Hillsdale Communicator

May 2021


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County



Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, May 20, 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.  Everyone welcome.



Ham Breakfast

Ham breakfast is back!  We’ll be holding a ham breakfast this month on Saturday, May 8, at 8am at Ginolfi’s (formally the Coffee Shop), 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, please do not attend if you are not comfortable or not feeling well, and be prepared to comply with health and restaurant directives regarding health and safety.  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 9 as of April 30.  There was no membership activity during the month.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting is scheduled for May 1.



Consolidated Election May 4

Tuesday, May 4 there is a consolidated election in some Hillsdale County jurisdictions.  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.



Free To A Good Home

Doug Sanford N8WFB has a collection of QST magazines going back to the early 90s available for free.  QST is a magazine for amateur radio enthusiasts published by the American Radio Relay League.  It is a membership journal that is included with membership in the ARRL.  If interested contact Doug at n8wfb@frontiernet.net.



KB6NU Online General Class Starts May 3

Dan Romanchik KB6NU will be conducting his next online General Class amateur radio license class starting May 3.  It will consist of eight, two-hour sessions starting at 9:00pm and running until 11:00pm (Eastern time).  The cost is $40 for adults.  High school and college students can attend for free.  Click here for more details.



Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective May 3

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021.  The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted.  For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023.  After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile, such as different antenna or placement or greater power, will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.  (ARRL story)



Presentation Explains Latest RF Exposure Regulations

Dan Brown W1DAN, ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Technical Coordinator, gave a Zoom presentation on the latest FCC regulations on RF exposure evaluation.  These are spelled out in FCC-1A1926, “Proposed Changes in the Commission’s Rules Regarding Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields; Reassessment of Federal Communications Commission Radiofrequency Exposure Limits and Policies.”  The document is as long as the title might suggest, 159 pages, but W1DAN boiled it down, focusing on what these changes mean for radio amateurs.  A recording of the presentation can be viewed by clicking here.  (KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog post)



FCC Re-Issues Enforcement Advisory

On April 20, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a new Enforcement Advisory, repeating the admonishments contained in a January Advisory that no licensee or user of the Amateur or Personal Radio Services may use any radio equipment in connection with unlawful activities of any nature.  The Commission specifically cautioned that individuals found to have used radios in connection with any illegal activity are “subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and in some cases, criminal prosecution.”  (ARRL story)



NIST Demos Sensor That Determines Direction Of Radio Signal

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and collaborators have demonstrated an atom-based sensor that can determine the direction of an incoming radio signal, another key part for a potential atomic communications system that could be smaller and work better in noisy environments than conventional technology.  NIST researchers previously demonstrated that the same atom-based sensors can receive commonly used communications signals.  The capability to measure a signal’s “angle of arrival” helps ensure the accuracy of radar and wireless communications, which need to sort out real messages and images from random or deliberate interference.  (KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog story)



Amateur Radio Has A New Census

As the amateur radio community grows and evolves, the need to better understand the preferences and expectations of amateur radio operators worldwide becomes increasingly important.  Inspired by the new licensees joining amateur radio’s ranks, and the seasoned ones who continue to believe in its value, Ham Census (hamcensus.org) is inviting all hams to take part in a unique survey.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)



NSF Funds Creation Of Research Lab At HAARP

A 5-year, $9.3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will allow the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute to establish a new research observatory at the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).  A former military facility, HAARP is now operated by UAF and is home to HAARP Amateur Radio Club’s KL7ERP.  The new Subauroral Geophysical Observatory for Space Physics and Radio Science will be dedicated to exploring Earth’s upper atmosphere and geospace environment.  The facility’s 33-acre Ionospheric Research Instrument will be the centerpiece of the observatory.  (ARRL story)



Astronomers Detect New Frequencies From Mysterious FRBs

The mystery of fast radio bursts (FRBs) from space may be a step closer to being solved.  Astronomers studying a repeating signal from a nearby galaxy have detected radiation at the lowest frequency of any FRB found so far, providing new potential hints about their origin.  FRBs are exactly what they sound like, bursts of radio signals that only last milliseconds.  Ever since they were first detected over a decade ago, they’ve poured in from all corners of the sky, with each detection either deepening the mystery or bringing new clues about what might be causing them – or sometimes both at once.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)



ARRL, American Red Cross Renew Memorandum Of Understanding

ARRL and the American Red Cross have renewed their long-standing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for another 5 years.  The MOU spells out how ARRL and the American Red Cross will work cooperatively during a disaster response.  “We are pleased to extend our partnership with the American Red Cross,” ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said.  “This agreement details how ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers will interface with Red Cross personnel within the scope of their respective roles and duties whenever the Red Cross asks ARES volunteers to assist in a disaster or emergency response.”  (ARRL story)



Aging Brothers Run Last Radio Repair Shop In South Indian State

“Mahboob Radio Service,” reads the faded panel on a small repair shop near the 16th-century Charminar mosque in the heart of the old town of Hyderabad.  The shop, which has been open since 1948, is filled with thousands of radio sets stacked in the small space where two aging brothers have been repairing radios for as long as they can remember.  The brothers, Mohammed Mujeebudin, 82, and Mohammed Moinuddin, 71, learned the craft from their father, who started selling and repairing radios in the 1920s after a trip to Bombay, where he bought his first set.  (ArabNews.com story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

04/06/21 KC8QVX, SEEVERS, MARK D, license renewed

04/06/21 KD8PKY, SEEVERS, PENNY R, license renewed

04/21/21 KG7GNW, Schlehuber, Kenneth F, address updated from out of county

04/23/21 NE8T, STOCKING, FRED P, address updated from out of county



Snow Totals

After no measurable snow in March, we got a couple inches in April.  Hopefully that’s it for the season.  Here are the monthly snow totals for Hillsdale City for the past several years.





































































































Season Total






















Date of Last Measurable Snowfall














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.


Monday Night Net Certificate: The club will award certificates for exceptional participation in the Monday night net.  The purpose of the program is to encourage participation in the net, both as check-ins and as net control station.  The certificate will be awarded to participants that attain at least 75 points during 2020.  So far this year Bill Hicks WB8FFO and Joe Gosla KD8USJ has have qualified.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.


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 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 usually 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)



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.


May 1 – Board Meeting

May 8 – Ham Breakfast

May 20 – Club Meeting

May 21-23 – Dayton Hamvention CANCELED

June 5 – Board Meeting

June 5 – FCARC SummerFest

June 5 – IRA Hudsonville Hamfest

June 6 – Chelsea Amateur Radio Club Swap Meet

June 17 – Zoom Net

June 20 – Monroe Hamfest

June 26-27 – Field Day



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