[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 18 July 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 14:57:27 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
18 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.*

Bucket list!

[image: Hippie mechanic: What kind of guy drives a Vega? Loser!]

Photo:* I found the problem. The confabulator gear is stripped. You'll need
a new one if you want this Vega to make it back to Podunk. *

Hey, readers and listeners! It is certainly high summer here in North
America and the temperature is so high and the humidity so oppressive that
we are definitely not thinking clearly. That is why we have come up with
this "bucket list" which we hope to complete before we die.

1. Landing a single engine plane on the beach.

2. Changing the transmission in a Chevrolet Vega.

3. Making yogurt from scratch.

4. Setting the tone and frequencies on a mobile radio while driving.

Well, if you are like me you have probably done the first three of these
things without any particular problem, but you have never been able to
safely program a mobile VHF/UHF radio while driving a car. In fact,
programming a radio while driving can be a frighteningly dangerous
experience, much worse than sampling that first icky-looking spoonful of
homemade yogurt or dropping a Vega transmission on your toes. That is why
the radio programming is not checked off my bucket list. In fact,
programming a radio while driving instead of watching the road is a good
way to assure that you will probably die before completing most of the
items on your bucket list.

I started thinking about this particular problem when I read the
correspondence section of the August QST wherein astute letter writer K2GW
talks about making the programming process for VHF/UHF radios more
user-friendly. The use of subaudible tones on repeater systems is so common
as to be expected, and most of us will have to admit that these systems do
an excellent job of preventing the repeater from ever actually being used
for anything, but mostly from ever being successfully accessed by anyone
trying to keep a car between the ditches while traveling through the area
supposedly served by the repeater.

Of course the subaudible tones might be necessary to prevent interference
from distant repeaters should there be a band opening or from other nearby
RF sources or an alien invasion where the flying saucers transmit on the
repeater input. I get that. But the problem remains that unless you are
able to preprogram your radio for the repeaters along your route, you are
likely going to be out of luck when you try to simply access them by
punching a receive frequency into the VFO and letting the radio's built-in
offset function set the transmit frequency according to the band plan. One
possible workaround is to listen for activity on the repeater in question
and then punch the tone scan function button to try to locate the correct
subaudible tone. If this works and you do not end up in the ditch
(especially dangerous in Florida where hungry alligators find the ditches
quite attractive), then you might be in business. The more likely outcome
is that you will drive entirely through the repeater's coverage zone
without hearing any activity.

The ARRL TravelPlus® repeater directory on CD-ROM does provide a way to map
and program radios along a planned route, so it is a good resource that
allows you to program your radio well in advance of your trip. Programming
your radio while sitting in the driveway is one heck of a lot safer than
meeting an alligator for lunch. Still, you may need to program a radio
while in motion. The safe way to do this is for you to pay full attention
to the radio by letting someone else do the driving. When my wife and I
take car trips, I feel safe enough fiddling with the radio while she pilots
the car. While this division of labor keeps the car out of the ditch, it
does not necessarily ensure that one will be able to access or make a
contact on a repeater.

One time, on a trip through alligator-free central Illinois, I tried a
repeater that I really, really wanted to use and that was programmed into
my radio already, because I had looked it up in my repeater directory. I
heard the repeater identify and decided to throw out my call sign.


Okay, so I upped the power and tried again.


Obviously, the subaudible tone that I had programmed was incorrect. So I
set the radio to tone scan and hoped for someone to transmit on the
repeater. Well, that didn't happen. I guess I probably could have gone
through every possible subaudible tone while kerchunking the repeater and
throwing my call sign out, but somehow that didn't seem to be worthwhile.
Instead, I switched to VFO mode and 146.52 MHz where I had a nice QSO with
a truck driver who was passing through. The subaudible tone system had
certainly done its job of preventing interference and any actual use by
mobile stations, that's for sure. Later, after we got back home from
vacation, I discovered that the subaudible tone for that particular
repeater was incorrectly listed in the directory.

I'm not sure what the answer to this partly technological and partly
behavioral issue is with VHF/UHF repeater systems. All I know is that you
cannot make things *that* difficult to use because prospective users have
many other alternative means to communicate and they will vote with their
feet and go somewhere else. For example, I can easily bring up the node of
my favorite repeater on my Android phone by using the EchoLink application.
I recommend doing this while you are sitting in the passenger seat rather
than trying to steer the car. Once I am connected on EchoLink, all I need
for reliable communications is a cell phone data signal. I can talk to my
friends who are regulars on my preferred EchoLink-enabled repeater system.

Would I prefer to use the radio in my car to make a local contact?
Certainly! But hey, repeater owners out there – you might consider
connecting your repeaters with the world via IRLP or EchoLink and make sure
that your frequency and tone information are correctly listed in repeater
databases and on your club website. And if any of you local stations are
listening on the repeater and hear a mobile station give a call, take a
minute to have a short conversation and make a new friend! Maybe the
technology will improve to the point that radios will be easy enough to use
while driving so that one day I will be able to actually use repeaters I
encounter along my mobile route.

*Today's safety tip: *Don't feed the alligators. Also, but not
safety-related, the QST audio digest in DAISY format is now available for
our blind members in the DAISY section. You can hear me read the
correspondence section with the K2GW letter.

*The long-range forecast:* Speaking of Podunk, localism is an endangered
species. As applications for mobile devices like smartphones proliferate,
people will listen to the broadcast stations they prefer, avoiding the
local stations - especially when they are on the move, traveling by car.
When the typical car driver would one time tune around for the local yokel
stations along the route, the trend will favor simply staying tuned to the
internet station they have always liked. Satellite radio is already making
such inroads into localism. The same thing is going to happen to local
repeater systems. If the repeater system is not linked, it may be doomed to
obscurity. Repeater owners who think EchoLink "isn't real radio", take

Email me at handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.
Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
Handiham remote base station report

[image: Status check screen showing w0zsw offline.]

W0EQO at Courage North is in service and performing well. W0ZSW is off line
due to internet connectivity issues that make it too unreliable to use. We
hope to upgrade the DSL service to correct this problem. PICONET fans will
do best by checking in via W0EQO anyway, since most of the net control
stations for that net are in the skip zone around Courage North. Summer
thunderstorm static and high solar absorption during the daylight hours
remain a problem on 75 meters as usual. A solar flare earlier this week
wiped out most HF activity on our stations, at least above the 10 MHz band.
Conditions are now improving, though. Northern Minnesota had quite a
display of Northern Lights, which even made it into the national TV network
news. You can check out the PICONET at www.piconet3925.com. Today,
Wednesday, there is a great deal of thunderstorm static as storms move
through central Minnesota.

*Solar Activity Forecast:* Solar activity is expected to be moderate for
the next 24 hours with 1520 and 1521 as the most likely source regions.
Activity and background levels are expected to decrease significantly by
the second and third days as these regions rotate beyond west limb.

*Geophysical Activity Forecast:* The geomagnetic field is expected to be
quiet for the next three days. Model results for today's CME from the west
limb indicate an interplanetary disturbance that is too far west to produce
geomagnetic activity. The greater than 10 MeV proton event is expected to
continue through part of the first day (18 July).

Credit: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/today.html

I just worked n0a/b29 that was flying over Iowa and Wisconsin today. Worked
him with 25 watts on my Knight T-60. It was a cool thrill. That was in that
was on A.M. phone mode.

[image: Knight T-60 transmitter]


Pierre, K9EYE, and Smokey
ARRL: Three Hams travel to ISS (updated)

[image: Docking with the space station]

NASA televised the launch and docking of the mission to the International
Space Station (ISS), on Saturday, July 14 (0140 UTC, Sunday, July 15).

NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, along with Russian cosmonaut
Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut
Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, traveled via the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft launch
from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, July 14 (0130 UTC
July 15).

The trio arrived at the station on July 16, joining NASA Flight Engineer
Joe Acaba, KE5DAR, and two Russian cosmonauts: Expedition 32 Commander
Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin, RN3BS. Acaba,
Padalka and Revin have been aboard the ISS since mid-May. Williams,
Malenchenko and Hoshide -- who also will be part of the Expedition 33 crew
starting in September -- will return to Earth in mid-November.

Revised; Information from Space Bulletin 004 ARLS004
*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 General Class pool:

G5B08 asks, "What is the peak-to-peak voltage of a sine wave that has an
RMS voltage of 120 volts?"

Possible answers are:

A. 84.8 volts

B. 169.7 volts

C. 240.0 volts

D. 339.4 volts

Thanks to alert General Class course student Jose, who informed me of an
error in my General Class audio lecture number 7. I was able to review this
part of the pool and the formula that is used to calculate the answer to
this question. The corrected audio lecture 7 is now available on the
Handiham website in the Members section. Anyway, the answer is D, 339.4
volts. This particular question is a good one, because it is really testing
your knowledge on several levels. First off, you have to know what the
difference is between peak voltage and RMS voltage. As all good engineer
wanna-be's know, RMS stands for "Root-Mean-Square". Actual engineers quip
that it should stand for "Really Means Something". RMS voltage (to
oversimplify) presents us with a way to more realistically compare AC to DC
when we are talking about power dissipation. Then there is that term "sine
wave" in the question.  Talk about sneaky - you have to know that a sine
wave reaches both positive and negative (relatively) peaks. And it
certainly helps to know that peak voltage multiplied by 1.414 gives you RMS
voltage. If you rushed to answer the question and multiplied 120 volts
times 1.414, you would get answer B, which is 169.7 volts. And you would be
wrong, because the sneaky wording of the question states peak to peak, not
just peak voltage. That peak to peak voltage extends from the tippy-top of
the sine wave to the very bottom of the sine wave's valley, which means you
need to multiply your answer by 2, so the correct number is 339.4 volts.
You usually have to round the numbers a bit because your calculator will
stretch the answer out into the hundredths. One place peak voltage must be
considered is in the ability of components to withstand it without breaking
down. So many voltages to consider!

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
This week's web highlight:  *Try the Handiham System for callsign and
repeater lookup links!*

*ARRL* <http://www.arrl.org/fcc/fcclook.php3>

*ArtSci Repeater Directory* <http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/>

*Hamcall <http://hamcall.net/>*

*FCC ULS* <http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp>

*QRZ* <http://www.qrz.com/>

*RAC* <http://www.rac.ca/callbook/>

*WM7D* <http://www.wm7d.net/fcc_uls/ulsquery.html>

*These links are found anytime on the Handiham website at:

*To make suggestions for additional callsign or repeater resources, please
contact wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx ** *
*This week @ HQ*


*We are back to more or less regular hours. Woohoo!*

*There is a new version of the KB5ELV Eyes-Free guide for the Baofeng UV-5R
<http://handiham.org/manuals/Baofeng/Baofeng-UV5R-eyes-free.rtf>in the
Manuals directory.*

*Several of you have called to let me know that the Podlinez phone version
of the weekly E-Letter
podcast<http://www.podlinez.com/Podcasts/Details/6038>has not been
updated. I looked at the Podlinez website and it does list the
current podcasts, but the recorded phone version is June 20. I didn't set
up the account and don't remember who did and there is no support link.
Sorry, folks - no can fix. The Podlinez number is: (360) 526-6243. *

*Equipment program update: I have a meeting this week. Stay tuned! We are
making progress. *

*This morning my web editing software crashed. Venerable old Microsoft
FrontPage 2000 went "toes up", but fortunately I'd already completed most
of this week's issue. When you think about it, software that is 12 years
old is pretty old, so what the heck. I'll have to see what else I can find
to replace it, because I really hate editing HTML in notepad. Maybe I can
finally learn Expression Web, the current MS web editor, which is what I am
using to write this.*

*The Handiham membership
application<http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/membership>has been
updated as of this week to eliminate any option to get 4-track
tape audio digests. This change was needed because we are phasing out the
tape version at the end of 2012. I also updated the text version of the
application in order to make it available to our blind members who may be
unable to easily read the text embedded in the PDF version. *

*I am still looking for help with the Kenwood TS-590S! I know some of you
own these fine radios, and I'd really appreciate it if you could help us
with some audio tutorials on how to use it. *

*August & July 2012  DAISY format audio digest for our blind members: We
now have the Daisy version of August 2012 QST available in the Daisy
section for our blind members. Also 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 for July. *

*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,
Inc. <http://www.aph.org/> *

*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
http://www.loc.gov/nls/cartridges/index.html *

*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
well. *
*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
1-866-426-3442. *

*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
disabilities.  *

*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
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  *



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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 18 July 2012 - Patrick Tice