HCARC Happenings

July 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The next club meeting will be Thursday, July 17 at 7pm at the Hillsdale Municipal Airport, 3998 State Rd in Hillsdale (map).  Airport Manager James Scheibner will present the program.


This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, July 12 at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Everyone welcome!



Field Day Review

Field Day was held on June 28 & 29 at Sprow Tax & Accounting.  We ran 3 stations plus a Get On The Air (GOTA) station.  We had 23 attendees.  Not including the GOTA station, preliminary results show that we made 273 contacts across 44 states and 3 Canadian provinces.  There were 126 phone contacts and 147 digital, mostly on 20 and 40 meters.  Andy Sprow KB9YJH made 171 contacts.  Thanks to everyone that participated and especially to Brenda and Dan KC8RYF Sprow for hosting the event.  Final results will be sent to the ARRL within 30 days.



Membership Report

Club membership stands at 16 as of June 30.  Two renewals since May 31.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



Website Problems

Weve been having some problems with our website the past few weeks.  The domain name www.hcarc.com expired and we have been unable to renew it.  We currently have registered an additional domain name of www.hcarc.club and you should be able to access most of the content on the website using this URL.  We continue to work to get the original domain re-registered. 



New Technician Question Pool Goes Into Effect

The new 2014-2018 Technician Class question pool (Element 2) went into effect on July 1 and remains valid until June 30, 2018.  The previous Technician question pool, released in 2010, is no longer valid. 



FCC OKs Changes to Amateur Radio Rules

The FCC has revised the Amateur Service Part 97 rules to grant credit for written examination elements 3 (General) and 4 (Amateur Extra) to holders of expired licenses that required passage of those elements.  The FCC will require former licensees, those falling outside the 2-year grace period, to pass Element 2 (Technician) in order to be re-licensed.  The Commission declined to give examination credit to the holder of an expired Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) or to extend its validity to the holders lifetime.  The FCC embraced the use of remote testing methods, although it pulled back from its own proposal to reduce from three to two the minimum number of volunteer examiners required to proctor an Amateur Radio examination session.  The FCC has adopted an ARRL proposal to authorize certain Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) emissions in the Amateur Service.  (ARRL story)  The new rules go into effect on July 21.  (ARRL story)  (VA3XPR story on TDMA)



Pot Growers Disrupt HF Bands

The ARRL has complained to the FCC that grow light ballasts can generate severe interference on the HF bands.  A few years ago retired electrical engineer Tom Thompson W0IVJ noticed it was getting harder and harder to hear his friends across the country talking to him on their ham radio sets.  So Thompson built a portable antenna system he could use to walk his neighborhood and track down whatever was interfering with his radio transmission.  The culprit?  Marijuana grow operations, where powerful grow lights can emit interference blocking radio broadcasts on the ham and AM spectrums.  (Coloradoan story)  (ARRL story)



Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez Dies at 93

The last of the 29 Navajo Americans who developed a code with their native language to encrypt military messages in World War 2 has died.  Chester Nez, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, had told US media he was "very proud" of his part developing the cipher the Japanese never broke.  Code talkers used the cipher to relay messages sent from field telephones and radios throughout the Pacific.  (BBC story)



American Profile Runs Article About Amateur Radio

American Profile magazine ran a nice article about amateur radio in its April 27 edition.  The magazine is included as a weekly insert in the Hillsdale Daily News.  (read article)



Juan Carlos EA0JC Abdicates Spanish Thrown

King of Spain Juan Carlos EA0JC announced June 2 that he would abdicate his throne after 39 years in favor of his son, Crown Prince Felipe.  The king turned 76 in January, and his reign has been troubled by a series of recent scandals that have harmed his popularity and put pressure upon him to abdicate.  (ARRL story)  Felipe VI assumed the throne on June 19.  (story)



FCC Terminates Procedure Involving 33 Centimeter Band

The FCC has terminated a longstanding proceeding involving the 902-928 MHz (33 centimeter) band.  In 2006, the FCC proposed rule changes to encourage development of the Multilateration Location Monitoring Service (M-LMS), a terrestrial service for location of objects and tracking.  Amateur Radio is secondary in the band to federal radiolocation systems, industrial, scientific and medical devices, federal fixed and mobile systems, and the M-LMS.  This week, the FCC, with little fanfare, concluded that proceeding.  (ARRL story)



Baofeng Changes Brand Name to Pofung

Radio supplier Baofeng has changed its product distribution name to Pofung for all sales outside China.  In an announcement on its website the company says that it feels it's time to adapt its brand to the global stage.  It notes that the current name Baofeng is a literal translation of its Chinese character name, and as such it may be difficult for a hobbyist elsewhere in the world to pronounce.  (QRZ.com story)  (company announcement)



PRB-1 Update

HR 4969 has been introduced in the US House of Representatives that calls on the FCC to apply the reasonable accommodation three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use restrictions.  The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 was introduced on June 25 at the request of the ARRL, which worked with House staffers to draft the proposed legislation.  (ARRL story)



Ham Radio in Space

 Ham Video Set for Installation, Commissioning




FCC License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

None in June.


Congratulations to the granddaughters of two club members who recently got their Technician licenses. 


Sarah Ammerman KD8YOE, of Columbus OH, granddaughter of Charlie Hinkle W8CFO, got her ticket on May 21. 


Rachel Sprow KD9BJR, of Fort Wayne IN, granddaughter of Dan Sprow KC8RYF, was granted her license on May 29.  Here's a picture of Rachel with her dad Andy KB9YJH operating at Field Day 2013.



FCC Enforcement News

The FCC Enforcement Bureau has made public several warning notices issued over the past few months to radio amateurs, including a Michigan ham for failure to properly follow station identification rules.  (ARRL story)


The FCC has significantly reduced the fine it imposed earlier this year on an Oklahoma Amateur Extra class radio amateur licensee for operating his Citizens Band radio to interfere with other CBers transmissions.  The ham had been facing a $12,000 fine.  In a June 17 Forfeiture Order, the Commission dropped the fine to $1,750.  (ARRL story)




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 RVer 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 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)


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


Add back in December 2014

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 dont forget to check in every Monday at 7pm on the 147.06 MHz repeater.



Upcoming Events

July 2 Board Meeting

July 10-13 Michigan Section Summer Family Outing

July 12 Ham Breakfast at North Adams Coffee Shop

July 17 Club Meeting

July 17-19 ARRL National Centennial Convention

July 20 Van Wert Hamfest

July 26 CMARK Trunk Sales (Lansing)

August 9 Ham Breakfast

August 9 Angola Hamfest

September 7 Findlay Hamfest

September 13 Grand Rapids Area Hamfest

September 14 Adrian Hamfest


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

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