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> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 <http://handiham.org/audio/handiham64.mp3> Get this issue as an audio podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ 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 www.wobbleworks.com. 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 Continue. 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 browser. 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 FCC 1270 Fairfield Road Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245 OR, you may deliver the form in person to FCC 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 · Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/644%2523commen t-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/644> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/644> to friend _____ 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 <http://www.acbradio.org/pweb/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_ page&PAGE_id=17> CD or read an introduction to ACB Radio and our broadcast services." Find ACB Radio online at: <http://www.acbradio.org> 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: A.R.R.L. 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 www.arrl.org. 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 text. 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 library. Get the new book at the ARRL website or your dealer. · Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/646%2523commen t-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/646> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/646> to friend _____ 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 Gateway – 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> Twitter! <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 1-866-426-3442. · 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> 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: When: Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM) GMT: Thursday morning at 01:30 Z. Where: 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 look. 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 patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx · Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/629%2523commen t-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/629> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/629> to friend _____ 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 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: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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 toll-free. 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> 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! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handiham System Reach me by email at: <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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 · Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/648%2523commen t-form> to post comments · Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/648> version · Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/648> to friend _____ 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.