HCARC Happenings

December 2015


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County



The HCARC Christmas party will be held on Friday, December 11 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ, 131 W Fayette in Hillsdale (map).  The church is located directly behind the Market House.  All club members and Hillsdale County area hams, as well as their guests are welcome.  Socializing begins at 6pm.  There will be a short club meeting at 6:20pm for officer elections and any other urgent business.  Dinner will be after the meeting and will be a pot-luck.  The club will provide meat dishes, probably chicken and ham.  Appetizers, sides and desserts are suggested dishes to bring.  Drinks (water, coffee, tea, soda) and table service will be provided.  There will be a gift exchange for those who want to participate (click here for the rules, 2013 rules still good for 2015).  RSVPs are requested so we can get an approximate count and can be made by clicking here, or by contacting club President Don Gambill KC8WAU at KC8WAU@arrl.net or 517-610-2859.



Five members and two guests attended the Club Meeting on November 19.  A quorum was not present so no official business could be conducted, including leadership elections for 2016.



This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, December 5 at 8am at the Blue Rooster, 1480 E Chicago in Jonesville (map).  Normally held on the second Saturday of the month, the breakfast is rescheduled to avoid conflict with the Christmas party.  Come join us.


The November ham breakfast was held at the North Adams Coffee Shop was attended by six.



The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 2 at 6pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 N Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All members welcome.



Special Club Meeting & Club Leadership Elections 

There will be a special club meeting on December 11 at 6:20pm, immediately preceding the Christmas party.  The purpose of the meeting will be to conduct officer elections and any other urgent business.  We need a quorum, at least six members, in order to hold elections.  A quorum was not in attendance at the November club meeting so leadership elections could not be held.  President Don Gambill KC8WAU, Treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS and Board Member Dan Sprow KC8RYF have indicated willingness to serve another year if elected.  We are currently need candidates for Vice President and Secretary.  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.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 18 as of November 30.  No new members or renewals during the month.  One member has renewed for 2016.



Name The Newsletter Contest

Entries for the Name The Newsletter contest closed on November 30.  The Board will meet on December 2 and pick a winner.  The winning entry will be announced at the Christmas party and will receive a $20 gift card.



Certificate Available For Monday Night Net Participation

The board has approved a plan to award certificates for exceptional participation in the Monday night net.  The purpose of the program is to encourage participation in the net, both as check-ins and as net control station.  The yet to be designed certificate will be awarded to participants that attain at least 75 points during 2016.  Points will be awarded as follows:


> 3 points for net control station.

> 2 points for stations participating in both rounds of the net.

> 1 point for stations participating in less than both rounds (late check-ins, in and out, short timers, one for the count, etc).

> 20 bonus points for club membership (pro-rated for new members).

> Net control station will determine points and modify net report to include this information.

> Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.



New Ham

Congratulations to new ham Edwin Fogarty KE8CLE of Hillsdale.  He was granted his Technician license on November 4.



SKYWARN Spotter Training Scheduled In Hillsdale County

The National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office (NWSIWX) will be conducting SKYWARN Spotter Training in Hillsdale County on March 14, 2016 at 7pm.  Training will be held at Hillsdale College Phillips Auditorium, 309 N West in Hillsdale (map).  Click here to complete the required registration.  Click here to view the schedule of all sessions being offered by the NWSIWX office.



SKYWARN Recognition Day Is December 5

The 17th annual SKYWARN Recognition Day special event will take place Saturday, December 5 from 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC.  Cosponsored by the American Radio Relay League and the National Weather Service, SKYWARN Recognition Day pays tribute to Amateur Radio operators for the vital public service they perform.  During the event Amateur Radio operators visit their local National Weather Service office and work as a team to contact other hams across the world.  This event is also aimed at strengthening the bond between Amateur Radio operators and local NWS offices.  (NWS info)



Feds Have Plan For Catastrophic Solar Flares

Most of us are familiar with the devastation caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, and even droughts.  But there is one natural phenomenon that could devastate our technology driven society, and that is space weather.  We hear and read about electromagnetic pulses (EMPs), solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).  As a matter of fact, an intense solar flare disrupted low frequency radio wave communications over South America and the Atlantic Ocean on September 28 this year.  This scenario has resulted in the White House coming out with a contingency plan if a massive solar flare hits.  (Digital Journal story)



DX Engineering Acquires Inlogis, Active Magnetic Loop Antenna Rights

DX Engineering of Tallmadge, Ohio, has acquired the assets of InLogis and the exclusive right to manufacture and sell the Inlogis (formally Pixel) Active Magnetic Loop Antenna, model RF-PRO-1B.  All manufacturing operations and equipment for the RF-PRO-1B have been moved from Colorado to Tallmadge.  DX Engineering says it will serve all existing RF-PRO-1B customers with replacement or service parts and expert advice.  (ARRL story)



Ham Radio Accessory Dealer, Publisher Idiom Press Changing Hands

Idiom Press of Merlin, Oregon, has announced the sale of its assets to Ham Supply of Elizabeth, Colorado.  Owned by Wayne Ordakowski N0UN, Ham Supply is a new business formed to manufacture and distribute the products previously offered by Idiom Press, as well as other new Amateur Radio products.  (ARRL story



Revamped FCC Website Expected To Debut On December 10

The FCC has announced that its large-scale website redesign will be completed by December 10.  The switch to the new site is set to begin on December 10 at 0100 UTC and will be completed about 4 hours later.  The FCC said the new website has been designed to provide “better functionality, an improved design, and better searchability and navigability.” Earlier this year the Commission’s IT Department opened a beta-test version of the site and has been gathering user comments.  (ARRL story)



Recording Of 1935 Marconi Speech Released

The Essex Record Office in the UK has released a sound recording that includes the second part of a speech by wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, delivered at the unveiling of the Fisk Memorial at Wahroonga, Sydney, Australia.  In the speech, Marconi forecast the impact that wireless communication will have on ship navigation and on the world economy in general.  “Without long-distance communications, no country can make much headway,” he asserted.  The Fisk Memorial commemorated the first direct wireless message sent from the UK to Australia in 1918.  (ARRL story)  (Southgate ARC story)  (Recording)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

11/04/15 KE8CLE, FOGARTY, EDWIN C, new licensee Technician

11/10/15 KD8CLT, ONA, CHARLES T, license renewed

11/24/15 N8BFD, BOWERS, MILTON L, license renewed



Public Service Activities

Air Force Marathon:  Amateur radio operators were on duty when 15,000 plus runners sprang from the starting line at the recent 2015 Air Force Marathon and related races held on September 19.  Held each year at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, the Marathon uses base roadways as well as streets in Fairborn and Riverside.  Hams are positioned at critical points throughout the courses, not only to provide communication, but to serve as additional eyes and ears, watching for any signs of problems.  Hams have been a part of the race since the first official marathon was held in 1997.  (ARRL story)


Veterans Day Parade: Midwest City, Oklahoma’s fourth annual Veterans Day Parade for 2015 was a success, due in part to the communication support that Mid-Del Amateur Radio Club volunteers provided.  Amateur Radio met communication needs at multiple staging areas, along the parade route, at the incident command post, and for the reviewing stand.  Working closely with the City of Midwest Emergency Management Office and the police and fire departments, the ham volunteers were able to cover the large area and a parade route of about 2 miles.  (ARRL story)


Cottonmouth 100 Run: Volunteers from Florida’s West Panhandle District ARES recently supported communications for the inaugural Cottonmouth 100, an “Ultramarathon” 100-mile endurance run.  Sixteen Amateur Radio operators from three Florida counties took part in the event over the November 14-15 weekend.  ARES volunteers used 2 meter simplex and one repeater providing communication support at six aid stations as well as at the start and finish lines.  (ARRL story)



Weather Summary

The snow in November was more than 25% of the total snow for all of last season.  Daily high temperatures on average were 11.4 degrees higher than last year, with daily lows averaging 8.6 degrees warmer than last year.  The December forecast is for highs a little warmer than last year, with lows a little cooler than last year and 4.4 inches of snow.  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 40.3 inches, compared to 90.9 inches in 2013-2014, 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


Trace / 0

October not included in season totals.


11.1 / 3.6

53.1 / 41.7

35.3 / 26.7

0 / 2

Season to Date Totals

11.1 / 3.6

53.1 / 41.7

35.3 / 26.7

0 / 2






December Forecast

4.4 / Trace

40.3 / 37.5

24.0 / 27.9

0 / 0

Current Season / Last Season



FCC Enforcement News

FCC Cites Homeowner for Unintentional Interference: The FCC has issued a Citation and Order to an Illinois man to notify him of his obligation to stop operating devices that cause interference to licensed radio operations and to comply with federal rules and regulations related to RF devices.  The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s Northeast Region office issued the Citation on November 24, warning him that he could face fines of up to $16,000 a day unless he resolves the interference, which was reported last spring by AT&T.  (ARRL story)



PRB-1 Update

The Amateur Radio Parity Act S1685 was endorsed on November 18 by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  The bill, and it's companion House Bill 1301, would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions.  (ARRL story)


HR1301, the House version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 now has 117 cosponsors as of November 30, up from 111 on October 31, and including Tim Walberg of Michigan's 7th district, which includes Hillsdale County.


S1685, the Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 bill now has three cosponsors as of November 30, up from one on October 31.


PRB-1 Resources

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 webpage.

ARRL “Clarity on Parity” statement.  (ARRL story)  (Statement)

ARRL “Clarity on Parity” video.  (ARRL story)  (Video)

Congress.gov HR1301 status page.

Congress.gov S1685 status page.




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.


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

December 2 – Board Meeting

December 5 – Ham Breakfast (rescheduled from December 12)

December 5 – Fulton County Winter Hamfest

December 11 – Christmas Party (RSVP here)

December 11 – Special Club Meeting

January 6 Board Meeting

January 9 Ham Breakfast

January 21 Club Meeting & Annual Meeting

January 24 – Hazel Park W8HP 50th Annual Swap

March 14 – NWS SKYWARN Spotter Training (registration required)



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