[handiham-world] Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 26 September 2012

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 14:02:49 -0500

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

*This week I will get a chance to do something really important:  teach a
class for my local radio club.*

[image: Pat holding NSL digital cartridge]
*Photo: Pat, WA0TDA, holds up an NLS digital cartridge, one way that audio
lectures can be delivered to Handiham members. *

As you know, I do teach on line every week, using the power of the web to
teach Technician, General, and Extra class courses. That is a very
effective way to teach, but there is also a demand for teachers willing to
work directly in a classroom with potential new hams or those who want to
upgrade their licenses.  That is what I will be doing when I teach tomorrow
evening at the Stillwater, MN Public Library as my club, the Stillwater
Amateur Radio Association (SARA) offers its General Class upgrade course.
My job will be to teach the rules and regulations.  Other volunteer
instructors teach different topic areas, making it possible to offer the
classes for 10 weeks without asking any one instructor to give up time each
week.  After the last class in the series we always schedule a VE session
for the same evening (usually Thursday) the following week.  We figure that
if our students are already blocking out time in their day for the class,
the VE session should be held at the same time so as to allow for a
convenient, easy to plan to follow up and take the test without a long

The less you wait, the less you forget!

Our SARA classes are always free and open to the public, something that
supports our outreach to the greater community. Sessions are always held in
an accessible location where people who use wheelchairs or other assistive
technology can be accommodated. The VE session is held at an alternate
location that is also chosen for its accessibility.

If you have a chance, please consider sharing your knowledge of ham radio
with others. Check out your local radio club's education program and ask
how to become an instructor. ARRL also has some on line resources for
members who want to teach amateur radio classes. If you have never taught
before, you will likely need to work alongside an experienced instructor to
learn how the classes are handled. Much of just about anything we do boils
down to some very practical things:

   - Showing up on time (or arranging for a substitute if you can't make
   - Being prepared in advance (Go over the material the day before class
   so you can refresh your memory of what needs to be covered the following
   - Bringing your teaching materials (portable computer with presentation
   software, books, show-and-tell items like electronic components, frequency
   charts to give away... you get the idea.)
   - Watching the clock and giving your class a mid-session break
   - Having a class calendar handy so that you can tell your students what
   is coming up the following week and when the VE session will be
   - Staying on message (no long-winded war stories!)
   - Compliment your students for correct answers when you ask questions.
   For really tough questions, you can even give out a piece of wrapped candy!
   - Build up your students by having high expectations for them and
   letting them know.
   - Finishing on time (your students have other things to do!)

I hope you will be part of your club's teaching team. It's one of the most
rewarding things you can do in ham radio.

Email me at handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with your questions & comments.
Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager
Troubleshooting 101:  Unrecognized devices

[image: Cartoon guy with hard hat and toolbag climbing tower]

A common problem with our new digital radios and accessories is that they
can get fussy about being connected to your computer. Recently I read a web
blog by a guy who had bought one of those brand-new iPhones - the iPhone 5
that is in the news following its recent release. His problem was that it
wouldn't work when it was connected to his car, which had a digital
connector.  There was an error message saying that "the device is

That is a common problem with ham gear, too. Sometimes these digital
devices sniff each other out like a pair of dogs in the park, decide they
are friendly, and then happily play together.  Other times they decide that
they just don't get along. How do we figure out what to do to make the two
devices talk to each other and work correctly?

Here are some troubleshooting tips. Check them off your troubleshooting
list if you find that your device is not communicating with your computer.
If you have not followed them in the correct order, you may have to back up
and begin again.

   - Read the instructions! That HT you just bought may theoretically
   connect to your computer and be programmable with software, but only if you
   follow the instructions in the correct sequence.
   - Confirm that your hardware and operating system are supported by the
   device driver and software.  This can be a common source of problems. You
   may have to visit an internet discussion board to find out how other users
   have made their devices work.
   - Install any special driver software when instructed to do so. This is
   important! You may be instructed to install the driver and reboot the
   computer before you even connect the radio.
   - Connect the device to the computer using the designated interface
   cable and power it on, according to the instructions. It is normal for the
   computer's operating system to install the driver software when a device is
   first connected. However, it can trip you up if you have not installed the
   device driver software first because the computer may pick an incorrect
   driver if the device is connected before the correct driver is installed.
   - Test the device - let's say it is an HT - by running the appropriate
   software, programming software in this case. Does the software run
   normally?  Does it give an indication that it has connected to the HT?  If
   it does, you are now ready to use your new HT with the programming
   - If you cannot make the software recognize the radio, the next thing to
   check is the communication ports. The software will have some sort of setup
   or preferences menu, and in it you will find a place to choose
   communications ports and settings. Follow the instructions in the help file
   and try different ports. This process can be easy with some software and a
   trial and error game with others.
   - Consider unusual problems.  One problem I learned about in an internet
   forum was one caused by counterfeit chips in Chinese-made USB programming
   cables. If you think you have done everything right but still can't get the
   devices to communicate, you do have to consider the possibility of this
   kind of hardware problem. That is why I recommend internet discussion
   boards.  I can't tell you the times they have solved troubleshooting
   mysteries for me, from cranky and mysterious radio problems to software
   that suddenly decided to hang up.  Use them wisely, looking at several
   possible answers and being patient - don't jump on the first fix you see
   and assume it is the right one.

By the way, I recently acquired a brand-new Baofeng UV-5RA HT and had a
chance to troubleshoot some of these very problems before finally making
the radio play nice with my little Dell Netbook computer. The UV-5RA and
the UV-5R both use the same programming software and cable and are similar
except for a somewhat differently-designed front. How they might differ
under the skin, I don't yet know, but I do thank my lucky stars that the
KB5ELV Eyes-Free guide is so well thought out. I used it as a supplement to
the instruction book before deciding that Buddy's guide was actually way
better than the book and instead used the instruction book as a supplement
to the Eyes-Free guide.

Still wondering about the guy who couldn't get the new iPhone to work with
his car's audio system?  All he had to do was reboot the phone!
Handiham Net Update: 9008 out of service

IRLP node 9008 is out of service due to a server failure.  When the server
is rebuilt, the Vancouver IRLP node 9008 will return to service.  Last week
it also went out of service, returned for a couple of days, then went down
again. The Radio Reference audio stream has also been down for over a week.
Don't miss the new Tech Net! This week is session four.

[image: TMV71A transceiver]

We have heard lots of positive comments about our new Handiham Tech Net, a
place to discuss technology related to amateur radio. The Tech Net is on
the air at 19:00 hours USA Central Time each Thursday. The regular Handiham
Radio Club Wednesday evening net is at the same 19:00 hour, just one day
earlier.  Daily nets are at 11:00 hours USA Central Time. New this week is
our audio archive, so if you missed the first three sessions, you can find
them here:

*Missed the weekly on the air Handiham Tech Net?  Listen to it

*Missed last week's Handiham Tech Net?  Go to the archive page.

Frequency in the local Minnesota repeater coverage zone: 145.45 FM,
negative offset with no tone and 444.65 MHz with 114.8 Hz tone in the Twin
Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota. The UHF repeater will be
heard more easily in the Eastern Twin Cities.  You will find our daily net
on the air at 11:00 hours USA Central Time, with the Sunday session
featuring a special trivia question theme for a change of pace. A Wednesday
evening session at 19:00 hours USA Central Time also offers a chance to
take a guess at a trivia question and visit with your friends on the air.
Ideal for those who can't make the daily morning session! Then Thursday
evening at 19:00 hours return to the Tech net and learn something new!

*EchoLink nodes:*

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:*

Temporarily out of service: IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector)

WIRES system number 1427
*A dip in the pool*

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

Let's go to a question from the Extra Class pool, where "math anxiety" may
rear its ugly head:

E5D13 asks: *How much power is consumed in a circuit consisting of a 100
ohm resistor in series with a 100 ohm inductive reactance drawing 1 ampere?

Possible answers are:

A. 70.7 Watts

B. 100 Watts

C. 141.4 Watts

D. 200 Watts

Oh, no - math.  Head for the exits!

Wait!  Ha, ha, math like this is not even a little bit scary. In fact, I'm
going to give you another chance to think it over after we look at the very
next question in the pool:

E5D14 asks: *What is reactive power? *

Possible choices are:

A. Wattless, nonproductive power

B. Power consumed in wire resistance in an inductor

C. Power lost because of capacitor leakage

D. Power consumed in circuit Q

Okay, now here's the thing.  If you know that reactive power is Wattless,
nonproductive power (answer A), you can easily infer that in the first
question, *How much power is consumed in a circuit consisting of a 100 ohm
resistor in series with a 100 ohm inductive reactance drawing 1 ampere?, *the
correct answer is found by ignoring the part of the question that refers to
inductive reactance and simply treating it as a simple problem of Power in
Watts = Current in Amps multiplied by Resistance in Ohms.  That's it!  So
you multiply 100 by 1 and get 100 Watts, which is answer B.

Now you know - the questions in the pool may include math, but
understanding the physics behind the concept often leads quickly to an
obvious answer that can be had by simple mental math - you won't even break
a sweat!

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
*Remote Base health report: W0EQO is on line. W0ZSW is on line.

[image: Image of TS-480SAT courtesy Universal Radio]

Work continues at a good pace on the client software update. Accessibility
is a high priority in the new release.

If problems show up, please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx

New! Keyboard commands list updated:

*Solar Activity Forecast:* Solar activity is expected to continue at low
levels with a slight chance for M-class flares.

*Geophysical Activity Forecast:* The geomagnetic field is expected to
continue at mostly quiet conditions. There is a slight chance for a greater
than 10 MeV proton event from active regions rotating around the southeast

Credit: NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
This week @ HQ


*A new lecture in our Extra Class series will be released on Friday. *Our
topic area is Electrical Principles, and we expect to have a new audio
lecture as we continue this topic. Last time we talked about RL (inductive)
time constants. This week we introduce the concept of phase angle and find
out why the heck voltage and current behave differently when they encounter
coils and capacitors. When will they make up their minds?!!  (Hint:  Never,
unless the laws of physics change.)

*The October QST and Worldradio have arrived and we have read selected
articles for our blind members.  *We have the Daisy version of October 2012
QST already available, and Worldradio will be available in Daisy by
Friday's audio notification. (Thanks, Bob, N1BLF!) Our blind members using
NLS cartridges or 4-track tape cassettes will receive their mailing soon.
Tape users, please remember that your tape service ends this year as we
phase out the old cassette system.

*Digital mailers are important! *If you do mail a digital cartridge to us,
please be sure that it is an approved free matter mailer. Otherwise it will
quickly cost us several dollars to package and mail out, which is more than
the cost of the mailer in the first place. We don't have a stock of
cartridges or mailers and not including a mailer will result in a long
delay getting your request back out to you.

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

Get it all on line as an alternative:  Visit the DAISY section on the
Handiham website after logging in.
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.

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, KD0LPX, at
763-520-0532 or email him at walt.seibert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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:

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:

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, 26 September 2012 - Patrick Tice