News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County
The next club meeting will be Thursday, March 18, at 7pm via Zoom videoconference. A Zoom link will be sent out to members a few days before the meeting. If you are not a member and would like to attend, email K8HRC@arrl.net.
The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, March 6, at 8:00am via Zoom videoconference. All club members and invited guests are welcome. Contact K8HRC@arrl.net for the link.
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.
Club membership stood at 13 as of February 28. There was one renewal during the month. Four members have not yet renewed for 2021.
Daylight Saving Time Starts March 14
Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 14, at 2am. Turn clocks forward one hour. During this period Hillsdale County will be on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) with a minus 4 offset from GMT/UTC. Daylight Saving Time runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.
Special Election March 23
Tuesday, March 23 there is a special election for a couple of millage proposals in the North Adams-Jerome Public School district. Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website to check if you are registered and find other election information, including a map to your polling place and a sample ballot.
Hillsdale County Emergency Management
Hillsdale County Emergency Management is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test. The first siren test of the year will be on March 1. Contact the HCEM office if you are interested. Meetings and siren tests are normally held on the first Monday of the month in the evening, March through October, with a few exceptions.
NWS Offering Skywarn Spotter Training
The National Weather Service (NWS) Northern Indiana Office (IWX) is conducting 2021 Skywarn Spotter Training for the Spring Season in March and April. 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 and 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 sessions are identical so you only need to attend one.
ARRL To Reconsider Electronic Balloting
The ARRL Board of Directors will look into the use of electronic balloting systems “to augment paper balloting for ARRL elections.” The Board instituted a hybrid paper and electronic balloting process in the fall of 2012, which was popular among those who took advantage of it, but overall voter participation declined significantly, and the Board’s Ethics and Elections Committee decided in 2015 to return to using solely paper ballots. The Ethics and Elections panel said continuing changes in technology, the acceptance of remote meetings, and significant advancements in voting processes since then have made electronic balloting worth a second look. (ARRL story)
Plans To Retrieve Titanic Wireless Equipment On Hold
RMS Titanic (RMST), the company that owns salvage rights to the Titanic shipwreck, has indefinitely put off its plans to retrieve the vessel’s radio equipment for exhibit. The company cited the coronavirus pandemic for the delay, according to a court filing the company made on January 29. The Atlanta-based company said its plans have faced “increasing difficulty associated with international travel and logistics, and the associated health risks to the expedition team.” RMST’s primary source of revenue comes from its exhibits of its vast collection of Titanic relics, which have been closed or seen only limited attendance due to virus-related restrictions. (ARRL story)
ARRL: Additional Volunteer Exam Coordinators Not Needed
ARRL has told the FCC that no additional Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VEC) are needed to oversee the administration of amateur radio exams by Volunteer Examiners (VEs). Examination opportunities have continued to be widely available throughout the US, except for a couple of months during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and adding VECs to the 14 now in place would “have no effect” on the number of available exams, ARRL said. ARRL’s comments on February 4 were in response to a January 5 FCC Public Notice in WT Docket 21-2 seeking input on possible expansion of the VEC pool. (ARRL story)
Time To Insure Your Ham Radio Gear?
On the Long Island CW Club mailing list, a fellow asked whether or not he should get insurance for his ham equipment. He writes, “Back when I ran a home brew 6CL6 tube type rig it didn’t matter much. Now the investment makes me think about the safety of the gear. Any suggestions?" (KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog post)
Amazon To Require FCC Certification
Amazon is updating the requirements to offer radio frequency devices. Starting in Q2 2021, in order to create new listings or update existing listings of radio frequency devices you will need to fill in the FCC Radio Frequency Emission Compliance attribute as well as provide other information. KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog post)
FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County
None in February.
We finally got some snow in February, almost 20 inches. Here are the monthly snow totals for Hillsdale City for the past several years.
Club Leadership Positions Available: The Secretary, Treasurer and Board Member At Large positions remain open. Those interested should check the club constitution on our website for information about officer duties and election procedures. Feel free to contact any of the current club leadership for more information.
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 net schedule and results are posted on the club website.
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)
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 (DARA), 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)
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.
March 6 – Board Meeting
March 13-14 – QST Today Virtual Ham Expo
March 18 – Club Meeting
April 15 – Zoom NetApril 17 – Michigan QSO Party
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