HCARC Happenings

February 2015


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The next club meeting will be Thursday, February 19 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.  As part of the meeting we will conduct special elections to fill vacant leadership positions and complete our annual meeting.  The program will feature Hillsdale County 911/Central Dispatch and Emergency Management Director Doug Sanford N8WFB talking about the upcoming severe weather season, as well as an update on activities at Central Dispatch and Emergency Management.


The January club meeting was attended by only six members, not enough for a quorum.  No official business could be transacted, including the annual meeting as required by our constitution and leadership elections to fill two vacant positions.  The program was the year in review, a discussion of ham radio activities in 2014.



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


Six hardy souls braved frigid temperatures to attend the January ham breakfast at the Coffee Shop in North Adams. 



The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 4 at 6pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 N Manning in Hillsdale (map).



Membership Report

Club membership stands at 20 as of January 31.  One new member has joined for 2015 and 10 members have renewed.  Nine members are in the grace period.



Membership Dues For 2015

Club membership dues for 2015 are due.  You must renew by March 31 to maintain your membership status.  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 as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at club events 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.



New Hams

Congratulations to two new hams in the county.  Donald Norment KE8ACP and Jacqueline Wilkins Norment KE8ACQ were both granted Technician licenses on January 2.



Hillsdale County Active Licenses Increase in 2014

There were 135 active amateur radio licenses in Hillsdale County at the end of the year, based on data pulled from the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS).  This is up five from last years total of 130 (corrected from 133).  Keep in mind that an active license doesn’t necessarily mean an active ham.  Active licenses may include Silent Keys, hams that have moved out of the county and not updated their address with the FCC and inactive hams.  Also included in the active total are 13 licenses that are within the two-year grace period for renewal.  Not included in the total are any hams that moved to the county and did not update their address with the FCC.  Click here to view a map of active licenses.



Michigan Passes Antenna Accommodation Legislation

Ten years of work within the ARRL Michigan Section have culminated in an Amateur Radio antenna bill that mirrors the “reasonable accommodation” provisions of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy.  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 0493 into law on January 15, creating Public Act 556.  ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R said Michigan is the 31st state to have a PRB-1 bill on its books.  (ARRL story)



FCC Paperless License Policy Goes into Effect on February 17

Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees.  The Commission has maintained for some time now that the official Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System, although the FCC has continued to print and mail hard copy licenses.  The new procedures will save at least $304,000 a year.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Centennial “Most Extraordinary Event”

As the ARRL’s Centennial drew to a close, ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN reflected that the year-long celebration helped to rejuvenate Amateur Radio by including as many people as possible, providing lots of on-the-air fun, and promoting learning and doing.  She also believes that the spirit of the Centennial will live on going forward, as Amateur Radio enters its second century.  (ARRL story)  Approximately 3.5 million contacts were recorded for W1AW portable operations and the Centennial Points Challenge during the Centennial QSO Party last year.  (Another ARRL story)



ARRL Online Library Goes Live

The ARRL Online Library is a free repository of educational presentations and oral histories.  It is aimed at helping to preserve Amateur Radio’s history and to educate clubs and individuals.  “This long-term project will be home to what I hope will eventually become one of the largest repositories of Amateur Radio-related papers and presentations, created by and for the Amateur Radio community,” said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko KX9X.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Survey Underway

The ARRL has asked independent research company Readex Research to conduct a survey of Amateur Radio operators in the US.  This survey is being conducted by mail and e-mail and will include representative populations of Amateur Radio operators from among ARRL members, as well as non-member FCC licensees.  While not every member will receive a survey, participation from those individuals who are selected is critical for the success of this project.  Contact ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen NQ1R if you have any questions about the survey.



Hamvention Chair: “The Show Will Go On” at Hara Arena

Dayton Hamvention 2015 General Chairman Jim Tiderman N8IDS told the ARRL that he expects the world’s largest Amateur Radio show to continue at Dayton’s Hara Arena.  Tiderman was reacting to recent media accounts detailing the fiscal woes of the aging Hara complex.  Dayton Amateur Radio Association and Hamvention officials have been in conversation with Hara’s owners regarding the future of the 165,000 square foot, six-building complex.  (ARRL story)  (Original ARRL story)



Ham Breakfast Getting Less Expensive

Lower prices for your favorite cured pig product are on the horizon.  The Department of Agriculture said in its recent quarterly hogs and pigs report that it expects hog prices in 2015 to be 18% below those in 2014 because the effects of a swine epidemic have abated, increasing inventory.  (MarketWatch story)



American Legion Magazine to Feature Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio will be featured in the March 2015 issue of The American Legion Magazine.  The article, by best-selling author Don Keith N4KC will explain how ham radio remains exciting, important, and relevant, even after more than a century in existence and changes in technology.  The article also will talk about the American Legion Amateur Radio Club, home to club station K9TAL at American Legion Headquarters in Indianapolis.  (ARRL story)



CQ Magazine Makes Publishing Changes

CQ magazine announced that it will publish a combined January/February 2015 issue and cease publication of its CQ Plus digital supplement as of the March 2015 issue.  Publisher Dick Ross K2MGA said that both moves are intended to help restore the magazine’s normal schedule for its print edition and to strengthen its foundations moving forward as it enters its 8th decade of publication.  CQ announced last February that it was incorporating content from the magazine’s three sister publications, Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online, into CQ Plus.  The publisher also phased out the print editions of Popular Communications and CQ VHF and said WorldRadio Online would no longer exist as a separate online publication.  (ARRL story)



RadioShack Struggles Continue

The Wall Street Journal reported on January 14 that RadioShack is preparing to file for bankruptcy, possibly within a few weeks.  (MarketWatch story)  In a related story, RadioShack said the New York Stock Exchange issued a warning that it could delist the struggling electronics retailer as its average market capitalization had stayed below $50 million for more than 30 consecutive days.  (Yahoo story)



Weather Summary

January was warmer and dryer than last year.  The average daily high was 27.8 degrees compared to 23.4 last year.  The average daily low was 14.9 compared to 6.2.  No record lows were tied or broken, compared to five last year.  Total snow for the month was 8.6 inches, compared to 43.4 last year.  February is forecast to be warmer than last year by about 5 degrees for the highs and 10 degrees for the lows.  However, the monthly forecast calls for more snow than last year, 25.5 inches verses 20.9.  The table below shows updated weather summary for Hillsdale city created with data from Accuweather.com and local measurements.



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


8.6 / 43.4

27.8 / 23.4

14.9 / 6.2

0 / 5

Season to Date Totals

12.2 / 57.7

35.6 / 33.1

23.1 / 18.1

2 / 5






February Forecast vs Last February Actual

25.5 / 20.9

31.2 / 25.8

18.1 / 8.2

0 / 1

Current Season / Last Season



Emergency Activities

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in northeast Ohio activated on January 13 after 911 and other telephone services went down in six counties due to a power failure at a major AT&T center in Akron.  The outage was blamed on a burst steam pipe.  Medina County Emergency Management Agency requested ARES communication support with surrounding counties and with the Ohio Emergency Operations Center in Columbus as a backup.  At the same time, EMA Directors in Stark, Summit, Portage, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties alerted their ARES organizations.  (ARRL story)



ARES teams and SKYWARN weather observers along the US Eastern Seaboard went on alert January 26 as a winter storm began working its way into the Northeast.  The storm, which brought blizzard conditions to some areas, shut down transportation and kept residents at home in several states.  Eastern Massachusetts and the City of Boston may have been hardest hit, with record or near-record snowfall amounts and storm surge flooding in some coastal communities.  (ARRL stories 1  2  3)



Members of Australia’s Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network in South Australia assisted an emergency animal rescue and recovery organization in the wake of the so-called Sampson’s Flat bushfire.  Volunteers installed a seven-unit hand-held communication system, complete with a range-enhancing aluminum tower, at the control center.  Field teams assessed koalas, kangaroos, horses and sheep.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

04/10/14 KD8WER Stephenson, Richard B, upgraded to General from Technician ***

09/05/14 WD8ARH, Brown, Elmer R, license renewed, address updated ***

01/02/15 KE8ACP, Norment, Donald, new licensee Technician

01/02/15 KE8ACQ, Wilkins Norment, Jacqueline, new licensee Technician

01/13/15 K8MSW, Ladd, Donald C, license status set to expired (SK 03/17/08)

01/13/15 N8OMC, McNutt, Barbara J, license status set to expired


*** Not previously reported.



FCC Enforcement News

Marriott International and its subsidiary Marriott Hotel Services will pay $600,000 to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether Marriott intentionally interfered with and disabled Wi-Fi networks established by consumers in the conference facilities of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation revealed that Marriott employees had used containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the hotel to prevent individuals from connecting to the Internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks, while at the same time charging consumers and exhibitors as much as $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi network.  (FCC media release)



The FCC Enforcement Bureau has affirmed an $11,500 fine against a Pennsylvania ham for deliberately interfering with other Amateur Radio communications.  The FCC had first proposed the fine last July in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, and it released a Forfeiture Order on January 13.  (ARRL story)



The FCC has ordered an unlicensed California man, who sometimes broadcasts on 40 meters, to shut down his station.  The FCC’s Los Angeles District Office issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation.  The FCC said it issued the notice in response to a complaint of unlicensed operation on multiple HF frequencies, including some allocated to aeronautical stations.  The FCC said its agents used radio direction-finding techniques to confirm that signals were emanating from his residence.  (ARRL story)  (recorded broadcast on 40 meters)  (recorded broadcast on 9605 kHz)




Hillsdale County Emergency Management is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test.  Contact Cindy at the HCEM office if you are interested.  Meetings and siren tests are held on the first Monday of the month (except September which is the second Monday), March through October.



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.



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



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)



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.



Upcoming Events

February 4 – Board Meeting

February 14 – Ham Breakfast

February 15 – Livonia Hamfest

February 19 – Club Meeting

March 5 – SKYWARN Training in Archbold, OH

March 9 – SKYWARN Training in Angola, IN

March 14 – Michigan Crossroads Hamfest

March 15 – Toledo Hamfest

March 17 – SKYWARN Training in Coldwater


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

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