[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Tuesday, 16 October 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 13:36:08 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Tuesday, 16
October 2012*

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center
Handiham System. Our contact information is at the end, or simply email
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in subscriptions or to comment. You
can listen to this news online.

MP3 audio stream:

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:

Get this podcast in iTunes:

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
*Welcome to Handiham World.*Update: Handiham Office Moving

Last week we told you that the Handiham Program, originally part of Courage
Center's Camping Department, is moving back to Courage Center.  There is a
fairly short timeline for the move, because the moving truck arrives at
camp the last week in October.  Because of the work associated with the
move, I will be unavailable on Wednesday. That's why your weekly e-letter
is a day early.

The good news is that October is usually a pretty reasonable weather month
in Minnesota.  But - and this is just Mother Nature's way - it might just
not be ideal.  I remember one October - it was 1991 - when we were just
getting ready for Halloween. My son Will was going to go up and down the
block with me on his very first Halloween trick or treat! But the trick was
delivered by the weather - we had a huge dump of snow and ice.  There was
no going out, even to the end of the driveway, so deep was the snow.  Even
if we could have shoveled our way to the street, the streets were
impassable. It would be many hours before travel would even be possible,
and days before it became practical.

So I'm hoping that our office move will proceed on a day in late October
when we have more typical weather.  But recalling that awful blizzard does
also remind me that being prepared is a deliberate choice.  You have to
decide that you are going to be ready for disruptive problems with
infrastructure, and that could mean that travel becomes difficult or
impossible, the power may fail, or that severe weather will cause anything
from localized to widespread damage. Even crime and civil unrest are not
out of the question.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you live in fear of such things, nor that you
should build some kind of bunker.  The reasonable course of action is to
start by assessing risk.  For example, if you live on the top of a hill you
can probably cross floods off your list, but being prepared for lightning
or wind damage is pretty reasonable.  Risk assessment is an important part
of emergency planning, because it takes probabilities into account and that
means that you will be adding those items to your list that are most likely
to be used in a real emergency. If you are in ARES®, you have probably
already attended training sessions or worked alongside public safety
officers during emergency practice drills - or maybe even the real thing!
But all of us, even if we do not participate directly in public service
communications, should be aware of the need for basic emergency
preparedness.  From a communications standpoint, having a spare portable
power source is a good idea. Keeping batteries for handheld radios charged
and ready to go in a known safe location in your home is also a must. Keep
other grab-and-go items like flashlights, small tools, and the first aid
kit in known locations so that any family member can find them quickly.

Not all disasters happen quickly.  In the summer we worry more about severe
storms moving in with conditions that may spawn tornados in minutes. In the
winter the tornado risk drops dramatically but does not disappear
altogether. In its place Mother Nature sends us blizzards and ice storms,
but these typically move in more slowly and cover wide swaths of
geography.  Weather radar and satellite images give us much more warning.
It is simply an example of how risks are always changing and how our
planning and preparation must change as well.  A seasonal preparation for
us is to get the snow shovels into position at both entrances to the garage
and running the snow blower for the first time before the snow arrives. We
check our fuel supply and make sure that we have a couple of cans of
gasoline, both for the snow blower and for the portable generator. We
change the batteries in all of our smoke detectors, and while we are at it
check our battery supply and our flashlights.

But the typical ham's go-kit will not change too much with the seasons.
The core items related to communications will be the same summer and
winter, and it will always be a good idea to keep those batteries charged
and check the portable radios periodically.  Seasonal preparation will
involve adding winter clothing and a blanket, perhaps a small shovel, and
extra fuel. Things like bottled water and packaged food can be the same no
matter what the season.

Anyway, my point is that we need to be aware of how risks change - and not
only be prepared but flexible!  You might want to check out the emergency
preparedness section on the ARRL website and start with the basics for
good, flexible, reliable portable amateur radio operation. Then you need to
be sure your home is stocked for the season, bearing in mind that winter
could bring you a few surprises!

Finally - and I know some of you may need a reminder - Those antennas out
in the back yard or on the tower won't fix themselves if they need
service.  There is still time to get antenna maintenance done, but that
window of opportunity is closing.  Having more than one antenna is good
insurance if something goes down in the middle of the snow season. When you
get done with this edition of your weekly e-letter check your antennas.

We will be checking on the feasibility of keeping remote base stations
W0ZSW and W0EQO in operation as an alternative, but with the camp
infrastructure (including the Internet providers) changing, there will be
some inevitable disruption of service. As most of our readers and listeners
know, we do a daily update called "Remote Base Health Report" on
Handiham.org.  Please check that as much as you can for more timely

The W0EQO repeater will be temporarily decommissioned as a result of the

I will know more about when services will resume sometime in November.  In
the meantime, we appreciate your patience.

Email me at handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.
Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
Split Rock Lighthouse to light up with RF

It's that time again - Time for the Handiham-affiliated Stillwater Amateur
Radio Association to put the Split Rock lighthouse on the air to
commemorate the sinking of the ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald.

The "Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald" special event (Split Rock
Lighthouse) is Nov 3-Nov 4, 1500Z-2345Z.  The station callsign is W0JH and
the sponsors are the Stillwater, MN. Stillwater (Minnesota) Amateur Radio
Association & Radio City, Inc.

Suggested frequencies are 21.360, 14.260, 7.260, 3.860.

Certificate: Shel Mann, 1618 West Pine St, Stillwater, MN 55082.
Requested W0JH QSL Certificates will ONLY be sent via e-mail in PDF.

W0JH will be operating from Split Rock Lighthouse (ARLHS: USA 783; Grid
Square: EN47).

The Stillwater Amateur Radio Association may be contacted  via
w0jh@xxxxxxxxxxx other club information may be found at

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]

*KD0IKO writes with a correction to last week's issue:*

*"As you may have heard on Amateur Radio Newsline that the Hollywood event
which was slated to be held on October 28 was canceled due to pecuniary
interest concerns i.e. part 97 rules and regulations of the Amateur
Service. I don't know how this made it into your newsletter but according
to the above-cited news source the event was canceled and has not been
rescheduled. I suspect that if it is held it will be held with a waiver
from the Federal Communications Commission if they so wish to apply for it
and assuming it is granted. By the way hope your move goes well. Does this
also mean that if I do find anyone who wishes to apply for Handiham
services that they should hold off on contacting Nancy you or you probably
until just before Thanksgiving?"*

*Editor's note:  *Thanks for that update on the special event.  I was able
to remove it from the website and even edit it out of the audio, but
because some subscribers might have gotten the first version with the wrong
information, I did want to include the correction in this week's edition.
Because of my schedule lately (crazy busy) I had not listened to ARNewsline
last week.  Regarding the need to hold off on contacting us about referring
new members, Nancy will keep her usual office hours so there is no need to
wait to refer people to us.  Remember that many of our services are
available via Handiham.org, which will not be affected.

*W8TDA writes about a preparedness website: *

*" I* *thought folks might find the following resource useful.  They have
info on topics such as pandemic flu, anthrax, emergency preparedness, etc.
It is in several different formats."*


FCC Enforcement Bureau Rolls Out New Jammer Tip Line


Oct. 15, 2012: Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission’s
Enforcement Bureau today launches a dedicated jammer tip line –
1-855-55-NOJAM (or 1-855-556-6526) – to make it easier for the public to
report the use or sale of illegal cell phone, GPS or other signal jammers.
It is against the law for consumers to use, import, advertise, sell or ship
a cell or GPS jammer or any other type of device that blocks, jams or
interferes with authorized communications, whether on private or public

Call if:

   - you are aware of the ongoing use of a cell, GPS, or other signal
   - your employer operates a jammer in your workplace;
   - you observe a jammer in operation at your school or college;
   - you observe an advertisement for a jammer at a local store; or
   - you observe a jammer being operated on your local bus, train or other
   mass transit system.


*Warns Consumers to Immediately Remove Online Jammer Ads; Issues Consumer
Alerts in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese*

Washington, D.C. – Today the FCC Enforcement Bureau takes action against
another six individuals for advertising and selling signal jamming devices
on craigslist.org, warning that the Bureau intends to impose substantial
monetary penalties for similar violations going forward. Over the last two
weeks, the Bureau has targeted 23 signal jammer ads on craigslist. These
actions resulted from aggressive undercover operations.

*More on the Handiham website:
http://www.handiham.org/node/136 *

*(FCC Daily Digest for Tuesday October 16, 2012)*
Don't miss the new Tech Net! This week is session seven.

[image: TMV71A transceiver]

We have heard lots of positive comments about our new Handiham Tech Net, a
place to discuss technology related to amateur radio. The Tech Net is on
the air at 19:00 hours USA Central Time each Thursday. The regular Handiham
Radio Club Wednesday evening net is at the same 19:00 hours, just one day
earlier.  Daily nets are at 11:00 hours USA Central Time. Our audio archive
is updated each week, so if you missed the first six sessions you can find
them here:

*Missed the weekly on the air Handiham Tech Net?  Listen to it

*Missed last week's Handiham Tech Net?  Go to the archive page.

*Thanks to KK4JZX for making the audio recordings. Jose writes:*

*Last week we had discussions about the following subjects and we are still
trying to solve some of the issues presented:*

*1. KD0ETQ - Presented an issue with the Prolific 2303 USB to Serial
adapter, listen in for possible solutions. The radio has firmware version
291 KD0ETQ just purchased a BAOFENG UV-5R . According to sources, firmware
291 has at least been reported not working with CHIRP (see bug #314 in the
Chirp web site). IF anyone has any suggestions for KD0ETQ, we would welcome

*2. K0? spoke about Near field and far field RF exposure. Will be checking
in to speak about this subject. He would like the net to coordinate topics
in the near future.*

*3. KE5AGH had suggestions on how to put up your antenna and tower. Always
good information here.*

*4. 75 OHM Coax - This topic came up and a discussion ensued on the use of
75 Ohm Coax for feedline / antenna work. Listen in because there is lots of
information on what can actually be done with 75 Ohm Coax.*

*Feel free to join us next week.  We promise great discussions on many
topics.    What would a TechNet be without  a discussion on Antennas?
Every TechNet that I can recall has had discussion  on antennas.  *

*73 to all!
Jose – KK4JZX*

*Take Jose's advice and join us on the Thursday evening Handiham Radio Club
TechNet. * The frequency in the local Minnesota repeater coverage zone:
145.45 FM, negative offset with no tone and 444.65 MHz with 114.8 Hz tone
in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota. The UHF repeater
will be heard more easily in the Eastern Twin Cities.  You will find our
daily net on the air at 11:00 hours USA Central Time, with the Sunday
session featuring a special trivia question theme for a change of pace. A
Wednesday evening session at 19:00 hours USA Central Time also offers a
chance to take a guess at a trivia question and visit with your friends on
the air. Ideal for those who can't make the daily morning session! Then
Thursday evening at 19:00 hours return to the Tech net and learn something

*EchoLink nodes:*

HANDIHAM conference server Node 494492 (Our preferred high-capacity node.)
KA0PQW-R, node 267582
KA0PQW-L, node 538131
N0BVE-R, node 89680

*Other ways to connect:*

IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector)

WIRES system number 1427
*A dip in the pool*

It's time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the pool - the question
pool, that is!

Let's go to the Extra Class pool, where we think about vertical antennas:

E9C11 asks: *How is the far-field elevation pattern of a vertically
polarized antenna affected by being mounted over seawater versus rocky

Possible answers are:

A. The low-angle radiation decreases

B. The high-angle radiation increases

C. Both the high- and low-angle radiation decrease

D. The low-angle radiation increases

I like to think of this question in a practical way. Let's say you have a
vertical antenna. Everything you have read about vertical antennas
(including the manufacturer's installation instructions, but heaven forbid
we should read those) has stated that the antenna will perform most
efficiently when mounted over a good grounding system, and that usually
means running a set of ground radials out in every direction from the base
of the antenna to increase soil conductivity. Well, in this question we are
being asked about the DX performance of a vertical antenna over two
different kinds of grounds.  One, the rocky ground, is inherently a poor
conductor.  It is exactly the kind of ground that calls for an extensive
radial system to be added to make a vertical work at all. The question
poses mounting a vertical over "seawater" and is asking what difference
that would make. We know from elementary school science that seawater
contains salt and that salt water is a good conductor. So the question is
suggesting that our vertical will experience a performance change when
mounted over a good conductor.  That makes answer D, The low-angle
radiation increases, the correct choice. Key words in the question are
"far-field", which tell us that we are looking for a low angle of radiation
that is more likely to result in DX contacts.  If you have owned or now own
a ground-mounted vertical antenna and have been disappointed in its
performance, you may want to consider adding more radials (or any at all if
you have none) and you will be surprised at how much better the antenna
will work.

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
*Remote Base health report: W0EQO is on line. W0ZSW is on line.

[image: Image of TS-480SAT courtesy Universal Radio]

If problems show up, please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx

New! Keyboard commands list updated:

*Solar Activity Forecast:* Solar activity is expected to be low with a
chance for an isolated M-class event from either Region 1591 or Region 1593.

*Geophysical Activity Forecast:* The geomagnetic field is expected to be
quiet to unsettled for the next three days.

Credit: NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
This week @ HQ


*We are in the process of moving file storage back to our Golden Valley
location. *This is a time-intensive process and will affect my availability
for audio lectures and office hours through the end of October. Nancy is
available during her usual hours to take phone calls.

*Change in address for equipment donations:  *Please contact Pat, WA0TDA,
before making any donation of equipment. My phone number is 763-520-0511
and my email address is pat.tice@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The address is now the
same as our postal mailing address. This should simplify our contact

Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422

*Equipment change: *We no longer accept antennas, except small accessory
antennas for handheld radios.

*Equipment program temporarily suspended again:  *Due to our move, the
equipment program is suspended until further notice.

*The November QST has arrived this week, and reading volunteer Bob Zeida,
N1BLF, will assist with the recording.  Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, has completed
his recording of the "Doctor is In" column.  It will be available on Friday
in DAISY format for our blind members. Thanks to Bob & Ken for their help
with reading during this busy time.*

*Digital mailers are important! *If you do mail a digital cartridge to us,
please be sure that it is an approved free matter mailer. Otherwise it will
quickly cost us several dollars to package and mail out, which is more than
the cost of the mailer in the first place. We don't have a stock of
cartridges or mailers and not including a mailer will result in a long
delay getting your request back out to you.

DAISY audio digests are available for our blind members who do not have
computers, playable in your Library of Congress digital player.  Handiham
members who use these players and who would prefer to receive a copy of the
monthly audio digests on the special Library of Congress digital cartridge
should send a blank cartridge to us in a cartridge mailer (no envelopes,
please), so that we can place the files on it and return it to you via free
matter postal mail.  Your callsign should be on both the cartridge and the
mailer so that we can make sure we know who it's from. Blank cartridges and
mailers are available from APH, the American Printing House for the Blind,
Inc. <http://www.aph.org/>

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Catalog Number: 1-02610-00, Price: $12.00

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Mailer Catalog Number: 1-02611-00, Price:

Order Toll-Free: (800) 223-1839.

The Library of Congress NLS has a list of vendors for the digital

Get it all on line as an alternative:  Visit the DAISY section on the
Handiham website after logging in.
Stay in touch!

Be sure to send Nancy your changes of address, phone number changes, or
email address changes so that we can continue to stay in touch with you.
You may either email Nancy at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call her at
763-520-0512.  If you need to use the toll-free number, call

Handiham Manager Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, may be reached at
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or by phone at 763-520-0511.

Mornings Monday through Thursday are the best time to contact us.

The Courage Handiham System depends on the support of people like you, who
want to share the fun and friendship of ham radio with others. Please help
us provide services to people with disabilities. We would really appreciate
it if you would remember us in your estate plans. If you need a planning
kit, please call. If you are wondering whether a gift of stock can be given
to Handihams, the answer is yes! Please call Walt Seibert, KD0LPX, at
763-520-0532 or email him at walt.seibert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Call 1-866-426-3442 toll-free. -- Help us get new hams on the air.

Get the Handiham E-Letter by email every Wednesday, and stay up-to-date
with ham radio news.

You may listen in audio to the E-Letter at www.handiham.org.
Email us to subscribe:

That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System!
Manager, Courage Handiham System
Reach me by email at:
patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

ARRL is the premier organization supporting amateur radio worldwide. Please
contact Handihams for help joining the ARRL. We will be happy to help you
fill out the paperwork!

The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating
information, and Handiham news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is
available to everyone free of charge. Please email
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc.
Include your old email address and your new address.

Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422


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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Tuesday, 16 October 2012 - Patrick Tice