[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 11 July 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 13:57:09 -0500

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

The band police

Recently I got an e-mail from a new amateur radio operator who told me
about an encounter with an unpleasant character on the bands. This new
operator was following all the rules of identification while enjoying an
EchoLink contact with a DX station. Someone jumped in and told him he
should get off the air if he wasn't going to identify. Interestingly
enough, the guy with this unsolicited advice didn't identify his station at
all. The whole incident confused and worried our new amateur radio
operator. It wasn't exactly a way to feel welcomed on the amateur radio
bands, was it?

Let's deconstruct this incident.

First off, our new amateur radio operator says that he was following all of
the rules of identification and I believe him. Because it was an EchoLink
contact, it is possible that because of delays in the various
interconnected systems and possible packet loss, the station that broke in
with the comment about identification may not have been able to hear all of
the conversation. So there could be a technical issue here, but there is
certainly no need to break into a conversation to rudely chastise someone
with unsolicited advice. After all, all identifications were being done
properly and sometimes band conditions or Internet connectivity can change
what a third station might hear. Even if there is a compelling need to
break in, the best way to do so is with one's callsign, not with an
unidentified scold.

What our new amateur radio operator had the misfortune to experience was a
visit from one of the lower life forms on the amateur radio bands: the band
police. Who knows if they even hold valid amateur radio licenses? If they
do, do they think the rules about identification do not apply to them when
they are busy butting into another conversation to complain about something
they don't like? Well, I suspect that these "band police" are pretty under
socialized in other respects. I'd be willing to bet they are blowhard know
it all's at the Field Day site and at the radio club meetings. For them
it's "my way or the highway", and that probably extends to other areas of
life aside from amateur radio!

We all know that there are unpleasant and even downright toxic
personalities out there, so in amateur radio as in the rest of life we need
to have a strategy. Just as you would avoid contact as much as possible
with an unpleasant and unreasonable neighbor or a pushy bully at the
office, you can devise a strategy to minimize your contact with unpleasant
people on the amateur radio bands. You may wonder how this is possible when
they break in with unsolicited comments, but the best advice is the
long-standing recommendation from experienced operators: simply ignore
them. Don't acknowledge them. Like Internet trolls, they like to interrupt
and disrupt with off-topic and controversial or unsolicited comments. The
more you engage them, the more you feed their egos. Ignoring the band
police may not be as satisfying as telling them to mind their own business,
but if you go down that road you are asking for trouble. Yes, there may be
times when the situation gets so bad that you may need to escalate it by
bringing it to the attention of the ARRL official observers in your area.
One thing you should NOT do is let an incident like this spoil your
enjoyment of the amateur radio bands. Almost all amateur radio operators
are friendly, helpful, and understanding – and especially so when it comes
to welcoming new amateur radio operators to a lifetime of fun on the bands.

*This is a reminder that the Handiham office is open only with very limited
services and hours this week. No renewals or new membership requests can be
processed until July 16.*

Email me at handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.
Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
Handiham remote base stations up & running, but...

[image: Status check screen showing w0zsw offline.]

*...there are a couple of issues. *

While W0EQO has returned to complete service following severe storms which
took down over 20 trees at Courage North, W0ZSW remains only marginally
useful. The problem is the internet connectivity and network problems at
the Handiham headquarters office at Camp Courage. I do plan to spend some
time working on these problems this week, which unfortunately means even
less time to answer phone calls and emails or to work on the new Extra
Class lecture series. Both stations remain accessible via Echolink for
receive, but with occasional dropouts on W0ZSW.

*Solar Activity Forecast:* Solar activity is expected to be moderate with a
chance for X-class events for the next three days (10 - 12 July).

*Geophysical Activity Forecast:* The geomagnetic field is expected to be at
mostly quiet to unsettled levels with isolated active periods on day one
(10 July) due to possible weak effects from the 06 July CME. A return to
mostly quiet conditions is expected for days two and three (11 - 12 July).

Credit: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/today.html
2012 - 2016 Extra Class question pool in DAISY is ready

The new Extra Class question pool went into effect on July 1, 2012. Our
popular audio lectures will be returned to the server one at a time as they
are either replaced with new ones or revised to be compliant with the new
pool. We do have the new question pool available in DAISY format as a
single 71 MB zip file. It is read with only the correct answers given by
Bob Zeida, N1BLF. Our DAISY version is broken up into subelements to assist
with navigation while using your DAISY reader. I am working on the
clickable HTML version, which will be on the website soon. It will allow
for a similar easy to navigate experience. Handiham members should visit
the Audio This Week page after logging in for the most current links.
W1AW’s EchoLink and IRLP Nodes Temporarily Suspended
From ARRL, 07/09/2012:

Recent *upgrades* to the ARRL’s Internet system has caused access to both
the *W1AW EchoLink Conference Server W1AWBDCT and W1AW’s IRLP Node 4292* to
be temporarily suspended. Access to both W1AW systems can be expected by
month’s end.
*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:

E5A02 asks, *"What is resonance in an electrical circuit?"*

Possible choices are:

A. The highest frequency that will pass current
B. The lowest frequency that will pass current
C. The frequency at which the capacitive reactance equals the inductive
D. The frequency at which the reactive impedance equals the resistive

The correct answer is C: The frequency at which the capacitive reactance
equals the inductive reactance. Resistance is a moot point, but does exist
in every real life circuit, and answers A and B are just plain nonsense
since "high and low frequencies" have nothing to do with "passing current".
It is important to know the basics of radio - indeed, this is EXPECTED of
an Amateur Extra Class license holder. Concepts like resonance are so
fundamental to understanding how we control alternating currents that you
cannot really understand radio without them.

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
*July vacation*

[image: Dude in vacation clothing, eating burger, camera on strap]

The Handiham office will be open only on occasion this week, July 9 - 15,
2012. We hope you all enjoy a mid-summer break. No Handiham renewals,
applications, or orders will be processed during that time. Please try to
hold phone calls and emails to a minimum. No, the photo above is not a
picture of anyone at Handihams. Look at that guy's camera - bet it was
brand new in 1960. Where can I get one of those awesome shirts? Dude, with
a pattern like that, I could spill anything on it and no one would notice.
This week's web highlight: Repeater directory on line

All of us have had occasion to look up repeater frequencies either in our
own local areas or while traveling. My tried-and-true travel method is the
pocket-sized print edition of the ARRL Repeater Directory, a copy of which
resides in every vehicle that I own. But as with any print resource, the
information can be out of date. Web resources can be somewhat better in
this regard, but even they suffer from maintenance issues. Sometimes there
are just not enough people available to keep the information up-to-date, so
even though theoretically a web repeater directory can be updated much more
easily than a print edition, I have found that getting up to date repeater
information, especially sub audible tone information, can be challenging.

One response to this is the repeaterbook.com North American repeater
directory, which is maintained by volunteer administrators who keep the
information for their geographic areas up-to-date. I decided to check
Minnesota repeaters and was able to locate the machines operated by Matt,
KA0PQW, in the town of Ellendale. You can get Google map information as
well, which can be useful in determining which repeaters are close to major
routes when you are traveling. This is an especially useful website, with
pre-configured search options and lots of user configured search options.
There is even an export function for the CHIRP programming

Online directories are not for everyone. For one thing, you pretty much
have to have an Internet-connected smart phone to be able to use them when
you are away from home. Even then, the screen of a smart phone may not
provide enough real estate to make the web-based pages large enough to
read. Some websites may be accessible with screen reading technology while
others may not. As always, "mileage may vary".

You can find the Repeaterbook.com North American repeater directory online
*This week @ HQ*

*Summer hours: *Our schedule is somewhat flexible following Radio Camp in
the summer. Mornings Monday through Thursday remain the best time to
contact us, but occasionally we will be closed. Leave a voice mail message
or email and we will get back to you. Remember that summer is vacation
time, especially in July. Since we have a small staff, we will have to
defer some services for up to three weeks during July. We will update the
audio pages and lectures weekly as usual during July, time permitting.

*Equipment program update: *I am working with a wonderful volunteer to
design a new equipment program process. You can appreciate the difficulty
we have with receiving, acknowledging, checking, storing, and distributing
equipment with next to nothing for a budget and almost no help. It is
literally a choice now between dealing with equipment or keeping our other
services running. I have had to make a choice:  I have chosen to maintain
the remote bases, put out the podcast and e-letter, answer the phone and
emails, teach the on line courses, and run the radio camps. This has
allowed us to give some equipment to our campers and to those who can
arrange to pick it up. There is no time or staff to package and ship
equipment, nor is there any budget for it. That is why we are trying to
figure out a process that will work. Here is a reality check:  Packing and
shipping an 18 pound box (about the weight of an HF rig) between Minnesota
and say, Texas, runs around $105 at a pack-and-ship store. If we can pack
it ourselves, that drops to around $25 for shipping alone without
accounting for packaging materials. The problem is that we don't have a
shipping department and a mailroom clerk to handle all of the details. And
believe me, the devil is in the details. I have to scrounge through boxes,
find packing materials, get the box to a shipper, provide the shipper with
delivery information, pay the shipper (with no budget), and get back to the
office to get the other work done. But that isn't all, because there is
also the question of how to get reimbursed for the shipping. Even if our
distant members who cannot pick equipment up themselves are willing to pay
for shipping, we are still required to put considerable staff time into the
entire transaction. If an item is lost or damaged, we have to somehow drop
everything else and deal with that. Since the move to Camp Courage the
problem has also become one of logistics. Many of our members don't realize
that I usually work here in the Twin Cities, 75 miles from where the
equipment is stored. Figuring out this puzzle is one big challenge, but I
know for sure it is going to involve some dedicated volunteers and a new
way to make things work.

*July 2012  DAISY format audio digest for our blind members:* Check out the
July edition, which at this time includes the QST, CQ (New!),  and
Worldradio digests for our blind members in Daisy format in the DAISY
section.  Members using NLS digital cartridges may receive the digest by
Free Matter postal mail. George, N0SBU, has sent the 4-track tape version
out this week.

*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,

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. *
*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
*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, 11 July 2012 - Patrick Tice