Hillsdale Communicator

December 2016


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Christmas Party

The club Christmas party will be held on Friday, December 16 at the Fayette Street Church of Christ, 131 W Fayette in Hillsdale (map).  The church is located directly behind the Market House.  All area hams and their guests are welcome.  Socializing will begin at 6pm with dinner at 6:30pm.  Dinner will be a pot-luck.  The club will provide the meat dishes, probably chicken and ham.  Appetizers, side dishes and desserts are suggested.  Drinks (water, coffee, tea) and table service will be provided.  There will be a gift exchange ($10-$15) for those who want to participate.  RSVPs are requested and can be made by clicking here or by contacting Don Gambill KC8WAU at KC8WAU@arrl.net or 517-437-4172.  Please RSVP by noon on December 16.



Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, January 19 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  In addition to the regular meeting, we will be conducting our annual meeting as required by our constitution.  The program will feature ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R talking about the Irish Hills Hamfest.  Larry was originally scheduled to present this program at the November meeting but had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict.  Everyone welcome.


The November meeting was held at the new 911 building in the Hillsdale Manufacturing and Technology Park and attended by eight members and four guests.  After the meeting, Central Dispatch 911 Director Doug Sanford N8WFB presented a slide show showing the construction of the building.  After the slide show, Doug and Deputy Director Tracy Peter each took half the group on a tour of the building.



Club Leadership For 2017

Club leadership elections for 2017 were held at the November club meeting.  President Don Gambill KC8WAU, Vice President Dan Sprow KC8RYF and Treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS all won reelection.  There were no nominations for the secretary and board member at large positions.  Special elections will be held at subsequent club meetings to fill the vacant positions.  If you are interested in becoming a member of club leadership, check the club constitution or contact any of the current club leadership for more information.  New energy and ideas are welcome.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, December 10 at 8am at Ray's Tavern, 14 S Main in Reading (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The November ham breakfast was held at Yesterday's Diner in Litchfield and was attended by six members.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 15 as of November 30.  No activity during the month.



Membership Dues For 2017

Club membership dues for 2017 are coming due.  Rates are unchanged from last year and are $15 for regular membership, $5 for household membership (additional members in same household after first member pays regular rate) and free for students.  All members are must fill out an updated membership application as part of the renewal process.  Dues can be paid by cash or check at club events or mailed to club treasurer Joe Gosla KD8UJS, 2175 Blackmer Drive, Jonesville, MI 49250.  Make checks payable to Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club or HCARC.



Board Meeting

The next Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  All club members and invited guests welcome.



Monday Night Net

Don’t forget to check in to the net every Monday at 7pm on the 147.06 MHz repeater.  Different flavors of the net take place every week.  The net runs anywhere from five to 25 minutes, depending on the number of check-ins.  Participating regularly in a directed net helps you keep your operating skills sharp.  Set up an alarm in your calendar on your computer or smart phone.  The net schedule and results are posted on the club website.



Monday Night Net Certificate Update

Four amateurs have qualified for an award certificate for exceptional participation in the Monday night net.  Bill Hicks WB8FFO, Joe Gosla KD8UJS, Don Gambill KC8WAU and Dave King KQ8R have earned enough points to qualify.  The purpose of the program is to encourage participation in the net, both as check-ins and as net control station.  The certificate will be awarded to participants that attain at least 75 points during 2016.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.  The Board has decided to run the program again in 2017 with the same rules.



Hillsdale County Central Dispatch 911 Construction Update

Construction on the new Central Dispatch 911 building is complete.  Dispatch equipment has been moved from old building in Osseo.  Dispatching operations began in the new building on November 29.  A few non-essential things still need to be moved in from Osseo.  The new site is located at 204 Development Drive (map) in the Hillsdale Manufacturing and Technology Park.  The club met there on November 17 and toured the building.  An open house is planned.



Latest Edition Of The ITU Radio Regulations Is Available Online

What the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) calls “The global treaty behind your mobile communications” the ITU Radio Regulations (2016 edition) is now available online and at no cost via the ITU website.  Published in ITU’s six official languages, the new edition of the Radio Regulations is also available for purchase in hard-copy format and as a multilingual DVD.  (ARRL story)



Hamvention Countdown: 6 Months To Go, Plans Proceeding At New Venue

With just 6 months to go until the Hamvention debuts at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Xenia, Ohio, May 19-21, General Chair Ron Cramer KD8ENJ and Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) Board Member Mike Kalter W8CI assure that all is progressing smoothly.  Cramer and Kalter appeared on Amateur Radio Roundtable to update progress on preparations for the all new Hamvention.  Cramer and Kalter said they continue to be bombarded with questions, concerns, and rumors regarding how the event will be staged.  The interview runs a bit over 48 minutes.  (ARRL story)  (Amateur Radio Roundtable Interview)



CBS News Celebrates Walter Cronkite's 100th Birthday

CBS News marked what would have been the 100th birthday of legendary TV news pioneer Walter Cronkite KB2GSD (SK) with a story on the evening news broadcast.  He was born November 4, 1916 in St.  Joseph, Missouri.  Click to view the CBS News story video aired on Cronkite’s 100th birthday.  Click to view the Amateur Radio Today video that Cronkite did on behalf of Amateur Radio.  Click here to read the ARRL tribute story that was published after his death in 2009.  And that's the way it is, as he famously said at the end of his news shows.



Two Arrested In Georgia For Planning To Attack HAARP Facility In Alaska

Authorities in Georgia recently arrested two men who said they were planning to attack the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility near Gakona, Alaska.  Michael Vickers, a detective with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, told Alaska Dispatch News that the pair explained to authorities “that God told them to go and blow this machine up that kept souls, so souls could be released.”  “Yes, that news caused a bit of a stir,” said Chris Fallen KL3WX, a faculty member at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, which now operates the HAARP facility.  “I can also confirm that no souls are stored at HAARP.”  (ARRL story)



National Geographic Channel Guide Supports Before Mars Prequel

The National Geographic has produced A Guide to Ham Radio to support its recently released digital short Before MARS, a prequel to its MARS series.  The 33-minute prequel, which has a heavy Amateur Radio theme, provides the back story of two principal characters in the upcoming MARS global event series.  (ARRL story)



Noisy Electronics Have Increased Noise Floors In UK, RSGB Reports Say

Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) HF Manager Ian Greenshields G4FSU says the noise floor continues to rise on the HF bands in the UK.  He included that observation in his report to the RSGB Spectrum Forum.  “The threat of PLT [power line telecommunications] for the last 10 years has largely been superseded by noisy electronics, in particular switch-mode power supplies in lighting and solar PV [photovoltaic] arrays, and broadband Internet delivery systems such as VDSL2,” Greenshields said in his report.  “A further potential threat from wireless power transfer systems (WPT) is being closely monitored at the ITU [International Telecommunication Union].”  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

11/03/16 KD8EWV, TURNER SR, JOHN, license renewed

11/03/16 KD8EWW, LUCAS, DAVID, license renewed



Emergency Activities

East Tennessee Wildfires: Amateur Radio volunteers are providing communication support to American Red Cross shelters in Sevier County, Tennessee.  Wind-driven flames and embers from the Chimney Top Fire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, now closed, spread to threaten the communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in East Tennessee.  Authorities have closed Highway 441 into Gatlinburg, although it remains open only to emergency traffic and outbound evacuation traffic.  Media reports indicate that fire caused considerable destruction in Gatlinburg, a resort community that attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year.  At peak, an estimated 1,300 evacuees occupied six Red Cross or independently operated shelters, state authorities said, although that number now is reported to have declined somewhat.  (ARRL story)



Weather Summary

November actually turned out to be pretty comfortable.  High temps averaged 53.1 degrees for the month, same as last year and 41.7 degrees in 2014.  Low temperatures averaged 36.8 for the month, compared to 35.3 degrees last year and 26.7 degrees in 2014.  There was no measurable snow in Hillsdale City, although there was a steady snow shower on November 19, compared to 11.1 inches last year.  An interesting note is that the record high for November is 79 degrees and the record low is minus 4 degrees, and both occurred in 1950.  The December forecast calls for average highs of 34.7 degrees and average lows of 21.4 degrees, with 7.7 inches on snow.  The table shows a summary for Hillsdale City created with data from Accuweather.com and local measurements.  Total unofficial snowfall in Hillsdale City for winter 2015-2016 was 52.0 inches, compared to 40.3 inches in 2014-2015, 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)


Trace / 11.1 

53.1 / 53.1

36.8 / 35.3

Season To Date Totals

Trace / 11.1 

53.1 / 53.1

36.8 / 35.3


Current Season / Last Season

December forecast vs last year actual

7.7 / 1.8

34.7 / 45.2

21.4 / 33.7



PRB-1 Legislative Update

The US House passed HR1301 on September 12.  (ARRL story)  The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration.  The ARRL is asking amateurs to contact their Senators to urge their support of the bill and has created a website to make this task easy.


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.



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)

HR1301 status page

S1685 status page

Contact your senator webpage


The bill must be passed by the end of the legislative session on December 31 or it will die.



Irish Hills Hamfest Update

ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R recently announced the he and ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams WA8EFK have been working with officials from NASCAR concerning the organization of a hamfest and convention to take place in the fall of 2017 at Michigan International Speedway.  They are in the process of assembling a consortium of clubs to gather the necessary talent and staff to make this event successful.  Larry will be will be hitting the road in the coming weeks to chat with clubs within a radius of about 50 miles of the track.  Larry will be in Hillsdale on November 17 to talk about the hamfest at the club meeting on November 17.  Click here to read Larry’s report from the ARRL Michigan Section website.



Michigan Distracted Driving Legislation Update

Recently, a distracted driving bill was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives.  House Bill 5867 does not specifically exempt amateur radio operations could result in mobile operations becoming illegal in Michigan.  ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R and ARRL Michigan Section State Government Liaison Ed Hude WA8QJE are working with bill sponsor Representative Martin Howrylak to discuss alternatives.  Click here to follow the progress of HB 5867.  The bill must be passed by the end of the legislative session on December 31 or it will die.


Read Larry’s reports from the ARRL Michigan Section website:

Michigan Distracted Driving Bill Introduced (October 6)

HB5867 Distracted Driving Bill Update (October 23)




ARRL National Parks On The Air Event: The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, and radio amateurs will be able to help mark the occasion with the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event.  NPOTA will run throughout 2016, with activity promoted and encouraged from each of the official NPS administrative units and affiliated areas across the US.  This includes all 59 National Parks as well as National Battlefields, Historic Sites, Memorials, Preserves, Reserves, Rivers, Seashores, National Scenic Trails, and other units.  (ARRL story)  (NPOTA website)  Click here for more detailed information about the contest from ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R.



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.  Club Vice President Dan Sprow KC8RYF leads the effort to arrange meeting programs for the club.  If you have ideas for programs or are willing to present something yourself, contact Dan or any member of club leadership.



Upcoming Events

December 2-3 – SKYWARN Recognition Day

December 3 – Fulton County Winter Hamfest

December 4 – LCARC Amateur Radio Swap/Hamfest (Madison Heights)

December 7 – Board Meeting

December 10 – Ham Breakfast

December 15 – Club Meeting

December 16 – Christmas Party

January 4 – Board Meeting

January 14 – Ham Breakfast

January 19 – Club Meeting

January 19 – Annual Meeting

January 29 – Hazel Park ARC Hamfest


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Previous editions are available in the newsletter archive.


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