[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 07 November 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2012 13:19:52 -0600

Please do not reply to this message.  Instead, email

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.

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*Welcome to Handiham World.*

[image: Pat with Handihams coffee mug]

*Thanks for being so patient with us during our move back to Courage
Center. We appreciate your support!*

As you will read in the correspondence for today, ARRL is calling for all
of us to read about proposed changes to Part 97, the rules governing the
Amateur Radio Service.  It is our privilege to live in a country that
allows and values input to the rulemaking process, so we think that you -
our Handiham members - should read about the proposed changes and comment
on them if you see fit to do so.  Even if you choose not to comment, you
will be better informed.

Before we go any further, let's just make it clear that there has been a
steady trend toward making the regulations favor less direct FCC oversight
and more practical, cost-effective processes.  You can see this trend going
far back, even to the time the Volunteer Examiner system was set up.
Frankly, the changes we have seen have been beneficial to the Amateur Radio
Service.  Most everyone appreciates being able to access examinations
without having to travel long distances to FCC Field Offices, as was
required in the past. Other significant changes simplified the licensing
structure, eliminating new Novice and Advanced examinations.  The
Technician was consolidated and simplified, removing the old Tech Plus.
Morse code testing was eliminated, leaving it to individual amateurs to
decide whether they wanted to learn code.

These changes made sense in a changing world where government was becoming
more efficient.  The last thing the FCC needed was to have to process more
license applications and upgrades for elements that added little to the
overall value and experience of Amateur Radio.  I don't think anyone really
misses the Advanced license exams, though many of us still have a soft spot
in our hearts for the Morse code.  However, neither of those things really
could be called essential to the Amateur Service.  The bottom line is that
if you can make things simpler and more efficient without affecting
quality, then you should probably do so.

Now the FCC proposes some changes to our rules that follow the trend toward
simplification and efficiency. To summarize:

*In this document, the Commission proposes to amend the amateur radio
service rules to grant examination credit for expired and
beyond-the-grace-period-for renewal amateur radio operator licenses; to
shorten the grace period during which an expired amateur license may be
renewed to 180 days; to revise the time a call sign is not available to the
vanity call sign system correspondingly; and to reduce to two the number of
volunteer examiners needed to administer an amateur license examination.
This document also asks for comment on amending the rules to permit remote
test administration, and proposes to amend the amateur radio service rules
to allow amateur stations to transmit certain additional emission types.*

In order to really understand the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), you
should visit ARRL.org and view the explanation found there.

While I am not going to tell you what to think, I do see several things in
the proposed changes that could affect Handiham members. One obvious one is
that for those whose license has expired, credit would be given for
elements passed. In other words, one would not have to start all over again
at the Tech level and pass General and Extra to get back to where they were
before letting their licenses lapse. Another is that sometimes Handiham
members live in remote and sparsely populated areas where it can be
difficult to put together a VE team.  Having flexibility in these kinds of
situations would help to serve more people. For example, it might be easier
to put together a pair of VEs to give exams in a small, rural community
that would otherwise not even be a venue for testing at all.  In more
extreme cases of isolation, it could be possible to use technology to
monitor an examination remotely. Most of us who live in urban areas don't
have any problem at all accessing convenient VE sessions, but rural areas
are quite a challenge.  We do have Handiham members in such places and most
of them face extra difficulties and expense obtaining transportation to a
VE session.

So please inform yourself, make use of ARRL's fine resources, and visit the
improved, easy to use Federal Register website to study the NPRM and to
comment if you wish. And let's remind ourselves how very good it is to live
in a country where our comments will shape policy.

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

*Link to ARRL story:
http://tinyurl.com/95u6xro *

*Link to the NPRM on the Federal Register:
https://federalregister.gov/a/2012-26201 *

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]

*ARRL Dakota Division Director K0GW writes, seeking input from his
Division: *

*In October, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making proposing
changes to the Amateur Service rules. The FCC proposal includes:*

   - *granting Exam credit for expired amateur operator licenses; *
   - *shortening the grace period for renewal of amateur license from 2
   years to 6 months; *
   - *reducing the required number of Volunteer Examiners from 3 to 2; *
   - *permitting remote test administration; and *
   - *allowing amateur stations to transmit TDMA using FXE phone and FXD
   data emissions.*

*Here's a link to the ARRL Web story:

*And here's the link to the FCC's NPRM:

*Comments are due to FCC by December 24, 2012. I would like to hear your
comments and feedback on any of the FCC proposals in this NPRM.
Thanks es 73, Greg Widin, K0GW ARRL Dakota Division Director ARRL--of, by
and for the Radio Amateur*

*ARRL Dakota Division Director: Gregory P Widin, K0GW
k0gw@xxxxxxxx *

*Handiham Radio Club President KB3LLA found a way to communicate with
Antarctica via IRLP:*

*Palmer Station hosts an IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) Amateur
Radio node #8838 for ham radio communications.*

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmer_Station *
Don't miss the new Tech Net! This week is session ten.

[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 nine 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.

<http://www.handiham.org/audio/technet/>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 new!

*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, and this time we are looking at a
mini-quiz - five related questions from Section 9.3:

*E4A07 asks: Which of the following is an advantage of using an antenna
analyzer compared to an SWR bridge to measure antenna SWR?*

Possible answers are:

A. Antenna analyzers automatically tune your antenna for resonance
B. Antenna analyzers do not need an external RF source
C. Antenna analyzers display a time-varying representation of the
modulation envelope
D. All of these choices are correct

*E4A08 asks: Which of the following instruments would be best for measuring
the SWR of a beam antenna?*

Possible answers are:

A. A spectrum analyzer
B. A Q meter
C. An ohmmeter
D. An antenna analyzer

*E4B06 asks: How much power is being absorbed by the load when a
directional power meter connected between a transmitter and a terminating
load reads 100 watts forward power and 25 watts reflected power?*

Possible answers are:

A. 100 watts
B. 125 watts
C. 25 watts
D. 75 watts

*E4B09 asks: What is indicated if the current reading on an RF ammeter
placed in series with the antenna feed line of a transmitter increases as
the transmitter is tuned to resonance?*

Possible answers are:

A. There is possibly a short to ground in the feed line
B. The transmitter is not properly neutralized
C. There is an impedance mismatch between the antenna and feed line
D. There is more power going into the antenna

*And finally, E4B11 asks: How should a portable antenna analyzer be
connected when measuring antenna resonance and feed point impedance?*

Possible answers are:

A. Loosely couple the analyzer near the antenna base
B. Connect the analyzer via a high-impedance transformer to the antenna
C. Connect the antenna and a dummy load to the analyzer
D. Connect the antenna feed line directly to the analyzer’s connector

*Wow, did you feel ready for five questions?*  They are really all related
to making measurements on antenna systems.  Each time we install an antenna
system we must expect to make some adjustments. Sometimes the antenna is
tuned incorrectly. Each installation is unique and dependent on how the
antenna is put together and how it is deployed - height above ground,
nearby objects, grounding system - there's just so much to consider!  The
fact is that you will have to take measurements to see if the antenna is
even close to where it needs to be to resonate properly.

Fortunately there is some really good, convenient equipment available to
help us make such measurements. We no longer have to depend on an SWR
bridge inside the ham shack, which is what I had to do in the bad old days.
I was a teenager back then (in the late 1960's), and it was a good thing I
was young and full of energy because making an adjustment to the antenna
involved many trips between the ham shack and the antenna.   Running back
indoors to key the transmitter and take an SWR reading over and over and
over as I made tiny adjustments to the antenna was the only way I had to
make sure the antenna system tuned they way I wanted it to.

Now we have "antenna analyzers".  Antenna analyzers do not need an external
RF source (Answer B), so that means you can set them up with a short
coaxial jumper to the antenna, right outdoors where it is easy to make
adjustments and take measurements quickly and efficiently.  An antenna
analyzer would clearly be the best choice for measuring the SWR of a beam
antenna (Answer D).

If, on the other hand, you wanted to know how much power is being absorbed
by the load (the antenna) and how much is being reflected, you might use a
directional power meter connected between a transmitter and a terminating
load. If it reads 100 watts forward power and 25 watts reflected power, you
know that 75 watts is getting out to the load (Answer D.)

Let's say you have an RF ammeter to measure current to the antenna.  If the
current reading on an RF ammeter placed in series with the antenna feed
line of a transmitter increases as the transmitter is tuned to resonance,
that means that there is more power going into the antenna (Answer D.)

If you are using an antenna analyzer (by far the easiest of all of these),
you simply connect it to the antenna's feedline in place of the transmitter
(Answer D.)

There is usually no need for every ham radio operator to own his or her own
antenna analyzer. This is a good piece of equipment for your local radio
club to have for loan to club members as needed.  If you are a person who
loves to experiment with antennas, you could consider buying one yourself,
but the average person will not do antenna work that often.  If your club
does not have one, you might consider bringing up the subject at a club

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
*Remote Base health report: W0EQO is on line. W0ZSW is back on line. It has
moved to grid square EN34MV.

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

We are pleased to let you know that we already have W0ZSW back on line. It
was unavailable for less than a week - not bad, considering that we moved
the station to the Twin Cities.

   - We are pleased that W0ZSW can still operate on 160 through 6 meters.
   - There is an occasional problem with interference on receive at W0ZSW
   from a plasma TV set.  We are investigating that and hope to minimize it.
   - A change in internet providers may be in the works at the W0EQO
   location. We will keep you posted in the daily remote base health

Work continues on the remote base software.  Issues being addressed include
the slow response to some keyboard commands and some outdated station list

If problems show up, please email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Keyboard commands list updated:

*Solar Activity Forecast:* Solar activity is expected to be very low with a
chance for C-flare activity.

*Geophysical Activity Forecast:* The geomagnetic field is expected to be
mostly quiet for the next three days (06-08 November).

Credit: NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
This week @ HQ


*Bob, N1BLF, has completed the CQ and Worldradio digest recordings for us.
That means we can get the DAISY format November digest audio out to our
blind members this week. Watch for your digital cartridge or use the member
section to download the zip DAISY files. Thanks, Bob!  *

*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.

*Please remember that the cassette tape digest ceases following the mailing
at the end of November!  After that all audio is in DAISY digital format or
on line through the members only section of handiham.org. The Library of
Congress 4-track tape system will no longer be supported in any form after
2012. *

*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 Wednesday, 07 November 2012 - Patrick Tice