[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 09 May 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 14:32:13 -0500


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.*

You can do it!

Today, just as we did last week,  we are going to begin with
Troubleshooting 101 as part of our initiative to help new ham radio
operators (and even some of us older ones) learn how to do some basic
troubleshooting for ourselves. Yes, it can be tempting to ask someone else
to do things for us.  This can become a bad habit when it keeps us from
learning new things, especially things that we could - with a bit of
practice - learn to do for ourselves.  Knowing these basic things can serve
us well in the future when no help is available.
*Troubleshooting 101*

Let's get to today's troubleshooting question:

*I like using Echolink, and I've finally figured out how to forward the
ports on my home router to my ham shack computer.  The problem is that I
can't use Echolink on any other computer in the house unless I change all
those port forwarding settings or use a public proxy, which isn't always
available.  Is there anything else I can do to make Echolink a little more

Echolink is pretty addictive, and it's easy to understand why you would
want to be able to use it all around the house, perhaps even on your laptop
while seated out on the patio one of these nice upcoming summer days. As
you discovered, when you set up your home router to forward ports as
described on the Echolink website, the application will then only work on
the computer you selected.  The router will happily direct traffic through
those open ports, but only to that one specific ham shack computer.  As you
discovered when setting up your home router, port forwarding is not
something you can do on a moment's notice.  You have to log into your
router's web-based administration page, go to the advanced settings, and
then the port forwarding section. When you make changes to the settings,
the router may momentarily drop internet connectivity and perhaps even
reboot.  Then it will take a while for everything to settle down and work
again.  This can be a major aggravation if you have other users in your
household or if your home phone is a VoIP system that depends on the
internet being connected.

Let's examine our Echolink application's built-in Firewall test.  You will
find it by opening Echolink, going to the "Tools" menu, and arrowing to the
"Firewall/Router Test". Once there, press <Enter> and the test runs
automatically.  If you are blind or just like keyboard commands because
they are faster and better than the mouse anyway, simply press <ALT> and
the letter "T" for the Tools menu, then <ALT> and the letter "F" for the
Firewall/Router test, which will start immediately.

Since you have already told us that your ham shack computer has Echolink
working, you should get this "Testing Complete" message that says "Firewall
test results: PASS".

[image: "Firewall test results: PASS".]

It is important to know about this handy little tool that is built into
Echolink because you are going to use it again on a fairly regular basis
once you make a few simple changes to your router settings.

Now it is time to use your main computer, which is connected by a LAN cable
(preferably) to the router, to open the router's administration page.
Depending on your router's setup, you will need to log in, then go to the
advanced settings page and then to the port forwarding page.  This should
all seem familiar as you have already done it once.  Next, you will need to
uncheck the port forwarding boxes that you already set up.  Yes, I know it
seems crazy, but it is a necessary step. Save the settings, then go back to
the advanced settings page and choose "port triggering" or "application
rules" this time.  It is similar to setting up port forwarding, but there
is a BIG difference:  You are opening ports when the Echolink application
calls for them to carry traffic, no matter which computer on your network
is running Echolink.  This means that when you open Echolink on your
wireless laptop while on the patio, the ports will be open to that
computer.  When you close Echolink on the laptop and later that evening you
go back into the ham shack to use your main computer, Echolink will then
work on that one because the ports will be opened by the "trigger" of a
call for traffic to that machine.

I happen to have a D-Link router, so a screenshot of the application rules
(triggering) page shows that I have triggered ports 5198 and 5199 for UDP
traffic and port 5200 for TCP traffic.

[image: I have triggered ports 5198 and 5199 for UDP traffic and port 5200
for TCP traffic.]

Now I can save the settings and after that I should be able to use Echolink
on any computer on my home network without having to worry about port

There are some things to remember:

   1. Only one computer at a time can be running the Echolink application.
   If more than one computer is running Echolink, only one of them will
   actually connect properly.
   2. When you close Echolink on one computer, it may take a few minutes
   for the network to resolve itself back to a neutral state.  If you try to
   connect Echolink on another machine immediately, it may not work.  Always
   allow a few minutes between switching machines - Both machines may be
   running and connected to the network at the same time, which is not a
   problem.  It is only starting Echolink too soon after just closing it on
   another machine that can cause problems.
   3. This is where we try our built-in Firewall/Router tests again:
   [image: "Firewall test results: PASS".]
   If the network is ready, the tests will proceed normally with a "PASS"
   and you are good to go for Echolink fun!

Email me at handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.
  But for the record, please remember that I am NOT tech support for
Echolink or your home networking equipment since you are there at home and
I'm here in Minnesota.  Reading the manual will get you way farther than
calling me for sympathetic head-nodding.

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
*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 taking a question from the Extra Class pool:

E1E12 asks, “To which of the following examinees may a VE not administer an

Possible answers are:

A. Employees of the VE

B. Friends of the VE

C. The VE’s close relatives as listed in the FCC rules

D. All these answers are correct

The correct answer here is C, The VE's close relatives as listed in the FCC
rules. In practice, the VE team leader will make decisions to assign or not
assign some VEs based on other factors, such as whether a VE has also been
an instructor in the club's licensing class which immediately preceded the
exam session. This might be done to avoid any possible conflict of
interest, but strictly speaking it is not a requirement.
Digital Update

Logging software: I often get requests for accessible logging software.
It's hard to beat XMLog, which is an amateur radio logbook system for
Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7.  It is free for
amateur radio use.  Get it at:

Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV, has a new beta "Eyes-Free" guide for the Baofeng
UV-5R, a new and inexpensive Chinese handheld radio. "Baofeng" is
pronounced "bow-fung".  Find it here:

Don't forget to send us an NLS digital cartridge in a Free Matter mailer if
you have an NLS player. We will use your cartridge to keep you up to date
with our audio digest and podcasts, as well as add whatever you request
from our library, including the audio lectures and rig tutorials. Find out
more at:

Only about 6 weeks left to study!  Handiham Extra Class digital format
lectures will be removed from our server at the end of June 2012. The new
Extra pool is in effect for all examinations beginning on July 1st, and at
that time we will begin posting the new lecture series.  We will produce
some new Extra Class lectures as well as modify parts of the old lectures
when appropriate.  The Extra Class is a large project for us, so the entire
lecture series will take significant time to complete.  Handiham members
who wish to have their own complete copy of the existing lecture series
should either download and save the individual lectures or send us an NLS
cartridge.  There is no way to place the lecture series in a single zip
file for download due to the large file size.

Minnesota Radio Talking Book Services will be going from analog to digital
format in the coming months. New radios will be issued to users. The
service is also available via the internet as an audio stream.

Kenwood TS-590S:  We are still in need of an audio tutorial and description
of this new radio by Kenwood.  If you can create any kind of digital audio
help file, we would sure appreciate it.

Listen to our Net On Line: The Handiham net is on the air daily at 11:00 AM
USA Central Time.  Either of the following links will get you connected.
No ham radio license or Echolink application is necessary to listen via
these websites.

   - http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?feedId=9593
   - http://tunein.com/radio/N0BVE-145450MHz-Amateur-Repeater-s146825/


May Events by N1YXU

It’s almost the unofficial beginning of summer, and it’s hard to believe we
are already in the month of May. I hope you find many interesting ham radio
related activities to fill your calendar this month. Please be sure to let
me know if there are any activities that you would like me to include in
this monthly events update.

Until next month….

Regards, - Laurie Meier, N1YXU

Read the events column at:

*Remote Base Health Report for 09 May 2012*

We have a website for the remote base software. You may check it out at:

*W0ZSW is on line.

W0EQO is on line. *

Please check the latest operating tips on the remote base pages:

The link to the daily status update pages:

Our thanks to volunteer engineer Lyle Koehler, K0LR, for his help
maintaining the station databases and updates.

Aurora'12 Weak Signal VHF+ Conference

On Saturday, May 12, Aurora'12 will be held in White Bear Lake, MN. 2012
represents the 29th year for this fun one day conference that is the
largest gathering of weak signal VHF enthusiasts in the Upper Midwest. From
9:00 am to noon we will hold an antenna range for 2m through 10 GHz. From
1:00 to 4:30 PM there will be a number of technical papers presented. If
you have an interest in learning more about the World Above 50 MHz, come
and check it out. It's a great place to meet people, to ask questions, and
to learn a thing or two. Registration is $5.00 and full information,
including registration, can be found at:



WA0CAF sent a note from Hap Holly about Hamvention®:

Hap Holly, KC9RP, has been recording ham interviews since the mid 1980s.
However, few have been interviewed at the Dayton Hamvention due to
excessive noise around the R.A.I.N. booth. Now all that has changed...

Hap Holly wants to interview you! R.A.I.N. Booth #329

Four years ago Auralex donated some of its acoustical panels to improve the
soundproofing in the reading booth at Hap's employer, Horizons for the
Blind (HFTB) at their former location. Guitar Center and Auralex joined
forces to redo the sound booth in HFTB's new facility. James Vernon Lackey,
one of HFTB's paid readers, rescued these discarded panels, and fashioned
them into a very functional portable sound screen. This sound screen now
enables Hap to resume conducting interviews out in the field including at
this year's Hamvention, May 18-20.

What's your story. Visit us in booth #329, rest your aching feet and share
with The R.A.I.N. Report's Hap Holly your ham radio story--how and why you
got in. Just drop by the booth #329 and let Hap or any of the R.A.I.N.
volunteers know you're there. If he's not in the middle of an interview,
he'll be glad to have you join him in the booth and talk about your ham
radio roots.


QRP ARCI issued an Accessibility Challenge in January, 2012. It was
announced in the Winter 2012 QQ, the club website:

The core of the challenge is for QRPers to create a kit that can be built
by our visually impaired hams. The rules are found at the website above.
The intent was to make this a special category in the FDIM 2012 building
contest. Entries would be on display at FDIM 2012 and a team of three
judges would select the winning entries.

Since issuing the challenge, we have received feedback from a number of
sources stating that a four month timeline was overly optimistic to perform
all the needed steps to develop such a kit. We have discussed various
alternatives and have decided to extend the timeline. The rules will stand
as initially stated, however this will be a special category at FDIM 2013,
thus giving a full year for the development and design effort.

This extension will also give time to adequately publicize the challenge
and insure a high level of participation. We apologize for our overly
optimistic start. Form your design teams and heat up the irons. We look
forward to seeing the results at FDIM 2013.

Ken Evans, W4DU President - QRP ARCI

*This week @ HQ*

Getting ready for Dayton!

Speaking of Hamvention®, guess what?  Yes, the Courage Center Handiham
System will be at Dayton again this year.  In fact, we will be Hap Holly's
next-door neighbor because the Handiham booth is at space 330 in the Silver
Arena!  Please plan to stop by to visit with us if you get to Hamvention.
We are doing our best to keep up with phone calls and emails, but please be
patient as we cannot answer every call and do have to depend on voice
mail.  I will be out of the office after noon on Wednesday 16 May and will
not be back in the office until Tuesday, 22 May.

*Dayton Hamvention® 2012
"Internationally Connected"
May 18-20 2012*

[image: The crowd at a previous Hamvention.]

Radio Camp still has openings, so apply now.  Camp is a better value this
year because it is one day longer than last year, the tuition is cheaper,
scholarships are available, and we will have our own dining hall.  Camp is
Saturday, June 2 through Friday, June 8 2012. Call 1-866-426-3442 to

Equipment!  We also have a selection of donated radios available for
campers to take home. If you are registering for this camp session, please
be sure to let us know if you have an equipment request.

Ideas wanted:  If you have ideas about how to market or improve Radio Camp,
or if future camp sessions should be replaced with something else that will
better serve Handiham members, please let me know by email or postal mail.
Please, no phone calls as I am creating a file to store comments.  Email
radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or write directly to Patrick Tice, Handiham
Manager at our Courage Center address.  If you prefer changes to Radio
Camp, tell me:


   Where it should be held.

   When it should be held.

   How long it should be.

   What it should cost for a camper to attend.

   What topics, courses, or activities should be included during the camp

   What should replace Radio Camp if you think it should no longer be held.

The May 2012  DAISY format audio digest is ready for our blind members.
Check it out in the members section.  Members using NLS digital cartridges
may receive the digest by Free Matter postal mail.

May QST and Worldradio audio digests are now also ready for our blind
members who do not have computers, also in DAISY format, 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.

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.

May QST audio digest is now also ready for our blind members in DAISY
format, as a digital download for your computer DAISY player or to place on
your digital cartridge or other portable DAISY player. Visit the DAISY
section on the website after logging in.

Members Only Website Update:

Handiham.org open enrollment is over, but Handiham members who do not have
log in credentials for the site may request them by emailing
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This step was taken to curtail the hundreds of
account requests from spammers and other non-members each week.

*Tonight is EchoLink net night.*

Notice:  W0EQO-R, node 309436 is out of service to to the lack of a proxy.
If you can host a private proxy for us, please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx

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.

The following EchoLink nodes are always connected to the Handiham

HANDIHAM conference server Node 494492 (Our preferred high-capacity node.)
NEW! NX0P-R, node 513917
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.

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

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

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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 09 May 2012 - Patrick Tice