Hillsdale Communicator

June 2017


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

The next club meeting will be Thursday, June 15 at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  The program will feature Tommy Palmer KD8WWW with a demonstration of software-defined radio (SDR).  Everyone welcome.


There was no club meeting in May.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, June 10 at 8am at Sidekick Cafe, 4682 Hudson Road in Osseo (map).  Come and join us for a meal or just coffee.  Everyone welcome.


The May breakfast was held at the Coffee Shop in North Adams and was attended by eight amateurs, including a couple of new faces.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 15 as of May 31.  There were no new members or renewals in May.



Local Hams Support CROP Walk & CAA Head Start Picnic

CROP Walk: Four hams provided volunteer services to the Hillsdale County CROP Walk held May 7.  Walkers started at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsdale and walked along the Baw Beese Trail for two miles to Sandy Beach before returning.  Amateur radio volunteers directed traffic to parking areas and monitored the trail, assisting walkers as necessary.  Thanks to amateur radio volunteers Don Gambill KC8WAU, Joe Gosla KD8UJS, Tommy Palmer KD8WWW and Dan Sprow KC8RYF.


CAA Picnic: Over 500 people attended the Community Action Agency Head Start Picnic held May 19.  Amateur radio volunteers Wayne Jones N9UGT and Brett Smith KC8ZDA directed vehicles to parking spaces, maintaining an orderly flow of traffic throughout the event.



Club Leadership Positions Available

Two club leadership positions remain open.  The Secretary and Board Member At Large positions had no nominations during annual elections in November or subsequent special elections.  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.  A special election will be held at the next club meeting to fill the positions.



Field Day

At this point, it looks doubtful that the club will sponsor a Field Day event this year.  If anyone would like to lead the effort or host the event, please contact club leadership.  (HCARC Field Day page)  (ARRL Field Day home page)  (ARRL Field Day locator page)  (ARRL Field Day merchandise)



Board Meeting

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



New Hams

Congratulations to new ham Tracy Peter KE8GZP of Reading.  He was granted his Technician license on May 19.



Dayton Hamvention Roundup

Official attendance numbers are not yet in, but Dayton Hamvention 2017 drew a happy and enthusiastic crowd to its new venue at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.  The sponsoring Dayton Amateur Radio Association was forced to relocate the event after the dilapidated Hara Arena closed for good last summer.  “It was a great weekend, it was a tiring weekend, but everybody  walked away loving the place, saying they want to come back next year,” Dayton Hamvention General Chair Ron Cramer KD8ENJ said.  “You can’t beat that.”  The Hamvention was held May 19-21.


ARRL Hamvention Reports  Friday  Saturday  Sunday

Xenia Gazette: Hamvention Weekend A Success



ARRL Michigan Section Family Outing

The 19th annual Michigan Section Family Outing is scheduled for July 7-8 at the Woodlands Conference Center & Campgrounds in Hale (map).  This great facility is located about 20 miles from West Branch and offers the best of the north country in a relaxed setting.



Updated ARRL Band Charts Now Available

ARRL has revised and updated its “US Amateur Radio Bands” charts, and these now are available for download.  These are PDF documents, available in color or grayscale presentations.  Note that the new 630-meter and 2200-meter bands are not yet available for Amateur Radio use as the effective date of the recent FCC Report & Order granting these allocations has not yet been determined.  (ARRL story)  (Downloads)



Maritime Mobile Service Net Relays Distress Call; Crew And Vessel Safe

The Maritime Mobile Service Network (MMSN) recently served as a critical communication link after the sport fishing vessel Free Spirit put out a “mayday” distress call on after running into trouble in Mexican waters.  Brian Stipak KF7QCX, skipper of the sailing vessel Ubiquity, heard the distress call, which advised that the Free Spirit was sinking quickly with four people on board and that all were abandoning ship.  Unable to raise coastal stations on his vessel’s VHF radio, Stipak went to the MMSN’s 14.300 MHz frequency.  Despite marginal band conditions, he was able to relay a position report to net control station Ken Porter AC0ML, who had assistance from fellow NCS Scott Roberts KK4ECR.  Porter notified the US Coast Guard in San Diego to relay the information to the Mexican Navy, which dispatched a vessel to the Free Spirit’s last-known position.  Roberts later learned via the Coast Guard that the Free Spirit had been towed to the port of San Carlos and that all on board were safe.  (ARRL story)



Drone Pilots Don’t Have To Register Under FAA’s Rule, Court Rules

The Federal Aviation Administration’s requirement that hobby drone users register their devices was struck down in an appeals court.  The U.S.  Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of a drone hobbyist who had challenged the legality of the FAA’s drone-registration program.  The court struck down the rule, referencing the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which states that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.”  (MarketWatch story)



Frequency, Last Man Standing TV Shows QRT

Frequency and Last Man Standing, two TV shows with Amateur Radio themes have been canceled.  Frequency was a combination of two of the season's most popular trends: time travel and movie reboots. Starring Mad Men alum Peyton List and Riley Smith, the show had a small movie fan base to build on from the start.  Last Man Standing ran for six seasons and starred Michigan’s own real-life radio amateur Tim Allen KK6OTD as Mike Baxter KA0XTT and was produced by ham John Amodeo NN6JA.  Occasional scenes showed Allen’s character at his ham station.  (ARRL story)



Midway And Kure Islands Reinstated As DXCC Entities

In March the DXCC desk announced the deletion of Midway Island and Kure Island from the DXCC entities list.  The stated reason for this action was because of changes in the administration resulting from changes in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.  After further review it has been found that the deletion of these two entities is not supported by the changes that were made to the relevant administrations.  (ARRL story)



Taiwan To Drop Morse Code For Amateur Radio Buffs

The Taiwan National Communications Commission (NCC) said a regulation requiring that amateur radio operators take the International Morse Code Test to obtain a license is soon to be abolished.  The commission has already approved the amendments, frequency and resources.  The amendments also extend the validity of amateur radio operating licenses from five years to 10 years.  (Taipei Times article)



Telecommunications Ministry In India Orders Halt To Online Transceiver Sales

The Mumbai Mirror in India reports that a complaint by radio amateurs has prompted the Telecommunications Ministry to order online purveyors, including eBay and Amazon, to stop selling wireless transmitting equipment.  According to the newspaper, a group of hams wrote the Wireless Advisor in the Telecommunications Ministry last fall to warn that online sales of wireless equipment could pose a national security threat.  Their warning followed reports of “highly suspicious” 2-meter transmissions along the Bengal-Bangladesh border.  (ARRL story)



The Sun's Magnetic Dynamo Is Weakening

Astronomers now confirm that the Sun’s magnetic dynamo is likely to eventually disappear causing our star to lose its 11 year magnetic cycle.  In fact, a billion years from now, they say, interplanetary spaceflight could become even more treacherous, since the Sun’s protective magnetic heliosphere would weaken or even disappear, leaving the solar system unshielded from incoming cosmic rays.  Over the next one to two billion years, the Sun’s magnetic cycle period will get longer before disappearing entirely.  (Forbes story)



Great Lakes Hamcon Update

The Great Lakes HamCon hamfest will be held at Michigan International Speedway on October 7 & 8.  Ticket prices are $17 in advance and $20 at the gate.  Each ticket is good for both days.  Children under 12 are free with a paid admission.  A child’s ticket must be requested when purchasing adult tickets.  Currently, there is a limited time promotion that gives you $1 off your advance purchase of tickets.


Camping spaces are $35 without electric and $50 with electric for Friday and Saturday nights.


Flea Market spaces are available for purchase by phone only.  Spaces are $40 for a 12x20 foot space on pit road.  Adjacent spaces may be obtained only by ordering the spaces at the same time.  Call 888-905-7223 between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.


GLHAMCON Resources

Website: http://www.glhamcon.org

ARRL Hamfest Info Page: http://www.arrl.org/hamfests/great-lakes-division-convention-1

Flyer: http://glhamcon.org/FlyerDaytonColor051417.pdf

Window Sticker & Ordering Instructions: http://glhamcon.org/sticker.html

Recruitment Letter: http://glhamcon.org/letter.html

Volunteer Email Address: volunteer@GLHamCon.org

GL HamCon Online Store: https://glhamcon.qbstores.com/

Ticket Portal: http://www.mispeedway.com/About-MIS/Special-Events/Great-Lakes-HamCon.aspx

Most Recent Newsletter: http://glhamcon.org/newsletter/



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

05/18/17 WB8WKA, KING, ROBERT J, address updated to out of county

05/19/17 KE8GZP, Peter, Tracy A, new licensee Technician



Michigan Distracted Driving Legislation Update

Distracted driving bill was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives on March 30.  Click here to follow the progress of HB4466.



PRB-1 Legislative Update

New Amateur Radio Parity Act Bill Passed In US House: A new Amateur Radio Parity Act bill, HR 555,  was introduced in the US House of Representatives on January 13 and was passed just 10 days later.  The bill was sent to the Senate, where it was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  The bill calls on the FCC to establish rules prohibiting the application of deed restrictions that preclude Amateur Radio communications.  Click here to follow the progress of HR 555.  (ARRL story)



FCC Enforcement News

FCC Issues Notice of Unlicensed Operation in Public Safety Interference Complaint: The FCC has issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation to a Texas man for causing interference to a VHF public safety communications system in Dallas County.  The FCC Enforcement Bureau issued the Notice to Bradley Pike of Dallas on May 17.  On April 3, agents from the FCC’s Dallas Enforcement Bureau Office responded to a complaint from Dallas County Consolidated Services regarding interference to their VHF public safety communications system.  Agents confirmed by direction-finding techniques that VHF emissions coming from Pike’s residence were causing the interference.  Pike surrendered a radio signal jammer after admitting to agents that he had used the device, the FCC said.  (ARRL story)


Consent Decree, Forfeiture Terminate FCC Interference Investigation: The FCC used a consent decree to resolve an enforcement matter.  The FCC Enforcement Bureau recently concluded a radio interference investigation with “a negotiated settlement” and $90,000 civil penalty.  The case against AFX Inc. involved the marketing of unauthorized RF devices that interfered with AM/FM radio reception.  AFX is a privately-held company that manufactures and distributes lighting fixtures that are used in residential and commercial properties.  (ARRL story)


FCC Issues Amateur Radio Licensee A Notice Of Violation For Pirate Broadcasting: The FCC Enforcement Bureau has sent a California Amateur Radio licensee a Notice of Violation (NoV) alleging that he engaged in unlicensed, or “pirate”, radio broadcasting on the FM band.  According to the FCC’s Los Angeles Office, the Enforcement Bureau in March received a complaint of an apparently unlicensed FM broadcasting station on 93.7 MHz in Vista.  The NoV does not indicate the origin of the complaint, but these sometimes come from legitimate broadcasters in the listening area.  The NoV also does not recount the nature of the alleged pirate broadcasts nor indicate how long they had continued.  FCC agents monitored the apparent unlicensed signal 93.7 MHz and used direction-finding techniques to locate the source.  (ARRL story)




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 next siren test and meeting will be on April 3.  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.


Monday Night Net Certificate: The club will 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 certificate will be awarded to participants that attain at least 75 points during 2017.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.


Michigan State Parks On The Air: Starting April 1 Michigan hams embarked on the most ambitious on-the-air project ever, the Michigan State Parks on the Air (MSPOTA).  Previous State Park activations on the air around the country have focused on a single weekend.  The Michigan State Parks system as a whole will be 100 years old in 2019.  Some of our parks actually began operation in 1917.  Hence, the celebration began in 2017 and continues through 2019.  That is three years of State Parks on the Air!  Lots of time for activators and chasers alike!  This event includes 117 MDNR Parks & Recreation sites including State Parks, Recreation Areas, Scenic Sites and State Trails rotated over the 3 years.  That adds up to about 50 parks across the state active in each event year.  (More info at MSPOTA website)



Upcoming Events

June 3 – Fulton County Amateur Radio Summer Swap

June 3 – IRA Hamfest (Hudsonville)

June 4 – Chelsea ARC Swap Meet

June 7 – Board Meeting

June 10 – Ham Breakfast

June 15 – Club Meeting

June 18 – Monroe Hamfest

June 24-25 – Field Day (ARRL Field Day locator page)

July 7-8 – ARRL Michigan Section Summer Family Outing

July 16 – Van Wert Hamfest

July 29 – CMARC “Outdoor” Hamfest (Holt)

August 12 – Angola Hamfest



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