HCARC Happenings

January 2015


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The club Christmas party was held on December 19 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ in Hillsdale and attended by 22 members and guests.  The club provided ham, chicken and drinks, and attendees brought pot-luck dishes that provided a plentiful selection of food.  After dinner there were games and a gift exchange.  Many thanks to Brenda Sprow for her help in organizing the party.



The November club meeting was canceled.  A special club meeting was held on December 19 immediately preceding the Christmas party.  Club leadership elections were held and President Don Gambill KC8WAU, Treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS and Board Member Dan Sprow KC8RYF all won re-election without opposition.  Vice President Anne Burchardt N8VIF and Secretary Penny Seevers KD8PKY both decided not to run again.  There were no nominees to fill their positions.  Special elections for vacant positions will be held at the next club meeting. Click here to view club leadership. 


The next club meeting will be Thursday, January 15 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. 



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, January 10 at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Everyone welcome!


Ten hams enjoyed the December breakfast at the Blue Rooster in Jonesville.  It was our first time there and everyone had a good time.  We were sad that this was our last breakfast with Charlie Hinkle W8CFO before he moves to out of the area.



The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 7 at 6pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 N Manning in Hillsdale (map).



Membership Report

Club membership stands at 19 as of December 31.  One new member has joined for 2015 and five members have renewed.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



Membership Dues For 2015

Club membership dues for 2015 are due.  Rates are unchanged from last year and are $15 for regular membership, $5 for household membership (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  All members are asked to fill out an updated membership application (print 2-sided) as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at the monthly meeting or mailed to club treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS, 2175 Blackmer Drive, Jonesville, MI 49250.  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.  Your club appreciates your support.



Vernon Ruth W8AGV (SK)

Former club member Vern Ruth W8AGV passed away on Monday, December 29.  Click here to view his obituary and service information.



Club Website Running and Up to Date

The club website www.hcarc.club is up and running and fully updated since December 20.  We had been unable to post updates to the website since September 23.  Thanks to Dan Sprow KC8RYF for fixing this problem and for hosting the website at no charge to the club. 



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.



Marshall Hamfest Moving

The Michigan Crossroads Hamfest, commonly referred to as the Marshall Hamfest, is moving to a new location.  This year it will be held on March 14 at the Wings Stadium Annex, 3600 Vanrick Drive in Kalamazoo (map).  Click here for the SMARS hamfest page and click here for the ARRL hamfest info page.



Weather Summary

December was much milder than last year.  Average high temps were about 5 degrees warmer, and low temps were 8 degrees warmer.  Plus there was NO measurable snow.  January looks warmer than last year also, with highs 4.4 degrees warmer and lows 10.1 degrees warmer.  Last January we had 43.4 inches of snow, more that the entire previous season.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again!  So far this season there have been no record lows, compared to 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

41.7 / 44.2

26.7 / 28.8

2 / 0


Trace / 13.3

37.5 / 32.0

27.9 / 19.5

0 / 0

Season to Date Totals

3.6 / 14.3

39.6 / 38.0

27.3 / 24.1

2 / 0






January Forecast vs Last January Actual

16.8 / 43.4

27.8 / 23.4

16.3 / 6.2

0 / 5

Current Season / Last Season



PRB-1 Update

Federal PRB-1 legislation HR 4969, the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014", was not acted on before the 113th Congress adjourned.  According to ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson N1ND, a new “Amateur Radio Parity Act” bill with a new number will be introduced into the US House sometime after the new Congress is called into session in January.  (ARRL story)


Michigan Senate Bill 0493 was approved by the House Committee on Energy and Technology on December 9 and passed by the full House on December 18, the last day of the session.  The bill needs the governor's signature to be come law.  Click here to view the history of Michigan Senate Bill 0493.



Ham in a Day Training

Know anyone that wants to get a technician license?  Dan Romanchik KB6NU of Ann Arbor is offering a One-Day Tech Class on Saturday, January 17 at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.  Pre-registration is required.  Interested persons should register soon as classes often fill up early, then download the free PDF study guide and begin self-study.  The Technician Class license exam will be administered immediately after the class.  Click here for more information. 



New General Question Pool Released

The Question Pool Committee of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) has released the 2015-2019 Element 3 (General Class) question pool.  The pool will take effect on July 1, 2015, and will remain valid until June 30, 2019.  The current General question pool, released in 2011, is valid until June 30, 2015.  (ARRL story)



Michigan Ham Wraps Up Grid Master Award

Doug Papay KD8CAO of Zeeland has worked all 488 US grid squares via satellite and has been granted Grid Master Award #2.  He worked N2COP operating portable in FM13 via SO-50 on December 15 for his final grid.  His father, John Papay K8YSE of North Royalton, Ohio, holds Grid Master Award #1.  (ARRL story)



Financial Woes Reported at Hara Arena

Hara Arena, home of the Dayton Hamvention, is facing some financial issues and has cut back on its full-time staff to save money, according to a WDTN-TV account.  The Dayton TV station reported on December 2 that the complex now has a full-time staff of only 12 employees.  (ARRL story)



RadioShack Loss Widens

RadioShack outlined cost-cutting efforts to boost its earnings as the struggling electronics chain works to shore up its finances and fight back against lenders who say it has defaulted on a loan.  RadioShack also reported its loss widened in its November quarter, missing Wall Street expectations, as sales plunged.  Chief Executive Joseph C.  Magnacca said the cost-cutting efforts include reductions to its headquarters, stores, and support to "right-size our business".  (MarketWatch story)



Revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines Now Available

The ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines have been revised and the latest edition is now available.  The guidelines, updated by the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee (CAC) team, address changes in technology that have affected contesting in recent years and present a current understanding of contesting standards and practices.  George Wagner K5KG, a member of the CAC team that undertook the update, said the goals of the revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines are to provide guidance and advice and to encourage contest operation that advances the spirit and integrity of radiosport.  (ARRL story)



Ham Radio in Space

Japan has successfully launched its Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample-return mission into deep space, and with it, two satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads.  A Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) rocket lifted off on schedule early on December 3 carrying the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft on the first leg of its journey to Asteroid 1999 JU3.  Along for the ride into deep space are two Amateur Radio satellites, Shin’en 2 (Abyss 2) and ARTSAT2: DESPATCH.  Shin’en 2 will identify as JG6YIG, while ARTSAT2:DESPATCH will use the call sign JQ1ZNN.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

09/23/14 KA8WBR, Ona, William M, address updated to out of county


12/23/14 KA8ALG, Ruesink, Edward W, license renewed


12/23/14 N8BIZ, Baker, William R, issued vanity call sign, previously KB8DFK




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 March 17 in Coldwater.  Click here for a complete schedule of training for the Northern Indiana office, including registration links.



Upcoming Events

January 7 – Board Meeting

January 10 – Ham Breakfast

January 15 – Club Meeting

March 14 – Michigan Crossroads Hamfest

March 17 – SKYWARN Training in Coldwater


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

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