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

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 14:50:17 -0600

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.

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*Welcome to Handiham World.*

*W0ZSW to Participate in Fourteenth Annual Minnesota QSO Party!*

[image: TS-570 transceiver]

The Fourteenth Annual Minnesota QSO Party is on Saturday, February 04,
2012. It is presented by the Minnesota Wireless Association. Stations will
be active 8:00 AM CST (1400 UTC) Through 6 PM CST (2400 UTC). Look for
Handiham HQ station W0ZSW during the QSO Party.

Because the station will be staffed by real live humans (members of the
Handiham affiliated Stillwater Amateur Radio Association, SARA), the Remote
Base station W0ZSW will be off line for the duration of the contest. The
W0EQO repeater will be active and connected to the Handiham Conference

W0ZSW Remote Base service will be restored at 6:00 PM CST (2400 UTC) on
Saturday, February 4, at the end of the contest. W0EQO Remote Base at
Courage North will remain in service throughout the contest.
The SARA members are also going to help us assess equipment and clean and
organize the Handiham station area and storage room. We will also check the
station infrastructure and prepare some of our computer equipment with
digital mode software for the upcoming Minnesota Radio Camp session in June.

We hope to hear you on the air!

For Handiham World, I'm...
Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager

*For more information about the Minnesota QSO Party, including frequencies
and rules, please visit:*



[image: dog barking at cartoon mail carrier]

Susi, WA6DKS, writes with her net report:

The total for the January nets including the Wednesday evening net was 942.
My Sunday Trivia net had 279, which is not in the above number as it is
calculated on a different spreadsheet. I think everyone did a GREAT job
this month.

Thanks, Susi, and thanks to all our great net control stations, assistants,
and net participants!

Now, here is a nice note from Miriam Kiser, spouse of silent key Rex, W0GLU:

Enclosed is a check to cover the balance of Dr. Dave's matching pledge. We
can't let him get by not paying it. (Ha!)
Sincerely, Miriam Kiser

The check is in the amount of $70, bringing the Dr. Dave Challenge total to
$5,000.68.  We have officially made our goal!  Thank you so very, very much
to Miriam and everyone who helped us meet the Dr. Dave Challenge, and of
course to Dr. Dave, KN0S, who is supporting us with a matching grant of
$5,000.  Incidentally, Dave has already started preparing for the Extra
Class course at Radio Camp this coming June.  He recently received the
latest question pool revision and will be reviewing it for changes, which
the Operating Skills class at camp will want to know about.

Tom, KD0HUG, writes:

I am going to call you Monday to talk to you personally to thank you for
all your help through Handihams educational department. If not for your
help I would not have made it through the Extra Class license material.
This is why I want to talk to you personally in order to thank you. I am
not going to change my call sign and it will remain KD0HUG because it is a
good ice breaker and it gets a laugh from everyone on the air.

Thomas Niccolai proud Handihams member

73 to all of you...

and yes you can publish this....I passed my exam at 86%

A whoop from Iowa!!!

Congratulations, Thomas, and thank you for your kind words!

*New Extra Class Pool is Posted*

[image: Cartoon kid with book, pencil, and calculator]

The volunteers at the NCVEC have completed the revisions in the new Extra
Class Question Pool, which will be effective on 1 July 2012.

We have posted a copy on the Handiham website:

The NCVEC Extra Class page is at:

We haven't really had a chance to go through this question pool yet, but a
quick overview indicates that many of the questions and concepts have been
carried over from the previous pool. There are some obvious updates where
rules have been changed. I particularly like the practical questions such
as E1A04, which asks: "With your transceiver displaying the carrier
frequency of phone signals, you hear a DX station calling CQ on 3.601 MHz
LSB. Is it legal to return the call using lower sideband on the same

The answer is, "No, my sidebands will extend beyond the edge of the phone
band segment."

One thing I have learned over the years is that it never hurts to remind
even experienced operators about such basic things as how to stay within
the limits of the band segments. It is much more likely that you will need
this knowledge during your day-to-day on the air operation than, for
example, information about how antenna modeling software performs its
calculations. Not, mind you, that this latter type of question is
inappropriate. After all, the standard for technical knowledge for the
highest level Amateur Radio license should be more rigorous than the
standards set for Technician or General. Virtually the only test of
operating skill ever required, the Morse code examination, is no longer
part of any Amateur Radio license requirement. There were many practical
reasons for eliminating the code exam, but I have always felt that for the
highest level of licensure it would still be appropriate to have some
measure of operating skill or technical expertise measured in some more
practical sense than a simple multiple-choice examination. In the past I
have suggested that one show up to the VE session with at least some proof
of operating skill or dedication to public service or software or
engineering skill. The fact of the matter is that a person can pass the
Extra Class examination with little or no practical experience on the air
or within the amateur radio community. Yes, I know that there are practical
difficulties in implementing such suggestions, but I do think that we have
a right to expect Extra Class licensees to be the people in our Amateur
Radio community who will be able to organize and teach classes, help
newcomers with station design and installation, present knowledgeable club
programs, take the lead in public service activities, and to publish
helpful articles on club websites and in club newsletters and national and
international Amateur Radio journals.

Attaining the Extra Class is something really special. The examination is
50 questions and the material is not easy. It shouldn't be; after all, our
expectation is that Extra Class licensees will be knowledgeable in the
technical art of radio and will be the go to people for operating skill and
leadership.  But if you are preparing for the Extra Class examination, I
would like you to personally resolve to be involved in Amateur Radio in a
way that carries you above and beyond simply passing an examination. Be a
leader in your radio club. Take a storm spotter course. Teach a class. Put
on a club program in an area of your expertise. Step forward to help when
another club member needs assistance.  In a sense, attaining the license
itself is really only the beginning. Nothing about holding a particular
piece of paper is going to make you a good operator.  It is much like
getting a college degree. Ask anyone with experience in the professional
working world and they will tell you that a college degree is really just
the starting point of learning in your new career. The Extra Class license
is like that. It is a wonderful achievement,  and it is really your ticket
to spread your wings in Amateur Radio!

*Troubleshooting 101: Answer to "Mysterious force destroying integrated

[image: Pat and giant alligator]

Avery, K0HLA, gives us the answer to last week's troubleshooting question
which was:

Another electronics problem solving .... When I was working in industry one
of my fun jobs was to program the many IC's and hard drives used in our

One time our quality control department received a bunch of very bad IC's.
So, another bunch was ordered, but they too were bad as received.  So we
sent a couple of QC engineers to see if they could find out why. They went
to the other company and very carefully watched their operations up to the
point they were packaged and shipped. It was noted that the IC's were
checked as good just before being shipped, but when received they were bad.
Can you guess what the problem was?

Avery says: The reason The IC' s were bad was because of the plastic bags
in which they were placed. The IC's were good when put in but when taken
out, "static electricity" caused by the bags zapped them. Remember, it
takes only 30 volts to damage them. When a person feels a static charge or
sees the spark, there is around 3000 volts at very little amperage. The
company changed to special bags designed to prevent static ESD
(Electrostatic discharge). They are dark in color and have lines through
them. Do NOT use pink or clear bags to store or ship IC 's as the static
can damage them. Believe me, this was a very expensive lesson to learn
because we went through 1000's of the IC's every day.

Email me at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager

*A dip in the pool*

[image: Guy studying license manual.]

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

Today we are taking a question from the new Extra Class pool. Might as well
go right off the deep end and start learning this stuff.

 E9B13 asks us: What does the abbreviation NEC stand for when applied to
antenna modeling programs?

 Your possible answers are:

A. Next Element Comparison
B. Numerical Electromagnetics Code
C. National Electrical Code
D. Numeric Electrical Computation

 Did you pick answer B, Numerical Electromagnetics Code?  That is the
correct answer, and if you have been studying the old question pool, this
should seem familiar to you.  The same question is in the old pool, but
with a one-digit difference in the question number, E9B14.  I mention this
similarity because there is a lot of overlap in question pools.  You do not
need to start at square one with your studies if you don't test before the
new pool comes into effect on July 1, 2012. Yes, there are some new
questions, but overall you will recognize what you have already studied
appearing in the new pool just as it was in the old one, except for minor
differences like the question number. The section of the pool in which the
question used to be will remain the same, since the pool is arranged by
topic areas.

*Reminder:  John P. Walsh Lifetime Membership*

Joe Walsh, KB1KXU, received a Radio Camp scholarship (Steele Foundation)
that allowed him to attend the Handiham Malibu radio camp in 2004.  He was
able to obtain his Technician license at the camp and is grateful for that
opportunity. Now Joe would like to remember his brother John, who served
his country in the Armed Forces by awarding one lifetime membership to
Handihams. Because his brother was a disabled veteran, he would like the
scholarship to go to another disabled veteran. He would like to call it the
John P. Walsh Lifetime Scholarship. We are pleased to post this on our
website for the purpose of obtaining candidates for the scholarship. The
grant will be $120, the cost of the lifetime Handiham membership.

We know some disabled vets, and we bet you do too. These men and women have
served their country and many of them have limited means, but would enjoy
amateur radio.  Some may already be Handiham members but would be glad to
have a lifetime membership.  All too many retired vets live on very limited
budgets.  Now I have a favor to ask:  Please help us to find a candidate
for this award and help us and Joe to honor his brother John.  You may
email us at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call the toll-free number

*Remote Base Health Report for 01 February 2012*

[image: Kenwood TS-480 transceiver, used in both remote base stations.
(Universal Radio image)]


   * W0ZSW is on line.   * This station will be off line on Friday evening
   and Saturday until approximately 6:00 pm Central Time so that operators at
   Headquarters can operate the Minnesota QSO Party. W0EQO will remain on

   *W0EQO is on line. *

   * Please check the latest operating tips on the remote base pages:

   * The link to the daily status update pages has changed:

Our thanks to volunteer engineer Lyle Koehler, K0LR, for his help
maintaining the station databases and updates.

*GWSkype gets a new name *

According to a press release from GW Micro, "To better comply with the
SkypeKit developer terms of service, GWSkype customers were asked to submit
name suggestions and then vote on a new name for GWSkype. The GWSkype
community selected GWConnect as the new name."

GW Micro is proud to announce that a new version of GWConnect is available
for download! Customers have been able to post any GWConnect issues on the
GW-Apps email list. GW Micro has taken note of those issues, and is
releasing a maintenance release which will change the official name of
GWSkype to GWConnect as well as to resolve many issues that have been
reported. In addition, the update includes support for German, Swedish, and
Turkish. Feature requests have also been noted and a version with an
expanded feature set will be released later in 2012.

GWConnect is free for anyone who wants to use it. It is available at:

You may wish to visit the GWConnect page at:

Skype is used to port the Handiham Internet Remote Base station audio.

*Out there*

I subscribe to an assistive technology mailing list.  One of the listers
posted this:

Funny and moving at the same time. If you have some time this weekend it is
worth the listen:


*This week @ HQ*

[image: Handiham headquarters at Camp Courage, Maple Lake Minnesota]

   - New Handiham Radio Club Mailing List created:  The new Handiham Radio
   Club email reflector has been set up.  We expect to populate its membership
   this week.
   - New Handiham Volunteer Instructor Mailing List is under construction.
   Stay tuned!
   - Audio update: Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the February Worldradio
   Online audio digest for our blind members.
   - W0ZSW will be on the air from Handiham HQ at Camp Courage for
   Minnesota QSO Party on Saturday, 4 February.  Remote control via the
   Internet will be disabled for the duration of the contest, which runs from
   8:00 am through 6:00 pm Central Standard Time.
   - Dates for Radio Camp 2012 are Saturday, June 2 - Friday, June 8, 2012.
   This will be earlier than usual so that we can test for Extra under the
   existing question pool, which expires at the end of the last day of June.


   Tonight is EchoLink net night.  The Wednesday evening EchoLink net is at
   19:30 United States Central time, which translates to 01:30 GMT Thursday

   EchoLink nodes:
   - KA0PQW-R, node 267582
      - N0BVE-R, node 89680
      - *HANDIHAM* conference server Node *494492* (Our preferred
      high-capacity node.)

      Other ways to connect:
      - IRLP node *9008* (Vancouver BC reflector)
      - WIRES system number *1427*
      - 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 toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to
   contact us.


*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 program.


   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

Reminder: 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 renew:


   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.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:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

Radio Camp email:


[image: ARRL Diamond logo]

*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 wa0tda@xxxxxxxx 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 February 2012 - Patrick Tice