Hillsdale Communicator

March 2020

 

News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County

 

Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, March 7, at 8:00am at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members and invited guests are welcome.  Use the south entrance off city parking lot F.

 

There was no board meeting in February.

 

 

Membership Dues For 2020

Club membership dues for 2020 are due.  Rates are unchanged from last year and are $10 for regular membership, $5 for household membership (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  You must print and fill out a membership application as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at club events or mailed to club Vice President Dan Sprow KC8RYF (click for address).  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.  You must renew by March 31 to maintain your membership status.

 

 

Membership Report

Club membership stood at 18 as of February 29.  There was one new member during the month.

 

 

Presidential Primary Election March 10

Tuesday, March 10 is Presidential Primary Election day in Michigan.  Along with the presidential primary, there is a County Intermediate School District milliage proposal on the ballot, and there may be other 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.

 

 

Daylight Saving Time Starts March 8

Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 8, at 2am.  Turn your clocks forward one hour.  During this period Hillsdale County will be on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) with a minus 4 offset from GMT/UTC.  Daylight Saving Time runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.

 

 

WCSR Under New Ownership

Hillsdale County's AM/FM broadcast station WCSR is under new ownership.  McKibbin Media Group completed their purchase of the station on February 27.  New owner Jamie McKibbin says listeners may notice a few changes, but the voices you’re used to hearing will remain the same.  Zach Hiser will now be on from 6-10am; Juli Morgan will handle middays from 10am-2pm, and Bob Flynn remains the afternoon voice from 2-6pm.  The station broadcasts on 92.1 MHz FM, 99.5 MHz FM and 1340 KHz AM.  (WCSR post)  (Hillsdale Daily News story)

 

 

Arrow Sponsoring Bus To Dayton Hamvention

ARROW Communications Association is sponsoring a bus trip to the Dayton Hamvention on Saturday, May 16.  The cost for the round trip is $55 before April 1, $65 after March 31 and includes the bus ride from Ann Arbor, continental breakfast, the right to sell your stuff from the ARROW attended booth space in the flea market and the opportunity to win one of many ARROW door prizes.  Please note that this does not include the Hamvention ticket.  Click here for more details.

 

 

ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention And Toledo Hamfest March 14-15

The Great Lakes Division Convention and Hamfest 2020 will be held March 14-15 Owens Community College in Perrysburg, OH.  The convention is Saturday, March 14, and features ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR and Heil Sound founder Bob Heil K9EID along with numerous forums and a banquet.  The Toledo Mobile Radio Association hamfest is Sunday, March 15, from 8am-2pm.  (Convention website)  (TMRA hamfest website)

 

 

“WOW Signal” Documentary Now Available Online

Retired Ohio State University Professor Robert Dixon W8ERD says a documentary about the 1977 discovery of a signal from the cosmos detected by the Ohio State University Radio Telescope is now available from at least one internet video site and was to become available from Amazon and Google Play.  The so-called “WOW signal” is regarded as the best candidate for a signal originating from extraterrestrial intelligence.  Dixon directed the radio telescope program.  Dixon says the award-winning 88-minute film, WOW Signal, is available on FandangoNow.  The documentary’s trailer is free; the film itself is available for rent or purchase.  (ARRL story)  (Trailer and full film)

 

 

15-Year-Old Fights The FAA Anti-Model Flying NPRM With Social Media

The FAA has issued an NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) that would effectively see the end of the traditional hobby of flying RC planes, helicopters and drones.  As well as mandating remote ID on store-bought products it would effectively (over time) outlaw scratch-built craft as well.  This stands to have a hugely negative impact on those STEM/STEAM programs that have in the past used drones and RC planes as a teaching tool and a way of getting kids into electronics, engineering, and aerospace-related subjects.  15-year-old Jack Thornton created a YouTube video explaining what's going on and makes a fantastic case for the continuation of the hobby.  (Southgate Amateur Radio News story)  (Youtube video)

 

 

ARRL Opposes FCC Plan To Delete The 3.4 GHz Band

ARRL has filed comments opposing an FCC proposal to delete the 3.3-3.5 GHz secondary amateur allocation.  The comments are in response to an FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Docket 19-348 in which the FCC put forward a 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’s proposal was in response to the MOBILE NOW [Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless] Act, enacted in 2018 to make new spectrum available for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use.  ARRL noted that amateur radio has a long history of successful coexistence with primary users of the band.  (ARRL story)

 

 

Radio Society Reports Continued “Smart Meter” RFI

The St.  Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Amateur Radio Society (SKNAARS) reports continued interference to St.  Kitts radio amateurs from so-called power company “smart meters.” SKNAARS, an International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society, took its complaint to the national telecommunications regulator last year, and the regulator issued a cease-and-desist order.  SKNAARS said this week that Saint Kitts amateur radio operators are still battling RF interference and noise on 80 and 40 meters that it says are caused by the smart meters on 40 and 80 meters.  A SKNAARS representative will meet with the NTRC in the next few weeks to discuss the issue “and other outstanding matters.” SKNAARS thanked the IARU for its assistance in helping to resolve the RF interference matter.  (ARRL story)  (IARU story)

 

 

ISS Resupply Mission To Carry New ARISS Ham Radio Gear

The scheduled March 7 SpaceX CRS-20 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will include the initial Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Interoperable Radio System (IORS) flight unit.  The IORS is the foundation of the ARISS next-generation amateur radio system on the space station.  The ARISS hardware team built four flight units, and the first will be installed in the ISS Columbus module.  (ARRL story)

 

 

FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

02/19/20 KD8NOI, Radebaugh, Richard K, license renewed, address updated within county

02/21/20 N8JLP, Ball, Clara V, license status set to expired (SK 01/24/11)

 

 

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

5.1

February

8.7

17.1

20.9

25.8

16.3

0.8

21.9

7.6

16.8

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

32.8

 

 

QSM

Hillsdale County Emergency Management: HCEM is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test.  The first siren test and meeting of the year will be on March 2.  Contact the HCEM office if you are interested.  Meetings and siren tests are normally held on the first Monday of the month in the evening, March through October, with a few exceptions.

 

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)

 

NWS Schedules Skywarn Training: The National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office has released a schedule 2020 SKYWARN Spotter Training for the spring season.  Training will not be offered in Hillsdale County this year.  Click here for a complete schedule, including registration links.

 

New Amateur Extra Question Pool Available: The Question Pool Committee of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) has released the 2020-2024 Amateur Extra Class question pool.  The pool will take effect on July 1, 2020, and will remain valid until June 30, 2024.  The current Amateur Extra question pool, released in 2016, is valid until June 30, 2020.  (ARRL story)

 

 

Upcoming Events

March 7 – Board Meeting

March 14 – Ham Breakfast

March 14 – ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention (not the hamfest)

March 15 – TMRA (Toledo) Hamfest

April 11 – Crossroads Hamfest

April 18 – Michigan QSO Party

 

 

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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.

 


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