HCARC Happenings

May 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


This is the first edition of HCARC Happenings to be published as a web page instead of an email.  The newsletter link will be sent out in an email.  Previous versions of HCARC Happenings have also been converted to web pages and can be accessed on the Club Info page of our website.



The next club meeting will be Thursday, May 8 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 an update from ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R.  Note that the May meeting has been moved up a week to avoid conflict with the Dayton Hamvention.



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



We could still use a couple more volunteers for the Hillsdale County CROP Walk on Sunday, May 4.  The CROP Walk is a community-wide event to raise funds to end hunger.  Last year almost $6000 was raised for area pantries.  The walk starts at 2pm at the Hillsdale Salvation Army Corps Community Center, 160 E Bacon in Hillsdale (map), walking the Baw Beese Trail to Sandy Beach and returning.  Amateur Radio volunteers are needed starting about 1:15pm until about 3:30pm to work the parking area, staff a water station at the beach, and monitor points along the trail.  To volunteer, sign up here.



Volunteers are still needed for the Community Action Agency (CAA) Head Start Picnic on Thursday, May 15.  Amateur Radio volunteers with HTs are needed from 10:30am to 1:00pm to work the parking lot detail.  We’ve worked this event for the last four years and had lots of fun.  Free lunch is available to volunteers.  CAA is located at 55 Barnard in Hillsdale (map).  This is a weekday and many people are working, so if you are off and available we really need your help.  To volunteer, sign up here.



Field Day is coming up June 28 & 29.  Anyone interested in serving as chairperson or helping with planning should contact club leadership.



Congratulations to new ham Jim Spencer KD8YDD of Hudson who was granted his General license on April 10.  Jim passed both his element 2 and 3 tests.  He has a chiropractic practice in Camden.



Club membership stands at 14 as of April 30.  There was one renewal and one new member since March 31.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



The 16th annual Michigan Section Family Outing will be held July 10-13 at the Woodlands Conference Center & Campgrounds in Hale (map).  This event is an opportunity to get together in a very relaxed atmosphere for a day or two or three or four, depending on your interests and time available.  If you are a camper or an RV’er or just like to get out into the woods, the Section Outing is for you!  For those that like the comfort of a hotel room, those are available in West Branch just a short drive from the campground.  There will plenty of fun events along with learning experiences for the whole family.  Check the calendar often as more activities and details are added as we get closer to the event date.



Updated weather summary for Hillsdale city created with data from Accuweather.com and local measurements.  April was more seasonable, with 14 of the daily highs above normal and 16 below.  Total unofficial snowfall for the winter season was 90.9 inches, compared to 28.6 inches the previous winter and 39.6 inches in 2011-2012.


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






26 of 31






16 of 30






126 of 181







May forecast as of April 30





21 of 31



The ARRL has posted a Centennial QSO Party leader board that participants can use to determine how many points they have accumulated in the Centennial QSO Party and in the W1AW WAS (Worked All States) operations.  Log in using your Logbook of The World (LoTW) user name and password, and your position will appear at the top of the leader boards.  Results are updated daily, based on contacts entered into LoTW.



The Southwest Michigan Amateur Radio Team in Kalamazoo is sponsoring a bus trip to the Dayton Hamvention on Saturday, May 17.  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 click here or contact Mike Greis KD8GTX (KD8GTX@ARRL.Net  269-998-2358) or Chip Locke WB8ALW (WB8ALW@ARRL.Net  269-998-8122).



Authorities in California say Amateur Radio was responsible for the rescue of five adult hikers, who became lost in San Emigdio Canyon.  The group had left Pine Mountain Club on the morning of March 22 when they went astray.  “They had hand-held radios with them and called an Amateur Radio operator in Pine Mountain Club to report [they were] lost,” a Kern County Sheriff’s Department summary said.  “Air-1 quickly located the lost hikers in a dry creek bed…and a ground unit transported them to their vehicle.” The sheriff’s office said the hikers, who had plenty of food and water, “were extremely exhausted, but did not require medical aid.”  (ARRL story)



Icom Incorporated is celebrating 50 years in the wireless communications industry.  The company is a respected manufacturer and industry leader of two-way radio.  Icom’s current product line serves amateur, avionics, marine and land mobile markets.  The company spearheads digital technology such as D-STAR and the Icom Advanced Digital System.  (Icom article)



Amateur Radio propagation and solar phenomena authority Carl Luetzelschwab K9LA said in an April 27 webinar that most solar scientists believe several low solar cycles lie ahead, ushering in periods of diminished HF propagation, especially on the higher bands.  Luetzelschwab, who maintains K9LA’s Amateur Radio Propagation Web Site and pens a regular “Propagation” column for National Contest Journal, stopped short of concluding that we’ll experience a Maunder minimum, an extended period of very few or no sunspots.  As the Marshall Space Flight Center’s “Solar Physics” web page explains, early sunspot records indicate that the Sun went through an inactive period from about 1645 to 1715, called the Maunder minimum after the scientist who discovered it, when very few sunspots were observed.  (ARRL story)



The 2014 Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Communication Test will take place on Saturday, May 10.  The US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard co-sponsor the annual Amateur Radio/US military communication test.  The 64th Armed Forces Day officially takes place on May 17, but the Armed Forces Day event takes place a week earlier, on May 10, to avoid conflicting with Dayton Hamvention.  The on-the-air celebration features traditional military-to-Amateur Radio cross-band communication on both SSB and CW.  Most activity gets underway at 1200 UTC.  QSL cards will be provided to those stations making contact with the military stations.  (ARRL story)



PRB-1 Update

On April 8, three members of the PRB-1 team (WA8QJE, KD8NKJ and WB8R) met in Senator Jones’ office in Lansing with representatives of the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Township Association to discuss our common goals.  According to ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R “Thus far the results have been determined to be positive”.  Click here to follow the progress of the Senate Bill 0493.



FCC License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

04/08/14 Moore, Craig A KD8TKR address updated



FCC Enforcement News

A Texas radio amateur has agreed to turn in his Amateur Extra class license and make a $1000 voluntary contribution as part of an agreement with the FCC to settle an enforcement action against him.  The FCC earlier this year issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (reported in March newsletter) after determining that he “apparently willfully violated” FCC rules by interfering with Amateur Radio communications.  The Commission had proposed a $7000 fine.  The action was in response other radio amateurs’ complaints of intentional interference on 7.195 MHz.  (ARRL story)



The FCC has cited a Washington state resident for operating an “incidental radiator”, apparently some sort of lighting device, that has been causing harmful interference on Amateur Radio frequencies.  The Commission has ordered the man to “take steps to eliminate all harmful interference” or risk substantial fines and seizure of equipment.  The Enforcement Bureau action came in the wake of repeated complaints last year of interference to Amateur Radio operations.  The FCC warned him that he faces “severe penalties, including fines of up to $16,000 per day,” if he fails to take action to resolve the interference issue.  (ARRL story)




The ARRL has announced a Centennial Station Giveaway as part of its National Centennial Convention to be held in Hartford, Connecticut, July 17-19, 2014.  Sponsored by the ARRL and R&L Electronics, the first-prize winner will receive a Grand Prize voucher worth up to $5000 of equipment, redeemable for products sold by R&L Electronics.  (ARRL story)



Hillsdale County Emergency Management is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test, so if you are interested contact Cindy at the HCEM office.  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).



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.  (List updated 04/09/14)



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

May 4 – CROP Walk (sign up here)

May 7 – Board Meeting

May 8 – Club meeting

May 10 – Ham Breakfast at Tastes of Life, 3380 Beck Rd in Hillsdale (map)

May 15 – CAA Head Start Picnic (sign up here)

May 16-18 – Dayton Hamvention

June 1 – Chelsea Hamfest

June 7 – Fulton County Hamfest

June 7Independent Repeater Association Hamfest (Hudsonville)

June 14 – Ham Breakfast

June 15 – Monroe Hamfest

June 21West Michigan Youth Club Hamfest (Lowell)

June 28-29 – Field Day


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

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