HCARC Happenings

April 2013


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


The next Ham Breakfast will be Saturday, April 13 at 8am at the Sidekick Cafe, 4682 Hudson Road in Osseo (map).  Please come join us, even if just for coffee and conversation.



The next club meeting will be Thursday, April 18 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 on the north side of the building.  Use the entrance by the generator.  Everyone welcome.  Bring a friend.



Club membership currently stands at 15 as of April 1.  We had 17 members at the end of 2012.  Three new members have joined in 2013.  Five members from 2012 did not renew.  Membership applications available here.



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.



Anyone interested in being net control operator for the Monday night net please contact Bill Hicks WB8FFO.  A net control schedule (with results) has been posted on the HCARC Calendar page.  Net control stations (NCS) should send a report of net activity, including the number of check-ins (including yourself), number of NTS messages handled, and net duration to ARES EC Dan Sprow KC8RYF with a copy to HCARC Webmaster Don Gambill KC8WAU.  It is not necessary to report individual net results to ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R, as was reported in this newsletter last month.  Dan will summarize the monthly results and send them to Larry.



In the last couple of newsletters club member Logan Crook’s call sign was erroneously listed as KD8OMB.  His call sign is actually KD8OMD.



The Severe Weather Preparedness Training and Symposium, previously scheduled for February 26 and postponed due to bad weather, oddly enough, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 24 at 6pm at the Community Health Center of Branch County Conference Center, 370 E Chicago in Coldwater (map green arrow).  This training, organized and presented by Branch County Emergency Management, is open to all who are interested and is highly recommended for newcomers and as a refresher for more experienced spotters.  The speaker will be meteorologist and emergency management planner Rob Dale.  Rob has many years of experience as an on-air meteorologist in Toledo and Lansing and currently works as a Regional Planner for Ingham County Emergency Management.  Rob is also a licensed amateur (N8GSK) and has considerable storm spotting experience.  There is also a basic spotter training course available online here.  There will not be any spotter training in Hillsdale County this year.  (Updated flyer)



Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan is April 7-13.  The Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness has released an information packet available by clicking here.



Hillsdale County 9-1-1/Central Dispatch and Hillsdale County Emergency Management have implemented a system called CodeRED, which is used to send critical communications, including severe weather warnings, evacuation notices and missing child alerts.  Click here to sign up to receive messages via phone or email.



Congratulations to new county ham Joseph Gosla KD8UJS of Jonesville who was granted his technician license on March 22.  Be sure to say hi if you hear him on the air.



The Hillsdale Daily News has been running an ad titled “Tell us about your hobbies”.  The ad, which ran as recently as March 28 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 in showing off your shack, send your information to along with your daytime phone number to Jamie.barrand@hillsdale.net or mail/drop off to: Hillsdale Daily News, 2764 W Carleton (yes…they moved), Hillsdale, MI  49242.



The Southwest Michigan Amateur Radio Team in Kalamazoo is sponsoring a bus trip to the Dayton Hamvention on Saturday May 18.  The cost is $100 and includes the bus ride, continental breakfast on bus, Hamvention tickets and dinner on the return trip.  If there is interest the bus can stop in Coldwater at US-12 & I-69.  For more information check their website or contact Mike Greis KD8GTX (KD8GTX@ARRL.Net  269-998-2358) or Chip Locke WB8ALW (WB8ALW@ARRL.Net  269-998-8122).



The Michigan ARRL Section Outing will be held on July 11-14 at the Woodlands Conference Center & Campgrounds in Hale (map).  It's a 4-day fun-filled event hosted by your ARRL Michigan Section Staff involving fun events for the whole family.  Camping, RVing, canoeing, horseshoes, volleyball, softball, boating, swimming facilities are available all day every day of the outing for your pleasure.  The event is free to attend, although campsites and beds in the Bunkhouse have a nominal charge.  Motels and Bed-and-Breakfasts are available just a short drive away.  Meals are Pot-Luck but a main course will be provided.  Donations are accepted to help cover costs.  You can stop by for just a day or stay for the entire event.  Click here for more information.



George Hart W1NJM became a Silent Key on March 24.  He was the chief developer of the National Traffic System.  (ARRL story)



Montana’s Governor recently signed legislation prohibiting local governments from regulating licensed Amateur Radio operations from a motor vehicle in order to protect Amateur Radio operators from distracted driving laws.  The new law also establishes a 100-foot by-right height below which local jurisdictions may not regulate Amateur Radio towers.  (ARRL story)



On March 15 the ABC comedy Last Man Standing aired an episode prominently featuring scenes with cast members using Amateur Radios.  The show stars Michigan’s own Tim Allen as Mike Baxter KA0XTT.  Click here to watch the full episode and here to view a Youtube video with some background information including shots of the ham radio gear used on the show.  (KA0XTT’s Facebook page)



Hams in space: International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford KF5GPP returned to earth on March 15, after spending 143 days in space.  (ARRL story)  NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy KF5KDR and Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov RV3BS launched on March 28 from Kazakhstan and joined Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield VA3OOG/KC5RNJ and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn KE5HOC, already aboard the ISS.  (ARRL story)



The ARRL reported that in early March Microsoft blocked e-mail to the more than 20,000 members who use the arrl.net e-mail forwarding service to forward e-mail to Microsoft domains (hotmail.com, msn.com, live.com and outlook.com).  The situation was mitigated as of March 10.  (ARRL stories  1  2)



The US Postal Service (USPS) introduced a new Global Forever First-Class Mail International stamp.  Priced at $1.10 each and offered in a pane of 20, the new stamp offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International 1-ounce letter to any country in the world, as well as 2-ounce letters to Canada.  The USPS no longer sells International Reply Coupons (IRCs).  (USPS announcement  ARRL story)



According to NASA, the current solar cycle #24 should hit its “solar max” sometime in this year, but so far solar activity has been relatively low.  According to an article by NASA’s Dr Tony Phillips, this period of quiet has led some observers to wonder if forecasters missed the mark.  Solar physicist Dean Pesnell has a different explanation: “This is solar maximum.  But it looks different from what we expected because it is double peaked.”  Pesnell noted similarities between the current cycle and Solar Cycle 14, which happened between February 1902 and August 1913 and experienced a double peak.  If the two cycles are in fact twins “it would mean one peak in late 2013 and another in 2015.”  (ARRL story)



The ARRL UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee is seeking comments on proposed plans for the 5 and 10 GHz bands.  Comments should be submitted via email by April 30.  (ARRL story)



The FCC issued an order granting a temporary waiver to transmit communications on amateur service channels above 30 MHz using single time-slot Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) systems.  The temporary waiver was granted pending the resolution of a related rulemaking proceeding.  (ARRL story)



FCC resignations: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell both announced that they would be leaving the Commission.  McDowell announced his resignation during the FCC’s open meeting on March 20, while Genachowski made his announcement in remarks to FCC staff on March 22.  The resignations leave 2 Democrats and 1 Republican on the Commission.  The FCC is directed by five commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for five-year terms, except when filling an unexpired term.  The president designates one of the commissioners to serve as chairman.  Only three commissioners may be members of the same political party, and none can have a financial interest in any commission-related business.  (ARRL story)



FCC Enforcement News: A Florida ham was issued a $25,000 fine for operating an unlicensed radio transmitter interfering with a county sheriff department.  (ARRL story).  The FCC decided to reduce the fine of a Philadelphia ham from $4,000 to $3500 “for apparently willfully and repeatedly operating his amateur radio station on the unauthorized frequency 26.71 MHz at his residence”.  (ARRL story)



Upcoming Events

April 4 – Board Meeting

April 13 – Ham Breakfast at Sidekick Cafe (map)

April 18 – Club Meeting

April 20-21 – Michigan QSO Party

April 20 – Milford Hamfest

April 24 - Severe Weather Preparedness Training and Symposium

May 2 – Board Meeting

May 11 – Ham Breakfast

May 16 – Club Meeting

May 17-19 – Dayton Hamvention

June 22-23 – Field Day


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

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