HCARC Happenings

October 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The next club meeting will be Thursday, October 16 at 7pm at the Hillsdale 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.


Eight members and two guests attended the club meeting on September 18 at the Hillsdale Community Health Center.  After the business meeting hospital Director of Organizational Development Jeremiah J Hodshire reviewed highlights from the most recent hospital annual report and talked about how the Affordable Care Act is impacting finances.  Then he took us on a tour of the new building additions, including the birthing center and the MacRitchie North unit, as well as a trip underground through a maze of boilers, chillers and pipes.


This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, October 11 at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Everyone welcome!


Eight hams attended the September breakfast at the Sidekick Cafe.



Membership Report

Club membership stands at 19 as of September 30.  There was no membership activity in September.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



Club Officer Elections

Club officer elections for 2015 will be held on November 20.  If you are interested in becoming a club officer, check the club constitution on our website for information about officer duties and election procedures.  Feel free to contact any of the current club officers for more information.  New faces, ideas and energy are always welcome.



Club Meeting Minutes

Club meeting minutes from the beginning of this year forward are now available on the club website Club Info page.  (click here)



PRB-1 Update

U.S.  Representative Tim Walberg of Michigan's 7th district, which includes Hillsdale County, has signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 4969, the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014".  The bill currently has 47 co-sponsors, including 28 Republicans and 19 Democrats.  Click here to follow the progress of US House HR 4969.  Thanks to everyone who sent letters in support of this bill.  (Related ARRL story)


Now, the focus is back on Michigan Senate Bill 0493.  Your help is needed again.  Please read the following message from ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R.  Click here to follow the progress of the Michigan Senate Bill 0493.


A Message from ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R


September 22, 2014


To the hams of Michigan:

Subject: Michigan PRB -1 Call to Action – Michigan Senate


On September 16, 2014, members of the Michigan PRB -1 Committee attended a Senate Hearing in Lansing regarding Senate Bill 0493.  We are extremely pleased to report that SB 0493 Substitute S-2 to codify the language of 47 CFR Part 97.15 into state law was unanimously passed out of the Energy and Technology Committee.  You can see SB 0493 S-2 on our PRB-1 website located here: http://www.miarrlprb1.org/


It is time for us to begin our letter writing campaign targeting our Michigan Senators in a effort to encourage them to look closely at SB 0493 and to vote in favor of the bill when it comes up for a vote on the Senate floor.  A very important part of communication with our elected officials is that we need to keep our focus on the positive side.  This is not the place to discuss his or her voting record or what other legislation they have supported or not supported.  It is vital that we stay on topic and deal with only the subject at hand.


The appropriate documentation has been prepared on our Michigan PRB-1 website located at http://www.miarrlprb1.org/ and you can read more and find sample letters there.


It is very important that we concentrate ONLY on the Senate right now.  When and if the Senate passes the bill, then we will change the emphasis to the members of the House.  The letters are identical except for the appropriate changes to reflect where the letters are going.


All you need to do is to copy the prepared letter from our website, add your Senator’s information and your information to the letter and email it to your Senator asking for his or her support.  You can find out who your Senator is and how to reach him or her here: http://www.senate.michigan.gov/findyoursenator/michiganfys.asp


(Editor’s note:  Hillsdale County is represented by State Senator Bruce Caswell, PO Box 30036, Lansing, MI  48909-7536.  His email address is SenBCaswell@senate.michigan.gov)


The website noted above will give you a direct email address for your Senator.  When your letter is customized with your Senator’s information and your information, you can send your letter direction to your Senator.  The lack of a physical signature is not important here.  By the very nature of the method of contacting them, an actual signature is difficult to accomplish.


Please send me a copy of your letter (wb8r@arrl.org) as this will help our committee to gauge our effectiveness.


If things work the way we would like them to, our efforts will turn to the Michigan House once our bill passes the Senate.  And when and if our bill passes the House, then we will turn our attention to the Governor’s office to urge him to sign our bill into law.


This is the very best opportunity we have to make a difference for the hams of Michigan.  Talk it up, and step forward to make sure that your friends (ham and non-ham) have the information and that they are encouraged to act.  We need to add our voices to this bill to help ensure that our representatives act on our behalf.


Thank you in advance and 73!


Larry, WB8R

Michigan ARRL Section Manager



Vanity Call Sign Fee Increased

The increased Amateur Service vanity call sign fee of $21.40 became effective on September 11.  The $5.30 increase represents the largest vanity fee hike in many years.  The Commission estimated that it would collect nearly $246,100 in fiscal year 2014 vanity call sign fees, up from $230,230 in fiscal year 2013.  (ARRL story)  (Initial ARRL story)



Wisconsin Ham Falls From Tower and Dies

A Wisconsin radio amateur lost his life on September 16 as he was performing maintenance on the 100 foot tower of a fellow ham.  Killed in the fall was 59-year-old James G.  Linstedt W9ZUC, of Eau Claire, who succumbed to injuries sustained after he fell 95 feet from a tower.  (ARRL story)



Election Day November 4

Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day in Michigan.  Several state-wide positions are being voted on including governor, state house and senate, secretary of state and attorney general.  Additionaly, federal and state representatives and county offices are also being voted on.  There are also a couple of statewide proposal on the ballot.  There may be additional items on the ballot in your precinct.  Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website to check if you are registered and find other election information, including a map to your polling place and a sample ballot.



Actor Tim Allen Gets Ticket

Actor and comedian Tim Allen now not only plays an Amateur Radio operator on television, he is one!  Allen got his Technician license on September 4, but did not release the news until this week.  In his weekly ABC comedy TV show “Last Man Standing,” Allen’s character Mike Baxter, is supposed to be KA0XTT, and the show has featured ham radio in some episodes.  (ARRL story)



FCC Turns Down Petition to Create a 4 Meter Band in the US

It does not appear that US radio amateurs will gain a new band at 70 MHz anytime soon.  The FCC has denied a petition filed earlier this year by a Texas ham seeking to add a 4 meter band to Amateur Radio’s inventory of VHF allocations.  (ARRL story)



Equipment For Sale

County ham Bill Mullins KD8LOT has two VX-8R 50/144/430, one for parts and one that is in the box that is almost new.  Comes with charger, programming cable, CD, new mic and 3 batteries.  Asking $300.00.  If interested you can contact him at kd8lot@yahoo.com.



Ham Radio in Space

When the commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 re-supply vehicle lifted off from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station on September 21, it also carried the SpinSat satellite, which includes an Amateur Radio payload.  The satellite will be stowed aboard the ISS until deployment later this fall from the airlock of the Japanese Experiment Module.  (ARRL story)



Emergency Activities

ARES/RACES members in Nevada activated on September 8 after heavy rains sparked flash flooding.  The Amateur Radio volunteers deployed after being called up by local emergency managers to support communication during recovery efforts in the Moapa Valley northeast of Las Vegas.  At least two people died as a result of the flooding.  (ARRL story)


ARRL Headquarters is deploying Ham Aid kits to Hawaii as ARES volunteers stand ready to activate in the wake of the massive Puna volcanic lava flow that has been threatening some communities on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The lava originated from new “vents” in the Earth as a result of the Mt Kilauea volcano, which began erupting more than 30 years ago.  ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider AH6J said that while he doesn’t believe an ARES activation is imminent, lava flows can be unpredictable, and things can change rapidly.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

09/22/14 N8BFQ, Robert Brichta, license renewed

09/24/14 KC8UUY, Virgil Spence, license status set to expired



FCC Enforcement News

Two hams, one from South Carolina and one from Delaware, were issued Warning Notice letters in July for failing to identify in a timely manner.  Section 97.119(a) of the Amateur Service Rules requires each amateur station to “transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication”.  (ARRL story)




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 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

October 8 – Board Meeting

October 11 – Ham Breakfast

October 16 – Club Meeting

October 19 - Kalamazoo Hamfest

November 5 – Board Meeting

November 8 – Ham Breakfast

November 15 & 16 – Fort Wayne Hamfest

November 20 – Club Meeting & Officer Elections


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

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