HCARC Happenings

December 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The HCARC Christmas party will be held on Friday, December 19 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ, 131 W Fayette in Hillsdale (map).  The church is located directly behind the Market House.  All area hams and their guests are welcome.  Socializing begins at 6pm.  There will be a short club meeting at 6:20pm for officer elections and any other urgent business.  Dinner will be after the meeting and will be a pot-luck.  The club will provide meat dishes, probably chicken and ham.  Appetizers, side dishes and desserts are suggested dishes to bring.  Drinks (water, coffee, tea, soda) and table service will be provided.  There will be a gift exchange for those who want to participate (click here for the rules, 2013 rules still good for 2014).  RSVPs are requested but not required and can be made by clicking here, or by contacting club President Don Gambill KC8WAU at KC8WAU@arrl.net or 517-437-4172.


This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, December 13 at 8am at the Blue Rooster (formally the Pink Panther), 1480 E Chicago in Jonesville (map).  Everyone welcome!


Seven hams attended the November breakfast at the Sidekick Cafe.


The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 7.



Special Club Meeting & Club Officer Elections

There will be a special club meeting on December 19 at 6:20pm, immediately preceding the Christmas party.  The purpose of the meeting will be to conduct officer elections and any other urgent business.  We need a quorum, at least seven members, in order to hold elections.  President Don Gambill KC8WAU, Treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS and Board Member Dan Sprow KC8RYF have indicated willingness to serve another year if elected.  We are currently need candidates for Vice President and Secretary.  Those interested should check the club constitution on our website for information about officer duties and election procedures.  Feel free to contact any of the current club leadership for more information.



Membership Dues For 2015

The Board recommends that annual dues for 2015 remain unchanged from 2014.  Regular dues are $15, household dues are $5 (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



Membership Report

Club membership stands at 19 as of November 30.  There was no membership activity during the month.



Charlie Hinkle W8CFO Moving

Longtime club member Charlie Hinkle W8CFO and his wife Maxine have purchased a house in Columbus, Ohio and will be moving in a few weeks.  They have children living in the area.  Their new address will be 4344 Blythe Rd, Columbus, OH 43224.



Monday Night Ragchew Net

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.  Contact a member of club leadership if interested.  And don’t forget to check in every Monday at 7pm on the 147.06 MHz repeater.



Weather Summary

Didn’t think this winter could be any colder that last year?  November says otherwise.  The average high temperature in November was 41.7°, compared to 44.2° last year.  The table below shows updated weather summary for Hillsdale city created with data from Accuweather.com and local measurements.  Total unofficial snowfall in Hillsdale for last winter was 90.9 inches, compared to 28.6 inches in 2012-2013 and 39.6 inches in 2011-2012.



Snow (inches)

Average High Temp (degrees Fahrenheit)

Average Low Temp (degrees Fahrenheit)

# Days Record Low Temp Tied or Set


3.6 / 1.0

41.6 / 44.2

26.7 / 28.8

2 / 0






December Forecast


33.8 / 32.0

22.9 / 19.5

0 / 0

Current Season / Last Season



SKYWARN Training

SKYWARN training will not be offered in Hillsdale County in 2015.  The nearest Spotter Training for the National Weather Service Northern Indiana Forecast Office will be held on in Coldwater on March 17.  Click here for a complete schedule of training for the Northern Indiana office, including registration links.



PRB-1 Update

US House HR 4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014, has attracted some additional cosponsors.  The bill now has 64 cosponsors, including 42 Republicans and 22 Democrats.  (ARRL story)  Click here to follow the progress of US House HR 4969.


Michigan Senate Bill 0493 passed by the Senate on October 22 and has moved to the House, where it was referred to Committee on Energy and Technology on November 6.  ARRL Michigan leadership is asking your help and contacting your state representative and committee members.  Check out the ARRL Michigan PRB-1 website for more information.  Click here to follow the progress of the Michigan Senate Bill 0493.



Delaney Elected ARRL Great Lakes Division Vice Director

Tom Delaney W8WTD was elected the ARRL Great Lakes Division Vice Director in an election concluded November 21.  Delaney was appointed as Vice Director earlier this year to succeed former Vice Director Dale Williams WA8EFK.  Williams moved into the Director’s chair after Jim Weaver K8JE resigned.  Williams was the only candidate for Great Lakes Division Director and has been declared elected.  (ARRL story)



Amateur Radio Op Buys a New Ham Radio, Wife Not Pleased

Ever buy some equipment that your better half wasn’t to happy about?  Check out this animated video.



ARRL Seeks Input on Contest Rule Changes

The recently formed “Ad Hoc Subcommittee on VHF and Above Revitalization”, created by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Programs and Services Committee, is seeking member input by December 15 on updating various aspects of the League’s contest program for the VHF and higher bands.  Subcommittee Chairman Kermit Carlson W9XA said members can help the work of the committee “by providing additional insights and ideas for our consideration.”  (ARRL story)



Homeland Security Plan Incorporates Amateur Radio

The US Department of Homeland Security’s 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) has incorporated Amateur Radio in its mix of media that could support and sustain communications in a disaster or emergency.  The 2014 NECP is the first update since the original plan was released in 2008.  The NECP is “the nation’s over-arching strategic plan for enhancing emergency communications capabilities and interoperability nationwide,” DHS said in announcing the updated plan on November 12.  (ARRL story)



“Frequency” TV Series Would Reprise Amateur Radio Themed Movie

NBC appears poised to launch a television series based on the 2000 movie Frequency, in which ham radio, aided by some spectacular solar phenomena, plays a central role in the sci-fi thriller.  According to a November 13 article in The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has already committed to the series.  (ARRL story)



Amateur Radio Public Service

A huge turnout of Amateur Radio volunteers supported communications for the 2014 Chicago Marathon.  The Amateur Radio volunteers also shadowed the nine triage units that attended to runners.  Some of the 120 radio amateurs taking part in the event ended up walking as much as nine miles during their volunteer stints.  Some 45,000 runners from every US state and more than 100 countries took part in the marathon.  (ARRL story)


Severe snowfall in western New York has been blamed for at least a dozen deaths.  Western New York Section Emergency Coordinator Joe Tedesco KC2DKP said ARES volunteers activated a net and were on alert just in case.  SKYWARN nets were very active over the course of two snowfall events.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

11/14/14 KB8WHM, William Thornton, license renewed




We’ve been having some problems with our website for the last couple months.  We’ve been unable to post updates since September 23.  Be aware that some of the material, especially the calendar and news pages, is not current.



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 are still available.  Members logged onto the League’s website can generate their own certificates or cards online for printing.  (ARRL story)



Upcoming Events

December 6 - Fulton County Winter Hamfest

December 13 – Ham Breakfast

December 19 – Christmas Party & Officer Elections

January 7 – Board Meeting

January 10 – Ham Breakfast

January 15 – Club Meeting


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

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