This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center's Handiham System <http://handiham.org/> . Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information at the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxx Listen in MP3 audio: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham081308.mp3> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham081308.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham> http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ Welcome to Handiham World! K0LR makes a radio contact from the boat dock at Courage North <http://handiham.org/images/camptour/DSCN3026.jpg> Photo: Lyle, K0LR, makes a radio contact from the pontoon boat as it is docked on Lake George. I hope you will cut me some slack as I get ready for Radio Camp. As I mention later on in Headquarters News, we are really pushing the limits of time and energy as we prepare for camp. I apologize in advance to those of you who need tech support on the website. We will help you as soon as we can. Some of you want to contact us by radio during camp week. The same question usually comes up each year, namely, "What frequencies will you be using?" I've tried suggesting HF frequencies in past years, but experience tells me that every operator at camp will have a unique idea about which frequency to use - and every time I've listed frequencies, the stations were on somewhere else! I can tell you that we will use W0EQO and W0ZSW as callsigns for sure, and that we do plan to be on the daily EchoLink net, including a special net on Sunday at 11:00 hours Central Time (16:00 GMT). There will be a camp EchoLink node, so campers can be contacted anytime via that node, which will transmit on a two meter frequency around camp. That means that we won't have to be tied down to a computer to stay in touch! You might even have a chance to talk with campers who are out on the lake, all thanks to our EchoLink node. We wish you could join us deep in the pines of Northern Minnesota's lake country, but if you can't, do the next best thing - contact us on the radio! Patrick Tice wa0tda@xxxxxxxx Handiham Manager _____ Now, back to our vintage QSL card series. Hamm's Beer QSL Card <http://handiham.org/images/hamms.jpg> This is a most unusual card, which I picked this week as a reminder that we will be in the lake country of northern Minnesota at Courage North for Radio Camp. It was produced as a marketing piece for a regional beer company here in Minnesota. You can guess the interest in a ham radio QSL card when you know the name of the beer: Hamm's! These full color cards show a view of a sky-blue Minnesota lake. "Hamm's Sky Blue Waters" was an oft-heard phrase in radio and television ads in the 1960's. I remember having some of these giveaway cards myself back in 1968 or so. There was a rectangle in the upper right of the card so that you could put in your callsign, and the back of the card was pre-printed with the usual QSO information. We will bet that you have vintage QSL cards, too. If you can send a scan or photo of your vintage QSL cards, we will feature them here. What the heck - the HF bands are still pretty poor, so we might as well keep ourselves busy with vintage cards! Please send the images to wa0tda@xxxxxxxx along with a few words, if you wish, explaining the card or perhaps recalling those days when you were sending lots of these out. We will also feature your comments and callsign in the story. _____ <http://handiham.org/images/avery_paper.jpg> Avery's QTH: Building a tower from the top down. Welcome once again to my humble QTH: How is the QSL Card contest going? Remember we have until the end of the year so there is still plenty of time left, but it can creep up on you very fast. Too many years ago for me to want to mention, I used to work for an electronics company that sold specialized parts and retail consumer electronics equipment as well as wholesale. It was during a period of time when the local professional (Viking) football games were not allowed to be televised in the Twin City area. Many people and businesses, especially restaurants, put up towers with very large TV antennas to attempt to get the very weak TV signals from either Iowa or Wisconsin and watch the games that way. Well, we sold towers - a very good brand name - which is still in use today. Our building was not very big, at least not big enough to store a lot of tower sections and since we just happened to be in the same Metro area with the warehouse, it didn't really matter too much as we could just run over to the warehouse and pick up the towers as we needed them. One day we had a customer come in and order one so I called the warehouse, and yes! They had one, or so they thought. So the next day we sent our truck over to pick it up. In due course the truck came back and unloaded the tower, so we called the customer. As we started to load the tower on to the customer's vehicle, we discovered that the bottom section (the mounting base) was missing. In a panic we called the warehouse to find out what happened. The answer came back, "Well, we were missing that section but we thought we would send you the rest of the tower so you could get started on it." "OK! So, how does the customer build it from the top down?" was our reply. Lucky for us the customer thought it was funny. So, until next time, 73 es DX de K0HLA, Avery _____ Media Hits Media Hits <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/news.jpg> BBC: Morse still popular despite mobile phone! Check out this video story from the BBC, in which Morse code on amateur radio is front and center for some operators: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7544147.stm> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7544147.stm _____ Remembering Earl Chiswell, W0IAK Remembering Earl Chiswell, W0IAK <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/w0iak.jpg> The dedication and expertise of our ham radio friends never ceases to amaze! Recently we received a wonderful letter from Molly Chiswell, complete with the tribute I am including here. It is about her husband, Earl Chiswell, W0IAK. Before we get to the tribute, which details Earl's extraordinary life in ham radio and electronics, I want to share a few words from Molly: "Earl, my husband, was a ham from a very early age. His interest and love of ham radio continued throughout his life. He admired and was supportive of your efforts at the Courage Center and expressed his wish that any tributes be sent to you." Our thanks to Molly and the friends of the Chiswells, who donated to support the ongoing work of Courage Center to enrich the lives of people with disabilities. The tribute follows my signature - it's really interesting and inspiring! Patrick Tice, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Center Handiham System Tribute To Earl Chiswell Earl Chiswell, 86, beloved husband, father, brother and friend, passed away peacefully on July 2,2008 at Bigfork Valley Hospital, MN, due to complications of a severe stroke last October. Born December 18, 1921 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, Earl grew up near Ottawa, where his father built aircraft and was the Ottawa Air Club's mechanic on weekends. Earl had his first flight when he was about 10, propped up by cushions so he could see out the rear cockpit. When he was given the stick to control the plane, his love of flying took off. He served with the Royal Canadian Air Force in both theaters of WWII, as a pilot and Flying Officer. A skilled aviator, Earl is credited with saving many crewmen and aircraft under his command. After the war, Earl graduated from the University of Toronto, in Electrical Engineering, and the University of Minnesota in Aeronautical Engineering. He became a research scientist at the U of M in Rosemount, MN, at Martin Marietta in Boston, MD, and in Tullahoma, TN, working with the Von Braun team developing and testing the first rocket engines for the space effort. Founder/owner of EC Electronic Sales in Bloomington, MN, Earl combined work and flying by piloting his own private plane for cross-country business trips. Earl's daughter, Carrie, was his co-pilot on flights during family vacations. A summer resident of Owen Lake, MN since 1958, Earl enjoyed fishing, hunting and all the beauties of the Minnesota north land. He and his wife Molly retired to Owen Lake permanently in 1989. Earl's life long hobby was amateur radio. His FCC licenses were VE3VO and VE3AYE in Canada, and W0IAK in the U.S. A very active DX'er, he worked over 350 different countries during his ham career, and in 1993 was elected to the First Class C.W. Operators' Club, which is limited to 500 active members worldwide. The Quarter Century Wireless Association recognized him in 2003 for 65 years on the air. Earl was a loyal friend, and liberally gave of his time and talents to help and encourage others. He will be remembered and missed by many. _____ Orca Screenreader for Linux Orca Screenreader for Linux <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/orca2-sm.jpg> Are there any Orca users out there? If so, we would like to hear from you. Orca is the open-source screenreader for Linux, an alternative to the expensive commercial operating systems and screenreaders. Orca is a flexible, extensible, and powerful assistive technology for people with visual impairments. Using various combinations of speech synthesis, Braille, and magnification, Orca helps provide access to applications and toolkits that support the AT-SPI (e.g., the GNOME desktop in Linux). I was discussing accessibility with Tom Fowle, WA6IVG, of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, when the subject came up. Tom mentioned that there is even a British voice for Orca, something that I thought would make listening fun! If any of our readers or podcast listeners have experience with Orca, I would like to share it in your weekly Handiham World. You can find Orca online at: <http://www.gnome.org/projects/orca/> http://www.gnome.org/projects/orca/ Know something about Orca? Let me know, too, so I can share. Patrick Tice wa0tda@xxxxxxxx _____ Now, here is a worthy cause if ever there was one: The Coast Guard has a volunteer program where anyone can be in uniform. There are NO concerns as to whether a person has a disability or not. The program is called "Coast Guard Auxiliary". The web page is http://www.cgaux.org <http://www.cgaux.org/> . Anyone interested can contact KB5UJM at his "callbook" address or email at: <mailto:kb5ujm@xxxxxxxx> kb5ujm@xxxxxxxx _____ Elmer: A flagpole you can afford cartoon elmer with toolkit <http://handiham.org/images/bd06227_.gif> While at a Convention & Hamfest last weekend, I saw a really neat flagpole antenna. It was a "Force 12" 15 and a half foot tall vertical made from really solid-looking aluminum of a diameter that made it look like a real flagpole. Heck, it is a flagpole! You can hoist a flag up on this thing and it would take the wind without folding over. It looked darned good, too - nice, shiny aluminum, not some cheesy plastic pipe with a conductor hidden inside. The base insulator was some solid material, but it looked sturdy enough. Now, here's the interesting thing: I looked up residential grade commercial flagpoles and found they run just under $400 for a 15-footer! So the Force 12 flagpole antenna is a deal, even if you only want a flagpole. I thought I would let you know that this antenna is out there on the market for a list price of $229. I don't know which dealers sell the Force 12 brand, but it might be worth your while looking at this particular antenna if you are in a situation where conventional HF antennas are not allowed. Most developments will allow flagpoles of this height. 73, elmer@xxxxxxxxxxxx _____ A volunteer retrospective We have some really great volunteers at Courage Center's many programs and locations. Of course I don't always know the volunteers who have helped out in other programs than Handihams, or at other locations, like Camp Courage. Volunteers also come and go, volunteering as long as they can, then retiring due to health concerns or when they can no longer drive. Sometimes I only find out about a volunteer after the fact. This happened when I got the June-July issue of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting newsletter late last month. Thumbing through it, I noticed a tribute article about Nell B. Coil, W0MSW, who became a silent key on June 18, 2008 at the age of 97! She first became a ham in 1933, 75 years ago. What caught my attention was the statement she made about how she and her husband Bert volunteered at Camp Courage: "After Bert's retirement, we enjoyed our work with Camp Courage, where we met so many lovely people. What a great experience it was." Nell recalls how she was first licensed and became one of the first lady hams in Minnesota. It's worth listening to, so I have read the short article for you, and you can listen here: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/w0msw.mp3> http://www.handiham.org/audio/w0msw.mp3 _____ What's your TM-271A doing? Here's a way to find out if you can't see the display. What's your TM-271A doing? Here's a way to find out if you can't see the display. <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/tm271a.jpg> This is Martin, WB5AGZ. I don't know if you keep a knowledge base on various tricks for knowing what one's rig is doing, but I did find a way to tell what frequency that Kenwood TM-271A is on. It is useful when managing the channel memories. I would call this very limited use, but it might help somebody. It took me a while, but I finally figured out what the first IF of the Kenwood is. It is 49.95 MHz, high side injection so the LO (Local Oscillator) is always 49.95 MHz above the frequency one wishes to receive. This means your receiver must tune between 185.5 and 223.5. The LO signal is very low which is a good thing, but it means you need to put the antenna of the other receiver right next to the case of the Kenwood to hear it. I am lucky enough to own an IC-R7000, which I have had for almost 22 years, so it will tune those frequencies just fine. Some of the other scanners out there will also tune those frequencies, so you could tell someone to track the LO. It's certainly not as convenient as being able to read the frequency directly, but I used this trick a couple of days ago to copy some channels from one bank to the other. If the channel has the CTCSS set, copying it means you don't have to set it again. 1. Get a calculator and add 49.95 to the frequency in question. 2. Use your second receiver to find the LO by tuning to the result of your calculation. 3. Turn the selector knob on the Kenwood until you hear the LO in the second receiver. 4. Press Function on the Kenwood and find Channel 0 and then count until you reach the channel you want to copy to. 5. Hit Memory and you will hear the beep as you release it. One other little thing about that rig to remember is that the special scan limit and weather alert channels are after the highest-numbered channel and before 0 so you count 9 clicks between the highest channel and 0. The highest channel is either 99 if you use the alphanumeric tags or 199 if you don't. I don't see how the alpha tags would help a ham who is totally blind. The rig comes defaulted to the tag setting so you have to set the no-tags mode to get 200 channels. The only thing I haven't done yet is figure out how to use the computer cable under Linux. It looks like all you can do is store and retrieve a memory image of the transceiver. I sure wish all those menus and functions could be manipulated through the computer, but the mike plug and computer port use the same jack so you can't operate the rig and be connected to the computer at the same time, at least as far as I know. Bummer! Martin McCormick WB5AGZ Stillwater, OK Systems Engineer OSU Information Technology Department Telecommunications Services Group _____ This week at Headquarters We are now in "Radio Camp" mode! Jerry, N0VOE, is out of the office until after Radio Camp. Avery, K0HLA, is in the office the rest of this week and next Monday morning, after which he will be at camp as well. Pat, WA0TDA, is in the office Thursday morning, then will not return to the office until September 8. Radio Camp is a pretty work-intensive experience for staff, since preparation, travel, and being away at camp all take many hours away from the usual office routine, as well as from simply being able to take care of one's own personal things at home. Please bear with us while we take the time to make sure our radio campers have the best possible experience during Radio Camp week. Nancy will be in the office, but other staff will be busy with camp and not able to answer phone calls or emails. There will probably be no e-letter or audio lectures next week, due to the work at camp. *** The August WORLDRADIO audio digest is available for our members. Login to the member <http://handiham.org/user> section of the Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The September QST and Worldradio magazines have been printed, so Bob, N1BLF, will soon be reading from them. We also hope to add 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. *** Courage North dining hall, where tests are given <http://handiham.org/images/cn_dining_hall.gif> VE Session at Courage North - Take your exam to get a license or upgrade. * What: VE Exams at Handiham Radio Camp * When: 9:00 AM, August 26, 2008 * Where: Camp Courage North, Lake George, Minnesota. Map and directions: <http://www.couragecenter.org/images/documents/map08_Courage%20North.pdf> http://www.couragecenter.org/images/documents/map08_Courage%20North.pdf * Cost: The 2008 VE fee is $14.00. * What to bring: All candidates must provide a photocopy of the original license. The original license is not required. If we have questions, we will look up the candidate on the Internet. Any CSCE's presented for upgrade credit must be the original - The VE team will also need a photocopy of the CSCE for their files. *** Avery's schedule changes: Avery is now out of the office on Tuesdays. This helps save transportation costs and energy! *** *** 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. _____ plugged-in robot <http://www.handiham.org/images/bd05047_.gif> RekkyTec Links Found by KB3LLA: 1. i.d. mate OMNI is a portable "all-in-one" talking bar code scanner. It allows an individual to identify items using the product's bar code or UPC: <http://www.envisionamerica.com/idmate/> http://www.envisionamerica.com/idmate/ 2. ScripTalk Talking Prescriptions: <http://www.envisionamerica.com/scriptalk/> http://www.envisionamerica.com/scriptalk/ W4MQ Internet Remote Base: <http://www.w4mq.com/> http://www.w4mq.com/ W7DXX remote base audio (listen only): <http://www.w7dxx.com:8000/> http://www.w7dxx.com:8000/ W7DXX remote base main page: http://www.w7dxx.com/ _____ 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/123> http://www.handiham.org/node/123 You can write to Elmer with your questions: <mailto:elmer@xxxxxxxxxxxx> elmer@xxxxxxxxxxxx _____ 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.