HCARC Happenings

December 2012


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


The club Christmas party will be held on Friday, December 14 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ, 131 W Fayette in Hillsdale (map).  The church is located directly behind the Market House.  All area hams and their guests are welcome.  Socializing will begin at 6pm with dinner at 6:30pm.  After dinner we’ll play a few games and draw for door prizes.  Feel free to bring a small, inexpensive item, such as a plate of Christmas cookies, to be included in the door prizes.  RSVPs are requested but not required and can be made by clicking here, or by contacting club President Don Gambill KC8WAU at DRGambill@aol.com or 517-437-4172.  Price will be $4 for members, $6 for non-members and guests, and $3 for children (under 8).  Click here to view a copy of the invitation that was mailed to club members.



There will be a special election for the open 2013 board position to be held at the Christmas party.  Members who are interested and won’t be at the party should contact the club President so that you can be nominated.



James French W8ISS recently established a Yahoo user group to encourage Bicycle Mobile Hams within the state. The list will be moderated to help protect from spamming.  When asking to join, please include a call sign so membership can be approved quickly.  The URL for the group is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bmh-m/. 



Vern Ruth W8AGV has a Lafayette model HE10 radio to give away free to a good home.  The frequencies are 10.5 to 30 MHz, 4.8 to 14.5 MHz, 1.6 to14.8 MHz, 550 to 1600 KHz  and 0 to 100 KHz.  If you are interested give him a call at 517-523-2369.



Congratulations to three new hams in the county.  Craig Moore KD8TKR, Kevin Moore KD8TKS and Brian Zimmerman KD8TLC were all granted their technician licenses in November.



The US Postal Service (USPS) is seeking to no longer sell International Reply Coupons (IRCs).  According to the Federal Register there is not sufficient demand for the USPS to continue offering IRCs.  International postal regulations require the USPS to continue to redeem IRCs that have been purchased in foreign countries and presented at USPS facilities.  IRCs are often used by amateur radio operators sending QSL cards to each other and it has traditionally been considered good practice to include an IRC when writing to a foreign operator and expecting a reply by mail.  (ARRL story)



The FCC issued an Order on Reconsideration dismissing an ARRL Petition for Reconsideration that asked to deny pending Public Safety Pool license applications associated with the ReconRobotics Video and Audio Surveillance System.  The system transmits real-time video data that operates in the 70 centimeter band.  The ARRL maintained that ReconRobotics had not measured emissions in a manner that complies with Commission rules.  The FCC denied the petition concluding that ReconRobotics used appropriate methodology, but limited the devices to 100 KHz bandwidth.  (ARRL story)



There was plenty of ham activity in space last month.  On 11/18 a Soyuz spacecraft carrying Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams KD5PLB and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko RK3DUP and Aki Hoshide KE5DNI landed in Kazakhstan after spending 127 days in space.  (ARRL story)  On 11/26 NASA Astronaut Ellen Ochoa KB5TZZ was named the next Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  She will take over from Michael L. Coats when he retires at the end of the year.  (ARRL story).  On 11/27 NASA announced that Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko RN3BF and NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly have been selected for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015.  (ARRL story)



The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to amend parts of the Commission’s rules to implement allocation decisions from the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference.  Most of the NPRM does not concern Amateur Radio, but the FCC will be requesting comments on the three parts that do (1) changing the allocation to the amateur portion of the 160 meter band (2) allocating a new Amateur Service band at 135.7-137.8 kHz and (3) cleaning up the rules for the 10.0-10.5 GHz band.  (ARRL story)



Rod Newkirk W9BRD/VA3ZBB, of Ottawa, Ontario became a Silent Key on 11/19.  He wrote the QST column “How’s DX?” from 1947-1978.  He was also credited with coining the term “Elmer”, referring to an experienced ham that serves as a mentor to new and would-be hams.  (ARRL story)



Producer Steven Spielberg used Amateur Radio or Morse code in three of his last four movies: Super 8, The Adventures of Tin Tin and the currently showing Lincoln.  Members of the Morse Telegraph Club played an integral part in the production of Lincoln.  According to club president James Wades WB8SIW several MTC members provided telegraph instruments to equip the 16 operating positions portrayed on the War Department set.  (ARRL story)



Last year the ARRL Board of Directors formed the UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee to develop revised national plans for the amateur bands between 902 MHz and 3.5 GHz.  The committee completed its task and the resulting band plans were approved in July 2012. The committee has now received an additional assignment to conduct a similar update to the 6 and 3 centimeter bands.  They need to know how various segments of these bands are now being utilized around the country.  Read the ARRL story for more details.



The Hillsdale Salvation Army is still looking for volunteer bell ringers for the upcoming holiday season.  The Kettle Campaign goal this year is $170,000.  To volunteer, go to myVolunteerpage.com or call Kathy Stump at 437-4240.  The ARRL and the Salvation Army maintain a Memorandum of Understanding encouraging ongoing liaison with each other.



The FCC is still accepting comments on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks to make changes the Amateur Radio licensing rules.  The FCC proposes to (1) require that Volunteer Examiners (VEs) give examination credit to an applicant who can demonstrate that he or she formerly held a particular class of license, (2) shorten the grace period during which an expired amateur license may be renewed, (3) reduce the number of VEs needed to administer an amateur license examination, (4) amend the Amateur Service rules to allow amateur stations to transmit additional emission types in order to permit Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA).  Comments must be filed by December 24.  (ARRL story    Request for comments)



Club Corner

Club officer elections for 2013 were held on November 15.  Current officers President Don Gambill KC8WAU, Vice President Milt Bowers N8BFD, Secretary Brett Smith KC8ZDA and Treasurer Dan Sprow KC8RYF were all reelected without opposition.  There were no nominees for the Board Member at large position so a special election will be held to fill it.


The next board meeting will be Thursday, January 3 at 7pm at a location to be announced later.  Board meetings are open to all club members.  There will not be a board meeting in December.


The next Ham Breakfast will be Saturday, December 8 at 8am at the Reading Inn, 137 S Main in Reading (map).


There will not be a club meeting in December.  The next club meeting will be Thursday, January 17 at Hillsdale High School (map) in room 131.  Take Bacon Street to Hornet Drive, then turn left at the top of the hill into the parking lot that long ago was the tennis courts.  Use the north entrance by the generator.


Don't forget to check in to the Monday night net, held weekly at 7pm on the 147.06 repeater. 


Upcoming Events

December 6 – Board Meeting Canceled

December 8 – Ham Breakfast at Reading Inn

December 14 – Christmas Party

January 3 – Board Meeting

January 12 – Ham Breakfast

January 17 – Club Meeting


Send us your comments and suggestions to K8HRC@arrl.net

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