Hillsdale Communicator

June 2019


News For Amateur Radio Operators In And Around Hillsdale County


Club Meetings

There will not be a regular club meeting in June.  Next meeting date to be determined by the board.


Only three members attended the club meeting held on May 15.  Lacking a quorum we were unable to approve several sets of treasury reports or conduct any other official business.



Ham Breakfast

This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, June 8, at 8am at the 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 seven amateurs.



Membership Report

Club membership stood at 16 as of May 31.  No activity during the month.



Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, June 1, 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.



Field Day

Field Day is June 22-23.  The club has no plans to sponsor a Field Day activity this year.  Check the ARRL Field Day locator page for a nearby site if you are interested.  (HCARC Field Day page)  (ARRL Field Day home page)  (ARRL Field Day locator page)  (ARRL Field Day merchandise)



CAA Head Start Picnic Volunteers Needed

The Community Action Agency (CAA) Head Start Picnic is Friday, June 7.  Amateur Radio volunteers with HTs are needed from 10:30am to 1:30pm to work the parking lot detail.  Free lunch is available to volunteers.  CAA is located at 55 Barnard in Hillsdale (map).  This is a weekday and many people are working, so if you are available we really need your help.  Check with your employer to see if they provide paid time off for community service.  To volunteer, contact club President Don Gambill KC8WAU.



New Radio System For Public Safety In Jackson County Launches

A new communications system for all police and fire agencies in Jackson County launched recently.  The new system will eliminate most dead zones, Undersheriff Chris Kuhl said.  Three new towers were built in Hanover, Columbia and Springport townships.  The towers will work with two existing state-owned towers.  All of Jackson County should have “very robust, very reliable,” coverage, Kuhl said.  (MLive story)



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)



Police Scanner Traffic Now Encrypted In Genesee County

For those who’ve listened to the crackle of the scanner traffic over desktop or handheld radios over the years in Genesee County, the silence now heard is deafening.  On May 30 all police scanner traffic for local agencies, including colleges, became encrypted.  The move came as part of a $6.2 million upgrade to more than 1,300 radios including cars, portables, consoles and desktops.

(MLive story)



Hams Help Trace “Mystery” Signal Disrupting Keyless Entry Devices In Ohio

A recent article in The New York Times reported that many garage door openers and keyless vehicle entry fobs in an Ohio town near Cleveland mysteriously stopped working.  While the article invoked The X-Files and hinted initially that a NASA research center somehow could be involved, the cause was not so much mystifying as arcane.  “Garage door repair people, local ham radio enthusiasts, and other volunteer investigators descended on the neighborhood with various meters,” the May 4 article by Heather Murphy recounted.  “Everyone agreed that something powerful was interfering with the radio frequency that many fobs rely on, but no one could identify the source.”  (ARRL story)



Dayton Hamvention Attracts A Happy Crowd

Dayton Hamvention chalked up its third year at its new venue, the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.  Amateur Radio's largest annual gathering took place May 17 - 19.  For many hams, Hamvention offers an opportunity each spring to renew old acquaintances and make new ones, and for manufacturers to debut their latest and greatest gear.  (ARRL story)  (Friday Roundup)  (Saturday Roundup)  (Sunday Roundup)



Ohio ARES Active In Wake Of Tornadoes That Badly Damaged Hara Arena

Hara Arena, in Trotwood, Ohio, which served as the home for Dayton Hamvention for more than six decades, was among the structures damaged when tornadoes swept through the Dayton area on Memorial Day.  According to a report from WHIO TV, Hara Arena suffered extensive damage.  Drone video showed that the roof and side of the structure had been blown off in several places.  Hamvention relocated to the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in 2017, after Hara Arena shut down the previous year.  (ARRL story)  (Drone video)



ARRL Invites Applications For Volunteer Monitor Positions

ARRL is now accepting applications from individuals interested in becoming part of the new Volunteer Monitor program, a joint undertaking of ARRL and the FCC.  The program seeks volunteers who will monitor and survey the Amateur Radio bands both to detect improper activity and to recognize exemplary on-the-air behavior.  (ARRL story)



Equipment For Sale

Heathkit Seneca Model VHF-1 for sale.  See Craigslist post for details.



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity In Hillsdale County

05/06/19 KD8RHD, MICHEL, GLEN E, address updated to out of county

05/17/19 K8YYF, MARKER, JOHN E, license status set to expired (SK 07/20/14)

05/30/19 KC8HQE, KELLY, ROBERT J, license status set to expired




Hillsdale County Emergency Management: HCEM is always looking for volunteers, either to join the group or just to monitor the monthly tornado siren test.  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 2019.  Rules and results are posted in the Net Control Schedule section of the club website.


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.  Contact Dan or any member of club leadership if you have ideas for programs or are willing to present something yourself.


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)


New General Class Question Pool Released, Effective July 1: The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee has released the 2019-2023 Element 3 General Class Question Pool into the public domain.  The new Question Pool is effective for Element 3 exams administered on or after July 1, 2019.  The current General question pool, released in 2015, is valid until June 30, 2019.  (ARRL story)


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 to focus investment on supporting newer technologies.  The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020.  (Announcement and FAQ)



Upcoming Events

June 1 – Board Meeting

June 1 – FCARC Summer Swap

June 1 – IRA Hudsonville Hamfest

June 2 – Chelsea Swap Meet

June 7 – CAA Head Start Picnic

June 8 – Ham Breakfast

June 15 – BCARC License Exam Session

June 16 – Monroe Hamfest

June 22-23 – Field Day

July 20 – Auburn Hamfest (NEW HAMFEST)

July 21 – Van Wert Hamfest


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