[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 09 December 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 14:44:17 -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> 

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Get this issue as an audio podcast:


Welcome to Handiham World!

Ralph Andrea, W0FCO, now a silent key
Photo:  Ralph Andrea, W0FCO, became a silent key in 1993. (Thanks to George, 
N0SBU & the History Project for this photo of Ralph posing with a handheld 

Recently I had a phone call from the elderly mother of a long-time Handiham 
member.  She explained to me that her son needed some help with his radio.  Of 
course we visited on the phone for awhile so that I could learn a bit more 
about the radio and what it was and wasn't doing, but then

we got to talking about how her son had gotten help from a Handiham volunteer 
in past years.

"Ralph Andrea used to come over to the house and help us with the station", she 
said. Ralph had passed away long ago, and now her son needed help again.

I remember when I first started with the Handiham program myself.  It was 1991, 
and one of the first people Sister Alverna, WA0SGJ, told me about was Ralph, 
W0FCO.  "Ralph", she explained, "will never miss an opportunity to tell someone 
about the Handiham System - even complete strangers."

It was true. If Ralph saw someone who used a wheelchair or a white cane, he 
would introduce himself and start his sales pitch about how much fun ham radio 
was and how the Handiham System could help them get started. He was an awesome 
volunteer, and I was privileged to meet him and work with him in the Handiham 
System for two years, until his death in 1993. There was almost no volunteer 
job that Ralph wouldn't handle. He would pay calls to members who needed 
antenna work or station setup help. He kept a massive collection of electronics 
parts in his basement, which was jammed with floor to ceiling shelves like a 
commercial repair shop. If someone needed a left-handed resistively-coupled 
doofrazzle, Ralph was going to find one in that collection, because everything 
was neatly stacked, organized, and labeled. 

When Ralph got sick and spent his final days in the V.A. Medical Center in 
Minneapolis, I got the feeling that he was still very much the Handiham 
volunteer. During one of my visits to his hospital room shortly before his 
death, he wanted to make sure that I would take good care of the Handiham 
System. That was the kind of guy Ralph was. Other people, especially Handiham 
members, came first. 

It was a sad day when we had to say goodbye to such a kind and dedicated friend 
of Courage Center. After Ralph became a silent key, Doris, his XYL, got help 
from the local ham community to sell the parts collection and radios, donating 
the proceeds to help us and even setting up a special fund to help Handihams 
into the future. The parts sale was so big that it filled the garage and the 
wide driveway. Hams from the 3M Amateur Radio Club and the St. Paul Radio Club 
as well as others pitched in to help. 

That gift of support still helps us offer services today, and I know that some 
of you, our readers and listeners, will step up to the plate and help keep the 
Handiham System  healthy.  Maybe you can give your time to help someone else.  
Perhaps you can teach a ham radio licensing class at your local radio club or 
school. Some of you will be able to help with gifts of financial support. Ralph 
did all of that stuff, but I sometimes wonder where he found the time.  The 
thing is, if you truly want something in life, you are more likely to make it 
happen. He liked ham radio and made the special mission of the Handihams his 

I want you to think about Ralph Andrea when someone asks you to help set up a 
rig or teach a class. Or yes, write a check to support us.  Working together, 
we are sure to succeed when we have something as exciting as amateur radio to 

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx  


Howard, KE7KNN, will mentor potential net control stations

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.  

We know that there are operators out there who want to help but who need more 
practice. Howard and I have discussed this, and he says that he would be 
willing to teach potential new net control operators some of the basics via 
telephone. Although we do practice at radio camp sessions, the camp is only one 
week long, and with so much going on during that week, we really cannot spend 
the one-on-one time that we really need to make sure our operators are ready to 
take over a net.

For example, here are some common problems I have heard on nets, some of them 
our nets and other VHF and HF nets as well:

*       The net control station doesn't use his or her callsign frequently 
enough.  I have heard statements like, "Anyone else for the Handiham net, 
please call net control now."  It is frustrating to hear this and not know who 
the net control station is.  I have heard them go on and on asking stations to 
"call net control" without identifying their station by using their callsign! 
It leaves me wondering who to call. "Net control" is not a callsign. Basic 
lesson to be learned:  Use your full callsign often when you are net control. 
*       Failure to properly acknowledge stations that check in. If several 
stations check in, the net control station needs to acknowledge all of them 
before talking to each one in turn. If that doesn't happen, some of the 
operators whose calls have not been acknowledged may give up and move on.  
Basic lesson to be learned:  Acknowledge all check-ins before talking to each 
of them in turn. 
*       Failure to keep control of the net is a serious deal-breaker!  I have 
heard operators who were admittedly newcomers to the duties of net control lose 
track of the stations who are checking in, allow stations to start talking 
among each other instead of getting permission from net control, failing to 
demand that stations checking in use their complete callsigns, allowing 
operators who do not know how to operate their equipment to tie up the net 
instead of sending them off frequency, and so on. Basic lesson to be learned:  
If you are the net control, you must CONTROL the net. 
*       Not using a system to limit check-ins by geography, callsign prefix, 
repeater system vs. Echolink, or other means.  When the net control does not 
limit potential check-ins by some means, it can get overwhelming and you can 
easily miss many stations in a huge pile-up.  Here are some examples of ways 
that I would use to limit the rush of stations: 

*       "Are there any short-time stations?  Please call WA0TDA now." 
*       "Mobile stations, please call WA0TDA now." 
*       "Are there any stations with emergency or priority traffic? Please call 
WA0TDA now." 
*       "Are there any stations holding routine traffic? Please call WA0TDA 
*       "Are there any stations outside North America? Please call WA0TDA now." 
*       "Stations on the Twin Cities repeaters, please call WA0TDA now." 
*       "Stations on the IRLP system, please call WA0TDA now." 

I think you get the idea.  Lesson to be learned: There are plenty of ways to 
make the flow of stations checking in easier to manage.

Those are some common problems, but there are certainly others that I have not 
listed here. The point is that we need to strike a balance between having a net 
environment where our members can learn and one where the net is efficiently 
conducted.  That is why Howard is willing to give our members who struggle with 
some of these basics a little bit of extra help by phone.  We should also teach 
an on line lecture series on proper net protocols, but for now I must put my 
time in teaching the Extra Class, which is really time-consuming. One thing we 
can all do is listen to other nets and see if we can tell which of them are 
being properly run and which other one are falling short.  You always learn by 

You may email Howard, KE7KNN, for a schedule and get some help by email or 

 <mailto:hjones451@xxxxxxx> hjones451@xxxxxxx


Handiham Radio Camp 2010

Photo: Will, KC0LJL, tries a sailboat ride at radio camp. 

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 are available based on ability to pay.  Believe me, 
you can afford camp!)

Download a camper application

Contact us by email to ask a question:

·         Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/631>  version 

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Year-End edition of the Courage Center Handiham World

Year-End edition of the Courage Center Handiham World

Get the four-page year-end Handiham World print edition in PDF, available
right now as a download.

 <http://www.handiham.org/files/hhw_winter_2010_final.pdf> Click here for the 
Handiham World PDF download.

An audio version is coming soon. 

If you are on our mailing list, you will get the print edition in your
regular mail very soon.  Please consider supporting the non-profit Handiham
System.  A postage-paid giving envelope is included in the print edition
that will be arriving in your mailbox soon.

We are grateful for any help you can give us!


We attend a Resource Fair

We attend a Resource Fair - Pat poses at the display table.

Photo: Pat, WA0TDA, and Susan (behind the camera) Tice staffed the Courage 
Center Camps table at the Washington County Schools Special Services Resource 
Fair on Tuesday evening. The blizzard was swirling around Woodbury High School 
with full force, which prompted the organizers to give us a "thank you" card 
for showing up!

It reads:

Yea, Courage Center - You braved the storm! So glad you did! Many youth with 
benefit from it. I guess I should've expected "Courage Center" to show up no 
matter how bad the weather gets! Thanks so much.

Grateful parents and education professionals collected information from us 
about Camps, the Driving Program, Courage St. Croix, Golden Valley, Aquatics, 
and the Handiham program. It also turned out to be an opportunity to thank a 
couple of our kind donors. The Courage Center name is well-respected, and that 
makes representing us easy - and fun!

·         By wa0tda at 12/09/2009 - 15:33

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

We asked that question of our readers and listeners, and the consensus of the 
many replies we got is that the slash-zero is not read correctly unless the 
screenreader user takes special pains to set it up to read as a "zero". For 
that reason, we will continue our practice of using "0" in callsigns like 
WA0TDA instead of "Ø", which does not read correctly. The slash-zero is 
commonly used to distinguish the numeral in a callsign from the letters. 

The exception will be in our print publications, including PDF versions, since 
the lack of the slash-zero can create confusion, especially in callsigns that 
contain both a zero and a letter "O". 


Fraudulent emails referencing CDC-sponsored State Vaccination Program

Fraudulent emails referencing CDC-sponsored State Vaccination Program

CDC has received reports of fraudulent emails (phishing) referencing a CDC 
sponsored State Vaccination Program. The messages request that users must 
create a personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov website. 
The message then states that anyone that has reached the age of 18 has to have 
his/her personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site. The CDC has NOT 
implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration on www.cdc.gov. 
Users that click on the email are at risk of having malicious code installed on 
their system. CDC reminds users to take the following steps to reduce the risk 
of being a victim of a phishing attack:

*       Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open or respond to 
unsolicited email messages.
*       Use caution when visiting un-trusted websites.
*       Use caution when entering personal information online. 

An example of the Phishing email follows:


Sample H1N1 phishing e-mail

More on the CDC website:

 <http://www.cdc.gov/hoaxes_rumors.html> http://www.cdc.gov/hoaxes_rumors.html

·         By wa0tda at 12/04/2009 - 16:09

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 <http://www.handiham.org/node/635> December Events by N1YXU

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/635> Snowman with handheld radio

I hope that each of you enjoyed a very Happy Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful 
day with family and, yes, there was food involved! We have tried a new recipe – 
turkey shepherd’s pie. It was very good. If you are interested in the recipe, 
please send me an email. I’ll be happy to share. You could probably find use 
for the leftovers from the turkey that you will cook in the next few weeks!

Regardless of the holidays that you celebrate during the month of December, be 
sure to reflect on the blessings that each of us enjoys. One of those is the 
ability to communicate via amateur radio. I hope that you find at least one 
amateur radio event in this month’s information that will attract your interest.

Until next month….

- Laurie Meier, N1YXU

·         Read more on the Handiham <http://www.handiham.org/node/635>  
website.  Look for the December Events story or simply follow this link. 


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 regular Friday audio lectures will be released as usual 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. 


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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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 12/09/2009 - 20:20 

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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, 09 December 2009 - Patrick Tice