Hillsdale Communicator

January 2020

 

News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County

 

Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, January 11, at 8am at the Coffee Shop, 119 W Main in North Adams (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.

 

The December breakfast was held at Spangler's Family Restaurant in Jonesville and was attended by seven amateurs.

 

 

Christmas Party

The club Christmas party was held on December 14 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ in Hillsdale.  The club provided Sloppy Joes and attendees brought potluck dishes that provided a plentiful selection of food.  After dinner there were games and a gift exchange.  Many thanks to Brenda Sprow for her help in organizing the party.

 

 

Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, December 4, at 10:30am at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members are welcome.  Use the south entrance off city parking lot F.

 

 

Membership Report

Club membership stood at 17 as of December 30.  No activity during the month.  One member has renewed for 2020.

 

 

Two Earn Exceptional Participation Award In 2019

Two amateurs qualified for the 2019 Monday Night Net Exceptional Participation Award.  The purpose of the program is to encourage participation in the net, both as check-ins and as net control station.  The certificate is awarded to participants that attain at least 75 points during the year.  Those achieving the goal were Bill Hicks WB8FFO and Don Gambill KC8WAU.

 

 

2019 Monday Night Net Summary

Total Nets: 38 (26 ragchew, 12 emergency test)

Total check-ins including Net Control Station (NCS): 125

Most check-ins, individual: 31 (WB8FFO)

Most check-ins, net: 8 (01/21/19)

Average check-ins including NCS: 3.3

Unique check-ins: 14 different amateurs checked in at least once during the year.

Average check-ins per unique amateur: 8.9

Total net time: 415 minutes

Average net time: 10.9 minutes

Note: 33 weekly nets were conducted on simplex.

 

 

Upgrades

Congratulations to Deb McCloud KE8BPS of Hillsdale on being granted Amateur Extra privileges on December 4, upgrading from General.

 

 

One-Day Tech Class January 25

Dan Romanchik KB6NU will be presenting a one-day tech training class on Saturday, January 25, in Ann Arbor.  The class runs from 9:00am until 3:30pm, at which time the license exam will be given.  Pre-registration is requested and pre-study is highly recommended.  Click here for more information.

 

 

Police Can Now Ticket Drivers Under Hands-Free Law In Battle Creek

In the city of Battle Creek, it is against the law to use a hand-held cell phone while driving, and police can now write tickets under the new local law, after more signs were recently installed throughout the city.  Exceptions to the law are radio operators licensed by the FCC; police officers, fire department personnel, law enforcement officers and others driving emergency vehicles while performing their official jobs; and anyone reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency or serious road hazard.  (Mlive story)

 

 

FCC Amending Amateur Radio RF Exposure Safety Rules

The FCC is amending its Part 97 Amateur Service rules relating to RF exposure safety.  In a lengthy document in ET Docket 19-226 released on December 4 that addresses a broad range of RF safety issues, the FCC said current amateur radio RF exposure safety limits will remain unchanged, but that the amateur-specific exemption from having to conduct an RF exposure evaluation will be replaced by the FCC’s general exemption criteria.  (ARRL story)

 

 

Dayton Hamvention Admission, Fees To Increase In 2020

Dayton Hamvention is increasing the cost of admission and its booth fees.  Hamvention General Chair Jack Gerbs WB8SCT announced this week that general admission would rise by $4 per ticket to $26 in advance or $31 at the gate for all 3 days.  The cost of flea market spots will go up by $5 per space, and inside exhibitors will pay $30 more.  (ARRL story)

 

 

Neighbors Fight Ham’s Approval To Erect 80-Foot Ham Radio Tower

Residents opposed to the construction of an 80-foot ham radio tower in a neighbor’s yard say the tower is an eyesore that will hurt property values.  The neighbor’s attorney says the Zoning Board of Appeals has no right to prevent its construction.  Framingham Massachusetts ham Mikhail Filippov KD1MF hired a lawyer to help him convince the Zoning Board of Appeals to reject a challenge by a large group of neighbors who say the tower is unsafe and will destroy the woodsy area’s charm.  (MetroWest Daily News story)

 

 

NOAA/NASA Panel Concurs That Solar Cycle 25 Will Peak In July 2025

The NOAA/NASA-co-chaired international Solar Cycle Prediction Panel has released its latest forecast for to forecast Solar Cycle 25.  The panel’s consensus calls for a peak in July 2025 (±8 months), with a smoothed sunspot number of 115.  The panel agreed that Cycle 25 will be of average intensity and similar to Cycle 24.  The panel additionally concurred that the solar minimum between Cycles 24 and 25 will occur in April 2020 (±6 months).  (ARRL story)

 

 

Two Solar Cycle 25 Sunspots Appear

New Solar Cycle 25 is on the way, but just when the transition from Cycle 24 to Cycle 25 will take place is not entirely clear.  On December 24, two new sunspots, one in each hemisphere, emerged on the face of the sun that exhibit the reversed magnetic polarity marking them as belonging to Solar Cycle 25.  According to Hale’s Law, sunspot polarities flip-flop from one solar cycle to the next, the National Center for Atmospheric Research explains.  (ARRL story)

 

 

VP6R Pitcairn Island Photo Book

If you've ever wondered what it is like to go on a DX-pedition, check out this book about the VP6R Expedition to Pitcairn Island.  Lots of nice pictures.  (blurb.com link)

 

 

ARRL Reshapes Podcast Offerings For 2020

In conjunction with the launch of its new On the Air magazine, which is aimed at those just beginning their journey in amateur radio, ARRL is reconfiguring its podcast lineup.  Heading up the new schedule will be a free companion podcast to the bimonthly On the Air magazine.  The “On the Air” podcast will take a deeper look into select features and projects from the magazine.  ARRL’s current “So Now What?” podcast will cease production in January 2020.  (ARRL story)

 

 

FCC Adopts Proposals To Remove Amateur 3-GHz Band, Invites Comments

The FCC formally adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Docket 19-348 and invited comments on its plan to remove “existing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations” in the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band and relocate incumbent non-federal operations.  The FCC said it’s seeking comment on appropriate “transition mechanisms” to make that happen.  ARRL has indicated that it will file comments in opposition to the proposal.  Interested parties may file short comments on WT Docket 19-348 via the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing Service (Express).  Visit the FCC “How to Comment on FCC Proceedings” page for information on filing extended comments.  (ARRL story)

 

 

Over-The-Horizon Radars Causing Widespread Interference On 40 Meters

Over-the-horizon (OTH) radars continue to plague various amateur radio bands.  Those operating on exclusive ham radio allocations have been complaining for years, but military systems have a blanket waiver to use amateur radio frequencies.  The November edition of the International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System newsletter reports that a radar in northern Iran, likely military, has been operating 40 meters (6978 – 7022 kHz).  Several Russian and Chinese OTH radars have become mainstays in the ham bands.  (ARRL story)

 

 

FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

12/04/19 KE8BPS, McCloud, Deborah M, upgraded to Amateur Extra from General

12/11/19 WA8DCK, GEE, RUSSELL M, license status set to expired (SK 05/04/12)

12/23/19 K8ODF, RIGGIO, ROBERT F, license renewed

 

 

Snow Totals

Unofficial snowfall totals (in inches) in Hillsdale City for the last few seasons.

 

Month

11-12

12-13

13-14

14-15

15-16

16-17

17-18

18-19

19-20

October

 

Trace

 

 

Trace

Trace

 

Trace

0.2

November

10.2

Trace

1.0

3.6

11.1

Trace

0.4

10.0

7.2

December

5.4

4.9

13.3

Trace

1.8

18.2

13.2

0.3

3.5

January

13.0

4.0

43.4

8.6

7.9

8.7

11.4

24.8

 

February

8.7

17.1

20.9

25.8

16.3

0.8

21.9

7.6

 

March

2.3

2.2

11.5

2.3

8.1

3.9

4.0

2.6

 

April

Trace

0.4

0.8

Trace

6.8

0.4

3.2

0.2

 

May

 

 

 

 

Trace

 

 

 

 

Season Total

39.6

28.6

90.9

40.3

52.0

32.0

54.1

45.5

10.9

 

 

FCC Enforcement News

FCC Proposes Largest-Ever Fine for Unlicensed Broadcasting: The FCC has proposed fining an alleged pirate broadcaster in the Boston, Massachusetts area more than $450,000.  According to the FCC, Gerlens Cesar, who operated Radio TeleBoston, used three separate transmitters for his broadcasting enterprise, resulting in three separate violations of the law.  (ARRL story)

 

 

QSM

Microsoft Announces End Of Support For Windows 7: Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009.  When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that we can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences.  The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020.  (Announcement and FAQ)

 

Distracted Driving Bills Introduced In State Legislature: There are several bills (HB 4181, HB 4198 and HB 4199) that have been formulated in the Michigan House of Representatives that deal with Distracted Driving.  The Michigan ARRL legislative team has been watching as these bills were introduced in the House.  Amateur Radio was granted an exemption (the use of amateur radio while driving) from being considered a distraction.  The exemption amendment referenced 47 CFR Part 97, 47 CFR Part 90 and a reference to CB radio.  (ARRL Michigan Section post)

 

 

Upcoming Events

January 4 – Board Meeting

January 11 – Ham Breakfast

January 16 – Club Meeting & Annual Meeting

January 18 – BCARC Licensing Testing Session

January 25 – KB6NU One-Day Tech Class

January 25-26 – Winter Field Day

 

 

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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.

 


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