[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25 January 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2012 13:38:14 -0600


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.

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*Welcome to Handiham World.*

[image: Plugged in cartoon robot]

The new handiham.org is up and running.  I hope you like it, but I am sure
open to suggestions if there is something you find that does not work. In
the meantime, the old website is still alive, but it is at the URL
handiham.net.  The two sites are different, but many of our users have not
yet registered with the new site, and will probably just find it easier to
log in at handiham.net until they have time to get set up in the new
handiham.org.  So if you visit handiham.org and find that your log in
credentials don't work, the reason is that the new site uses an entirely
new database and re-registration is necessary.  I have done this in advance
for some users, but have not had the time to devote to manually entering so
much data.  If you wish you can use the create an account link to enter
your own data, but please remember that this is a Handiham member service,
so I would appreciate it if you used the credentials you already registered
with us for the old website.  That way, I can check against our database
and approve your account because I will know it is really you, not some
spammer who wants access to the site.  Most of our users registered with
their callsigns, except for those studying for a first license.  Please
stick with your existing username from the old site and, unless you have a
different email address, the same email you registered with us in the first
place.  Be sure you always keep your email address up to date.  If you are
not a Handiham member, you may still enjoy the public portion of our
website without logging in.  If you are a Handiham member and need access,
please use the Create Account link and apply for access.  I will review and
approve as soon as possible.

Another change is that our QST audio digest for February 2012 is available
to our blind members in DAISY format from the members section.  DAISY is
the same special format used by the Library of Congress and other
organizations providing specialized adapted audio to blind users.  It is a
single zip file, the preferred method for download simplicity.  It will
play on DAISY players and the the new Library of Congress player.  The
complete issue of QST generally takes a month to a month and a half to be
released from the Library of Congress, so our audio digest gives blind hams
some of the time-sensitive information at around the same time print
subscribers to QST are reading their copies.

VOLLI, our volunteer hours logging system, has stopped functioning.  We ask
that Handiham volunteers simply email Nancy their hours on a regular
basis.  The best way is to fire off an email as soon as you finish a
project.  For example, if you volunteer at a hamfest giving out our
literature, when you get home just send Nancy a message letting her know
the volunteer activity and the hours you spent at the fest. For recording a
big project, such as an audio tutorial or a book for our blind members, you
might want to keep a log of your hours and then inform Nancy of the total
when you complete the recording project.

The Handiham Radio Club and Handiham Volunteer mailing lists have both gone
into the bit bucket!  I should have thought about that before changing the
domain name, but I forgot that detail.  We still have the ability to set up
mailing lists, so I will see what we can do.  That project will have to
wait just a little while because I want the website project to be further
along and secure before taking on another task.

So that's my update for this week.  I expect to release a new General Class
audio lecture on Friday, but we will see what time is available.  We are
always looking for help from talented volunteers who can record audio,
teaching into a microphone.  Be on the lookout for an upcoming two part
"With the Handihams" series in Worldradio online about how to record using
the open-source software Audacity.  It is cross-platform, running on
Windows, Mac, or Linux!

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager


[image: dog barking at cartoon mail carrier]

Dennis, K0CCR, writes:

I just read your e-mail on the problems with the servers and saw the new
look and it was very nice indeed. My comments; Is on everything from the
Handihams, whenever there is a display of call letters, the look is
funny/different. I feel that we live in the zero district and call letters
are usually displayed with the slash. Why not the Handihams? With the use
of computers now it isn't hard to put the slash in the zero. I know it
takes time to stop and find the correct key.  I think most zero land hams
take pride in their display of call letters. I do. It isn't that hard to do
if your in windows word: The keys: Alt+zero+numbers 2,1,6 will display the
symbol zero with a slash. Before saving a document, such as the history of
the Handihams, do a find and replace for all zeros in it. I haven't done
this but one could set up a MACRO in word to enter this symbol.

Pat's response:

We would like the look of the slash-zero on the website, but the last time
we went down that road the slash zero did not read correctly with
screenreading software.  When I write for a publication that will appear in
print, I do use the slash-zero to make the callsigns from the zero district
appear as they should.  I like the slash-zero on my ham radio callsign
license plate, too - it would sure be confusing if the zero looked like the
letter "O".  At this time, the best we can do is to simplify things by
providing text on the website and in our electronic documents that will
read correctly in screenreading software.  To distinguish the zero from the
letter "O" on the new website, the default website font shows the zero as a
smaller figure in the callsign. It's not perfect, but it is workable. In
these newsletters, the zero is slightly narrower than the capital letter

*Troubleshooting 101: Mysterious force destroying integrated circuits*

[image: Pat and giant alligator]

*Avery, K0HLA, is our troubleshooter today: *

Another electronics problem solving .... When I was working in industry one
of my fun jobs was to program the many IC's and hard drives used in our

One time our quality control department received in a bunch of very bad
IC's. So, another bunch was ordered, but they too were bad as received.  So
we sent a couple of QC engineers to see if they could find out why. They
went to the other company and very carefully watched their operations up to
the point they were packaged and shipped. It was noted that the IC's were
checked as good just before being shipped, but when received they were bad.
Can you guess what the problem was?


Sort of a trick question but something all electronic engineers and
technicians are told about a million times.

73 & DX from K0HLA Avery (CW Forever)

Email me at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager

*A dip in the pool*

[image: Guy studying license manual.]

It's time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the pool - the question
pool, that is!

Today we are taking a question from the General Class pool. This morning we
are hearing about how a coronal mass ejection from the Sun has caused radio
interference and a fine Northern Lights display here on Earth.

G3A15 asks, "How long does it take charged particles from coronal mass
ejections to affect radio-wave propagation on the Earth?"

Possible answers are:

A. 28 days

B. 14 days

C. 4 to 8 minutes

D. 20 to 40 hours

If you picked answer D, 20 to 40 hours, you were correct.  While light from
the Sun takes around 8 minutes to reach Earth, the charged particles blown
away from the Sun's surface in a mass ejection travel much more slowly than
the speed of light, so these particles reach Earth a day or two after the
CME, or coronal mass ejection.

*Reminder:  John P. Walsh Lifetime Membership*

Joe Walsh, KB1KXU, received a Radio Camp scholarship (Steele Foundation)
that allowed him to attend the Handiham Malibu radio camp in 2004.  He was
able to obtain his Technician license at the camp and is grateful for that
opportunity. Now Joe would like to remember his brother John, who served
his country in the Armed Forces by awarding one lifetime membership to
Handihams. Because his brother was a disabled veteran, he would like the
scholarship to go to another disabled veteran. He would like to call it the
John P. Walsh Lifetime Scholarship. We are pleased to post this on our
website for the purpose of obtaining candidates for the scholarship. The
grant will be $120, the cost of the lifetime Handiham membership.

We know some disabled vets, and we bet you do too. These men and women have
served their country and many of them have limited means, but would enjoy
amateur radio.  Some may already be Handiham members but would be glad to
have a lifetime membership.  All too many retired vets live on very limited
budgets.  Now I have a favor to ask:  Please help us to find a candidate
for this award and help us and Joe to honor his brother John.  You may
email us at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call the toll-free number

*Remote Base Health Report for 25 January 2012*

[image: Kenwood TS-480 transceiver, used in both remote base stations.
(Universal Radio image)]


   *W0ZSW is on line.   *We have had some internet and power outages at
   Camp Courage.  A new uninterruptible power supply has been ordered to
   protect the rig control computer. On two recent Saturdays, short power
   outages shut down the rig control computer, making the station
   inaccessible.  The new UPS will correct that problem by keeping the power
   up to the computer long enough to bridge short outages.

   *W0EQO is on line. *

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

   *The link to the daily status update pages has changed:

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

*This week @ HQ*

[image: Handiham headquarters at Camp Courage, Maple Lake Minnesota]

   - Audio update: Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed a beta version of QCWA
   Journal audio for the Winter 2011-12 edition.  It is now posted in the
   members section. We have also gotten the Technician Question Pool, read by
   volunteer Ken Barker, K5OFC, on the new website for our Technician
   students. George, N0SBU, will be producing a new cassette tape version of
   Bob's recording in 2-track format.
   - No Extra 2012 pool as of today: We are still awaiting the public
   release of the new Extra pool.  A statement on the NCVEC website indicates
   that it was to be re-released the first week of January after being pulled
   back for the correction of errors. The projected release date was 3 January
   2012, but this date was missed and no further information has been
   released. We will keep watching the NCVEC site and download the new pool as
   soon as we can so that we can begin an audio recording.  *
   - Dates for Radio Camp 2012 are Saturday, June 2 - Friday, June 8, 2012.
   This will be earlier than usual so that we can test for Extra under the
   existing question pool, which expires at the end of the last day of June.


   Tonight is EchoLink net night.  The Wednesday evening EchoLink net is at
   19:30 United States Central time, which translates to 01:30 GMT Thursday

   EchoLink nodes:
   - KA0PQW-R, node 267582
      - N0BVE-R, node 89680
      - *HANDIHAM* conference server Node *494492* (Our preferred
      high-capacity node.)

      Other ways to connect:
      - IRLP node *9008* (Vancouver BC reflector)
      - WIRES system number *1427*
      - 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 toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to
   contact us.


*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 program.


   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

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 $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.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:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

Radio Camp email:


[image: ARRL 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.

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, 25 January 2012 - Patrick Tice