[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 August 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2012 14:43:04 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
01 August 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.*

Troubleshooting 101

Last week's problem showed up when I was using my shack's two meter rig,
which is powered by a switching power supply.  Let's just recap: It's the
one that's typically used for the Handiham net each day. I'm located some
distance from the N0BVE repeater system. (It's in the western part of the
Twin Cities Metro while I am in the east.)  That means my reception of the
N0BVE signal is not exactly perfect.  I can hear an annoying hiss in the
background when the repeater is active, but that's easily eliminated with a
flip of the switch on my external ClearSpeech speaker. This handy device
has almost magical properties - really a very smart algorithm - that
digitally cleans up the signal, virtually eliminating the noise. I don't
like to leave it turned on all the time because I also enjoy listening to
Minnesota Public Radio with the extended receive feature of the
transceiver, and MPR has enough signal to be rock-solid perfect. It sounds
best with the external ClearSpeech speaker's processing turned off.

One day I encountered an interesting problem. I had been listening to MPR
when I last used the radio, and when I turned it on, that's the station I
heard. Since I wanted to monitor the repeater instead, I flipped the memory
to the stored two meter channel. Then, noticing that the ClearSpeech
speaker was turned off, I slid its power switch to "on". At that very
moment, the radio went dead - no power. I pushed the power button on the
radio and everything was back to normal. I put up with this for weeks
before finally getting the gumption to track it down.

The challenge was to guess what was going on.  Rick, W0IS, was right on the
money when he wrote:

My educated guess is that the negative power lead for the speaker had
gotten disconnected, but it still got power because it was grounded through
the radio, either through the speaker connection, or just from the two
chassis touching somewhere. But my guess is that the radio's negative power
lead does not go directly to the chassis of the radio. There is some
electronics between the black power wire and the chassis, and this
electronics did not like the current running through it. I don't remember
the details, but I had something similar happen with my FT-817 (or maybe it
was a different rig). The black wire came loose, but it was still connected
to the negative side of the power supply through the chassis. It worked,
but there were some flukes, since the black wire did not go directly to the
rig's chassis. Did I guess right? 73, Rick W0IS

Yes, and it turned out that the fault was in the ground side of one of
those popular snap-together connectors in common use today. The connector
was probably not properly installed in the first place, or else the spring
tension inside was just so weak as to allow the ground side to lose contact
if the connector was bumped or the power supply cable got moved in just the
wrong way. It's worth noting that had the powered speaker had a grounded
metal cabinet with a common grounding lug and had both the radio and the
speaker been grounded to a common station ground, this problem would likely
not have even shown up. As it was, the ground had been completed through
the speaker's 3.5 mm audio plug's grounded side to the radio.  Obviously
this is not the ideal way to power things!  In any case, the fix was as
simple as it could be - just repairing the power supply DC cabling fixed
the problem.

Station grounding is important, though. Grounding equipment to a common
station ground can help eliminate RF circulating in places where it
shouldn't be as well as protecting equipment from static discharges and
keeping the gear at the same potential to avoid electrical shock hazards.

Email me at handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.
Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
Handiham remote base station report

[image: Status check screen showing w0zsw offline.]

*W0EQO at Courage North is in service. W0ZSW is now back in service after
an extended outage. Both of these stations use Kenwood TS-480 radios
equipped with VGS1 speech technology and are controlled with the free W4MQ
http://handiham.org/remotebase/ *

Kenwood TS-590S update:

The Kenwood TS-590S that was used at Handiham Radio Camp early this summer
is being set up as a remote base and is in an early testing phase. The
software consists of the native Kenwood ARCP-590 interface, which is
available from the Kenwood downloads
free of charge. It is used to directly control a TS-590S via a USB cable,
but can also be set up to control any TS-590S that has been made accessible
via the Internet. This project will allow us to learn the radio as well as
the software so that we can offer some audio tutorials at some time in the
future. We also hope to make the radio available to Handiham members during
the rest of the year, not just during the week of Radio Camp. A weekly
progress report will be included in this space in your weekly e-letter.

Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance
for M-class flares.

Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be
mostly quiet on day 1 (01 August). On day 2 (02 August), geomagnetic
activity is expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels with possible
isolated active periods due to effects from the 28 July CME. Conditions are
expected to be quiet to unsettled on day 3 (03 August).

This comes from the CQ Newsroom newsletter:

*College Students Design Supercapacitor for ARISSat:  Students at Penn
State University have developed a super capacitor power system for the next
launch of ARISSat (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

Pat says: When I saw that CQ News item, I immediately thought of two
things.  First, although Penn State has been in the news in recent months
for the scandal in the athletic department, this news item about the often
unsung heroes who work in the sciences and engineering serves to remind us
all that there are plenty of good things going on at Penn State.  The
second thing I thought was, "Gee that sounds like the fabled flux capacitor
in the movie Back to the Future!"

The CQ Magazine website is here:
FCC announces Connect America Fund
[image: FCC round logo]


*Marks beginning of most significant public-private effort in history to
connect 19 million unserved homes and businesses by 2020*

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission today announced
that nearly 400,000 residents and small business owners in 37 states will
gain access to high-speed Internet within three years, as a result of the
first phase of the ‘Connect America Fund.’ About $115 million of public
funding will be coupled with tens of millions more in private investment to
quickly expand broadband infrastructure to rural communities in every
region of the nation. Many projects will begin immediately, and all
projects must be completed within three years.

Read the entire story on the Handiham website:
50 years ago: The Allied Summer 1962 Catalog offered kits!
[image: Allied Summer 1962 Sale Catalog]

The sale ended on July 31st according to the front page - No need to worry
about having missed the deadline, though. This sale in the Allied catalog
from Summer 1962 ended 50 years ago yesterday. Right in the very center of
the front cover is the Knight-Kit Span Master two tube short wave receiver
that my dad bought me when I was in high school. It was a simple
regenerative circuit that allowed for very surprising gain with very few
components. I had many hours of fun listening to stations all around the
world. Eventually I put the Span Master on the headboard shelf at my bed so
that I could listen far into the night when the lower frequency bands,
including the AM broadcast band, would open up to stations a thousand miles
away or more. Back then we had no air conditioning and I enjoyed these
extended listening sessions while waiting for the night to get cool enough
to get to sleep.

Thanks to my dad for this start in radio!

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
*A dip in the pool*

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

Today we are turning to a question from the Extra Class pool:

E2A10 asks: Why may the received signal from an amateur satellite exhibit a
rapidly repeating fading effect?

Possible answers are:

A. Because the satellite is spinning

B. Because of ionospheric absorption

C. Because of the satellite’s low orbital altitude

D. Because of the Doppler Effect

The correct answer is A: Because the satellite is spinning. This topic is
covered in the latest Extra Class audio lecture, which is number three in
the series. If you are interested in taking part in the course, please log
in to the members section and navigate to the Audio This Week page.

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.* *
*This week @ HQ*


*I am still looking for help with the Kenwood TS-590S! I know some of you
own these fine radios, and I'd really appreciate it if you could help us
with some audio tutorials on how to use it. *

*August 2012  DAISY format audio digest for our blind members: We now have
the Daisy version of August 2012 QST, Worldradio, and QCWA Journal
available in the Daisy section for our blind members. Also check out the
older July edition, which at this time includes the QST, CQ (New!),  and
Worldradio digests for our blind members in Daisy format in the DAISY
section.  Members using NLS digital cartridges may receive the digest by
Free Matter postal mail. George, N0SBU, has sent the 4-track tape version
out for August.  4-track tape service ends in December.  *

*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
http://www.loc.gov/nls/cartridges/index.html *

*Get it all on line as an alternative:  Visit the DAISY section on the
Handiham website after logging in. *
*Wednesday is EchoLink net night.*

*No ham radio license? No radio? No problem! Listen to our net on line
using your computer or tablet/smartphone at 11:00 AM Central Time daily -
Everyone welcome! <http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?feedId=9593>*


*The Wednesday evening EchoLink net is at 19:30 United States Central time,
which translates to 00:30 GMT Thursday morning.  *

*The 11:00 daily net will be heard at 16:00 GMT. *

*Please note that the camp repeater, W0EQO-R, is no longer available due to
the lack of an IP address. Our single IP has been assigned to W0ZSW-L,
which controls the HF remote station and which gets quite a lot of use. *

*The following EchoLink nodes are always connected to the Handiham

*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

More information about repeaters and nodes may be found at

*A big THANK YOU to all of our net volunteers who keep things running so
well. *
*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
1-866-426-3442. *

*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. *

*Answers to many questions about radios, Echolink, nets, and the Remote
Base stations are all at www.handiham.org. *

*Supporting Handihams - 2012. *

*Now you can support the Handiham program by donating on line using Courage
Center's secure website. It is easy, but one thing to remember is that you
need to use the pull-down menu to designate your gift to the Handiham

Step one: Follow this link to the secure Courage Center Website:

Step two: Fill out the form, being careful to use the pull-down Designation
menu to select "Handi-Hams".

Step three: Submit the form to complete your donation. If the gift is a
tribute to someone, don't forget to fill out the tribute information. This
would be a gift in memory of a silent key, for example.

We really appreciate your help. As you know, we have cut expenses this year
due to the difficult economic conditions. We are working hard to make sure
that we are delivering the most services to our members for the money - and
we plan to continue doing just that in 2012.

Thank you from the Members, Volunteers, and Staff of the Handiham System.

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, Handiham Manager

*Handiham Membership Dues*

*Benefits of membership:*


*Handiham renewals are on a monthly schedule - Please renew or join, as we
need you to keep our program strong! You will have several choices when you

Join at the usual $12 annual dues level for one year. Your renewal date is
the anniversary of your last renewal, so your membership extends for one

Join for three years at $36.

Lifetime membership is $120.

If you can't afford the dues, request a 90 day non-renewable sponsored

Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our activities.

Discontinue your membership.

*Please return your renewal form as soon as possible. Your support is
critical! Please help.*

*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 at 763-520-0532
or email him at walt.seibert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  *

*Ask for a free DVD about the Handiham System.*

*It's perfect for your club program, too! The video tells your club about
how we got started, the Radio Camps, and working with hams who have
disabilities.  *

*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:

*Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at




Operating Skills

*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:

Radio Camp email:

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
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  *



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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 August 2012 - Patrick Tice