HCARC Happenings

August 2013


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


The Club Potluck Picnic will be held on Thursday, August 15 at 6:30pm at Owens Memorial Park on Baw Beese Lake (map).  All area Hams and their guests are invited.  The club will provide burgers and hot dogs.  Attendees are asked to bring a passing dish, drinks (no alcohol please), table service and lawn chairs.  Suggested passing dishes include potato salad, macaroni salad, garden salad, other salads, coleslaw, baked beans, deviled eggs, fresh fruit or vegetables and desserts.  An online signup sheet has been established at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8ZN95N5.  Please use it to RSVP so that we have an idea of how many people are coming.  If you have problems accessing the online signup or need to make changes after you submit it just send me an email at DRGambill@aol.com. Please RSVP by noon on Wednesday, August 14.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, August 10 at 8am at the Tastes of Life (formally Warners Family Restaurant), 3380 Beck Rd in Hillsdale (map).  Please come join us.



The next club meeting will be Thursday, September 19 at 7pm at a location to be announced.  The board is investigating moving the meetings to a different location.



Club membership currently stands at 18 as of August 1.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



One of our Field Day participants is missing a gray hoodie.  If you happened to pick it up by mistake, please let me know by replying to this email and I will put you in touch with the owner.



Tuesday, August 6 is an Election Day.  At the county level there is a 911 operating surcharge renewal on the ballot.  Depending on your precinct there may be other items to vote on.  Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center to check if you are registered and find other election information, including a map to your polling place and a sample ballot.  Be sure to get out and vote and make your voice heard.



A message from Mike Horn WB8TQZ, Michigan Amateur Communications System Net Manager

The Michigan Amateur Communications System (MACS) finds itself facing the same situation many other nets do, namely low participation.  Our good news recently is that traffic is up but the number of people handling it has remained pretty static.  Traffic handling can be an enjoyable facet of the hobby and is a useful skill to have.  Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t as easy as picking up a microphone and talking but, on the other hand, it’s not rocket science either.  The net members have done some brainstorming and have come up with a few ideas we’d like to try.  Starting August 1 we’re going to move the net sessions from 1100 local to 1000 local with the frequency remaining 3.952 MHz with our alternate of 7.232 MHz.  The thinking is that it might be a little easier for more people to find time to participate at that time of day and conditions might be a little more favorable.  Propagation has not been consistently friendly to us for a while.  We’re also going to have member comments first and follow them up with the traffic handling portion of the net.  We’re hoping that this will make people feel a little more relaxed about stopping by to take a look in the first place.  The curious can stick around to see how it’s done.  The first time you take a piece of traffic it can seem pretty intimidating.  I can’t remember the rest of the particulars but I do recall that from my first experience, and that was in the Fall of 1976!  Rest assured that we’ve got time to take the time to break in new operators.  You may receive a lot of comments and information regarding your technique at first but it’s all based on long experience and is designed to make the process easier for both the sending and receiving operators.  We’re also looking for Net Control stations and 8th Region representatives for Thursday and Saturday as well as an 8th Region rep for Monday.  The 8th Region sessions take place at 1230 and 1630 local on 7.235 MHz.  If you think you’d like some of that action just let me know.

73, Mike Horn WB8TQZ MACS Net Manager



Volunteers are always needed to run the Monday Night Ragchew Net.  Check the Calendar page on the club website for the schedule and results.  And don’t forget to check in at 7pm every Monday on the 147.06 MHz repeater.



The ARRL is calling on the FCC to deny a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11699) seeking to permit the encryption of certain amateur communications during emergency operations or related training exercises.  A Massachusetts amateur petitioned the Commission in March to suggest an additional exception to amateur radio rules, which currently prohibit “messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.”  (ARRL story)  (Original ARRL story)



Canada has proposed creating a new medium frequency Amateur Radio band at 472-479 kHz.  The 7-kilohertz sliver of spectrum would be available to hams on a secondary basis.  The new 630 meter band was proposed in a Consultation released in June by Industry Canada, the nation’s radiocommunication regulator.  It proposed numerous revisions to Canada’s table of allocations warranted in the wake of World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12).  Last year the ARRL asked the FCC to carve out the same band for US hams.  (ARRL story)



The InfoAge Science History Museum in New Jersey plans to make a 60 foot tracking dish antenna available to hams for moonbounce, secondary to its function as a radiotelescope.  Daniel Marlow, K2QM, an InfoAge board member who teaches physics at Princeton, wants to use the dish, currently under rehabilitation after being dormant since the 1970s, to pursue radio astronomy for instructional purposes.  He also wants to observe radio pulsars, and since that activity can be performed at 70 centimeters, the TLM-18 will be made available to the Amateur Radio community for EME at 432 MHz on a secondary basis.  The dish, adjacent to the Ocean Monmouth Amateur Radio Club’s (OMARC) N2MO at InfoAge, offers a gain of 35 dBi at 465 MHz.  (ARRL story)



Jeanne Socrates, KC2IOV, a 70-year-old sailor and retired math teacher, completed an around-the-world nonstop, solo sail on July 8.  Socrates took off October 22 from Victoria, British Columbia, in her 38 foot sailboat Nereida.  Ham radio was her link to terra firm during her voyage, which ended where it began.  “My ‘email team’ of cheerful, helpful Amateur Radio operators are now out of a job,” Socrates quipped in her blog after she arrived in port.  (ARRL story)   (Huffington Post story)



The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, a subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists, has closed down.  HAARP’s program manager, Dr James Keeney, told ARRL that the sprawling 35-acre ionospheric research facility in remote Gakona, Alaska, has been shuttered since early May.  “Currently the site is abandoned,” he said.  “It comes down to money.  We don’t have any.” Keeney said no one is on site, access roads are blocked, buildings are chained and the power turned off.  (ARRL story)



Are you proud of your ham radio shack?  Most of us are, and a few among us have put together installations that are worthy of special mention.  This summer, the folks at QRZ will choose a few of the best ham shacks around and schedule a personal visit for an interview and feature article on their front page.  Click here to read the QRC.com article.



The ARRL has reiterated its argument to the FCC that any decision to authorize unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices at 5 GHz “should await a full and complete evaluation of interference potential and interference mitigation techniques among the varied and incumbent users.”  The Amateur Service has a secondary allocation at 5650-5925 MHz in the US.  (ARRL story)  Earlier this year the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making, seeking comments on making available an additional 195 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.35-5.47 GHz and 5.85-5.925 GHz bands for U-NII use.  (Original ARRL story)



Monitoring Times will cease publication with the December issue, after 33 years of service to the radio community.  A full-spectrum monthly magazine for the radio listener, Monitoring Times covers scanning, shortwave and other radio topics from below 500 kHz to 900 MHz and above.



Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s nominee for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, received the approval of the Senate Commerce Committee by voice vote on July 30.  It’s expected that he will be confirmed by the full Senate after Congress returns from its August recess.  Wheeler would replace former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.  (ARRL story)



FCC License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

07/23 KB8PNO Miller, Cathy B – License renewed, address changed

07/24 N8YBA Zalesny, Donald J – License renewed



Upcoming Events

August 10 – Ham Breakfast at Tastes of Life

August 15 – Potluck picnic

September 5 – Board Meeting

September 7 – Grand Rapids Area Hamfest

September 7 – Michiana ARC Hamfest

September 8 – Findlay Hamfest

September 15 – Adrian Hamfest

September 19 – Club Meeting


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

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