HCARC Happenings

March 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


The next club meeting will be Thursday, March 20 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 and follow the signs.  The program will feature Hillsdale County 911/Central Dispatch and Emergency Management Director Doug Sanford N8WFB talking about the upcoming severe weather season.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 8 at 8am at the Downtown Café (formally the Downtown Diner and the Reading Inn), 137 S Main in Reading (map).  Please come join us.



Club membership stands at 19 as of February 28, including those in the grace period.  So far 7 members have renewed for 2014.



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 or mailed to club Treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS, 2175 Blackmer Drive, Jonesville, MI 49250.  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.  Thanks for your support.



The first tornado siren test of the year will be held on Monday, March 3 at 10am.  Hillsdale County Emergency Management is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly test, so if you are interested contact Cindy at the HCEM office.  Tornado siren tests are held on the first Monday of the month (except September which is the second Monday), March through October at 6pm (except March & September which are held at 10am).



We all know it’s been a cold and snowy winter.  Since November 1, there has been over 6 feet of snowfall in Hillsdale.  The high and low temperatures have been much colder than normal.  The chart below was created from data from Accuweather.com and measurements I’ve taken myself.  The National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office also has an interesting web page that looks at the winter season so far.  Click here to view it.


Snow (inches)

∑ Daily High Departure From Normal (degrees Fahrenheit)

∑ Daily Low Departure From Normal (degrees Fahrenheit)

# Days Record Low Temp Tied or Set

# Days High Temp Below Average






19 of 30






19 of 31






23 of 31






23 of 28






84 of 120



As part of its Centennial celebration, the ARRL has debuted a video “ARRL at 100 — A Century of Ham Radio”, that explains the League’s history and mission over the past century.  Past ARRL Manager for Media and Public Relations Allen Pitts W1AGP wrote and produced the half-hour presentation.  Pitts said he got started on the project about a year ago with a personal study of the League’s history.  (ARRL story)  (View video)  (Purchase DVD)



On February 11 a Senate Hearing on pending PRB-1 legislation was held in Lansing within the Energy and Technology Committee, chaired by Senator Mike Nofs.  In addition to ARRL testimony, there were two organizations testifying that are opposed to the bill along with a village manager.  Senator Nofs instructed one of his aides to set up a meeting between the ARRL team and the Michigan Municipal League to work out differences and come up with a revised bill that meets the needs of both groups.  Click here to read the complete report on the ARRL Michigan Section page.  Click here to follow the progress of the Senate Bill 0493.



The Village of Swanton, Ohio is appealing the decision of the Fulton County Common Pleas Court in a case involving application of Ohio’s new antenna legislation (PRB-1).  The Court ordered the approval of an application to the village by Gary Wodtke WW8N for approval of an antenna variance.  The Village denied the application and Wodtke appealed that decision.  The Court ruled in Wodtke’s favor and the Village is now appealing that order.  (QRZ.com story)  The ARRL plans to file a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of Wodtke.  (ARRL story)



The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the release of its Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy to increase available spectrum in order to meet growing demand from the commercial wireless industry.  Amateur UHF and Microwave spectrum is shared with DoD.  The release of 500 MHz may result in more intensive use by the DoD of the remaining shared spectrum.  (QRZ.com story)



TX Factor is now on-line and ready to view at www.txfactor.co.uk.  It is the first TV show produced in the UK dedicated to Amateur Radio and is produced by broadcast professionals who are also hams.  It is totally fee to view with no sign up or form filling required!  (QRZ.com story)



Members of an Oregon amateur radio club used radio direction-finding techniques to locate a man suffering from dementia, who had gone missing.  The man’s wife reported that he had wandered away from the couple’s home.  Fortunately, the man was wearing a Project Lifesaver RDF bracelet.  Specially trained hams were able to track down and locate the missing man  (ARRL story)



FCC License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

None in February



FCC Enforcement News

The FCC has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to a Texas ham after determining that he “apparently willfully violated” FCC rules by interfering with Amateur Radio communications.  The Commission proposed a $7000 fine.  The action was in response to complaints from other radio amateurs of intentional interference on 7.195 MHz.  (ARRL story)




Volunteers are always needed to run the Monday Night Ragchew Net.  Check the Net Control Schedule 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.



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)  Lots of addition information about the centennial QSO party is available here.



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)



Upcoming Events

March 8 – Ham Breakfast at Downtown Café in Reading (map)

March 12 – Board Meeting

March 15 – Marshall Hamfest

March 16 – Toledo Hamfest

March 20 – Club meeting

April 12 – Ham Breakfast

April 12 - Milford Hamfest

May 16-18 - Dayton Hamvention


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

HCARC Home Page