W8JVP and KE8BSV are going on a POTA tour!

Club member and Member at Large, Ken Irish (W8JVP) and son Dennis (KE8BSV) will be taking a tour of National Parks, Monuments and Memorials, west of the Mississippi and activating POTA references along the way. Their tour starts May 17, 2022 and will go for 26 days into mid June. 

They’ll be living and working in a 29 ft motorhome and their equipment will consist of an ICOM 7100 and a 36ft vertical telescoping mast mounted on the back of the motorhome as well as a backup OCFD 40 meter dipole. For local comms they’ll be using a Comet UHV mobile antenna (20/40 6 Meter and 2 M capable ). 

They’ll be on the lookout for local hams  on 40 and 20 meters, so let’s help them get their contact quotas for activations!  Keep your eyes on the POTA spotting page at https://pota.app/#/  for their call signs and help them activate! 

Their itinerary can be found below.

MI QSO Party Wrap up

Thanks to everyone who came out last month and operated with us at the W8VY Club shack at the Red Cross for the MI QSO party. We had a great turn out, lots of food and good conversations were had. We met some new friends and had lots of fun operating together for the first time in the shack since the start of the pandemic 2 years ago.

We tried to get a scheduled QSO with our friend and club member Jim Gorka (N8JG) in FL but time and conditions didn’t allow for it unfortunately. We’ll have to try harder next time! We look forward to more operating events and activities at the club shack in the coming future.

LoSTeam Schedule 2022

The LoSTeam or Line of Sight Team Schedule for 2022 has been created. You can download it below.

LoST is an event held on specific Wednesday evenings (from April through August) to practice portable and emergency communications techniques. Hams deploy to various locations throughout Kalamazoo County and use portable equipment to “check-in” to the Kalamazoo County Public Service Corps Net.

Scott (KD8RCI) organizes the events. Thanks Scott!

The FCC’s New Fee’s and Me

The FCC is implementing a new Fee Schedule that will go into effect April 19th, 2022. The ARRL has done a pretty good job at explaining the changes overall in the following article: http://www.arrl.org/fcc-application-fee 

However, there were some questions that came up locally regarding the overall process and total costs involved for prospective hams, and out of the conversation arose some good advice for all Hams at renewal or upgrade time that we wanted to share with the group. 

One thing not being advertised as much about this change is that there is also a new version of the FCC registration system (CORES). This system allows for better management of FRNs (as it allows one account to manage multiple FRN’s) and will eventually replace the old system as it’s phased out. More info about the old vs new systems: https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/commission-registration-system-fcc

For Prospective Hams

Overall Costs 

The FCC fee for Amateur Radio licenses is now $35, this fee will be paid directly to the FCC via their website after successfully passing one or more exam elements. However the provisions for VEC testing fees have not changed, so a VE team may still charge up to $15 for a testing session. 

This means that the overall cost to a prospective Amateur is now between $35 -$50 depending on the VE team they choose to test with. 

The Process

1). The overall process, when ready to test, will start by creating a new account with the FCC in the CORES system and to request an FRN. This FRN request/registration is free. 

CORES Site:

https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do

2)Once assigned an FRN the prospective Operator will take the FRN to the VE testing session, if applicable pay their $15 testing fee, and sit the exams as normal.  

3) Provided they pass one or more of the exam elements the VE will proceed through the normal process of submitting information to the ARRL/FCC. 

4) Once the FCC has processed the application they will email the prospective licensee regarding their pending application. The $35 fee will then need to be paid within 10 days of this FCC email notification of pending license grant.

For current Hams

New FEE Schedule

$35 FEE: new, renewal, rule waiver, and modification applications that request a new vanity call sign. The fee will be per application.

NO FEE: administrative updates, such as a change of name, mailing or email address, modification applications to upgrade an amateur radio licensee’s operator class or to request a sequentially issued call sign and license cancellation. 

Advice

Since the legacy CORES system will be going away in the future, Our advice is to go to the new site below and register with the new CORES system and associate your old FRN to the new account. It only takes a few min to complete and there are a number of ways to associate your FRN with your new account, but the easiest is to have your old FRN and Password handy.  The old registration system will go away eventually, so you’ll want to do it before the legacy site disappears or you might run into more trouble at renewal time associating your FRN with a slower method.

New CORES Site:

https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do

More Information

The FCC Docket regarding these changes is located here if you would like to see the new fee schedules as well as the reasoning behind the changes from the FCC itself.  

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-184A1.pdf

They did a lot of re-work to the licensing fees across the board in both Personal services such as GMRS and Amateur Radio as well as Commercial services. Some groups like GMRS pay less now and some others like us pay a new fee depending on where you or your organizational entity fall in the fee structure. 

August 2019 Meeting – Ham Radio Deluxe

oin us for the August meeting of the Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club at the Red Cross Chapter House on Thursday, August 15 at 7 p.m.

The educational topic will be Ham Radio Deluxe presented by Ken MacLeod (N8NOR).

You and other club members and friends are invited to this event. The event is FREE.

Please pass the word about our club and this meeting to your friends. We post information about events on W8VY.ORG and on our Facebook page Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club (click on Events). We also have a calendar on our website.

If you have questions about our club, its activities and events, do not hesitate to use the email addressed secretary@w8vy.org

July 2019 Meeting – DMR Digital Mobile Radio

Join us for the May meeting of the Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club at the Red Cross Chapter House on Thursday, July 18 at 7 p.m.

We sadly note the passing of Bryan Staufer (KD8PXQ) who became an SK on June 25, 2019.

The educational topic will be DMR Digital Mobile Radio presented by Dustin Thomas (N8RMA).

At the meeting we will also discuss the results of our ARRL Field Day activity on June 22-23.

You and other club members and friends are invited to this event. The event is FREE.

Please pass the word about our club and this meeting to your friends. We post information about events on W8VY.ORG and on our Facebook page Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club (click on Events). We also have a calendar on our website.

If you have questions about our club, its activities and events, do not hesitate to use the email addressed secretary@w8vy.org

June 2019 Meeting – ARRL Field Day Prep

Join us at 7 p.m. on Thursday June 20th, 2019 for the Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club meeting to discuss the 2019 Field Day site review and strategy planning.

This months meeting will take place at our 2019 Field Day site. Please join us at the pavilion in Oshtemo Township Park located at 7275 West Main Street behind the Township Hall and Fire Department. The Club meeting will start promptly at 7 p.m.

ARRL Field Day 2019

The Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club (W8VY) and the Southwest Michigan Amateur Radio Team (K8KZO) invite you to Field Day 2019!

Come join us on June 22nd and 23rd at Oshtemo Township Park located at 7275 West Main Street behind the Township Hall and Fire Department. Talk-In is on 147.040 (PL 94.8) K8KZO Repeater.

Operations kick off on June 22nd at 18:00 UTC (2pm EST) but we’ll need help in the morning to setup Antennas and Stations so stop by around 8 am for setup. Operations run through June 23rd at 20:59 UTC (4:59pm EST) when we’ll need further helping hands in site tear down.

We’d love to see everyone get together for some radio community time, so we are sponsoring an afternoon potluck on June 22nd between 2 and 4pm! Get a few hours of calls logged and take a break to join us for Pulled pork and fixings, a vegetarian option will also be available upon request. There will be a grill if you want to throw something on for yourself or to share.

Please sign up to bring your favorite seasonal side dish or dessert to pass.
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0D4BAEA82EA3FD0-field

May 2019 Meeting – Antenna Rotors

Join us for the May meeting of the Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club at the Red Cross Chapter House on Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m.

The educational topic will be Antenna Rotors presented by Randy Mead (KE8R).

W8VY embroidered iron-on patches have arrived. Get your free member patch. Purchase extra patches for $3 each.

At the meeting we will also discuss the results of our MI QSO Party activity on April 20. Two donated SDR receivers will be given to the top two operators.

Hamvention and ARRL Field Day are approaching. We will show you the new Hamvention 2019 ARRL App for electronic devices (phones and tablets).

You and other club members and friends are invited to this event. The event is FREE.

Please pass the word about our club and this meeting to your friends. We post information about events on W8VY.ORG and on our Facebook page Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club (click on Events). We also have a calendar on our website.

If you have questions about our club, its activities and events, do not hesitate to use the email addressed secretary@w8vy.org

W8VY Iron-on Embroidered Patch

The W8VY iron-on embroidered patches for all club members have arrived. Each member receives one free patch. Patches will be distributed at the May 2019 Club meeting. If you wish to purchase more patches, please bring $3 for each additional patch. The patches are circular and 2.5 inches in diameter. They can be ironed on most fabric. I have one put on the side of my cap. You might want to attach the patch at a few places with thread because the iron-on glue will weaken with time and exposure to heat or wetness.

Image of W8VY Iron on Sew on Patch
W8VY Patch on a Cap