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Mich-A-Con RF Newsletter
Mich-A-Con RF is published by the Mich-A-Con Amateur Radio Club. Click HERE to view the latest issue or to access the archives. Items for the newsletter should be sent to Steve, KD8CCP.
The ARRL Letter
The ARRL Letter contains a weekly synopsis of Amateur Radio related news items. Click HERE to view the latest letter or to access the archives.
2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Mich-A-Con Amateur Radio Club. We are asking club members to let us know how they would like to celebrate this event. Please provide your ideas to Tom, W8JWN, at: email@example.com
February 7, 2009
Congratulations to Steve Johnson, KC8RYY, for passing his Extra Class exam.
April 13, 2008
The club sadly notes the passing of Lee Michaud, N8LT. Lee was a long time member of the club and was very involved with club activities. He will be missed.
September 11, 2007
Congratulations to Nate Mieras, KD8GLP, for recently passing his Extra Class exam.
August 14, 2007
Congratulations to Dennis Beurjey, K8SWX; Art Costa, KD8GLO; and Jim Faulkner, KC8CKX, for passing their General Class exam.
May 10, 2007
Kingsford High School High Power Rocketry Program
High Power Rocket Launches set for June 16th and September 22nd have been approved by Michigan's DNR for the Groveland Mine Tailing Ponds launch site. The Groveland Mine launch site is near Randville, Michigan. It is about 19 miles from Kingsford or Iron Mountain. For more information about the program and for photos of previous launches CLICK HERE.
December 15, 2006
FCC MODIFIES AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE RULES,
ELIMINATING MORSE CODE EXAM REQUIREMENTS AND
ADDRESSING ARRL PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION ...More information
August 24, 2006
Congratulations to Bob Uren, KC8TWG, for passing the General Class exam on August 5th. Good work, Bob!
August 9, 2005
Congratulations to Mike Boileau, N9NBN, for passing the Extra Class exam last Saturday. Way to go, Mike!
October 26, 2004
The club sadly notes the passing of club member Al Pacheco, NG0C, who became a Silent Key in September.
September 20, 2004
Congratulations to our newest club member, Dennis Beurjey, for passing his Technician license exam last Thursday. His call sign is KD8AIT.
Jan 19, 2004
ARRL to Propose New Entry-Level License, Code-Free HF Access
NEWINGTON, CT, Jan 19, 2004--The ARRL will ask the FCC to create a new entry-level Amateur Radio license that would include HF phone privileges without requiring a Morse code test. The League also will propose consolidating all current licensees into three classes, retaining the Element 1 Morse requirement--now 5 WPM--only for the highest class. The ARRL Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved the plan January 16 during its Annual Meeting in Windsor, Connecticut. The proposals--developed by the ARRL Executive Committee following a Board instruction last July--are in response to changes made in Article 25 of the international Radio Regulations at World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03). They would continue a process of streamlining the amateur licensing structure that the FCC began more than five years ago but left unfinished in the Amateur Service license restructuring Report and Order (WT 98-143) that went into effect April 15, 2000.
"Change in the Amateur Radio Service in the US, especially license requirements and even more so when Morse is involved, has always been emotional," said ARRL First Vice President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, in presenting the Executive Committee's recommendations. "In fact, without a doubt, Morse is Amateur Radio's 'religious debate.'" The plan adopted by the Board departs only slightly from the Executive Committee's recommendations.
The "New" Novice
The entry-level license class--being called "Novice" for now--would require a 25-question written exam. It would offer limited HF CW/data and phone/image privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters as well as VHF and UHF privileges on 6 and 2 meters and on 222-225 and 430-450 MHz. Power output would be restricted to 100 W on 80, 40, and 15 meters and to 50 W on 10 meters and up, thus avoiding the need for the more complex RF safety questions in the Novice question pool.
"The Board sought to achieve balance in giving new Novice licensees the opportunity to sample a wider range of Amateur Radio activity than is available to current Technicians while retaining a motivation to upgrade," said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. "It was also seen as important to limit the scope of privileges so the exam would not have to include material that is inappropriate at the entry level."
As an introduction to Amateur Radio, the Novice license served successfully for most of its 50-year history. The FCC has not issued new Novice licenses since the 2000 license restructuring, however. Under the ARRL plan, current Novice licensees--now the smallest and least active group of radio amateurs--would be grandfathered to the new entry-level class without further testing.
Anticipating assertions that the new plan would "dumb down" Amateur Radio licensing, Harrison said those currently holding a ticket often perceive the level of complexity to have been greater when they were first licensed than it actually was. "Quite frankly," he said, "if you review the questions presented in our license manuals throughout the years, you will be surprised how they compare to those of today."
Technicians and Generals
The middle group of licensees--Technician, Tech Plus (Technician with Element 1 credit) and General--would be consolidated into a new General license that no longer would require a Morse examination. Current Technician and Tech Plus license holders automatically would gain current General class privileges without additional testing. The current Element 3 General examination would remain in place for new applicants. ARRL already has proposed additional phone privileges for Generals in its "Novice refarming" petition, RM-10413, but the FCC has not yet acted on that petition.
Morse Code Testing Retained for Extra
At the top rung, the Board indicated that it saw no compelling reason to change the Amateur Extra class license requirements. The ARRL plan calls on the FCC to combine the current Advanced and Amateur Extra class licensees into Amateur Extra, because the technical level of the exams passed by these licensees is very similar. New applicants for Extra would have to pass a 5 WPM Morse code examination, but the written exam would stay the same. The League's plan calls for current Novice, Tech Plus and General class licensees to receive lifetime Element 1 (5 WPM Morse) credit.
"This structure provides a true entry-level license with HF privileges to promote growth in the Amateur Service," Harrison said. "It also simplifies the FCC database by conforming to the current Universal Licensing System (ULS) structure and does not mandate any modifications to it."
Sumner concurred. "The Board started out by recognizing that three license classes was the right number when looking down the road 10 or 15 years," he said. "We need a new entry-level license."
"On the other hand, there's nothing particularly wrong with the existing Extra class license," he continued. "The change in the international regulations notwithstanding, the Board felt that the highest level of accomplishment in the FCC's amateur licensing structure should include basic Morse capability."
Sumner and Harrison say the current Technician entry-level ticket provides little opportunity to experience facets of ham radio beyond repeater operation. "The quality of that experience," Sumner said, "often depends on the operator's location."
Among other advantages, Sumner said the plan would allow new Novices to participate in HF SSB emergency nets on 75 and 40 meters as well as on the top 100 kHz of 15 meters. The new license also could get another name, Sumner said. "We're trying to recapture the magic of the old Novice license, but in a manner that's appropriate for the 21st century."
Proposal Includes "Novice Refarming" Band Plan
The overall proposed ARRL license restructuring plan would more smoothly integrate HF spectrum privileges across the three license classes and would incorporate the "Novice refarming" plan the League put forth nearly two years ago in a Petition for Rule Making (RM-10413). The FCC has not yet acted on the ARRL plan, which would alter the current HF subbands. The Novice refarming proposal would eliminate the 80, 40 and 15-meter Novice/Technician Plus CW subbands as such and reuse that spectrum in part to expand phone/image subbands on 80 and 40 meters.
The ARRL license restructuring design calls for no changes in privileges for Extra and General class licensees on 160, 60, 30, 20, 17 or 12 meters. Novice licensees would have no access to those bands.
The amateur community and other interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on the ARRL proposal once the League formally files a Petition for Rule Making and the FCC puts it on public notice.
This artilce was taken from The ARRL Letter, January 23, 2004 with permission from the American Radio Relay League.
Proposed Phone/Image HF Subbands (Includes Novice Refarming Proposal)
Extra: 3.725-4.000 MHz (gain of 25 kHz)
General: 3.800-4.000 MHz (gain of 50 kHz)
Novice: 3.900-4.000 MHz (new)
Extra: 7.125-7.300 MHz (gain of 25 kHz)
General: 7.175-7.300 MHz (gain of 50 kHz)
Novice: 7.200-7.300 MHz (new)
Extra: 21.200-21.450 MHz (no change)
General: 21.275-21.450 MHz (gain of 25 kHz)
Novice: 21.350-21.450 MHz (new)
Extra and General: 28.300-29.700 MHz (no change)
Novice: 28.300-28.500 MHz (no change)
Proposed CW/Data-Exclusive HF Subbands (Includes Novice Refarming Proposal)
Extra: 3.500-3.725 MHz
General: 3.525-3.725 MHz
Novice: 3.550-3.700 MHz
Extra: 7.000-7.125 MHz
General: 7.025-7.125 MHz
Novice: 7.050-7.125 MHz
Extra: 21.000-21.200 MHz
General: 21.025-21.200 MHz
Novice: 21.050-21.200 MHz
Extra/General: 28.000-28.300 MHz
Novice: 28.050-28.300 MHz
Jan 14, 2004
Please welcome Mike Boileau, N9NBN, to the club. Mike moved to Niagara about 4 years ago. His interests lie mostly in the technical aspects of amateur radio.
Nov 12, 2003
Mich-A-Con ARC members gathered at the ManorCare nursing home in Kingsford to install Jay Jennings' tri-band beam antenna. Jay, W8HFS, has been a resident there for several years and was granted a "Heart's Desire" wish to have his antenna and tower moved from his home to ManorCare. The project was coordinated by Lee Michaud, N8LT, who also repaired and realigned Jay's Yaesu transceiver earlier this year.
View The Daily News article.
July 11, 2003
ARRL BULLETIN 045 - 7 MHz realignment compromise makes radio history
In an 11th-hour compromise, delegates to World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) agreed to move broadcasters out of 7100 to 7200 kHz in Regions 1 and 3 to make room for the Amateur Service. The expanded worldwide allocation at 40 meters goes into effect on March 29, 2009. Amateurs in the US and the rest of Region 2 will continue to enjoy the 7000 to 7300 kHz band they now have, but with greatly reduced broadcasting interference.
The compromise marked the first time in the history of internationally coordinated radio spectrum allocation that an HF broadcasting band was shifted to accommodate the needs of another service. The compromise cuts in half the incompatibility between amateur and broadcasting use of the 7 MHz band and doubles the 40-meter spectrum available to amateurs in Regions 1 and 3.
While the result falls short of the IARU's goal of a 300-kHz worldwide exclusive band for amateurs, the cooperation of broadcasters, opposing delegates and many others was required to make a positive step for ham radio. Spectrum between 4 and 10 MHz is on the agenda for WRC-07, but further changes to 7000-7200 kHz will not be considered.
The conference also dropped the international Morse code requirement, leaving individual countries to decide if they want to retain a code proficiency requirement, and adopted a number of improvements to the other international regulations for the amateur service. The delegates also agreed to allowed a secondary allocation for satellite borne synthetic aperture radars at 70 cm and made amateur call sign assignment more flexible.
June 7, 2003
The Mich-A-Con Amateur Radio Club has registered with FISTS, The International Morse Preservation Society. Our FISTS number is 10150.
FISTS is a well established and recognized CW organization in the world of amateur radio. Founded in 1987 by Geo Longden, G3ZQS, it now has a membership in the thousands, is world-wide, and growing daily. The purpose of the club is to further the use of CW on the amateur bands, to encourage newcomers to the CW mode and to engender friendship within the membership.
Information about the FISTS Club can be found at http://www.fists.org
June 4, 2003
New 60-meter band becomes available July 3
The new five-channel 60-meter domestic secondary amateur allocation becomes available to US Amateur Radio operators at midnight local time on July 3. The FCC Report and Order granting the allocation was published June 3 in the Federal Register. Federal government users are primary in the 5 MHz band.
The FCC has granted amateurs use of five 2.8 kHz-wide channels with center frequencies of 5332, 5348, 5368, 5373 and 5405 kHz. The channels will be available to General and higher class licensees. The only permitted mode will be upper-sideband USB phone, and 50 W ERP is the maximum power allowed.
Users of the 60-meter channels should set their carrier frequency 1.5 kHz lower than the channel center frequency. ARRL suggests restricting transmitted audio bandwidth to 200 Hz on the low end and 2800 Hz on the high end for a total bandwidth of 2.6 kHz. ARRL recommends that amateurs considering modifying existing amateur equipment for operation on 60 meters contact the equipment's manufacturer for advice.
Jan 24, 2003
Mich-A-Con ARC to Receive Award
The Mich-A-Con Amateur Radio Club has been selected to receive the We Energies Reliability One Award. The award consists of a $1500 contribution and is available to ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) groups in any community with 5,000 or more We Energies customers. The club was recommended for the award by Peter Schlitt, Dickinson County Emergency Services, for our service to the government and the community. The award will be presented to the club at a date yet to be determined.
Jan 14, 2003
It's official, the Mich-A-Con Amateur Radio Club now has the KC8VC call sign in memory of former member Mike Wolfe. The old call sign, KC8UVX, was cancelled by the FCC.
Oct 20, 2002
Mich-A-Con ARC's participation in JOTA went well yesterday. About 60 scouts took part in the Jamboree On The Air from the Marion Park Scout Building in Norway across from the county fair grounds. The bands were open and a number of stations were contacted including some DX! Of note was a QSO with a fellow in New Delhi, India on 20 meters at 2012 UTC.
The station setup included a 100 watt transceiver and a dipole antenna that tuned up on 10, 15 and 20 meters.
Oct 1, 2002
The Mich-A-Con Amateur Radio Club has been issued call sign KC8UVX. This is our first step toward obtaining vanity call sign KC8VC in honor of former club member Mike Wolfe.
June 20, 2002
The following was received from the ARRL on 6/19/02:
White House greets Amateur Radio operators
President George Bush has sent his greetings to all Amateur Radio operators, acknowledging their role in emergency communications and in generating international good will. The White House letter comes as hams in the US mark Amateur Radio Week June 16-23 and prepare to participate this weekend in ARRL Field Day-an emergency preparedness exercise.
"I salute amateur radio operators for your work on behalf of public safety officials," the President said in a letter dated June 18. "I also commend your interest in communicating with persons in other parts of the world and learning about other cultures and countries. Your involvement builds understanding and goodwill around the globe."
For the first time, Field Day will be open to participation by amateurs throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
The President's letter acknowledged ham radio's "important role in emergency communications, assisting law enforcement personnel and other emergency services as they carry out their responsibilities."
ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, expressed his delight at the presidential communication. "I'm extremely pleased that the president has decided to recognize the accomplishments of Amateur Radio operators throughout America," he said. "Amateur Radio is a real asset to America, and even more so after September 11. Amateur Radio has always played a big role in disasters and emergencies, and I'm very proud of it."
President Bush said First Lady Laura Bush "joins me in sending our best wishes."
Governors in several states have issued proclamations designating Amateur Radio Week or Amateur Radio Month.
May 9, 2002
Please welcome Tom Martin, W8JWN, to the club. Tom is a charter member of the club, but hasn't been active over the past few years. Now that he has retired (from the Kingsford school system), he is finding more time for ham radio.
May 8, 2002
Congratulations to club member Bob Uren for passing his Technician license exam at last Saturday's exam session. His call sign is KC8TWG.
Mar 23, 2002
The club sadly notes the passing of club member Ernie Johnson, KC8IME, who became a Silent Key on March 20, 2002.
Mar 20, 2002
Did I mention that the ads are FREE! The only condition is that they must be related to amateur radio.
Mar 16, 2002
Please welcome a new member, Bob Uren, to the club. Bob was previously licensed as a novice in the 60's and let his license lapse. He plans on getting a new license soon and hopes he still remembers the code. Good luck on your exam, Bob.
Mar 6, 2002
The Mich-A-Con ARC is on the World Wide Web! After all, it is the 21st century, eh? Remember, this is a club web site and I need input from everyone if this is to be a success.
For those wondering how much this is going to cost, the service is free of charge to the amateur radio community and is provided by QSL.NET. All they ask is a donation of $15 per year to defray their cost of operation.