify event status with the organizers.


February 18 – Zoom Net

March 6 – Board Meeting

March 13-14 – QST Today Virtual Ham Expo

March 18 – Club Meeting



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