HCARC Happenings

January 2013


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


24 club members and guests attended the HCARC Christmas party held on December 14 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ in Hillsdale.  Many thanks to Brenda Sprow (wife of club treasurer Dan KC8RYF) for catering the event, bringing several door prizes and providing the entertainment.  Attendees, many who brought additional door prize items, enjoyed a great meal that included a veggie platter, garden salad, ham, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, corn, baked beans, rolls and an outstanding table of desserts.  After the meal we played a few games and drew for door prizes.  We had enough door prizes, including packaged leftovers from the meal, that everyone walked out with two or three things.  Thanks to the church for letting us use the facility.  A good time was had by all.



Congratulations to Brian Zimmerman KD8TLC, who was elected as 2013 Board Member at Large during a special election that was held at the Christmas party.  The position was not filled during the annual elections held in November due to a lack of candidates.  2013 Officers elected in November are President Don Gambill KC8WAU, Vice President Milt Bowers N8BFD, Secretary Brett Smith KC8ZDA and Treasurer Dan Sprow KC8RYF.



Club membership dues for 2013 are due.  Rates are $15 for regular membership, $5 for household membership (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  All members are asked to fill out an updated membership application as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at the monthly meeting or mailed to club Treasurer Dan Sprow KC8RYF, 3671 Bankers Rd, Hillsdale, MI 49242.  Make checks payable to HCARC or Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club.  Remember also that there is a 3 month grace period during which your 2012 membership allows you to maintain your standing as a member until March 31.



Michigan Senate Bill 1244 (PRB-1) was not voted on before the end of the legislative session.  The bill have would have put state law in sync with FCC regulations with respect to encumbrances to antenna structures.  According to ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R, "this was not unexpected as a result of the timing within the legislative calendar as well as some very high visibility, high priority legislation that eclipsed any opportunity for our bill to come to the top of the pile".  Larry expressed disappointment about the low number of licensed hams that took the time to email their senators, but speculated that this may have been due to the short time window.  The Michigan ARRL PRB-1 Implementation Team is making preparations to get the bill re-introduced in the new legislative session that starts in January.  For more information visit the PRB-1 update website.



The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the Postal Service’s proposal to discontinue outbound International Reply Coupons (IRCs), while retaining inbound IRC service.  The PRC acknowledged that the small number of consumers, such as amateur radio operators, who purchase outbound IRCs, will no longer be able to do so, but they will still have options.  Read QRZ.COM article for more information.



On December 12 and 13 the FITSAT-1 CubeSat sent Morse code by flashing its array of super-bright LEDs. Depending on local conditions, the lights were visible to the naked eye and were easily visible through binoculars.  (read ARRL Story published prior to event)



2012 World Radiocommunication Conference delegates approved a 7-kilohertz-wide secondary allocation between 472-479 KHz for amateur radio.  Before amateurs in the United States can utilize these frequencies, the FCC must first approve its use and amend its rules to reflect the change.  The ARRL filed a Petition for Rulemaking on November 29, asking the FCC to amend its rules accordingly.  (ARRL story)



The FCC was busy levying a couple of substantial fines for illegal operations.  A Kansas ham issued a $10,000 fine for operating an unlicensed broadcast station and a New Jersey ham was fined $16,000 (reduced from $20,000) for violating the Communications Act of 1934.  (Kansas story from ARRL)  (New Jersey story from ARRL)



On January 1 the US Senate confirmed the nomination of Mignon Clyburn to serve a second term as FCC Commissioner.  Clyburn’s five-year appointment is retroactive to July 1, 2012, when her first term expired.  (ARRL story)



The FCC is seeking comments on a proposal to amend its rules to implement the allocation decisions of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference and to make certain other changes.  Specifically, the FCC proposes to upgrade the Amateur Service allocation in the upper half of the 160 meter band (1900-2000 kHz) from secondary to primary.  The FCC also seeks comments on whether, and how, an amateur low frequency allocation might be able to co-exist with Power Line Carrier systems that are used by electric utilities to monitor and control the power grid.  Comments are due by February 25.  Read the ARRL story for more details.



Congratulations to new ham Mark Brooks KD8TUK who was granted his technician license on January 3.  Be sure to say hi if you hear him on the air.



Club Corner

The next Ham Breakfast will be Saturday, January 12 at 8am at the Sidekick Café, 4682 Hudson Road, Osseo (map).


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

January 12 – Ham Breakfast at the Sidekick Café

January 17 – Club Meeting

February 7 – Board Meeting

February 9 – Ham Breakfast at North Adams Coffee Shop

February 21 – Club Meeting


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

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