[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 05 September 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 14:49:55 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
05 September 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.*New Net Schedule Begins This Week!

*[image: VOM with coax and clip lead]*

*Tonight we begin the Handiham Wednesday evening net at 7:00 PM USA Central
Time, or 24:00 GMT.* Thursday marks the debut of the brand-new Handiham
Tech Net. The official start date is on Thursday, 6 September 2012. The net
will meet at 7:00 PM each Thursday United States Central Time and will
remain true to local time throughout the year. We will be discussing
technical topics and answering technical questions in a moderated net
format. This will not be a "check in for the count" net, and only stations
with technical questions and comments should check in for the discussion.
Everyone is welcome to listen along.

Over the Labor Day holiday I took a mini-vacation with my wife as we
celebrated our anniversary. It is great to be able to travel and still
enjoy an occasional ham radio contact using some of the new technologies
that are available to us today. The remote base stations were working fine
over the weekend, and Echolink was mostly useful, depending on whether an
internet connection was available.  The was a wide area repeater system
that was solid copy. Because our driving route took us through the north
woods of Wisconsin on our way to Lake Superior, my T-Mobile cell service
was sometimes poor to downright unavailable, which meant that there was no
Echolink on long stretches of the route. At other times cellular service
was available, but with additional charges for data roaming. Some
restaurants and coffee shops have free wi-fi, but it was pretty clear that
good old RF was still necessary. The VHF and UHF repeater systems operated
by groups and individuals still provide a valuable and necessary service,
and are going to be available when cell service fails. Although I have
never had anything approaching a real HF mobile installation, it is worth
considering if you travel a lot by car. You will inevitably drive through
long stretches where repeaters and cell service are unavailable. HF would
be nice to have as an alternative means of communication.

My problem has always been that I wouldn't use HF enough to make such an
installation worthwhile. The HF antenna system would have to be removed or
otherwise folded in order to get the car into the garage. The radio might
get stolen if I left it in the car while out and about. It wouldn't be of
much use on short trips.  I would get more use out of the spare HF radio
(an IC-706M2G) in the main ham shack. All these things conspired to make a
permanent HF mobile installation unattractive.

*Is there any alternative?*

One of our Handiham volunteers, Dave Glas, W0OXB, not only operates HF
mobile, but also promotes a nice alternative which I will call "HF
portable". The idea is to bring along HF gear, then deploy a temporary
antenna system once you are safely parked. Sometimes this allows you to get
up a wire antenna when there are trees around, assuming you are good with a
slingshot antenna launcher. Alternatively, you can put a vertical antenna
up next to or on the vehicle. One vertical antenna mount has a metal plate
that you drive one wheel of the car on, and the weight of the car secures
the plate, which is attached to an antenna mount. This makes a solid base
for a vertical. The idea is to get up a better temporary antenna system
that will be more effective on the air than a simple mobile antenna. Even
if the stop is just for a short time you can quickly deploy a mag mount
single band HF "stick" antenna on the roof of your vehicle.  It's easy and
quick, both to set up and take down. This is one method I have used in the
past, and while it is not as good as a wire antenna, it does provide a way
to get on the air. When you are finished operating, you pack everything
back up and do not operate while the car is in motion. This is not as
convenient as a permanent mobile HF installation, but it does work better
for those of us who don't want to bother with mounting a rig in the car. In
any case, this method of HF operation dovetails nicely with emergency
preparedness, in that one can set up an HF "go-kit" that can serve to
operate portable while you are on car trips.

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

Jose, KK4JZX, has developed a new test version of the rig control software
this week. Our thanks to Lyle, K0LR, for his work with Jose in testing the
software. This is not a public software release.

You may visit the remote base website to find out more about this Handiham
member service:*
http://handiham.org/remotebase/ *

[image: Status check screen showing w0zsw offline.]

*W0EQO at Courage North is in service. W0ZSW is in service. *

*Solar Activity Forecast:* Solar activity is expected to be low through the
period (05 - 07 September) with a chance for an isolated M-class flare.

*Geophysical Activity Forecast:* Geomagnetic field activity is expected to
be at quiet to unsettled levels during days 1 - 2 (05 - 06 September) with
a chance for active levels. This is due to the arrival of CMEs observed on
02 September along with a co-rotating interaction region in advance of a
coronal hole high-speed stream (CH HSS). The CMEs are expected to arrive
around midday on day 1. The CH HSS is expected to commence on day 2. Field
activity is expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels on day 3 (07
September) as CH HSS effects subside.

Credit: NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

Please contact me directly at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx if you have a remote base
Make sure you communicate the right information about Handihams!

[image: Handiham microphone logo by Aaron Kloss]

From time to time while listening on the air some of us hear someone giving
out information about the Handihams, and that's great - but not if it is
not the right information! Incorrect addresses and phone numbers are
certainly of no use, and giving out the wrong information about program
services can be frustrating to a potential new member who might find out
that we do not offer what they expected or that they do not qualify for
services. Please remember that our Handiham program serves people with
disabilities or sensory impairments and that it also has volunteer and
supporter members. Information on all of that is available from Nancy in
our main office and from the website. It is usually best to simply refer
people to those information sources rather than to attempt to describe the
services and tell people that they will qualify to use the remote base
stations or use the audio lectures when they are not even members and you
really know nothing about them. They may call us expecting something that
we cannot deliver, either because they are not able to be served by our
program or because they expect a service that we do not offer.

This is a policy that I follow when telling people about my own local radio
club and about ARRL.  While I can certainly promote membership in those
organizations, I know that I don't always have (or remember) all the facts
about exactly what membership requirements and benefits are so I refer
potential new members to the appropriate phone numbers and websites. That
way I know they will get the most current correct information.
Disability video gaming site on BBC:

From one of our sister Courage Center newsletters come this story entitled
"Disability video gaming guidelines website launched". It's not surprising
that with video gaming as popular as it is, some of our Handiham members
and volunteers are also gamers. Since video games are highly graphic and
also usually require near-constant physical input via a keyboard, mouse, or
controller, there is a need to address accessibility issues in gaming. The
BBC now has a story on this issue:
*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 a question from the Extra Class pool:

E5B09 asks: "What is the relationship between the current through a
capacitor and the voltage across a capacitor?"

Possible answers are:

A. Voltage and current are in phase

B. Voltage and current are 180 degrees out of phase

C. Voltage leads current by 90 degrees

D. Current leads voltage by 90 degrees

So what do you think? We are just beginning our foray into the technical
topics in our Extra Class lecture series, so I thought I'd see how many of
you can come up with the right answer on a technical topic. To correctly
answer this one, you have to know something about capacitors. While we
can't go into a detailed discussion here, we can say that the simplest
capacitor consists of at least two conductive surfaces in close proximity
to each other and not touching. Each of these "plates" is connected to a
lead so that the capacitor can be placed in a circuit when the leads are
connected into the circuit. Imagine a really simple circuit with a battery,
a switch, a capacitor, and a resistor in series.  At the outset, the
capacitor is discharged and the switch is open. No current flows in the
circuit. When the switch is closed, current can now flow through the
resistor and into the capacitor. A charge builds on the negative plate as
electrons collect.  At first the voltage across the capacitor is zero, and
it builds slowly to its maximum as the capacitor reaches full charge. But
when the switch is first closed and current is free to flow, current gushes
forth immediately, with the flow at its maximum right away, then slowing to
zero as the capacitor reaches full charge. To sum this up, current is
leading the voltage by 90 degrees, so that is the correct answer. At the
beginning of the capacitor's charge cycle, current flow is maximum and
voltage is minimum. At the end of the charge cycle, voltage is maximum and
current flow is minimum. Knowing the reasoning behind these Extra Class
questions will really help you on the exam, and much of this understanding
will help you in some very practical ways during your amateur radio career!

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
Correspondence from our readers and listeners:*

Ken, KB3LLA, sent along a notice: National Federation of the Blind
Collaborates with AccuWeather® to Provide Emergency Weather Alert
Information to the Blind and Print-Disabled". Find the story on:

Ken has also written to let us know that he has submitted the annual ARRL
Club report.  Thanks to you, Ken, for keeping the Handiham Radio Club up to
date at ARRL. When the club keeps their information up to date, it is
easier to find out club information through the ARRL club list.

Dick, WA0CAF, phoned to tell me that QST is not currently offered on
Library of Congress digital cartridges directly as the complete magazine
from the LOC Library. He says that it is still only on cassette tape and by
digital download. We incorrectly state that it is also on the LOC digital
cartridges from the Library. Some of our members do download the QST from
the LOC website in DAISY format for use on their portable DAISY players.
Thanks to Dick for this correction.

Ron, AC4HM , found a broken link on the Handiham website, which has been
corrected.  Thanks, Ron!

Tod, K0TO, wrote to alert us to a Wall Street Journal article about a small
Silicon Valley start-up called Zoom Video Communications. It provides
high-definition video chat for up to 15 users at a time for free! The
article is at the following link:
This week @ HQ

I apologize for being so slow to get back to your phone messages and
emails. It has been busy here in the office and I am just back from several
days of vacation, so please be patient.

Laurie's Events Column is ready for September:

We have the Daisy version of September 2012 QST. Worldradio is also
available for September in Daisy, and CQ will be posted by Friday at the
latest. (Thanks, Bob, N1BLF!)

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.
Wednesday is EchoLink net night. Note the new time - 1/2 hour earlier!

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 19:00 United States Central time,
which translates to 24:00 GMT. The Thursday Tech Net will also be at 19:00,
in alignment with the Wednesday net time so as to prevent confusion about
starting times.

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

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
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 Wednesday, 05 September 2012 - Patrick Tice