[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 16 December 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 13:21:22 -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:

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:

Get this issue as an audio podcast:


Welcome to Handiham World!

What's on your wish list for the holidays? 

Pat at HRO poses with big Icom rig that he can't possibly afford.

Besides world peace, I mean?  If you have asked Santa for some new ham radio
gear, I hope your wishes are fulfilled.  (I'm not holding my breath about
getting one of those most excellent $11,000 Icom transceivers like the one I
posed with for a photo op at HRO, but then again, I might rate something
more affordable for Santa's budget.)

Yes, I have placed a new HF rig on the wish list at the WA0TDA QTH. The
reason is that I'm tying up my Icom IC-706 M2G on 2 meters and 70 cm,
sometimes using it as an Echolink node, and that leaves me only an old Yaesu
FT-747 for HF. Alas, the Yaesu has seen better days. I had acquired it
around 20 years ago  as a result of a lightning strike on my tower.  My wife
and I were at home when the storm moved through the Twin Cities, and we
about jumped out of our shoes when the blinding flash of lightning lit up
the neighborhood like a million camera flashes. The thunder was instant and
loud, and that meant just one thing to me:  We had just taken a lightning
strike, because the thunder came at the same time as the flash of light. I
opened the door to the ham shack and my old FT-101B was smoked.  Literally.
There was even an outline of the metal louvers on the bottom of the rig
burned into the wooden desktop. 

So I replaced that rig with the FT-747, which worked like a champ for 10
years. It started flaking out in subtle ways. Once I called CQ on what I
thought was a clear frequency, only to be chastised by some guy whose QSO
I'd interrupted. A bit of sleuthing with a plastic probe led me to an
intermittent on a circuit board that had muted the receiver. After that fix,
I had a couple more years of trouble-free operation out of the 747 until the
display started to disappear at random, accompanied by a total receiver
failure. That was also an intermittent, because you could prod the rig and
wiggle connectors to get the display and receiver back to normal. Many tries
later, both by me and our shop volunteer CJ, K0CJ, and the problem still
crops up at random. But the rig really started to annoy me when it would
decide to suddenly shift frequency about 500 Hz or so, also at random. This
thing was definitely getting on my nerves!

In the 23 years since the FT-747 came out in 1987, the technology built into
ham radio transceivers has evolved - a lot! Although the Icom IC-706M2G is a
decade newer, its design is still dated. I would like a better receiver
section and more options for signal processing. So a new transceiver in the
$1000 class went on my Santa list. 

Will Santa deliver?  Have I been a good boy? Stay tuned to the Handiham
podcast and weekly e-letter news to find out!

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx  


Full Sun sidebar gadget

Full Sun sidebar gadget

There is a huge sunspot group on the solar face this morning, as cycle 24
continues its rather slow startup. Every sunspot is a welcome sight to radio
amateurs, but of course actually looking directly at the sun is dangerous
and likely to damage your eyes. Windows 7 or Vista users can take advantage
of a free sidebar gadget that shows the latest SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric
Observatory) image of the solar disk right on your Windows desktop. A quick
look is all you need, and if you think you see a sunspot, you can click the
solar image and it expands. Another click takes you to NASA's SOHO website
for the original high-def images.

The "Full Sun" sidebar gadget is available for free and has no ads. Get it
through the Windows Sidebar gallery search or directly from

The new sunspot group, number 1024, appeared on December 9.


How to change your address using the Universal Licensing System

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/135> FCC

To change an address associated with a license, go to the Universal
<http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/>  Licensing System, select Online Filing, and
do the following: 

1.      Login with your FRN and Password. Note: TINs (Tax Payer
Identification Numbers) may no longer be used for logging into ULS,
effective December 14, 2003. 
2.      Choose Update from the Work on This License menu on the right hand
side of your License At A Glance screen.
Note: For additional help with this process, click on the Common Questions
that appear on most pages of ULS License Manager, or click the Help link at
the top right of each page. 
3.      Answer the questions on the Applicant Questions page. Then click
4.      On the licensee page, update your licensee address and any other
relevant information by typing your information into the text boxes
provided. When ready, click Continue. 
5.      On the Summary page review the information you have entered. If you
wish to make additional changes, click the Edit button next to the section
of your application you wish to Edit. You will be able to return to that
page of the application. Make the desired change and select the Return to
Summary button. 
6.      When ready to submit your update to the Commission, choose the
Continue to Certify button. 
7.      After reading the certification, enter your first and last names and
title if appropriate in the boxes at the bottom of the page. You MUST sign
the application. When finished choose the Submit Application button. 
8.      From the ULS Confirmation screen, we recommend you print a copy of
your application and/or the Confirmation screen itself from your web

Note: The address and contact information you have entered in CORES
registration will not be automatically associated with your licenses. To
change the address or other contact information on your license, you must
update your information in ULS or submit Form 605 manually. 

Filing Manually

You may alternatively submit a paper FCC Form 605 (edition date July 2005 or
later) to 


1270 Fairfield Road 

Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245 

OR, you may deliver the form in person to 


1280 Fairfield Road 

Gettysburg, PA 17325 

You can request forms by calling (800) 418-FORM (3676), download the
<http://www.fcc.gov/formpage.html>  form or call our Fax Information system
at (202) 418-0177. 

·         By wa0tda at 12/14/2009 - 23:01

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Sweatshirts, T-shirts, Baseball caps, Coffee mugs...

I just got off the phone with Colleen Bown from Courage North. (CHARLIE
OSCAR LIMA LIMA ECHO ECHO NOVEMBER), and we have arranged a meeting for
tomorrow afternoon, Thursday December 17, to pick out some items for the
Camp Courage store. That will be our opportunity to order some nifty new
Handiham items, but we are not going to get everything, so I need to hear
from you right now which items you would be most interested in if you were
to buy a Handiham camp souvenir.  Would it be a coffee mug with a Handiham
logo?  How about a T-shirt?  Or a baseball cap? Or a sweatshirt?  You can
help me and Colleen do our shopping for the upcoming camping season.  Just
email me at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx with your suggestions. Do it right now, though,
as I have to decide tomorrow!  (The items will not be for sale until the
camping season begins in the Spring, but when they do go on sale, we will
also offer them on line as well as in our brand-new Camp Courage store.)


Elsewhere:  ACB Radio is 10 years old this month

Happy 10th birthday, ACB Radio! ACB Radio is an internet radio streaming
service for blind users. The website states: "ACB Radio showcases and
nurtures the creativity and talents of the blind/low-vision community from
many parts of the world. ACB Radio is heard by a global audience via the
internet, and has visitors from over seventy countries. If you are a first
time visitor, listen to the ACB Radio Promotional
page&PAGE_id=17>  CD or read an introduction to ACB Radio and our broadcast

Find ACB Radio online at:  <http://www.acbradio.org> 


1946 A.R.R.L. Antenna Book

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/647> 1946 ARRL Antenna Book with 2010 Antenna
Book (small inset)

A quick look at the ARRL Antenna Book from 1946

By Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx

Thanks to Dave, W0OXB, for the 1946 A.R.R.L Antenna Book! Yes, that's right
- back in 1946, the familiar ARRL name had periods after each letter:

Dave gave me the book last Friday when we were out checking a club member's
station. Ed, W0DIR, originally had the book in his collection, and Dave
asked me if I could use it once we were finished with the station repairs
and settled in at the local coffee shop. I was thrilled to get the Antenna
Book as well as a copy of the 1944 edition of The Radio Amateur's Handbook
from Ed's collection, so thank you to Ed and Dave.

The most fun from paging through books like this one is in checking out the
really old technology and comparing it to the new technology we have today.
Then there is the price: A whole 50 cents bought you the Antenna Book in
1944. The new one is $44.95, on sale for $39.95 until December 31, 2009 at

Believe me, the Antenna Book is a valuable reference in your ham shack - and
it always has been! You may have thought you couldn't work one band or
another, but on browsing through the Antenna Book, you found just the right
antenna design. Bundled with the new book is a CD-ROM containing The ARRL
Antenna Book in its entirety, using the popular Adobe® Reader® software for
Microsoft® Windows® and Macintosh® systems. View, search and print from the
entire text, including images, photographs, drawings…everything! I guess
that is one of the reasons it costs more than 50 cents these days, but of
course the real culprit is inflation. You won't find a better reference book
on ham antennas, and I think it's a real bargain. I would like to hear from
our blind members who try the searchable CDs that come with several of the
ARRL books so that we can find out if you are happy with the searchable

Looking inside the 1946 Antenna Book, you certainly won't find any compact
discs. It's easy to see that "antenna fundamentals" have not changed, and
why should they? The laws of physics are still pretty much the same, at
least for antenna design. On the other hand, a look at the projects section
reveals a popular way to build antenna masts out of wood, something that is
pretty dated these days, but still possible. There is even a wooden 20 meter
beam! You have to remember that this book came out just after World War 2,
when it was more difficult to find the antenna materials we enjoy using
today, such as extruded aluminum tubing. There is an interesting diagram of
a vertical antenna's ground rod system treated with rock salt for extra
conductivity. I don't think I'd recommend that today, since you wouldn't
want to introduce excess salt into the ground water or kill the grass around
your antenna system. In the VHF projects section there is an odd-looking
"end-fire" antenna made of copper tubing that reminds me of the evil-looking
tower of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings movies. You can almost imagine the
lightning bolts of RF energy zapping off that thing!

While looking at the old books can be fun, it can also still do just what
the new book can do: Give you ideas and get you excited about building your
own antennas! I recommend the ARRL Antenna Book as a great addition to your

Get the new book at the ARRL website or your dealer.

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On the air

John West, N1IWT, writes:  On TIPSnet we will discuss 2 subjects: HF
propagation and a follow-up we promised on the NVIS experiment. Eric Knight,
KB1EHE, will be our guest to discuss the recent very successful HF NVIS
experimental net, as well as answer questions about HF propagation. Eric's
been designing HF antenna systems since the early 70's. He's looking forward
to sharing that knowledge with everyone.

TIPSnet meets every Tuesday 7:30pm to 8:30pm local time (EST) / 0030z-0130z
on several RF linked repeaters throughout New England, including the SPARC
system, our HUB in West Haven, CT. Our main RF connection is the
147.505/146.505 input (-1 MHz PL 77.0) National and International
connections are welcome via SPARC's EchoIRLP Node 7505 or the New England

– EchoLink Conference *NEW-ENG* (node # 9123) and IRLP Reflector 912,
Channel 3 (node # 9123) and the DODROPIN conference server Node # 355800.
Streaming audio available at  <http://new-eng.com/> http://new-eng.com. 


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 Twitter!

Look for us on Twitter by searching for "handiham". We invite you to follow
us. Handiham web page posts are now "tweeted" automatically!

We are closed this Friday. That is Nancy's usual day off and I am taking a
vacation day. I will post an audio lecture notice. 

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. 

·         In Operating Skills: 

o    Volunteer reader Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the Winter 2009-10
QCWA Digest. 

o    Login to the member section of the Handiham <http://handiham.org/user>
website and find the magazine digests in the Library. 

·         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 hours. 

o    The Handiham equipment program still welcomes donations of good ham
radio equipment. 

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

·         Cost of Radio Camp: The cost of Radio Camp depends on your ability
to pay, so anyone can afford to attend. Ask for an application.

·         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

·         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 hours in through VOLLI. You may also submit
volunteer hours to Nancy at  <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

·         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

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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 year.

·         Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our

·         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: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

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 12/16/2009 - 18:54 

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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, 16 December 2009 - Patrick Tice