[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 09 November 2011

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 17:27:35 -0600

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:

http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:

http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3

Get this podcast in iTunes:

[image: Subscribe in iTunes]

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RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham


------------------------------
Welcome to Handiham World.

[image: Pat poses in front of Honda driving simulator.]
*Photo: Pat, WA0TDA, poses in front of the Honda Driving Simulator at the
Mazda car rental agency in Chitose, Japan.  Note the Handiham baseball
cap!  In Japan one drives on the left side of the road. *

I'm back from Japan, and have some awesome jet lag, so this will be a short
one! Today is the day of the big FEMA emergency test, so you might drop me
a line and let me know if your radio club or ARES group did anything
special to participate, or if you even heard any alerts.

My XYL and I had a nice visit with son Will, KC0LJL, on the northern
Japanese island of Hokkaido. Although I had hoped to check into some
Handiham nets from there, I just could not make the time shift work for me
so that I could stay awake to make that schedule.  It sure was hard to flip
days and nights for 10 days, then do it all over again.  One of the oddest
things to wrap my brain around was that one can leave Tokyo on Tuesday
afternoon and arrive back in Minnesota on Tuesday morning, thanks to
crossing the International Date Line while flying east.  It reminded me of
that book by Jules Verne, "Around the World in 80 Days" in which the
protagonist, Phileas Fogg, wins a bet by circumnavigating the globe in 80
days.  At first he thinks he lost the bet, but because he traveled east
around the world, he actually gains a day and is able to win the bet after
all.  It's been a long time since I read that story as a boy who hoped
someday to see the world!  In the novel, Phileas Fogg traveled from
Yokohama to San Francisco in 22 days by steamship. Thanks to amateur radio,
I can travel the world via DX any day.

Japan is known for its amateur radio manufacturers and enthusiasm for
amateur radio in general.  While on the road with XYL Susie driving, I
spotted plenty of HF beam antennas, but who knows how many wire or VHF/UHF
antennas that I missed?  One day we visited the city Tomakomai, a port city
south of Sapporo. There was one city block where I saw a real cluster of
ham radio antennas, and I'm estimating a half-dozen beams or rotary dipoles
in that single city block! That's just amazing!

While in Japan, I was not able to get on the air using an HT because I did
not apply in advance for a JA license.  I did, however, enjoy getting on HF
using the Handiham Remote Base station W0ZSW and checked into the PICONET
on 3.925 MHz.  If you are a remote base user, please consider checking into
PICONET, which has a long-time association with the Handihams.

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx
Handiham Manager

*References:  *

PICONET:
<http://spaceweather.com/>http://piconet3925.com/

Wikipedia:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_mass_ejection>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Around_the_World_in_Eighty_Days

------------------------------
Early Autumn Reading: Becoming a Ham (Part 8)
[image: code key]

Becoming a Ham - Part 8

By T. A. Benham (SK - formerly W3DD, a callsign which has been reassigned.)

To perk up the late summer/early autumn ham radio doldrums, the Handiham
System proudly presents its summer serial, a story about one man's
experiences in the field of radio, starting with the first commercial
station in the United States, KDKA in Pittsburgh. Tom Benham, now a silent
key but who most recently held callsign W3DD, was a ham radio pioneer, and
being blind didn't even slow him down! Join us now as W3DD hears Sputnik
for the first time.

The Civil Defense Club

A year or two after the end of World War II, the amateur branch of the
Civil defense group was formed. This was a network of Hams operating on two
meters, the frequency for local communications. The net held drills once a
week and even had mock emergency situations with all the fixings. I was
often chosen as the central operator, keeping track of where the mobile
units were located, handling messages, etc. These drills were held in
conjunction with the local authorities, police, fire, and medical. We would
have as many as ten amateur-equipped mobile units in the field. Mock
messages and emergencies were handled. It was fun trying to keep everything
running smoothly, pretending it was real. It was practice for the day it
might be real.

The first satellite

[image: U.S. Air Force photo: Sputnik, which means "satellite" in Russian,
was the Soviet entry in a scientific race to launch the first satellite
ever. (Image in the public domain, as shown on Wikipedia.)]
*U.S. Air Force photo: Sputnik 1, via Wikipedia.  Image in the public
domain. *

October 4, 1957 was the beginning of one of the most exciting periods in my
life. On this date the first satellite was put in orbit by the Russians:
Sputnik I. I learned it was transmitting signals on 20.005 MHz and since
this was a frequency I could receive on my Ham radio, I looked for it from
time to time. Of course, I could only hear it when it was above the horizon
from our house. On October 6, at about 7 pm I found it. It was sending the
Morse code letter F, dit dit dah dit. As time went on, day after day, when
I heard it, the letter changed from F to L, dit dah dit dit. Later I
discovered the change related to the temperature inside the satellite. Each
day I heard the satellite three times about 95 minutes apart. It made 15
orbits daily but came above the horizon on only three of them. I was beside
myself with the excitement of being in on the beginning of such a
tremendous achievement. Sputnik I stayed up for about two weeks. The orbit
was so low, between 90 and 100 miles, that air molecular drag caused it to
lose a little height each revolution. It finally burned up in the denser
atmosphere. The next bit of excitement was Sputnik II. This was the one
that carried a dog named Laika. The transmitter sent a signal that included
the heartbeat of the dog, who lived for about a week. After that, I could
receive the signal, but the beat was missing. There followed a series of
American satellites with varying signals and measuring various quantities.
I made recordings of as many of these as I could. For the American
satellites, I had to build special equipment because they used a much
higher frequency.

Next week: More on satellites.

*To be continued...*
------------------------------
Letters

[image: dog barking at cartoon mail carrier]

*Dick, WA0CAF, likes a link to DAISY news:
http://www.daisy.org/daisy-news
<http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-time-correction-utility.htm> *

*Ken, KB3LLA, passes on news of the G. W. Micro ReadEasy+ all in one
reading system:
http://www.gwmicro.com/Reading_Systems/ReadEasy   *
------------------------------
Troubleshooting 101: Can't get rid of formatting

[image: Pat and giant alligator]

This week's troubleshooting tip has to do with getting your ham radio
website or newsletter looking smart and professional.  I'll bet you have
run into this common problem.  You are putting together your club's
newsletter or editing the club website, or perhaps working on a
presentation for a group.  In the course of doing so, you run across a
number of different sources from which you are going to borrow or copy
text.  They may be old documents or articles that you have written before,
web sources, or other newsletters.  In any case, they are in all kinds of
different formats, PDF, Microsoft Word®, plain text, HTML, you name it.
What can happen is that your new document ends up having an odd mixture of
fonts, font sizes, and styles.  Even the font color can vary.  This can
create a very unprofessional-looking result.  I have run across some
terrible ham radio websites that are nearly unreadable because of
microscopic or poorly colored fonts. Ironically, a person using a
screenreader may be able to read these websites while a person who is
sighted cannot. But the idea is to make the site readable by everyone!

Of course you can always retype everything rather than cut and paste, but
who has time for that?  I know I don't.  Another method is to paste the
text, then select it and change the font and style in your editing
software.  This is not always easy, either.

Here is a tip that I have found to make a club newsletter consistent.  Open
a plain text editing program like Notepad, which is the default in Windows.
Whenever you copy something from a website or other source, paste it into
Notepad by getting the focus on Notepad and pressing the Control key and
the letter v.  Then highlight everything you just pasted by using the
Control-A key combination.  Copy everything with Control-C.  Finally, get
the focus back to your new document, be sure the cursor is at the correct
location where you want the new text to appear, then use Control-P to paste
the text in place.  It will appear as the default text you are using in
that document and will be free of any other formatting, such as colors or
images. I have found this method to be very useful in editing my own club
newsletter and, of course, your weekly Handiham World. With some editing
software the formatting can be hidden, which can make for mistakes and
wasted time.  Notepad eliminates such formatting, but it keeps things like
carriage returns and that makes keeping paragraphs easy.

Finish your project by selecting all the text and then using the editing
software to select the final font and font size.  (This should be used only
if all the text in your project will be exactly the same font.)

Email me at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.

Patrick Tice
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx
Handiham Manager
------------------------------
Remote Base Health Report for 09 November 2011

[image: Kenwood TS-480 transceiver, used in both remote base stations.
(Universal Radio image)]

   -

   *W0ZSW is on line. *
   -

   *W0EQO is on line. *

*I am happy to report that the remotes both remained on line during my
entire visit to Japan. During the visit, I had a chance to help my son
Will, KC0LJL, install the software on his computer. He is going to help us
work on the client software as we plan an update. *

*Tech users: *The feedback has been positive to date regarding giving
access to our Technician Class Handiham members, so we are doing so.
Because we don't have time to do a lot of technical support, we do ask that
users have better than average computer skills.  Setup isn't that
difficult, but it would probably be a bit confusing for a person who
doesn't have much computer experience.  Feel free to visit the link to the
station information and setup and do some reading to get an idea about what
is involved.  Both stations are equipped with Kenwood VGS1 speech modules
for blind accessibility.  The W4MQ software is pretty good for
accessibility because it has many keyboard commands. The software runs on
Windows® only, and has been tested with XP and Windows 7, both 32 and 64
bit installations. The Kenwood TS-480 radios are blind-friendly.  Joe,
N3AIN, has done six MP3 audio tutorials:
http://handiham.org/manuals/Kenwood/TS480/ts480_n3ain/

*We are taking over the hosting and updates for the W4MQ software, thanks
to Stan, W4MQ, who has generously offered his software code and assistance.
Here is the updated page, which now has links to both the client side and
hosting side software:
http://handiham.org/local/blind/w4mq_remote_base_software.htm*

We attempt to post a current status report each day, but if you notice a
change in either station that makes it unusable, please email us
immediately so that we can update the status and look into the problem:
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx is the best address to use.  Please do not call by phone to
report a station outage unless it is an emergency. Email is checked more
frequently than the phone mail in any case.

W0EQO is on line. W0ZSW is on line as of this publication date.  Users may
choose IRB Sound on the W0ZSW station if they prefer it over SKYPE. The
W0EQO station does require SKYPE, however.  IRB Sound on W0EQO has been
noticed to have dropouts on transmit.

You can view the status page at:
http://www.handiham.org/node/1005
------------------------------
This week @ HQ

[image: Handiham headquarters at Camp Courage, Maple Lake Minnesota]

   - *Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed Worldradio November digest for our
   blind members.  It is posted in the member section.
   *
   - *Pat is back in the office!
   *
   - *Dates for Radio Camp 2012 *are Saturday, June 2 - Friday, June 8,
   2012. This will be earlier than usual so that we can test for Extra under
   the existing question pool, which expires at the end of the last day of
   June.


   -

   *Tonight is EchoLink net night.*  The Wednesday evening EchoLink net is
   at 19:30 United States Central time, which translates to 00:30 GMT Thursday
   morning.

   *EchoLink nodes:*
   - KA0PQW-R, node 267582
      - N0BVE-R, node 89680
      - *HANDIHAM* conference server Node *494492* (Our preferred
      high-capacity node.)
      -

      Other ways to connect:
      - IRLP node *9008* (Vancouver BC reflector)
      - WIRES system number *1427*
      - 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 toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to
   contact us.

------------------------------
Supporting Handihams - 2011. [image: Dr. Dave climbs the tower]Help us win
the Dr. Dave Challenge!
Thanks to everyone who has helped us with donations to the Dr. Dave
Challenge so far.  We are about 1/5 of the way toward our goal.  Since we
have hit a sort of plateau, I am going to mention the challenge in the year
end appeal, which will go out by mail.   That should help us out.

Money is tight these days and we desperately need your support.  Now,
thanks to a generous challenge grant by Dr. Dave Justis, KN0S, we have a
chance to help fill the budget gap.  Dr. Dave will donate $5,000 to the
Handiham System if we can raise a matching amount.  That means we need to
really put the fund-raising into high gear!  If you can help, designate a
donation to Handihams, stating that it is for the "Dr. Dave Challenge".  We
will keep you posted in our weekly e-letter as to the progress of the fund.

Nancy can take credit card donations via the toll-free number,
1-866-426-3442, or accept checks sent to our Courage Center Handiham
address:

*Courage Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422*

Be sure to put a note saying "Dr. Dave Challenge" somewhere in the envelope
or on the note line of the check.  If you donate online as detailed toward
the end of your weekly e-letter, be sure to designate to Handihams and then
send me an email letting me know you donated to the Dr. Dave fund:
wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx

Thank you so much for your support!

*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.

   -

   Step one: Follow this link to the secure Courage Center Website:
   https://couragecenter.us/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344
   -

   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 2011.

Thank you from the Members, Volunteers, and Staff of the Handiham System

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, Handiham Manager
patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Handiham Membership Dues

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 $12 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 $36.
   -

   Lifetime membership is $120.
   -

   If you can't afford the dues, request a 90 day non-renewable sponsored
   membership.
   -

   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.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:
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at
www.handiham.org:

   -

   Beginner
   -

   General
   -

   Extra
   -

   Operating Skills

That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System!

Pat, WA0TDA

Manager, Courage Handiham System

Reach me by email at:
patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Radio Camp email:
radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


------------------------------

[image: ARRL 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.

*Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422
763-520-0512*

*hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  *

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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 09 November 2011 - Patrick Tice