Hillsdale Communicator

September 2018


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

There will not be a regular club meeting in September.


Four members attended the club meeting held on August 16.  We were able to approve several sets of meeting minutes and treasury reports that had gone unapproved due to poor attendance at previous meeting and the lack of a quorum.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, September 8, 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 August breakfast was held at Ray's Tavern in Reading and was attended by five amateurs.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 12 as of August 31.  No activity during the month.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 5, at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, 45 North Manning in Hillsdale (map).  Due to construction, use the tower door off North Street.  All club members and invited guests are welcome.



Great Lakes HamCon 2018 Has Been Cancelled

Great Lakes HamCon 2.0, set to occur in October at Michigan International Speedway, has been cancelled.  This would have been the second Great Lakes HamCon, which had been sanctioned as the 2018 ARRL Michigan State Convention.  In announcing the cancellation, sponsors said failure to come to a final agreement for the use of the speedway led to the difficult decision to cancel the event.  "With just 2 months remaining before the event, the issues caused by the lack of agreement were found to be insurmountable,” the announcement said.  Information about refunds for event tickets purchased is posted on the HamCon website.  (ARRL story)  (GL HamCon website refund info)



NIST FY 2019 Budget Would Eliminate WWV And WWVH

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FY 2019 budget request includes shutting down “NIST radio stations in Colorado and Hawaii”, specifically WWV and WWVH.  Radio amateurs, HF listeners, and others around the world routinely make use of the time and frequency standard signals, which also include propagation information.  NIST said eliminating funding currently “supporting fundamental measurement dissemination” would include putting WWV and WWVH off the air for a saving of $6.3 million.  The NIST FY 2019 budget request for efforts related to Fundamental Measurement, Quantum Science and Measurement Dissemination is $127 million, which, the agency said, is a net decrease of $49 million from FY 2018 levels.  The Administration's overall NIST budget request is more than $629 million.  (ARRL story)



Concern Rising Within Amateur Community Over NIST Budget Cuts

ARRL members and Amateur Radio clubs are expressing increased concern over the inclusion of WWV and WWVH on a list of proposed cuts in the White House’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fiscal Year 2019 budget request.  The proposed cuts also would include the Atomic Clock signal from WWVB used to synchronize specially equipped clocks and watches.  Online petitions soliciting signatures include one established by Tom Kelly II W7NSS of Oregon, who would like to see funding for the stations maintained.  At this point, the budget item is only a proposal, not a final decision.  That would be up to the Congress to decide.  (ARRL story)



New ARRL Chief Executive Officer Elected By Board Of Directors

The ARRL Board of Directors has elected Howard Michel WB2ITX, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to be ARRL’s new Chief Executive Officer, starting on October 15.  Michel (rhymes with nickel) is currently Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education and Senior Vice President of UBTECH Robotics, a $5 billion Shenzhen, China, artificial intelligence and robotics company.  “I have Amateur Radio to thank for starting me on a very successful career, and I’m excited about the opportunity to further ARRL’s goals as CEO.  Leading the League will allow me to ‘give back’ to a great community and provide similar opportunity for future generations,” Michel said.  (ARRL story)



US Coast Guard Warns Of LED Lighting Interference To Marine Radios

The US Coast Guard says it’s received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors, and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC), and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of LED lighting systems.  This could include interior and exterior lighting, navigation lights, searchlights, and floodlights found on vessels of all sizes.  “Radio frequency interference caused by these LED lamps [was] found to create potential safety hazards,” the Coast Guard said in an August 15 Marine Safety Alert.  (ARRL story)



FCC Launches “More Than Seven Dirty Words” Podcast

The FCC has launched a new podcast series, More Than Seven Dirty Words, which will feature interviews with FCC officials and staff in addition to others in the communications arena.  The podcast aims “to share untold stories, explain important policy issues, and maybe even do the impossible, make telecom interesting,” the FCC said in announcing the new media outlet.  Guests will share their personal stories behind FCC news headlines and break down various telecommunications-related issues.  The podcast’ title is drawn from the first episode’s introductory discussion, which touches on the court fight over George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” and the fallout from the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.  (ARRL story)  (Podcast home page)



Hillsdale First United Methodist Church Construction Project Update

The First United Methodist Church in Hillsdale, site of many club meetings over the past few years, is undergoing a major construction project that started April 2.  The primary objective is to install an elevator that reaches all four levels.  The elevator cart and parts were delivered on August 15.  The car is built and work on the elevator rails is in progress.  Plumbing and electoral inspections on the rough-ins are complete.  Drywall and fixture installation is set to begin soon.  The lobby bathroom rebuild has started.  The project should be complete by the end of September, give or take.  (Church website updates)



Korean Postage Stamp Recognizes ARDF Championships

Korea Post has issued a postage stamp in recognition of the 19th Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) World Championships, being held September 2-8 in South Korea.  The Korean Amateur Radio League will host the event.  Representatives of at least 30 countries are expected to participate.  Events will include formal ARDF competitions on 2 meters and 80 meters, plus sprints and foxoring.  Each country may have up to three persons per age/gender category on its team, in accordance with International Amateur Radio Union ARDF rules.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

08/27/18 N6CRV, BANNICK, DONALD H, administrative update



Emergency Activities

Two severe weather nets were called during the month.  The first on August 6 lasted 46 minutes and had one check-in.  The second was August 9 and lasted 85 minutes with two check-ins.



Michigan Distracted Driving Legislation Update

Distracted driving bill was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives on March 30, 2017.  Click here to follow the progress of HB4466.



PRB-1 Legislative Update

House Version: HR 555 was introduced in the US House of Representatives on January 13, 2017 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)


Senate Version: S 1534, the Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the on July 12, 2017 and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.  Click here to follow the progress of S 1534.


PRB-1 Resources

ARRL Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 webpage

HR 555 status page

S 1534 status page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


If one of the bills does not pass before the end of the legislative session on December 31, the effort will have to be restarted in the next congressional session.



FCC Enforcement News

FCC Cites Baofeng Importer For Illegally Marketing Unauthorized RF Devices: The FCC has issued a Citation and Order to Amcrest Industries, an importer and marketer of popular and inexpensive Baofeng hand-held transceivers, alleging that the company violated FCC rules and the Communications Act by illegally marketing unauthorized RF devices.  The FCC asserts that Amcrest marketed Baofeng model UV-5R-series FM hand-held radios capable of transmitting on “restricted frequencies.”  The Baofeng models UV-5R and UV-5R V2+ were granted an FCC equipment authorization in 2012 to operate under Part 90 Private Land Mobile Radio Service (Land Mobile) rules.  (ARRL story)


Consent Decree Settles FCC Noncompliant Drone Transmitters Marketing Case: The FCC Enforcement Bureau has entered into a Consent Decree with Horizon Hobby, LLC to resolve a case involving the marketing and sale of noncompliant audio/video (A/V) transmitters intended for use on drones.  The Consent Decree was attached to an FCC Order released on August 16.  The Enforcement Bureau said the transmitters violated the FCC’s equipment marketing and Amateur Radio rules.  In the Consent Decree, Horizon Hobby concedes that it marketed A/V transmitters that did not comply with FCC equipment marketing rules.  The company has agreed to implement a compliance plan and to pay a $35,000 civil penalty.  (ARRL story)




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.


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 2018.  So far this year Bill Hicks WB8FFO and Joe Gosla KD8USJ have qualified.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.


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 30 minutes, depending on the number of check-ins.  Participating regularly in a directed net helps you keep you 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.


Michigan State Parks On The Air: Starting April 1, 2017, 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)


ARRL International Grid Chase: A new and exciting operating event kicked off on January 1, when the ARRL International Grid Chase got under way.  The objective is to work stations on any band (except 60 meters) in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible, and then upload your log data to ARRL’s Logbook of The World (LoTW).  Registration is free, and it costs nothing to use LoTW.  (ARRL story)  (Grid Square Calculator)


NASA On The Air Event: The Amateur Radio clubs at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers around the US have invited the Amateur Radio community to join the NASA On The Air (NOTA) special event.  NOTA started in December 2017 and continues through December 2018.  In addition to being the agency’s 60th anniversary, 2018 will mark 50 years since NASA orbited the first human around the moon, and 20 years since the first elements of the International Space Station (ISS) were launched into low-Earth orbit.  (ARRL story)



Upcoming Events

September 5 – Board Meeting

September 8 – Ham Breakfast

September 8 – GRAHamfest (Wyoming)

September 9 – Findlay Hamfest

September 16 – Adrian Hamfest

October 6-7 – Great Lakes HamCon CANCELED

October 21 – Kalamazoo Hamfest & Amateur Radio Show



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