KQ’s Korner – January 2015

Spring has sprung, fall has fell, winter is here and it is colder than a well diggers feet in an iceberg. With that in mind, remember that tornados are not the only severe weather events that we are involved in. Blizzards, snow storms, ice storms and extremely cold temps are all severe weather. If our communicaton services are needed at any time, be ready.

A big tip of the hat to John, KB9RYI, for his service in publishing the club newsletter for the past few years. And another tip of the hat to Dustin, KC9JKV, for taking over the newsletter. Editing a newsletter is an easy job. If you have to write a newsletter it is a hard job. If you can send Dustin a few things to take up space I’ll bet he would appreciate it.

73 & CUL
Art, N9KQ

President’s Comments – January 2015

I hope that 2015 has begun well for all of the HVARC membership.  As your new club president I hope 2015 is a good year for our club.  I have some concerns as we start out a new year.  First of all that we have not had many of us pay our dues every year.  Our treasury is not that large so please pay your dues as soon as possible.   We also need to find ways to increase our membership.  Without new members and a growth in our numbers I don’t believe our club will be a very vibrant one.

We need to all work at coming up with meeting programs that are of interest to our membership.  If you can help out in this area please let me know.  All dates are open except for July and December meetings.

Another concern I have is whether or not we can successfully be helpful to our government agencies in a real emergency.  Hap BGA has done a lot of work in this area.  However, Grant County no longer has an Emergency Coordinator working with the state ARES.   Our repeater committee (Mark WLU, Alvin MCC, Dick DLI, and Hap BGA) has made great improvements to our club’s repeater.  Ron POF and Roy NUZ got the paper work done for the generous grant from the Ann and Leo Stoll Jr. Charitable Trust.  We have a portable tower we could set up.  But how many of us can haul it and know how to set it up.  We also have a 440 MHz repeater which hardly gets used.   We also have a VHF and UHF radio at Southwest Health Center which few know how to use or even where it is kept etc.  It has been awhile since we had an ICS certification course offered to our membership. If certain people were out of the area could the rest of us actually do a successful job?   Hopefully we would show that we could.

I want to have us all to become more knowable in the above concerns.  We have covered these areas in the past, but we need to do it again.  In a real emergency we will need the help of neighboring clubs and their members.  The GRARC in Dubuque has expressed an interest in working with us to develop cooperation in an emergency.  I am sure other area clubs would also be helpful in such an emergency.

These are my main concerns as president.  I volunteered to be president again because our members have fun when we get together around a hobby we love.  Intellectually and socially ham radio is good for the soul.

The Christmas party had a nice turn out which I found very encouraging.  I had fun teasing in a skit Dustin JKV our outgoing president.  Dustin has graciously consented to not only be secretary but also take over doing the club newsletter.  John RYI has done it for many years.  Thanks John for the long service doing the newsletter.

So let’s make 2015 a great year by paying your dues, coming to the meetings, encouraging new members, helping out where you have interests, and of course, by listening to your club president (at least some of the time ha, ha).

Kent K9ZMU

September 2014 Meeting Minutes posted

The meeting minutes for September’s meeting are up. You can find them on the Newsletters and Minutes page.

File Link:September2014

Ann & Leo Stoll Jr. Charitable Trust Prepares Ham Radio Repeater for Emergencies

The Hidden Valleys Amateur Radio Club of Southwest Wisconsin has a repeater in Beetown similar to those used by county and municipal law enforcement and highway departments. Amateur radio operators from their mobile vehicles and handheld radios can transmit low power FM signals thru repeaters using higher elevation antennas and increased power to greatly improve communications.

These amateur radio operators, also known as “Hams,” are often used for backup communications by various government agencies. Because of the very hilly terrain of Grant, Iowa, and LaFayette Counties reliable communications can be difficult. The Hidden Valleys Amateur Radio Club is happy to announce that as a result of a generous grant from the Ann & Leo Stoll Jr. Charitable Trust, and over 50 donated hours from club members, improved backup emergency communication has resulted. Communications now between area hospitals, police, and other agencies could be maintained using their repeater throughout the tri-county area and beyond.

Because of the grant, the antennas were raised to from 90 to 150 feet. Power output was also improved with the addition of new hard line coaxial cable. Another benefit accomplished is better communication from low lying areas for US Weather Service Storm Spotters, and direct communication with the LaCrosse National Weather Service office is now possible. Other local events can use the repeater also. The Hidden Valleys repeater was successfully used to help with Ragbrai in Guttenberg, Iowa this past summer.

Antennas on top

On Tower

Raising sections

Antenna assembly on ground

More photos can be found on Facebook

Repeater Range !

Our repeater upgrades have given us approx an 80 mile range. As you can see in the picture, this reaches as far as Madison and La Crosse !


The repeater is located northwest of Beetown, WI near the Beetown Cemetery.

August 2014 Meeting Minutes posted

The meeting minutes for August’s meeting are up. You can find them on the Newsletters and Minutes page.

File Link: Meeting Minutes – August 2014.pdf

June 2014 Meeting Minutes posted

The meeting minutes for June’s meeting are up. You can find them on the Newsletters and Minutes page.

File Link: Meeting Minutes – June 2014f

ARLB012 FCC Okays Changes to Amateur Radio Exam Credit, Test Administration, Emission Type Rules

In a wide-ranging Report and Order (R&O) released June 9 that takes various proceedings into consideration, the FCC has revised the Amateur Service Part 97 rules to grant credit for written examination elements 3 (General) and 4 (Amateur Extra) to holders of “expired licenses that required passage of those elements.” The FCC will require former licensees – those falling outside the 2-year grace period – to pass Element 2 (Technician) in order to be relicensed, however. The Commission declined to give examination credit to the holder of an expired Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) or to extend its validity to the holder’s lifetime.

The Report and Order may be found on the web in PDF format at, http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0609/FCC-14-74A1.pdf.

“Our decision to grant credit for written examination Elements 3 and 4 for expired licenses that required passage [of those elements] will provide some relief for former General, Advanced, and Amateur Extra class licensees,” the FCC said, “and is consistent with how we treat expired pre-1987 Technician class licensees who want to reenter the Amateur Service.” Pre-1987 Techs can get Element 3 credit, since the Technician and General class written examinations in that era were identical. The Commission said current rules and procedures that apply to expired pre-1987 Technician licenses “are sufficient to verify that an individual is a former licensee under our new rules.”

The Commission said that requiring applicants holding expired licenses to pass Element 2 in order to relicense “will address commenters’ concerns about lost proficiency and knowledge, because a
former licensee will have to demonstrate that he or she has retained knowledge of technical and regulatory matters.” The FCC said the Element 2 requirement also would deter any attempts by someone with the same name as a former licensee to obtain a ham ticket without examination.

In 1997 the FCC, in the face of opposition, dropped a proposal that would have generally allowed examination element credit for expired amateur operator licenses. In the past, the FCC has maintained that its procedures “provide ample notification and opportunity for license renewal” and that retesting did not impose an unreasonable burden. The issue arose again in 2011, with a request from the Anchorage Volunteer Examiner Coordinator.

The FCC pulled back from its own proposal to reduce from three to two the minimum number of volunteer examiners required to proctor an Amateur Radio examination session. The ARRL, the W5YI-VEC and “a clear majority of commenters” opposed the change, the FCC said. The FCC said it found commenters’ arguments persuasive that that the use of three VEs “results in higher accuracy and lower fraud that would be the case with two VEs.” In a related matter, though, the Commission embraced the use of remote testing methods.

“Allowing VEs and VECs the option of administering examinations at locations remote from the VEs is warranted,” the FCC said. The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) in 2002 endorsed experimental use of videoconferencing technology to conduct Amateur Radio testing in remote areas of Alaska. The Anchorage VEC has long pushed for the change, citing the expense to provide Amateur Radio test sessions to Alaska residents living in remote areas.

The FCC declined to address “the mechanics” of remote testing, which, it said, “will vary from location to location and session to session.” The Commission said specific rules spelling out how to administer exam sessions remotely “could limit the flexibility of VEs and VECs.” The FCC stressed the obligation on the part of VECs and VEs “to administer examinations responsibly” applies “in full” to remote testing.

The FCC amended the rules to provide that VEs administering examinations remotely be required to grade such examinations “at the earliest practical opportunity,” rather than “immediately,” as the rule for conventional exam sessions requires.

Finally, the FCC has adopted an ARRL proposal to authorize certain Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) emissions in the Amateur Service. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in 2013 granted an ARRL request for a temporary blanket waiver to permit radio amateurs to transmit emissions with designators FXD, FXE, and F7E, pending resolution of the rulemaking petition.

“Commenters strongly support amendment of the rules to permit these additional emission types,” the FCC noted. “The commenters assert that the proposed rule change ‘is consistent with the basis and purpose of the Amateur Service,’” and will allow repurposing surplus mobile relay equipment from other radio services in the Amateur Service, the Commission added.

The FCC said it also will make “certain minor, non-substantive amendments to the Amateur Service rules.” It is amending Part 97 “to reflect that the Commission amended its rules to eliminate the requirement that certain Amateur Radio Service licensees pass a Morse code examination,” the FCC said in the R&O. It also said it was correcting “certain typographical or other errors” in Part 97.

The new rules become effective 30 days after their publication in The Federal Register, which is expected to happen this week.

HAMFESTS – July 2014

July 2014

July 12

OAK CREEK, WI – SWAPFEST ’14. Location: American Legion Post #434, 9327 South Shepard Avenue, Oak Creek, WI. Sponsor: South Milwaukee ARC. Contact: Robert Kastelic , WB9TIK, 7410 South Clement Avenue Oak Creek, WI 53154; Phone: 414-764-3871; Email: wb9tik@sbcglobal.net; Website: http://www.qsl.net/wa9txe.

CEDAR FALLS, IA – W0MG SWAP MEET 2014. Location: Island Park Shelter #1, 500 Center Street, Cedar Falls, IA. Sponsor: Northeast Iowa Radio Amateur Association (W0MG). Talk-In: 146.94 -600 (PL 136.5). Contact: Richard Nelson, W0HHF, 6908 Wagner Road Cedar Falls, IA 50613; Email: swapmeet2014@w0mg.net; Website: http://www.w0mg.net/presentations/SwapMeet2014.pdf.

July 13

AURORA, IL – Fox River Radio League Hamfest & Electronics Market. Location: Aurora Central Catholic High School, 1255 North Edgelawn Drive, Aurora, IL. Sponsor: Fox River Radio League. Talk-In: 147.210 +600 (PL 103.5). Contact: Dawn Williams , KC9LQS, PO Box 673 Batavia, IL 60510; Phone: 630-531-1670; Email: hamfest@frrl.org; Website: http://frrl.org.

July 19

CHIPPEWA fALLS, WI – Chippewa Valley ARC Tailgate Swap Fest. Location: Eagle’s Club, 2588 Highway 53, Chippewa Falls, WI. Sponsor: Chippewa Valley Amateur Radio Club. Talk-In: 147.375 (PL 110.9). Contact: Jim Linstedt , W9ZUC, 4321 South Pointe Court Eau Claire, WI 54701; Phone: 715-456-4814; Email: jlinstedt@charter.net; Website: http://www.w9cva.org.

August 3

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar Valley ARC Hamfest. Sponsor: Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club. Location: Teamsters Hall, 5000 J Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA. Talk-In: 146.745 & 146.52 simplex. Contact: David Wilson , KB0DW, 3200 Silverthorne Road NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402; Phone: 319-393-3776; Email: krk9840@msn.com; Website: http://cvarc.rf.org.

PEOTONE, IL – Hamfesters Radio Club’s 80th Hamfest. Location: Will County Fairgrounds, 701 South West Street, Peotone, IL. Sponsor: Hamfesters Radio Club. Talk-In: 146.52 . Contact: Kerry Nelson , AA9SB, 3404 Hazel Lane Hazel Crest, IL 60429. Phone: 708-335-4574; Email: kw_nelson@earthlink.net; Website: http://hamfesters.org.

August 9

ONALASKA, WI – Riverland ARC Great Swap Meet. Location: Omni Center, 255 Riders Club Road, Onalaska, WI. Sponsor: Riverland Amateur Radio Club. Talk-In: 146.97 (PL 131.8). Contact: Greg Miller , KA9FOZ, W7755 A Johnson Road Holmen, WI 54636; Phone: 608-792-7841; Email: gmiller@centurytel.net; Website: http://rarc.qth.com/.

August 23

BARABOO, WI – Circus City Swapfest. Location: Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club Property, E3347 Sand Road, Baraboo, WI. Sponsor: Yellow Thunder Amateur Radio Club. Talk-In: 147.315 (PL 123.0). Contact: Thomas Harrison , N9PQJ, E7983 East Lake Virginia Road Reedsburg, WI 53959. Phone: 608-963-0762; Email: n9pqj@yellowthunder.org; Website: http://yellowthunder.org.

September 13

BELVIDERE, IL – Radio Expo 2014. Location: Boone County Fairgrounds, 8791 IL Route 76, Belvidere, IL. Sponsor: Chicago FM Club. Talk-In: 146.76- (PL 107.2); 147.255+ (PL 114.8); 444.725+ (PL 107.2); Echolink to 146.76-. Contact: Steve Bosnyak , K9VO, 6778 West Ardmore Avenue Chicago, IL 60631; Phone: 773-817-2744; Email: k9vo@arrl.net; Website: http://www.chicagofmclub.org.

September 20

PEORIA, IL – Peoria Superfest 2013. Sponsor: Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club. Location: Exposition Gardens, 1601 West Northmoor Road, Peoria, IL Talk-In: 147.075+ (PL 103.5). Contact: John Coker , N9FAM, 133 Vonachen Court East Peoria, IL 61611; Phone: 309-369-7428; Email: n9fam@comcast.net; Website: http://www.w9uvi.org.

September 27

CEDARBURG, WI – ORC Fall Swapfest. Location: Fireman’s Park, 796 Washington Avenue Cedarburg, WI. Sponsor: Ozaukee Radio Club. Talk-In: 146.97 PL127.3. Contact: Tom Ruhlmann , W9IPR, 465 Beechwood Drive Cedarburg, WI 53012; Phone: 262-377-6945; Email: teruhlmann@wi.rr.com; Website: http://www.ozaukeeradioclub.org.

October 5

WEST LIBERTY, IA – Iowa Section Convention (Southeast Iowa Hamfest). Sponsor: Muscatine & Washington Area Amateur Radio Clubs. Location: Muscatine County Fairgrounds, 101 North Clay Street, West Liberty, IA. Talk-In: 146.760 -. Contact: Tom Brehmer, N0LOH, 1114 East 10th Street Muscatine, IA 52761; Phone: 563-263-3097; Email: n0loh@live.com; Website: http://www.kc0aqs.org/hamfest.html.

October 10

HUBERTUS WI – SEWFARS SWAPFEST. Location: Sterling Chalet (formerly Richfield Chalet), 1271 Highway 175, Hubertus, WI. Sponsor: Southeastern Wisconsin FM Amateur Repeater Society. Talk-In: 146.820 (PL 127.3). Contact: Darrell Welch , K9ABC, 4006 Monches Road Colgate, WI 53017; Phone: 262-628-1700; Email: dw@charter.net; Website: http://www.sewfars.com.

November 2

DAVENPORT, IA – 43rd Annual Davenport RAC Hamfest. Location: Clarion Hotel, 5202 North Brady Street, Davenport, IA. Sponsor: Davenport Radio Amateur Club (WリBXR). Talk-In: 146.28/.88 (PL 77.0). Contact: Kelly Lovely, W1HAM, 1261 Woodlawn Avenue Clinton, IA 52732; Phone: 563-321-7559; Email: w1ham@arrl.net; Website: http://arcsupport.com/drac.

January 10, 2015

WAUKESHA, WI – 43rd Annual Midwinter Swapfest. Location: Waukesha County Expo Center Forum, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha, WI. Sponsor: West Allis Radio Amateur Club. Talk-In: None. Contact: Phillip Gural , W9NAW, S67W12944 Larkspur Road Muskego, WI 53150; Phone: 414-425-3649; Email: janphil68@att.net; Website: http://www.warac.org/swap/index.htm.

KQ’s Korner — July 2014

Field Day has come and gone for another year. I think we has a good Field Day. I don’t know how we did but everyone had a good time. A big tip of the hat to Alvin, KC9MCC for the eats again this year. Nothing like good FD eats. I think that is an important part of the FD experience. It sure is to me anyway. About all I did during FD was to get sunburned but I enjoyed the weekend.

Lots of severe weather in the area again. Keep on you toes and be ready for Skywarn to be activated. It may be needed at any time.

The meeting this month is our annual Club picnic. I hope to be there and will enjoy visiting with the club members.

73 & CUL

Art, N9KQ

Greetings Everyone!

All amateurs and those interested in amateur radio are welcome at club meetings and events.

The Hidden Valleys Amateur Radio Club is a small friendly club located in the hills and valleys of Southwestern Wisconsin. Our members participate in Field Day, Wisconsin QSO parties, local community service activities, and also offer ham licensing classes. Many of us are trained storm spotters, some have CPR, and a few have multiple Red Cross certifications.

Our club meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM in the lower level of the Southwest Health Center in Platteville Wisconsin. We have a weekly Sunday night net meeting at 7:30 PM on the N0WLU repeater on 146.895Mhz 114.8 pl. All check-ins are welcome.

We wish to thank Scott Onson for the server space on which this web site is hosted.