[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 08 August 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 14:13:38 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
08 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.*

What should you have to know to operate a club station?

*Radio clubs usually do not have dedicated meeting space and extra room for
a complete club station, but some do. Many clubs do have temporary "club
stations" for the duration of club events or Field Day. What all of these
club stations have in common is that they are shared resources that can be
operated by many club members. For those amateur radio operators who cannot
put up antennas at their homes, the club station is a great way to get on
the HF bands or to have fun with VHF weak signal operation. *

But here's the problem: The typical home station will be configured by the
owner to be exactly what that operator wants. It will have the brand of
radio equipment and the accessories preferred by that person, and
everything will be laid out in a customized fashion. The club station will
be used by many different operators. It may have different equipment than
what you are used to, and be configured differently. With all of these
different operators, each with different station layouts at home, the club
station presents a learning challenge!

Let's consider some basic skills that might be expected of each club
station user. These might be part of a "check ride", similar to that given
to a licensed pilot when being checked out in an airplane for the first
time. Although a person may hold a pilot's license, it is by no means
certain that the pilot knows everything about every airplane! The same is
true about licensed amateur radio operators and radios. To begin this
discussion, I have identified six basic knowledge areas, but you may be
able to think of some others:

   1. *License and identification: * To operate an amateur radio station,
   you need a license, so a new user should expect to present his or her
   license along with some supporting identification (if requested) so that
   the club's station manager can determine if the licensee is current and
   what the operating privileges might be.
   2. *Safety and convenience:* Since the club station will be unfamiliar
   territory to the new user, it is important to go over basic safety topics.
   These include the emergency power shut off, the location of fire
   extinguishers and other emergency equipment such as an AED, the location of
   exits, a telephone, and restrooms, and how to call for emergency help.
   3. *Ergonomics, accessories, and policies: *This topic area covers your
   comfort and safety while operating the station. It will cover how to switch
   the lighting on and off, where writing materials, a frequency chart, and
   other commonly used desktop materials are found, seating adjustments,
   station layout, the ham shack computer (if there is one), and policies
   related to the use of the station. For example, a policy might include
   switching the equipment on and off in a certain sequence, no beverages on
   the operating desk, returning antennas and extendible towers to their
   nested positions at the end of a session, logging all contacts, using the
   club callsign, and so on.
   4. *Radio orientation and operation:* This will show the new operator
   what each piece of equipment does and how it operates. It will include all
   the basics, such as the power switch, tuning, modes, antenna switching and
   rotor control and use of various accessories such as amplifiers.
   5. *Record-keeping:* There may be a sign in/out sheet for users of the
   station. If logging of contacts is done, there may be a need to explain the
   procedure, whether it is by computer or in a paper logbook. There may also
   be a QSL policy and procedure. If a piece of equipment is not working or if
   a part is broken or missing there is usually a place to make note of it so
   that the club can remedy the problem.
   6. *Securing at shutdown:* After the operating session, the station must
   be shut down and secured. In some cases, this may include disconnecting the
   equipment from the power mains and antennas to prevent lightning damage. It
   is also considered good practice to leave the radio in a more or less
   "normal" mode of operation, so that the next user will not sit down to a
   radio that has been left in split frequency mode with the RF gain at zero
   and every button pressed and knob twisted! If desk accessories are used
   during the operating session, they should be returned to wherever they were
   stored so that the operating desk is clear of clutter. The lights should be
   turned off and the room should be secured in whatever way is described by
   club policy.

A club station is an excellent resource for all club members, but because
it is shared among many users it is wise to have some clear rules about its
use and to include an orientation ("check ride") for each new user.

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 in service.
http://handiham.org/remotebase/ *

*Kenwood TS-590S update: *The Kenwood TS-590S that was used at Handiham
Radio Camp early this summer is 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. Today I am happy to report that the radio is now operating via
the internet. It is not open to public use during testing.

*Call for beta testers: *I am looking for several beta testers to try
running the radio remotely and then reporting what they find out. I have
not set up any support instructions yet, but hope to do that next week. To
be considered as a beta tester for this project:

   - You need an Extra Class license.
   - You must have high speed internet and a Windows computer with at least
   XP or later version of Windows.
   - You must have computer skills that are far above average and be able
   to work independently. (This type of person would rather eat mud pies than
   call tech support for anything!)
   - You must be able to work independently to access the firewall on your
   network to assure that it is configured properly.
   - You must have a Skype account since audio is sent between your
   computer and the radio via Skype.
   - You must be a problem-solver and then be willing to share your
   information to help correct the inevitable glitches we will find.
   - If you are a screenreader user, we need special reports from you
   related to blind accessibility. The radio is equipped with the VGS1 voice
   chip and audio from it is ported along with received audio via Skype.

Please contact me directly at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx if you are interested in
participating in this small group of beta testers.

*Solar Activity Forecast:* Solar activity is expected to be low with a
slight chance of an isolated M-class flare.

*Geophysical Activity Forecast:* The geomagnetic field is expected to be
quiet to unsettled with a slight chance of isolated active to minor storm
intervals on days one and two (08 and 09 Aug). This increase in activity is
expected sometime between mid-day on 08 Aug to early on 09 Aug due to the
arrival of the 04 Aug CME. Day three (10 Aug) is expected to return to
quiet levels as the effects of the CME subside.

[image: Avery with puff and sip keyer at Hamvention]

*Avery, K0HLA, writes that he has his QSL card displayed on the PICONET

*Got email from Al...he received the QSL from W0ZSW and has it posted on
PICONET website already. Check it out if you like. *

*73, Kilo Zero Hotel Lima Alpha
Avery ~ CW Forever*

You can see a K0HLA QSL card as well as a vintage W0ZSW QSL card on the
PICONET website:
August Events by N1YXU

[image: Kenwood TS-590S]

Laurie writes:

*I hope August is finding each of you well. It is proving to be an eventful
month already. If you have been watching the Olympics, I’m sure you have
seen several competitions that have been incredibly exciting. Maybe you
have even been on the radio, chatting with a DX station, and trading
stories from the Olympic Games.*

*Have a good, radio-filled month.*

*Until September….*

- Laurie Meier, N1YXU

Read Laurie's events column on the Handiham website:
*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:

E1B03 asks: "Within what distance must an amateur station protect an FCC
monitoring facility from harmful interference?"

Possible answers are:

A. 1 mile

B. 3 miles

C. 10 miles

D. 30 miles

This is one of those "either you know it or you don't" questions. The
correct answer is A: 1 mile, but how do you even know if you are near an
FCC monitoring facility? There are a number of them, but they are not in
every State. It was amazing difficult to locate a list, but I did find them
on the Cornell website:

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


*We are closed the week of August 13 - 17, 2012. I will be able to handle
emergency requests for lost passwords and take reports related to the W0ZSW
and W0EQO remotes. The website will be updated during this period, and we
expect to release a Wednesday e-letter and podcast. New audio lectures will
be added to the Extra Class 2012-2016 lecture series.  *

*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. *

*The August CQ audio has been recorded and will be in DAISY format for our
blind members by this Friday. We already have the Daisy version of August
2012 QST, Worldradio, and QCWA Journal available in the Daisy section for
our blind members. 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, 08 August 2012 - Patrick Tice