[handiham-world] Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 10 September 2008

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:00:22 -0500

This is a free weekly news & information update from  <http://handiham.org/>
Courage Center's Handiham System. Please do not reply to this message. Use
the contact information at the end, or simply email
<mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxx> handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxx Listen in MP3 audio:


Get this issue as an audio podcast:


Welcome to Handiham World!

 remote base computer and radio <http://handiham.org/images/remotebase.jpg> 
Photo: TS-480 remote base at Courage North 

Our remote base project continues to work well and we are learning as we go
and are making refinements. We are that much closer to bringing the system
on line as a member service. The latest is that members logging in on the
members only website will find "Remote Base" in the menu links, which can be
followed to learn about how to install and set up the software, who will be
considered for user status, and so on. 

User status will be initially be restricted to a small group of beta
testers. We need to do this to work out the bugs in the system and to give
us time to make the system as user-friendly as possible. This Handiham Radio
Club station will then enter a "beta 2" testing phase, during which I will
need several Handiham members with excellent computer skills and plenty of
operating experience to join the testing group.  Once we complete the beta 2
phase, we will then add qualified users. 

The question will certainly come up about who is a qualified user, right? I
know that most everyone feels that they know how to be a good operator, but
running the remote base is a little different - well, really a LOT different
- than talking on a two meter handheld radio or even running an HF radio
that is sitting on the desk in front of you. I welcome your comments on this
topic, which you may send directly to wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx 

To jump start the discussion, I would ask you to think about and comment on
the following: 

*       Our first operators will have to hold their Extra Class licenses. I
don't want to exclude competent General or Advanced licensees, but we are
going to be looking at more experienced hams who will know the rules and be
able to act as competent control ops.
*       These users will have to be able to follow directions, install the
software, and pretty much figure out things for themselves if they are going
to be successful as remote base operators.  The last thing we need as we get
this project started is a lot of tech support questions about stuff that
everyone should already know, like how to operate their computers and what
the band edges are!
*       There are also requirements about the user's Internet connection and
computer hardware. Users must own and control their own computers, and not
try to use a public computer like a school or library machine.  The system
requires a high-speed Internet connection. It will not work with a dial up
Internet connection. The computer must be running Windows XP or Vista. 

We are looking forward to a great new member resource that can open up the
world of short-wave amateur radio operation to people who cannot have large
antennas. Let us know what you think about how we are getting started, and
please make suggestions as to how we can train our newer hams to use this
technology responsibly.

Patrick Tice
Handiham Manager


Avery's QTH

 Avery's QTH - Avery studies a book. FINN BATHS sign in background.

Welcome once again to my humble QTH:

In the early days of Amateur Radio the Hams were given the frequencies above
the AM broadcast band because they were not usable. Not until the Hams got
there anyway. All of a sudden the commercial people found out the hams were
having a very good time using those frequencies so they started take some
over. Well, the hams just moved up the spectrum and continued experimenting
and developing new methods of doing radio communications. Many of the
commercial ventures were taken from What the Hams developed.

Radioteletype, or RTTY as it is better known, was developed by a ham right
here in Minnesota. His call was W0BP, Boyd Phelps. Of course this too went
commercial and almost every Western Union office had at least one RTTY
machine. Now, of course RTTY is done with a computer and not all those
relays and stepper switches.

Somewhere in this time frame the Amateurs lost the 11-meter band to Citizen
Band. This was close to the ten-meter band and it was rather easy to get
equipment to work on both bands. At the time the sunspot cycle was such that
not much power was needed to work around the world so many Hams were not
very happy to lose such a nice band. Many Hams were afraid that more
spectrum would be taken and given to other interest groups.

Way before 2 meters and auto patches, we were on the 80-10 meter bands (HF)
and measured signal strength of a CW signal using our judgment of
Readability, Strength, Tone with a 599 report being the best and a 111 being
the worst. Believe me, most reports were never close to 111. Then came phone
signals, along with phone patches, so they dropped the Tone and just used
Readability and Strength so 59 was the best report.

Well, someone came up with putting a meter on the receivers and now we had
some calibrations to base our signal reports on. What is of interest on
those "S" meters is that there was never a standard traceable back to the
National Bureau of Standards (and still isn't) so two exact models of the
same receiver could have different readings on the same signal.

We heard things like: "My meter is pinned, you are so strong", or "you are
so many db over "S" 9", or "my "S" meter hardly moved", etc.

In my opinion, either you could hear the station or you couldn't, and all
that other stuff was just so much garbage.

Anyway some time passed and then we had 2 meters with auto patches and we
were more concerned about the audio quality of the patch when it was brought
up so the people on the phone side could be better understood. More time
passed and some commercial people took our Ham Radio Auto patches, modified
them, made some additions, and with new surface mount technology. The cell
phone was born.

Now everyone with cell phones & computers are using "BARS" to make those
same signal strength reports that the Hams had used.

In case you haven't caught on to what I am trying to get across I am going
to say it straight out. We have to continue to be on the cutting edge of
technology and keep coming up with newer and better ways to use radio
communication. We need to stay ahead of the commercial people who would love
to have our frequencies. After all the basis of our hobby is to learn by
experiments, develop new technologies, and of course public service. We have
to continue to be there and get the communications through "When all else
fails" or we may lose everything to the commercial environments.

So, until next time,

73 & DX de K0HLA Avery

You can reach me at:


My Direct Phone # 763-520-0515


September Events by  <http://www.handiham.org/node/191> N1YXU

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/191> September Events by N1YXU 

September Events
As I'm sure you're aware, September is National Preparedness Month. I hope
you and your families have taken time to inventory your "to go" kit in case
of an emergency in your area.
Please take some time to read through the events information for September.
I am confident that you will find several activities that will catch your
Have a great September.
- Laurie Meier, N1YXU

*       Read more on  <http://www.handiham.org/node/191> Handiham.org


This week at Headquarters

 cutting money with scissors

Budget cuts loom large for the Handiham program, starting as soon as next

Courage Center's fiscal year begins October 1. The poor economy and a
difficult fund-raising climate have forced some difficult choices upon
Courage Center. For the Handiham program, this will mean cutting staff
hours, closing for an extra day each week (probably Fridays), and cutting
back on some program offerings like cassette tape audio, which is used by
fewer and fewer members. Regrettably, we will most likely have to drop our
toll-free telephone number as well.  We stand solidly with our members,
volunteers, donors, and affiliated clubs to continue offering services, but
you can only do so much with the staff hours you have, and we hope to stay
on top of the work by using our Internet resources. Since we are only
learning now what must be done, this is by no means the last word about
upcoming cuts. We will keep you informed on program changes via our
full-service website, http://handiham.org <http://handiham.org/> . 

The weekly e-letter and the Friday audio lectures return to their normal
schedules this week.

*       The September CQ, QST, & WORLDRADIO audio digests are available for
our members. Login to the member section of the Handiham
<http://handiham.org/user> website and find the magazine digests in the
Library. The September QST and Worldradio magazine digests have been read by
Bob, N1BLF.  We have added CQ Magazine digest in the September audio for our
members who do not use regular print.
*       We have added an "audio this week" link at the top of the member
page once you log in. This is a good place to find out what audio is new on
our website each week, including magazine digests and audio lectures. This
page is updated on Fridays.
The Elmer blog link was incorrect, as pointed out by alert reader WA0CAF. It
has been corrected.

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@xxxxxxxxxxx or call her
toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact us. 


On the air: TIPS  <http://www.handiham.org/node/190> Net

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/190> Daily On The Air (DOTA) 

Fostering International Friendship Through Amateur Radio C

TIPSNET meets every Tuesday from 7pm - 8pm local time (EST) / 0000z on
several repeaters throughout New England, including the SPARC Repeater
System and N1NW system in Norwich in Connecticut. National and International
connections are welcome via the New England Gateway -
EchoLink Conference *NEW-ENG* (node # 9123) and IRLP Reflector 912, Channel
3 (node # 9123). Live streaming audio is available on the web at:

http://new-eng.com <http://new-eng.com/> 

*       Read more at  <http://www.handiham.org/node/190> handiham.org. 


Flagpole  <http://www.handiham.org/node/196> antenna

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/196> Flagpole antenna 

An alternative for Handiham members who cannot have "regular" outdoor
antenna systems because of covenants or other restrictions, may wish to
consider a flagpole antenna. People have been home brewing them for years,
making them out of plastic pipe and aluminum, but a few issues ago we
informed our readers of a sturdy commercial version, the Force 12. We had
seen this "flagpole" on display at the ARRL Dakota Division Convention in
Rochester, Minnesota.

*       Read more at  <http://www.handiham.org/node/196> handiham.org.


 Cartoon guy with toolkit <http://handiham.org/images/bd06227_.gif> 



Elmer has started a blog! You can find it at:

You can write to Elmer with your questions: <mailto:elmer@xxxxxxxxxxxx> 


Solar WX  <http://www.handiham.org/node/189> News

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/189> Solar WX News 

NASA will study the birthplace of space weather, the phenomenon that drives
so much of amateur radio HF propagation.

NASA: Sept. 5, 2008: Next April, for a grand total of 8 minutes, NASA
astronomers are going to glimpse a secret layer of the sun.

*       Read more on  <http://www.handiham.org/node/189> handiham.org.


On the air: September  <http://www.handiham.org/node/194> 11 attack
remembered at the Pentagon with special ham radio event

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/194> Daily On The Air (DOTA) 

ARRL: On Thursday, September 11, the Pentagon Amateur Radio Club (PARC) will
operate a Special Event station commemorating the 7th anniversary of the
attacks that occurred on the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and over
Pennsylvania in 2001.

http://www.k4af.org <http://www.k4af.org/> .

This special event will be held in conjunction with President Bush's visit
to the Pentagon to dedicate the new Pentagon Memorial.


*       Read more at  <http://www.handiham.org/node/194> handiham.org.



 Huge alligator grabbing Pat, WA0TDA
<http://handiham.org/images/alligator.jpg> Reminder:  Handiham renewals are
now on a monthly schedule - Please renew or join, as we need you to keep our
program strong!

Image: Meet our new dues collection agent! A huge alligator grabs Pat,
WA0TDA.  "Sure wish I'd renewed my Handiham dues sooner." 

For years Handiham membership renewals were done each July. This year, we
are going to a monthly system.  If you renew in March, your membership goes
until the following March, for example. You will have several choices when
you renew:

*       Join at the usual $10 annual dues level 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
*       Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our
*       Discontinue your membership.

Please return your renewal form as soon as possible. There is a postage paid
envelope provided, and you won't get a visit from you-know-who.

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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

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


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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

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!

Manager, Courage Handi-ham System
Reach me by email at:  <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

*       Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx

*       Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: jerry.kloss@xxxxxxxxxxx

*       Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxx 

*       Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxx

*       Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxx


 ARRL </p />
<p>diamond logo <http://www.handiham.org/images/arrllogo.gif> 

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
E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxx 

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.

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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 10 September 2008