HCARC Happenings

August 2015


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The next club meeting will be Thursday, August 20 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 program will be presented by Dan Romanchik KB6NU from Ann Arbor.  Dan is an amateur radio blogger and author of the “No Nonsense’ ham radio training guides.  Everyone welcome!


Six members and two guests attended the last club meeting held on July 16.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, August 8 at 8am at the Blue Rooster, 1480 E Chicago in Jonesville (map).


The July ham breakfast was held at the Coffee Shop in North Adams and was attended by 5 members.



The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 5 at 6pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 N Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All members welcome.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 15 as of July 31.  No activity in July.



Election Day August 4

Tuesday, August 4 is Election Day in Michigan.  Although there are no statewide issues, there may be items 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.



Club Leadership Positions Available

Two club leadership positions remain open.  The Vice President and Secretary positions had no nominations during annual elections last year or subsequent special elections.  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.



County-Wide Disaster Management Exercise Held

On July 1 amateur radio was represented by Don Gambill KC8WAU at a county-wide disaster management tabletop exercise conducted by Hillsdale County Emergency Management.  The exercise was modeled after the Palm Sunday tornados that ravaged the county in 1965.



Free Windows 10 Available For Download

Microsoft Windows 10 free upgrades began downloading on July 29 to users that signed up.  The free upgrade will be available for a year for Windows 7 and 8.1 users.  Microsoft hopes to encourage customers to embrace its new operating system by offering a free refresh for multiple devices.  Click here to read the latest updates from Digital Trends.



FCC Invites Comments On Proposed Frequency Allocations

The FCC is inviting comments on its recent proposals to authorize Amateur Radio operation on two new bands, an allocation at 135.7 to 137.8 kHz (2200 meters), and an allocation at 472-479 kHz (630 meters).  Amateur Radio would be secondary on both bands.  Comments are due August 31.  Reply comments (comments on comments) are due by September 30.  The FCC allocated 135.7 to 137.8 kHz to the Amateur Service in accordance with the Final Acts of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07).  The proposed new allocation at 472 to 479 kHz would implement decisions made at WRC-12.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Complains to FCC About Home Depot’s RF Lighting Devices

The ARRL has filed a formal complaint with the FCC alleging that Home Depot has been illegally marketing certain RF-ballast lighting devices in violation of FCC Part 18 rules.  Accompanying the ARRL July 14 letter to FCC Enforcement Bureau Spectrum Enforcement Division was a 20-page report prepared by the ARRL Laboratory.  (ARRL story)



FCC Announces Enforcement Bureau Field Office Reorganization Plans

The FCC said it would close 11 of its 24 Enforcement Bureau field offices and relocate three others.  This is less than its initial proposal to eliminate two-thirds of its offices.  In slimming down its field resources and upgrading those that remain, the FCC said it was acting in the name of efficiency and economy as well as to modernize a system model adopted 2 decades ago.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Board Approves Dues Hike

The ARRL Board of Directors has approved a $10 increase in the League’s annual dues rate, effective January 1, 2016.  In doing so, the Board adopted a recommendation of the Administration & Finance Committee.  ARRL basic dues have been $39 a year since 2001.  (ARRL story)



Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Fee to Disappear in September

The Amateur Radio vanity call sign regulatory fee is set to disappear in the next few weeks.  According to the best-available information from FCC sources, the first day that applicants will be able to file a vanity application without having to pay a fee is September 3.  In deciding earlier this year to drop the regulatory fee components for Amateur Radio vanity call signs and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) applications, the FCC said it was doing so to save money and personnel resources.  The Commission asserted that it costs more of both to process the regulatory fees and issue refunds than the amount of the regulatory fee payment.  The fee was most recently raised from $16.10 to $21.40 last September.  (ARRL story)



Public Service Activities

A team of Michigan Amateur Radio volunteers supported communication on July 11 for the 39th running of the One Helluva Ride (OHR) bicycle tour.  The annual event, sponsored by the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, kicks off from and ends at the Chelsea fairgrounds and offers rides ranging from 15 to 100 miles.  This marked the 25th year that members of the Arrow Communication Association provided the communication infrastructure and support to riders falling behind or running into trouble.  (ARRL story)



Emergency Activities

A severe weather net was called on July 18 at 1927 for a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm warning.  Seven hams participated and the net lasted for 97 minutes.  The Hillsdale County Emergency Management office was open during the net.



FCC Enforcement News

The FCC has proposed fining a Georgia ham $1,000 for alleged failure to properly identify.  The man had been warned last August about not following the Commission’s Part 97 ID rules.  The FCC said his “deliberate disregard” of that warning warranted the proposed penalty.  (ARRL story)


The FCC has imposed a $22,000 fine on a Parchment, Michigan ham for causing intentional interference with other Amateur Radio communications and for failing to identify.  In a Forfeiture Order issued on July 22, exactly 1 year from its Notice of Apparent Liability proposing the hefty fine, the FCC cited the man’s “long history of causing interference to other Amateur Radio operators” and noted that he “has been warned repeatedly in writing.”  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

07/16/15 KA8HZU, Francis, David E, license renewed, address updated



PRB-1 Update

Federal PRB-1 legislation HR 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, was introduced in March and now has 94 cosponsors as of July 31, up from 83 on June 30, and including Tim Walberg of Michigan's 7th district, which includes Hillsdale County.  Click here to follow the progress of HR 1301.


A companion Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 bill was introduced in the US Senate on June 25.  Currently there is only one cosponsor.  Several county hams have signed letters to Michigan’s senators urging them to support the bill.  Click here to follow the progress of S.1685.


Both measures would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions.  ARRL has created The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 webpage to provide a clearinghouse for all information on these identical pieces of legislation and includes information on how to contact your representatives.




We are always looking for interesting ideas for meeting programs.  It doesn’t always have to be about ham radio.  Tell us about you other favorite hobby.  It could be something community related or maybe you know somebody that would be an interesting speaker.  If you have ideas for programs or are willing to present something yourself, contact a member of club leadership.



Upcoming Events

August 1 – Great Lakes Division Convention

August 5 – Board Meeting

August 8 – Ham Breakfast

August 8 – Angola Hamfest

August 20 – Club Meeting

September 13 – Findlay Hamfest

September 20 – Adrian Hamfest


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

HCARC Home Page