HCARC Happenings

November 2015


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



The next club meeting will be Thursday, November 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.  This is an important meeting because we will be electing leadership for next year.  We need to have a quorum (at least 1/3 of membership) present in order to hold the elections.


Six members attended the club meeting in October.  The program was the video "Last Voice From Kuwait", about a Kuwaiti amateur radio operator who remained on the air when Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi army invaded his country, at his peril right under the nose of the invaders.  In addition to the announced program, Jerry Jordan KA8IEC showed a CW keyer, a license, picture and QSL cards from the 1920's that belonged to Horace Spencer W8DDR.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, November 7 at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Normally held on the second Saturday of the month, the breakfast is rescheduled to avoid conflict with the Fort Wayne Hamfest.  Come and join us.


The October ham breakfast was held at the Sidekick Cafe in Osseo and was attended by six hams.



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



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 18 as of October 31.  Three new members joined during the month.  They are Terry Arnold KE0FVB, Monique Kawalek KD8WJL and Spencer Kawalek KD8ZKK.  All three recently moved to the county from out-of-state.  One member has renewed for 2016.



Club Leadership Elections

Club leadership elections for 2016 will be held at the November 19 club meeting.  If you are interested in becoming a member of club leadership, 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.


Current club leadership has indicated that they will continue on for another year if elected.  Unfortunately, we've only had three people to fill five positions as the Vice President and Secretary positions have been vacant since the beginning of the year.  We really need members to step up and fill these positions.  Qualified amateurs must be willing and able to perform the requirements of the position.



Name The Newsletter Contest

The Board is pleased to announce a contest to rename this newsletter.  Many amateur radio newsletters have names that are a play-on-words of amateur radio lingo, or maybe something that mixes amateur radio and something about the county.


The contest is open to all club members and any other licensed amateurs in the county (as indicated in the FCC ULS database).  Maximum of two entries per licensee.  If the same newsletter name is submitted by multiple entrants, the first received will be used.  Board members are not eligible.


Entries are due on or before November 30.  Email entries to K8HRC@arrl.net.  The winner will be decided by the Board.  The winning entry will be announced at the Christmas party and will receive a $20 gift card.



Logan Crook K8LRC Moves Away

Logan Crook K8LRC has let it be known that he and his family have moved out of the county.  Logan has been an active club member for several years.  He served as net control station as Monday Night Ragchew Net on a monthly basis.  When storms threatened Hillsdale County, Logan was often the first to fire up a severe weather net to monitor the situation.  We will miss Logan and wish him well.



Election Day November 3

Tuesday, November 3 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 see if there is an election in your community, check to see if you are registered and generate a sample ballot.



ARRL Releases “Clarity On Parity” Video

The ARRL released a video called “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 - Separating Fact from Fiction”, a follow-up on the League’s August statement that doubles down on the League’s arguments contained in it’s League’s August “Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity” statement.  ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN said the video will be made available on Capitol Hill to make sure that Members of Congress have correct information.  The video and statement are in support of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015.  (HR 1301 and S.1685)  (ARRL story)  (Video)  (Statement)



Pope Francis Special Event Logs More Than 26,000 Contacts

A recent multi-station special event operation logged more than 26,000 contacts.  The majority of contacts were made on HF, especially on 20 and 40 meters, but several contacts also took place on satellites, Earth-Moon-Earth, repeaters, and even through IRLP and Echolink.  (ARRL story)



Polish Radio Amateur May Be A Step Closer To Activating North Korea

A Polish radio amateur has indicated that he’s moving forward with his plans to operate from North Korea early next year.  Earlier this year Dom Grzyb 3Z9DX announced that he had secured written permission to operate from North Korea in January or February 2016 and that he would be going to the capital, Pyongyang, for a final meeting to discuss guidelines for the operation.  Grzyb now has informed DX News.com that he will head to North Korea in December, radio gear and GP7 vertical antenna in tow, to pin down the details of his ham radio plans.  North Korea remains the most-wanted and elusive DXCC entity on the globe.  (ARRL story)



Hamvention “Fully Committed” To Hold 2016 Show At Hara Arena

Dayton Hamvention General Chairman Jim Tiderman N8IDS is downplaying talk arising from an October 2 television news report and a more extensive and detailed October 3 Dayton Daily News article, that Hamvention might move from Hara Arena as early as next year.  Tiderman characterized the reports “all speculation and rumor.”  Similar stories that surfaced prior to the 2015 Hamvention were detailed in the January 2015 and February 2015 issues of this newsletter.  (ARRL story)



Thomas E.  Brown

Thomas E. Brown, 64, of Camden, passed away on October 5.  His obituary says that he was a former ham radio operator, although no call sign was listed.  (Eagle Funeral Homes Obituary)



ARRL President Congratulates Hurricane Watch Net On 50 Years

ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN congratulated the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on the 50th anniversary of its founding.  “Thanks to the efforts of the Net’s dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers across 5 decades, Amateur Radio has played a key role in helping protect the lives of a great many people in harm’s way,” Craigie told HWN Manager Bobby Graves KB5HAV in an e-mail.  “The Net demonstrates how significantly Amateur Radio contributes to emergency preparedness and promotes international goodwill.”  (ARRL story)



Use Of 146.52 MHz FM Simplex Frequency Cleared For ARRL Contests

The ARRL Programs and Services Committee unanimously adopted a recommendation to remove the rule prohibiting the use of 146.52 MHz simplex for making contest contacts.  That change will go into effect starting on January 1.  The recommending committee concluded that the restriction was no longer necessary and felt that permitting the use of 146.52 MHz would allow new and curious contesters possessing only FM-mode radios to stumble upon more contacts, increasing their chances of being drawn further into VHF+ contesting.  This frequency is listed in the ARRL Band Plan as the National Simplex Calling Frequency.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Asks FCC To Clarify Equipment Modification Rules

The ARRL has asked the FCC to make clear that Amateur Radio licensees may modify non-amateur equipment for use on Amateur Radio frequencies.  Some hams have expressed concerns that recently proposed rules would inhibit post-sale modification of Wi-Fi equipment, now sometimes altered for use on Amateur Radio frequencies.  The ARRL made its point in comments filed on October 8 on a Notice of Proposed Rule Making.  The proceeding mostly addresses proposed amendments to FCC rules regarding authorization of RF equipment.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

None in October.



PRB-1 Update

Federal PRB-1 legislation HR 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, was introduced in March and now has 111 cosponsors as of October 31, up from 99 on September 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.  Fifteen county hams signed letters through the club to Michigan’s senators urging them to support the bill, and these letters have been sent to the ARRL for final delivery to the senators.  At least three other county amateurs signed letters at other clubs.  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.


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)




Meeting Programs: We are always looking for interesting ideas for meeting programs.  It doesn’t 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.


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.


ARRL Dues Increase: 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 held at $39 a year since 2001.  You can save money by renewing for up to three years before the end of the year.  (ARRL story)


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.



Upcoming Events

November 4 – Board Meeting

November 7 – Ham Breakfast (rescheduled from November 14)

November 14-15 – Fort Wayne Hamfest

November 19 – Club Meeting & Leadership Elections

December 2 – Board Meeting

December 5 – Fulton County Winter Hamfest

December 12 – Ham Breakfast

December ?? – Christmas Party


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

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