[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 20 June 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 15:30:03 -0500

*Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday,
20 June 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:

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RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
*Welcome to Handiham World.*

*2012 ARRL Field Day is coming up this next weekend. It is always the last
FULL weekend in June, which is Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24.*

Summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 20, 2012, at 6:09 P.M. USA
Central Daylight Time. Of course this means that our hours of daylight are
at their maximum around this time of the year, and that always helps with
getting set up for Field Day. There is always a lot of antenna work and
temporary infrastructure to be set up at a multiple station club Field Day
site. Having those extra hours of daylight can make it a little easier to
get to the site and get things ready to go. On the other hand, more hours
of daylight are likely to mean more absorption of signals on the lower
frequency HF bands such as the 75 m band and – it goes without saying –
more thunderstorm activity since thunderstorms are driven by convection and
that takes place when you have long, hot, sunny days.

Field Day is different things to different participants. Some clubs are
highly competitive, and this goes for individual participants as well. They
are in it for the points and there is nothing wrong with that approach
because if that is what you like and enjoy, then that is what you should

My feeling is that Field Day should ALWAYS be about having fun. I know that
I have mentioned this before, but it certainly bears repeating: it is up to
you to find a radio club Field Day that matches your expectations for what
you expect the day to be all about. A mismatch between your expectations
and the type of operating that is going on at the Field Day site will
probably result in a disappointing experience for you and a bit of
consternation on the part of the event organizers. If your idea of having
fun is to get on the air and operate a highly competitive Morse code
station to rack up hundreds and hundreds of points, you need to find a club
Field Day whose goal matches yours. If you would rather spend most of the
day socializing, greeting visitors to the Field Day site, helping newcomers
get on the air, or experimenting with different modes of operation, then
you should try to find a club that emphasizes those things over highly
competitive operations.

If I hear from someone that they did not have a good experience on Field
Day, I like to try to find out what went wrong. After talking with them for
a while, I usually find out that there was a mismatch of expectations. They
expected to do one thing at Field Day while the club's event organizers had
arranged for something entirely different. That is why you need to do a
little bit of research to find the kind of Field Day operation that will
suit you. If you do this, you are almost guaranteed to have an excellent
time during what many of us consider the highlight of the amateur radio
calendar – ARRL Field Day.

Incidentally, you do not have to feel as if you are all on your own when
trying to find a club that will meet your Field Day expectations. ARRL
Field Day sites across your state are probably going to be visited by your
local League Section Manager. If you drop your Section Manager an e-mail or
call him or her on the telephone, you can ask which Field Day sites they
have visited and which they might recommend to a person like you with your
expectations. Local League officials are a good resource to help you get
connected with the right radio club as well. You can find lots of
information on the ARRL website, which you can link to from the Handiham

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

[image: FCC ULS logo on ULS

Care to check on your licensing data for a very recent change or license
upgrade? There is no doubt that the best place to go is the FCC website.
The reason I say this is that any changes to your licensing data will show
up first on the FCC site and perhaps be delayed for a day or so getting on
to the other callsign lookup sites. I still prefer the usual amateur radio
specific callsign lookup services for daily use, but when I know that a
license change is very recent, I will sometimes check the FCC site and find
data that is updated before the other sites pick it up. Here is a direct
link to the callsign lookup area on the FCC Universal Licensing System

Once you follow the link, you will be looking for the license search by
callsign. This is set up by default, so all you have to do is enter the
callsign in the search field and press the <ENTER> key on your computer
keyboard to begin the search. When the search is successful matches will be
listed by callsign. Clicking on the callsign result will provide more
detailed information that will include the date of the license grant and
the expiration date. You will also get the operator class and the previous
operator class if there was an upgrade to the license. If you run into
problems, there is a "Tech Support" link near the bottom of the page as
well as a link to submit a help request. There is also a phone number and a
special TTY number for deaf users. It is our observation that the FCC has
done a good job with website accessibility.
*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 new Extra Class pool:

E6A14 asks, "How does DC input impedance at the gate of a field-effect
transistor compare with the DC input impedance of a bipolar transistor?"

Possible answers are:

A. They are both low impedance
B. An FET has low input impedance; a bipolar transistor has high input
C. An FET has high input impedance; a bipolar transistor has low input
D. They are both high impedance

The correct answer is C. An FET has high input impedance; a bipolar
transistor has low input impedance. This is the kind of question you should
expect on the Extra Class examination. It will be necessary to know more
about electronic components and their characteristics as well as to
demonstrate an understanding of how they will be used in circuits. In fact,
a much more in-depth understanding of radio and electronics in general will
be required to pass this challenging exam. I want to congratulate Handiham
member. "Skip" (you know who you are) for passing his Extra examination
last weekend. It has been most gratifying to hear from our Handiham members
who are studying online using our audio lectures. We have certainly reached
a point where many more licenses and upgrades within the Handiham system
are coming from the audio lectures online than from the radio camp
sessions. As we look at how to deliver services in the future, we will be
looking at the practicality of continuing to teach licensing classes at
radio camp. Most of our campers attend for a week of ham radio fun rather
than for licensing classes, a trend which has been quite obvious in the
past decade. Perhaps it will be better in the future to spend more time at
radio camp just having fun and learning practical operating skills rather
than trying to support licensing classes. Perhaps also it will be necessary
to figure out new ways to deliver even better online services. In any case,
we are always happy to hear from you regarding our services and ways that
we could make them even better. The best way to offer up suggestions is by
e-mail, which allows us to save and catalog your messages so that we can
study them in one place and figure out what most of you like or what most
of you would like to see changed.

So this dip in the question pool might have gotten a little deeper than you
expected, right? Well, whether we are teaching online or at radio camp or
at a local library or school, we want to be sure that we are being as
effective as we can be. We want to help our Handiham members succeed and
reach their goals, whether they be that first license or an upgrade – or
just to have fun at radio camp. Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to
*Remote Base Health Report for 20 June 2012*

*We have a website for the remote base software.* You may check it out at:

We ran into an interesting problem at Handiham headquarters today. There
was a squealing noise coming from the vicinity of the remote base station
W0ZSW. It turned out to be a warning alarm on the uninterruptible power
supply serving the station control computer. Turning the supply off and on
and rebooting the rig control computer solved the problem. The station was
off-line for less than ten minutes and no QSO was interrupted. We also took
the opportunity to adjust the volume control on the station's TS-480 radio.
Users should now hear a more consistent received audio signal when using
the W4MQ software and controlling W0ZSW. Thanks to Nancy for making the
adjustment to the radio's front panel volume control and for resetting the
uninterruptible power supply. Thunderstorms have been rolling through
Minnesota frequently this summer, and a likely short power outage caused
the problem with the uninterruptible power supply alarm system.

*Many operators like to check out the PICONET on 3.925 MHz. You can find
out more about PICONET, including its hours of operation, mission and
purpose, net control operators, descriptions and pictures of participant
ham shacks, and much more at:  www.piconet3925.com. Remember that
conditions on 75 m can be noisy due to the summer thunderstorm season.*

*W0ZSW is on line.  Echolink receive control is back in service on W0ZSW
now that camp is over. The camp repeater has been taken off Echolink until
an IP address is available. Thanks to K0LR for editing the config file on
the remote base host computer.

W0EQO is on line. Echolink receive control is also in service at W0EQO.*

Please check the latest operating tips on the remote base pages:

The link to the daily status update pages:

Our thanks to volunteer engineer Lyle Koehler, K0LR, for his help
maintaining the station databases and updates.

Letters will return when more time becomes available.
*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. There will be a
weekly Handiham World E-Letter each week during July, though the schedule
may be slightly different on July 4th, which is on a Wednesday.

*June 2012  DAISY format audio digest for our blind members:* Check out the
June edition, which at this time includes the QST, CQ, and Worldradio
digests for our blind members in Daisy format in the members section.
Members using NLS digital cartridges may receive the digest by Free Matter
postal mail.

*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. *
*Tonight 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.)
NX0P-R, node 513917
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, 20 June 2012 - Patrick Tice