HCARC Happenings

March 2013


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


Club membership dues for 2013 are due.  You must renew by March 31 to maintain your membership status.  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.  We finished 2012 with 17 members.  Currently 11 have renewed and there are 2 new members.  Your club appreciates your support.



Mark your calendar for Field Day, which is coming up on June 22-23.  The ARRL Field Day web page has been updated with rules and information packets, along with the 2013 logo.  The HCARC Field Day page has also been updated to reflect this.  Anyone interested in participating in the planning process should contact a member of club leadership.  Your participation is appreciated.  Don’t know what Field Day is?  Click here for a Field Day primer.



Club member Mark Seevers KC8QVX, who owns and operates the 147.06 repeater system, hopes to install a receive site on the big tower just north of Reading this spring.  He has equipment, but will incur fees to have a professional climber install it on the tower.  At the February club meeting the membership approved a board recommendation to allocate up to $200 from the club treasury for the cost of the climber, minus whatever we can collect from area hams.  We all derive benefit from Mark’s repeater system, so please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or more if you can.  We are not asking for money at this time, but just consider it as springtime approaches.  We’ll let you know when we know the actual cost.



Anyone interested in being net control operator for the Monday night net on either the first or forth Monday of each month please contact Bill Hicks WB8FFO.  Logan Crook KD8OMD has volunteered to be net control on the third Monday, and the second Monday is the emergency test net.  Net control stations should send a report of net activity, including the number of check-ins, number of NTS messages handled, and net duration to ARES EC Dan Sprow KC8RYF with a copy to ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R.  Don't forget to check into the net, held weekly at 7pm on the 147.06 repeater.



The next Ham Breakfast will be Saturday, March 9 at 8am at the Reading Inn, 137 S Main in Reading (map).  Please come join us, even if just for coffee and conversation.



The next club meeting will be Thursday, March 21 at 7pm 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.  The program will feature Hillsdale County 911/Central Dispatch and Emergency Management Director Doug Sanford N8WFB.



Lots of other news this month…so let’s get to it!!!

The Hillsdale Daily News recently ran an ad titled “Tell us about your hobbies”.  The ad, which ran February 15 on page 2, goes on to say “use photos to explain”.  This is a good opportunity to promote amateur radio and the club.  If you are interested, send your information to along with your daytime phone number to Jamie.barrand@hillsdale.net or mail/drop off to: Hillsdale Daily News, 33 McCullum Street, Hillsdale, MI 49242. 



Congratulations to new county ham Thomas Crow KD8UCQ, who was granted a technician license by the FCC on February 21.



The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is offering an electronic version of the 2012 International Radio Regulations at no charge.  These regulations incorporate the decisions of recent World Radiocommunication Conferences, including all Appendices, Resolutions, Recommendations and ITU-R Recommendations incorporated by reference.  Article 25 of the regulations defines the Amateur Radio Service.  The free download is available through mid-2014.  (ARRL story   Download page)



The Universal Postal Union has introduced the newest model of the International Reply Coupon (IRC): The Doha model will replace the Nairobi model.  Although the US Postal Service (USPS) no longer sells IRCs, they are still available in other countries and post offices in the US are mandated to redeem them.  (ARRL story)



Hammond Manufacturing of Cheektowaga, NY announced on February 22 that it will take over the Peter W.  Dahl line of transformers from Harbach Electronics.  (ARRL story)  Earlier in the month Harbach had announced that it would discontinue producing and selling the transformers.  (ARRL story)  Peter Dahl K0BIT retired in 2007 and sold his company to Harbach.  According to both companies, finalization of the acquisition and transfer of assets will take place over the next few weeks and be completed by March 31.



The ABC comedy Last Man Standing will air episode in mid-March that will prominently feature scenes with cast members using Amateur Radio.  The show stars Michigan’s own Tim Allen as Mike Baxter KA0XTT.  According to show Producer John Amodeo NN6JA, the episode will feature several of the regular cast members talking on the radios.  Amodeo told the ARRL, “this episode has the most significant use of Amateur Radio in a TV comedy since Herman Munster W6XRL4 got his ham license.”  “In addition to the original KA0XTT station in Mike Baxter’s work office, viewers will get to see Mike’s ham shack in the basement of his home,” Amodeo explained.  “A cast member will also be calling in from a portable HF radio while hiking along the Amazon.”   (ARRL story   Mike’s Facebook page   Youtube video of Herman Munster calling CQ)



A free app called mPING (mobile Precipitation Identification Near the Ground) was launched recently by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, in partnership with the University of Oklahoma.  The app lets users anonymously report precipitation from their Apple or Android mobile device.  Amateur Radio operatior and Principal Investigator Dr Kim Elmore N5OP, who helped develop the application, said “mPING gives the public a unique opportunity to act as citizen scientists, allowing them to report their observations of precipitation, such as snow, rain, ice pellets or a mix, in real time”.  (ARRL story)



Amateur Radio operators in New England and the Canadian Maritimes responded as a blizzard swept across the region on February 9-10.  Some areas received upwards of 3 feet of snow as blizzard conditions brought hurricane force winds that created power outages and significant tree and power line damage.  Read the ARRL story for an extensive report.



In a news item posted on the ARRL website on August 1, 2012 and published in October 2012 QST, as well as the August 3, 2012 issue of this newsletter, it was reported that Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić held the call sign YU1YU.  The ARRL has learned that although Prime Minister Dačić was a radio club member and passed the examination for an Amateur Radio operator license, and while YU1YU was suggested to him as a call sign for which he could apply, he has never applied for a personal call sign.  (ARRL story)



The Doppler radar at NWS Northern Indiana is back in service after undergoing an upgrade to incorporate a new technology called dual-polarization.  The radar was down from February 11 to February 15.  Click here for more information.



The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has proposed changes to spectrum usage in the 2300 to 2302 MHz band that will make it off limits to Australian amateurs.  The ACMA wants to re-allocate the spectrum to wireless data systems.  According to the Wireless Institute of Australia, this secondary Amateur Radio allocation is the only viable option for Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) contacts between Australia and Region II.  Responding to news of the ACMA proposal, ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner K1ZZ said, “Amateurs in the United States are in no immediate danger of losing 2300-2305 MHz because the use of the 2300-2400 MHz band by various radio services in this country is quite different from most of the world.  Unfortunately, our colleagues in many other countries are facing the same challenge as in Australia as the pressure grows for commercial mobile broadband services.”  (ARRL story)



American Red Cross Emergency Communication Response Vehicles (ECRVs) will be phased out and decommissioned due to changes in technology as well as a new satellite system and other factors regarding the vehicle fleet.  Radio amateurs who are concerned about how the decommissioning of ECRVs will affect opportunities to serve the American Red Cross can be assured that such opportunities still exist.  “This should not be seen as a setback for those radio amateurs who are working with the American Red Cross,” said ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey KI1U.  “In disaster response, adaptability is critical and keeping up with new technology is essential.  This all must be done with a mind toward an effective and efficient response.  Amateurs have played an important role in assisting the American Red Cross with their mission and I know we will continue to do so in the future.”  (ARRL story)



FCC Enforcement News: The FCC upheld a June 2011 Forfeiture Order in the amount of $24,000 to a California man, a licensee of a General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) station, who was accused of repeatedly and intentionally jamming four land-mobile frequencies assigned to a shopping center in 2009.  (ARRL story)  On February 25 the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in the amount of $10,000 to a Missouri man that the FCC said “apparently and willfully violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by operating an unlicensed radio transmitter on the frequency 14.312 MHz”.  The man, who does not currently hold an Amateur Radio license, was operating in the phone portion of the 20 meter band that is assigned to the Amateur Radio Service on a primary basis.  (ARRL story)



The International Telecommunication Union announced the adoption of the Varicode alphabet that was developed by Peter Martinez G3PLX in the 1990s.  Martinez was awarded the ARRL Technical Innovation Award for the year 2000 for his development of PSK31, which uses Varicode for transmission efficiency.  (ARRL story)



The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to revise the Part 15 rules governing unlicensed national information infrastructure devices in the 5 GHz band.  These devices presently operate in the frequency bands 5.15- 5.35 GHz and 5.47-5.825 GHz and use wideband digital modulation techniques to provide a wide array of high data rate mobile and fixed communications.  The Amateur Radio Service has a secondary allocation at 5.65-5.925 GHz, including an Amateur Satellite Service uplink allocation of 5.65-5.67 GHz and a downlink allocation of 5.83-5.85 GHz.  (ARRL story)



Upcoming Events

March 7 – Board Meeting

March 9 – Ham Breakfast at Reading Inn

March 16 – Marshall Hamfest

March 17 – Toledo Hamfest

March 21 – Club Meeting

March 30 – Lowell Hamfest

April 4 – Board Meeting

April 13 – Ham Breakfast at Sidekick Cafe

April 18 – Club Meeting

April 20 – Milford Hamfest

April 20 – Peru Hamfest

April 20-21 – Michigan QSO Party


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

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