[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 02 December 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 18:00:31 -0600

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham 
System <http://handiham.org> . Please do not reply to this message. Use the 
contact information at the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

You can also listen to the content online:

Listen to an MP3 audio stream:   <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> 

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:

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Get this issue as an audio podcast:


Welcome to Handiham World!

Pat with headset & microphone

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We certainly had a wonderful 
time sharing the holiday with extended family. With the new technology, I 
didn't have to leave my ham radio friends behind, either. At my XYL's sister's 
house my first job was to repair the broken cable internet, an easy fix that 
simply required rebooting the cable modem and the wireless router. Now that the 
internet was back in business, it was easy to check in to the Handiham Echolink 
net using a tiny netbook computer and a USB microphone. I also managed a couple 
of check-ins on the 75 meter PICONET during the visit. No one minded, because 
there always seems to be some "down time" during these multi-day visits, and 
sometimes I think the best thing for everyone's mental health is to spend some 
time doing relaxing activities like reading or getting on the air.

One interesting thing I noticed just before we headed out over the river and 
through the woods for Thanksgiving was the release of an NPRM, or Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking, by the FCC. The topic: Amendment of the  Amateur Service 
Rules Governing Vanity and Club Station Call Signs. The notice came to me in an 
FCC bulletin on the day before Thanksgiving, though the NPRM was actually 
issued on the day before, which was Tuesday, November 24. I have posted the 
NPRM on the Handiham website in a format that is more easily read than the 
original downloads.  Because of the timing of the release during a busy, short 
holiday week, I suspect that many ham radio operators missed the announcement 
altogether, even though we posted it as soon as it was released, and the ARRL 
produced a story on ARRLweb that included an excellent explanation of what the 
NPRM is all about. 

Here are the main points. At the end of this story, I will provide links to the 
ARRL story and the NPRM on the Handiham website.

·         To look up anything on the FCC website or to offer comments on a 
notice of proposed rulemaking, one needs to know the docket number: WT Docket 
No. 09-209.

·         The vanity callsign program began in 1996, but the FCC did not set 
forth all of the procedures governing vanity calls. This NPRM attempts to do a 
bit of fine-tuning by specifying some procedures.

·         Club station licensing is also due to be addressed in this NPRM, 
stating:  "The Commission also decided in the Vanity Report and Order to resume 
issuing new club station licenses. We believe that certain rule changes to the 
club station licensing rules may be appropriate." and "...call signs shown on 
the license of a deceased licensee generally are unavailable to the vanity call 
sign system for two years after the license expires or is canceled. Below, we 
propose to amend our rules to clarify the process by which such call signs 
become available for reassignment."

·         If the rule changes are made, Novice Class licensees would be able to 
serve as club station trustees.

The conclusion states: "In summary, we believe that the public interest will be 
served by amending certain rules in order to make the amateur service’s vanity 
call sign system more equitable and transparent. We also propose changes in the 
rules governing club station licensing, to promote equitable and 
administratively efficient processes. We therefore seek comment on these 
proposed rule changes. In addition, we invite commenters to propose any other 
amendments to the rules governing the vanity call sign system and club station 

I urge you to do some further research on this NPRM, even though it is a busy 
time of year. You will find the appropriate links after my identification.

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx  

*       The NPRM  <http://www.handiham.org/node/625> Amendment of the Amateur 
Service Rules Governing Vanity and Club Station Call Signs 
*       The ARRL <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/11/25/11220/?nc=1>  
story, a must-read 
*       WT Docket No. 09-209 
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-09-102A1.pdf>  (PDF with 
embedded text and accessibility options) 


Summer Camp Registration Has Begun at Courage Center Camps

Summer Camp Registration Has Begun 

campers operate the radio from the pontoon boat

We are happy to announce that registration for the summer of 2010 is underway. 
The Camp catalog is at the printer right now and will be landing in mailboxes 
by the end of January. However, session information is available on our website 
and the application is available to download. www.couragecenter.org/camps 

Campers who register by March 6th will receive a limited edition gift. Don't 
miss out! Send in your application today.

If someone you know would like to be added to our mailing list, please give us 
a call at (866) 520-0504.  Be sure to mention Radio Camp if you want to attend 
the Handiham camp this summer. The catalog will have a list of all of our camp 


Handiham Radio Camp 2010

Camp Courage – Woodland Campus - May 21-28, 2010 - Ages 16 and older

Enjoy a week of Ham radio fun and learning. Make new friends while building an 
on-air community that continues after you leave Radio Camp. Get a first Ham 
radio license or upgrade a current one, or learn new operating skills. Keep 
abreast of the latest technology, including assistive technology. Wireless 
internet access is available. Instructors are experienced amateur radio 
operators from throughout the nation. Trained staff members provide personal 
care assistance. And, we leave plenty of time to take a break from studying and 
enjoy traditional camp activities.

Full Cost: $875 (Discounts available based on ability to pay.)

Download a camper application

Contact us by email to ask a question:

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Donate online to support Handihams

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/628> Website donation pull-down menu showing 
Handi-Hams selected

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.

See the image to learn how the website' "Designation" pull-down menu should 

Step one: Follow <https://couragecenter.us/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344>  
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 2010.

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

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager

·         By wa0tda at 11/30/2009 - 20:49

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Photos from Zola Center Antenna Party, November 7, 2009

Submitted by k9hi on Tue, 12/01/2009 - 16:26 

<http://www.temples.com/mod/gallery/album118/aas> Zola Center Antenna Party, 
November 7, 2009 <http://www.temples.com/mod/gallery/album118/aas> I've posted 
photos from the recent antenna party at the Zola Center for Persons With 
Disabilities at Brigham House in Newton Highlands, MA. A number of Zola folk as 
well as Boston ARC members spent the morning and afternoon constructing and 
erecting an HF and a 2m/440 antenna for future club station use. It was a great 
learning experience for some of the newer Zola Center hams, and it was a lot of 
fun for us old-timers, too.

Thanks to Phil, K9HI, for sharing these photos. Antenna parties are like 
old-fashioned barn raisings. Everyone pitches in to get the job done so that 
another station can get on the air.

 <http://www.temples.com/mod/gallery/album118?page=1> See Phil's photos here.


So how do those zeros show up in Jaws and Window-Eyes?

It's been quite awhile since I asked this question of our blind readers and 
listeners, so I think it's about time to ask again. Here is my callsign with 
the zero typed in using the number key on the keyboard: WA0TDA.

Got that okay?  All right, now here is my callsign with the slash-zero, typed 
using the <alt>0216 string to get the slash through the zero: WAØTDA.  Was your 
screenreader smart enough to know that the slash-zero is supposed to be read as 
a zero?  Sighted readers sometimes are confused by the "0", the only numerical 
character in callsigns here in the zero district, mistaking it for the letter 
"O".  My preference would be to follow the lead of other ham radio website and 
use the slash-zero, but I don't really want to confuse our blind readers, 
either. On the other hand, maybe by now screenreaders routinely read the 
slash-zero correctly.  Let me know what you think: wa0tda@xxxxxxxx 


You can't beat this kind of service

ARRL diamond logoLast month I participated in my local club's VE session.  The 
session capped a 10-week run of classes that the club had offered leading to 
the General license. Thinking back to the days when exams were given at FCC 
Field offices, I have to admit that those were not the "good old days".

When you passed your exam under the steely eye of the Engineer-in-Charge or one 
of his minions,  the results were sent to Gettysburg, PA (no doubt by Pony 
Express), where they spent more than a few nights on the town before clanking 
out of the bureaucracy and finally arriving by surface mail many weeks later in 
your mailbox. Then, and only then, could you get on the air with your 
hard-earned privileges.

Ah, yes.  That was then and this is now. You know things are really working 
well when you get a note like this one from our VE team leader, Shel, N0DRX:

The new tickets & upgrades from our November 19th VE session were issued by the 
FCC on Tuesday, and appeared on www.qrz.com today. Processing time by the ARRL 
& FCC exceeded my expectations!

Tuesday would have been November 24, which meant a turnaround time of only 5 
days between the VE session and the license or upgrade! Kudos are due to 
everyone concerned, including the SARA VE Team, the ARRL VEC, and the FCC. Good 
work, one & all!



Dick Garey, WA0CAF, found a useful article by Michael McCarty on the APH 
"Fred's Head" website that explains the difference between some common computer 
security risks, such as malware, spyware, adware, and grayware. In a phone 
call, Dick also pointed out that some of the longer links in your weekly 
e-letter don't work. The reason is that for users who receive plain text email, 
the links "word-wrap" in some email clients, and that cuts off the last part of 
the web address that was printed in the e-letter.  The link appears to be 
incorrect, but what was really happening was that the last part of the link 
appeared on another line. To fix this, I am going to embed the links in the 
HTML code. Here is how it will be different, using the link to the APH Fred's 
Head article:

Old way: 

Here is the link to the Fred's Head article:  

New way:

 <http://www.fredshead.info/2009/11/whats-difference-between-spyware.html> Here 
is the link to the Fred's Head article.

We hope this change will work out for our readers.  Almost all newsletters and 
web publications now use the new standard, and most of the email I get from our 
Handiham members is now in HTML format, so we think this change will help tidy 
up the Weekly Handiham World as well as provide better functionality.


This week at Headquarters:

Speaking of social networking, we are on <http://www.handiham.org/node/476>  

 <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/ham_mobile.jpg> We are on 

Look for us on Twitter by searching for "handiham". We invite you to follow us. 
Handiham web page posts are now "tweeted" automatically!

·         Our phone numbers are working again!  If you get voice mail, please 
leave your call back number, the reason for the call, and the best time for us 
to call you back.

·         The e-letter is late today since I had meetings to attend. 

·         The regular Friday audio lectures return to the usual Friday release 
date this week.

·         In Operating Skills: 


o    Pat, WA0TDA, reads the December 2009 QST audio digest for our blind 

o    Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the December "Doctor is in" 
column from QST for our blind members.  

o    Volunteer reader Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the December Worldradio & 
CQ digests. 

o    Login to the member section of the Handiham <http://handiham.org/user>  
website and find the magazine digests in the Library. 

o    Volunteer George, N0SBU, has completed and mailed the December 4-track 
cassette audio digest to our blind members.  

·         Our Contact information is the same, but keep watching this space for 
changes:  Email addresses will not change.

Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road 
Golden Valley, MN  55422
763-520-0512 (Nancy)
763-520-0511 (Pat)

·         Our email address (for Nancy's office) is  
<mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

·         Pat can be reached by email any time, including nights and weekends, 
at  <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> wa0tda@xxxxxxxx or  
<mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

·         The equipment loan program is on hold right now due to limited staff 

o    The Handiham equipment program still welcomes donations of good ham radio 

o    We plan to distribute donated equipment to our radio campers at the next 
Radio Camp session.

o    Handiham members who already have equipment out on loan may continue to 
borrow that equipment.


·         Minnesota Radio Camp dates for 2010, Camp Courage: 

Arrive Friday, May 21

Class days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

VE Exam Day: Thursday

Depart Friday, May 28

·         Camp Courage is west of Minneapolis.  The address is 8046 83rd St NW, 
Maple Lake, MN‎.

o    The phone number of the Camp Courage office is (320) 963-3121‎.

o    If you want to receive a Camp Courage summer camp schedule, you may call 
for one.  The camp schedule includes information about Handiham Radio Camp.  If 
you need specific information about the radio camp or want to be on the radio 
camp mailing list, you may call Nancy in the Handiham office at 1-866-426-3442.

o    Here is an interactive Google map showing Camp Courage:

 View Google Map 


·         VOLLI is now in service.  It stands for VOLunteer Log In, and is a 
way for our Handiham volunteers to register and then enter their volunteer 
hours without having to fool around with paper records.  We encourage 
volunteers to create a username and password, then submit their hours spent 
recording audio, doing club presentations for us, and so on. Volunteer hours 
are important, because United Way funding depends in part on volunteer hours. 
If you are a volunteer and need a link to VOLLI, please email me at 
wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx Our special thanks to my son Will, KC0LJL, who wrote the Java 
code for VOLLI. He is studying in Tokyo this semester and sends a big "hello" 
to our readers and listeners.

·         Volunteers, get your November hours in through VOLLI - I'll be 
checking them soon!  You may also submit volunteer hours to Nancy at  
<mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

·         The Remote Base at Courage North is in service. Please feel free to 
use this wonderful member resource.  

·         Stay in touch!  Be sure to send Nancy your change 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. 


Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net

Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset

Wednesday evenings the Handiham EchoLink net will be on the air. Please join us 
and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit:


Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM)
GMT: Thursday morning at 01:30 Z.


145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater (Minneapolis-St. Paul) 
Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide) 
IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector) 
WIRES system number 1427

Everyone is welcome. You do not need to be a member, and the net is relaxed, 
friendly, and informal. 

By the way, our Net Manager Howard, KE7KNN, reminds us that we need net control 
stations for the Wednesday evening net and for the Monday through Saturday 
morning net. If you are in the Twin Cities, all you need is a radio that can 
get on the 145.45 N0BVE repeater, and if you live outside the RF area, you can 
still be net control via EchoLink, IRLP, or WIRES. 


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 $10 annual dues level for one year.  Your renewal 
date is the anniversary of your last renewal, so your membership extends for 
one year.

·         Join for three years at $30.

·         Lifetime membership is $100.

·         If you can't afford the dues, request a sponsored membership for the 

·         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 Nancy at: 1-866-426-3442 or email: 

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 

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

Free! 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 
<http://www.handiham.org/> .  
Email us to subscribe:  <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at 
www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> :

• Beginner 
• General 
• Extra 
• 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:  <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

·         Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

·         Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

·         Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


ARRL </p />
<p>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.


·         By wa0tda at 12/02/2009 - 23:52 

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Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422
E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442) 

FAX:(763) 520-0577 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address! 

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 02 December 2009 - Patrick Tice