HCARC Happenings

January 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


The next club meeting will be Thursday, January 16 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 N Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Park in city lot F and use the east entrance off the alley to the Fellowship Hall in the basement.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, January 11 at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Please come join us.  Six hearty souls braved the snowy weather to attend the breakfast last month.



Twenty club members and guests attended the club Christmas party on December 20 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ in Hillsdale.  The club provided ham, chicken and drinks, and attendees brought pot-luck dishes that provided a plentiful selection of food.  After dinner there was a gift exchange.  Many thanks to Brenda Sprow for her help in organizing the party.



In a special election held at the Christmas party, Dan Sprow KC8RYF was elected as 2014 Board Member at Large.  The position was not filled during the annual elections held in November.



Club membership stands at 19 as of December 31. 



Club membership dues for 2014 are due.  You must renew by March 31 to maintain your membership status.  Rates are unchanged from last year and 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 (print 2-sided) as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at the monthly meeting.  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.  Your club appreciates your support.



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 every Monday at 7pm on the 147.06 MHz repeater.



Longtime club member Charlie Hinkle W8CFO is downsizing his station and has some equipment for sale.  Click here for a list.



SKYWARN training will not be offered in Hillsdale County this year.  2014 Spotter Training for the Northern Indiana Forecast Office Northeast Region will be held on March 6 in Archbold, Ohio.  Completion of the Free Online Spotter Training is recommended prior to attending this training session.  Click here for a complete schedule of training for the Northern Indiana office.



A village in New York recently passed law regulating the placement of amateur radio antennas that includes a $1,000 application fee for a special-use permit.  According to the village clerk there previously were no regulations pertaining to HAM operators and local law prohibited such antenna structures.  This local law represents the Village’s efforts to expand the rights of HAM radio operators.  (qrz.com thread)  This puts the spotlight on pending PRB-1 legislation that was introduced in the Michigan Senate in September.  The bill would put state law in sync with FCC regulations with respect to encumbrances to antenna structures.  ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R and State Government Liaison Ed Hude WA8QJE issued a request to amateurs to contact members of the Energy and Technology Committee requesting quick action on the bill.  Click here to follow the progress of the Senate Bill 0493.



Back in November, the ARRL has asked the FCC to delete the symbol rate limit in the Amateur Service rules, replacing it with a maximum bandwidth for data emissions of 2.8 kHz on amateur frequencies below 29.7 MHz.  The ARRL Board of Directors adopted the policy underlying the petition initiative at its July 2013 meeting.  The petition was filed November 15.  (ARRL story)



The FCC has authorized the Maxim Memorial Station W1AW to also use the call sign W1ŘŘAW during 2014, the ARRL’s centennial year.  Contacts made from the Maxim Memorial Station in Newington, from regional Centennial conventions, and during the IARU HF Championship will use W1ŘŘAW, with portable designators as appropriate.  The “W1AW WAS” operations throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states will use W1AW, not W1ŘŘAW.  (ARRL story)



The US House Communications and Technology Subcommittee has announced plans for a multi-year effort to examine and update the Communications Act of 1934, the overarching law under which the FCC functions.  ARRL CEO David Sumner K1ZZ noted that the most recent significant update of the Communications Act was in 1996.  “The subcommittee and its staff are well equipped to take up the challenge,” Sumner said.  “The ARRL will be monitoring the work closely as it goes forward next year and beyond.”  (ARRL story)



The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee has released the new 2014-2018 Technician Class question pool (Element 2) to the public.  This pool will take effect on July 1, 2014, and will remain valid until June 30, 2018.  The current Technician question pool, released in 2010, is valid until June 30, 2014.



InnovAntennas has acquired Force 12 antenna company and product line and has moved the Force 12 factory from Bridgeport, Texas, to Grand Junction, Colorado, into a facility shared with InnovAntennas America.  (ARRL story)



Tokyo Hy-Power, a manufacturer of Amateur Radio amplifiers, antenna tuners, and other equipment, is in bankruptcy.  Its plant near Tokyo has been shuttered.  The company was founded in 1975.  The company president blamed “the recent depression in the industrial RF power products area [which] has led to the very difficult financial position.”  (ARRL story)



Here’s a few articles regarding the solar activity cycle.

Solar Activity Cycle Is Weakest in a Century (qsl.com story)

Sun has 'flipped upside down' magnetically (qsl.com story)

Solar Flux Record High Could Herald Better Conditions (ARRL story)



The ARRL-sponsored medium-frequency experiment, operating as WD2XSH, continues apace in an effort to demonstrate the viability of 472 to 479 kHz as a secondary Amateur Radio allocation.  At the same time, the FCC has been silent regarding the ARRL’s November 2012 Petition for Rulemaking that asked the Commission to make this segment of the spectrum available to radio amateurs in the US.  Delegates to the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference approved a 7 kHz-wide secondary allocation between 472 and 479 kHz for the Amateur Radio Service, with a power limit of 5 W EIRP (or 1 W EIRP, depending on location).  (ARRL story)



FCC License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

12/22/13 KB8OXK  Bruce A. Van Wieren, license renewed, address changed to out of county.




The ARRL Centennial QSO Party kicked off January 1 for a year-long operating event in which participants can accumulate points and win awards in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ARRL.  During 2014 W1AW will be on the air from every state (at least twice) and most US territories, and it will be easy to work all states solely by contacting W1AW portable operations.  The event is open to all, although only ARRL members and appointees, elected officials, HQ staff and W1AW are worth points.  (ARRL story)



ARRL membership certificates commemorating the League’s 100th anniversary in 2014 now are available.  Members logged onto the League’s website can generate their own certificates or cards online for printing.  (ARRL story)



The ARRL Repeater Directory for Android beta version is available at Goggle Play.  It is free and fully functional until February 28.  After the beta period expires, you must upgrade to the Premium version to retain full functionality.  Click here to for more info or to download.



Upcoming Events

January 11 – Ham Breakfast

January 16 – Club Meeting

February 8 – Ham Breakfast

February 16 - Livonia Hamfest

March 15 – Marshall Hamfest

March 16 – Toledo Hamfest


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

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