HCARC Happenings

September 2015


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The next club meeting will be October 15.  No meeting in September.


Six members and four guests attended the club meeting held on August 20.  Dan Romanchik KB6NU, renowned amateur radio blogger and author from Ann Arbor, presented the program.  He spoke about his enjoyment of CW and demonstrated several interesting CW keys that he brought along.  Dan also serves as the ARRL Michigan Assistant Section Manager.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, September 12 at 8am at the Madigans, 103 E St Joe in Litchfield (map).  Come and join us!


The August ham breakfast was held at the Blue Rooster in Jonesville and was attended by seven hams.



The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 9 at 6pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 N Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All members welcome.  The meeting is normally held on the first Wednesday of the month but is being pushed back this month due to schedule conflicts.



Membership Report

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



New Hams

Congratulations to new county ham Jeffrey Byers KE8BYZ.  He was granted his Technician license on August 26.



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.



You Still Use A Landline?  FCC Voting On New Phone Rules

The copper network behind landline phones, a communications mainstay for more than a century, is going away, as cable and fiber-optic lines come along with faster Internet speeds.  But the alternatives have drawbacks, including an inability to withstand power outages.  The federal government is considering rules to make sure Americans arent caught off guard in emergencies if they switch.  (Detroit News story)



Rockwell Collins To End Mechanical Filter Production

Rockwell Collins announced that it will stop manufacturing its renowned mechanical filters in the near future.  The filters gained favor for Amateur Radio use because of their excellent selectivity, especially in IF applications.  Over the past several years, we have seen a dramatic reduction in demand for narrowband analog filters, the company said on its website.  (ARRL story)



FCC ULS, Other Applications To Be Down For Maintenance

FCC website maintenance in early September will make the Universal Licensing System (ULS), the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), the Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS) and other public applications unavailable for more than 5 days.  The Commission said the outage will begin at 2200 UTC on Wednesday, September 2, and continue through the Labor Day weekend.  The maintenance work should be completed by 1200 UTC on Tuesday, September 8.  During the ULS outage, it will not be possible to file any Amateur Radio applications.  (ARRL story)



Public Service Activities

ARES volunteers in Atlanta Georgia provided support for some 60,000 runners in the Peachtree Road Race.  Working closely with the Atlanta Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, the Atlanta Police and Fire departments, and federal and state law enforcement and public safety agencies, the Amateur Radio contingent provided crucial on-course intelligence and safety reports for injured runners, race conditions, and even the occasional suspicious package.  (ARRL story)



Emergency Activities

A severe weather net was called on August 2 at 2345 for a severe thunderstorm warning.  Two hams participated and the net lasted for 39 minutes.



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

08/26/15 KE8BYZ, BYERS, JEFFREY W, new licensee Technician

08/27/15 N8CJJ, JANSEN, THOMAS L, license renewed



FCC Enforcement News

The FCC has proposed levying an $8000 fine on a Cincinnati Ohio radio amateur who at one point had volunteered to track down the interference he was causing on a number of primarily VHF repeaters.  In a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture released on August 20, the FCC Enforcement Bureau asserted that the man intentionally interfered with other Amateur Radio operators communications and failed to identify properly.  (ARRL story)



PRB-1 Update

ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay W3KD has rebutted assertions expressed by some that the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 would represent an unlawful intrusion into private contracts and would invalidate architectural limitations and rules regarding the installation of ham radio antennas in residential neighborhoods.  Imlay recently expanded on the topic during a lengthy interview with HamRadioNow webcast.  (ARRL story)


The ARRL released a statement about the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 (HR 1301 and S.1685) that makes it clear that the bill would not create new federal policy with respect to outdoor amateur antennas.  As it points out, the FCC already recognizes a strong federal interest in effective Amateur Radio communication from residences and has adopted a limited preemption of state and local regulation of Amateur Radio antennas.  The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 would extend the limited preemption to private land-use restrictions.  (ARRL story)


Federal PRB-1 legislation HR 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, was introduced in March and now has 94 cosponsors as of August 31, 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 Michigans 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 doesnt always have to be about ham radio.  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.


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 dont forget to check in every Monday at 7pm on the 147.06 MHz repeater.


Microsoft Windows 10 free upgrades began downloading on July 29.  The free upgrade is available for a year.  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.


The ARRL Board of Directors has approved a $10 increase in the Leagues 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 held at $39 a year since 2001.  (ARRL story)


The Amateur Radio vanity call sign regulatory fee is set to disappear and 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)



Upcoming Events

September 9 Board Meeting

September 12 Ham Breakfast

September 13 Findlay Hamfest

September 20 Adrian Hamfest

October 3 GRAHamfest (Wyoming)

October 15 Club Meeting

October 18 Kalamazoo Hamfest


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

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