HCARC Happenings

June 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County


There will not be a club meeting in June.  The next club meeting will be Thursday, July 17.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, June 14 at 8am at the Sidekick Cafe, 4682 Hudson Road in Osseo (map).  Everyone welcome!



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



The club has a new email address.  The address is K8HRC@arrl.net.  The email address is a reflector service that is offered by the ARRL to affiliated clubs.  The email address is included in several places on our website.



Club membership stands at 14 as of May 31.  No new members since April 30.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



Four county hams provided volunteer services to the Hillsdale County CROP Walk that was held May 4.  Walkers started at the Hillsdale Salvation Army Corps Community Center in Hillsdale and walked along the Baw Beese Trail for two miles to Sandy Beach before returning.  Amateur Radio volunteers directed traffic to parking areas, monitored the trail and distributed water to walkers.  CROP Walk organizers presented amateur radio volunteers Don Gambill KC8WAU, Joe Gosla KD8UJS, Craig Moore KD8TKR and Dan Sprow KC8RYF with certificates of appreciation proclaiming them as members of The Order of the Golden Bandaid.



Two county volunteer hams provided Amateur Radio services to the Community Action Agency Head Start Picnic May 16.  Don Gambill KC8WAU and Brett Smith KC8ZDA directed an estimated 175 vehicles to parking spaces, maintaining an orderly flow of traffic throughout the event.



The ARRL has commented in opposition to an FCC proposal that would leave licensed radio service users vulnerable to interference from unlicensed devices.  In a docket unrelated to Amateur Radio spectrum, the Commission has indicated that it’s willing to consider adding licensed Globalstar terrestrial users to the 2473-2483.5 MHz band, already shared by licensed and unlicensed services, with the condition that customer handset users in the new allocation accept interference from unlicensed radio services now legally operating there.  The League’s comments were in response to a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in IB Docket 13-213 and RM-11-685.  (ARRL story)  (ARRL comments)



Coconino County in Arizona passed an ordinance banning cell phone use while driving that also includes most mobile ham radio operations.  The new law specifically prohibits the mobile use of two-way radios, including amateur radios, unless the operator is relaying a message between first responders in an emergency.  (Arizona Daily Sun story)  (Coconino County FAQ)  The city of Flagstaff exercised its option under Arizona law to opt out of the ordinance, citing the ban on two-way radios as a primary reason.  (Arizona Daily Sun story)



The Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal from the Village of Swanton, in an Amateur Radio antenna zoning case.  Gary Wodtke WW8N has been trying since 2009 to erect a 60 foot antenna support structure on his residential lot and it now appears that he will be able to do so.  The village has established a fixed antenna height of 20 feet above the residential roofline, and it turned down Wodtke’s antenna variance application for the taller structure.  On appeal, Wodtke won a final judgment in his favor in the Fulton County Common Pleas Court.  The court ruled that federal and state (PRB-1) law preempted Swanton’s antenna ordinance.  ARRL Ohio Section State Government Liaison Nick Pittner K8NAP, an attorney, believes “The Ohio Municipal League seems intent on challenging (the PRB-1 law) in court, and will likely try to do so in some other case.  (ARRL Story)  (Original ARRL story)



The ARRL celebrated the 100th anniversary of the League’s founding on May 18, the last day of the Dayton Hamvention.  A birthday party and free cake helped to draw a room-filling crowd of 200 or more for the Sunday morning occasion.  ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN told the gathering, “The Second Century is up to us,” and expressed the hope that in another 100 years, the Amateur Radio community would reflect on the League’s first century with respect and admiration.  (ARRL story)



The 2014 Whiskey Off-Road Mountain Bike Event on April 26 in Arizona quickly developed into an emergency exercise for Yavapai Amateur Radio Club volunteers who were supporting communication for the 11th annual race.  About an hour after it began, temperatures dropped, and riders were confronted with a mixture of rain, high wind, sleet, and snow.  As the weather worsened, some riders dropped out at the second checkpoint, returning to Prescott via a connecting road.  Other riders, however, soldiered on for another two checkpoints, at which time another 50 participants quit due to the worsening weather, with some exhibiting symptoms of hypothermia.  Event communications quickly switched into evacuation mode, and the net control station contacted all checkpoints to determine how many riders needed transportation.  (ARRL story)



Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce the official Canadian implementation of the 472-479 kHz band.  “Agreed to in 2012 at the World Radio Conference (WRC), and now approved in Canada this is more good news for Canadian amateur radio”, said RAC President Geoff Bawden VE4BAW.  While approved at WRC 12 by the International Telecommunications Union, each country then must implement regulations for its amateurs before the band is available.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)



The RFinder team and Echolink creator K1RFD have collaborated to make it easier than ever to find an EchoLink machine anywhere on the planet.  By downloading the EchoLink, v1.4.8 and RFinder v3.14.128, both now available at Google Play, you can search for a repeater anywhere on Earth and connect to that node directly just by touching the node number.  (QRZ.com story)



TEN-TEC and RF Concepts have announced that they are merging.  RF Concepts Chairman Michael Seedman AA6DY declared the union the perfect combination of amateur radio brands, creating a multi-million-dollar company with products that span QRP transceivers to full-legal-limit amplifiers and establishes an organization with the size and scale to continue to innovate into the next decade and beyond.  (Read announcement)  (ARRL story)



The FCC has dismissed without prejudice a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11651) by Lockheed Martin that would have amended Part 15 rules to expand deployment of the company’s radio frequency identification (RFID) system in the 433 MHz band (433.5-434.5 MHz).  Lockheed Martin sold its RFID business 2 years ago, but the company only this month requested that the petition be withdrawn and the proceeding terminated.  The ARRL had staunchly opposed the Lockheed Martin petition.  (ARRL story)



The ARRL has launched a new online resource that allows users to take randomly generated practice exams using questions from the actual examination question pool.  ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio is free, and users do not need to be ARRL members.  “The ARRL’s online Exam Review is designed to help license examination candidates review their progress as they study,” said ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen NQ1R.  “As you complete a chapter or section of a license manual, you can turn to the online program to review all of the related questions taken directly from the examination question pool.  After answering each question — right or wrong — the correct answer is shown, and a page reference to the license manual is displayed for further review.”  (ARRL story)



If you're planning on going to the Monroe Hamfest on June 15, keep in mind that it is also race day at Michigan International Speedway.  Plan accordingly to avoid the traffic.



FCC License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

None in May.




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.



The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee released the new 2014-2018 Technician Class question pool (Element 2) to the public.  The 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.



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 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 05/19/14)



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

June 1 – Chelsea Hamfest

June 4 – Board Meeting

June 7 – Fulton County Hamfest

June 7Independent Repeater Association Hamfest (Hudsonville)

June 14 – Ham Breakfast at Sidekick Cafe in Osseo (map)

June 15 – Monroe Hamfest

June 21West Michigan Youth Club Hamfest (Lowell)

June 28-29 – Field Day

July 10-13 Michigan Section Summer Family Outing

July 17 – Club Meeting

July 17-19 – ARRL National Centennial Convention

July 20 – Van Wert Hamfest

July 26 – CMARK Trunk Sales (Lansing)


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

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