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: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham080608.mp3> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham080608.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ 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 wa0tda@xxxxxxxx Handiham Manager _____ Avery's QTH Avery's QTH - Avery studies a book. FINN BATHS sign in background. <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/avery_baths.jpg> 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: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 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 attention. Have a great September. Regards, - Laurie Meier, N1YXU n1yxu@xxxxxxxx * Read more on <http://www.handiham.org/node/191> Handiham.org _____ This week at Headquarters cutting money with scissors <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/budget_cut.gif> Budget cuts loom large for the Handiham program, starting as soon as next month. 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: <http://www.handiham.org/node/166> http://www.handiham.org/node/166 You can write to Elmer with your questions: <mailto:elmer@xxxxxxxxxxxx> 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. http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2008/0708_memorial/index.html * 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 year. * Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our activities. * 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> 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 toll-free. DONATE USED HAM GEAR 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> 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! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handi-ham System Reach me by email at: <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxx> 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.