[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 January 2014

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:39:44 -0600

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01
January 2014

This is a free weekly news & information update from  <http://handiham.org>
Courage Kenny 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: 

Get this podcast in iTunes:
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Welcome to Handiham World.

Happy New Year from all of us at Handihams!

The Handiham office is closed on New Year's Day and will reopen on Monday
January 6, 2014.

Since I am actually sending this out on December 31, you still have time to
donate to support the Handiham program.  

.         Giving is easy by clicking this link: 
 <http://www.couragecenter.org/GiveToday> www.couragecenter.org/GiveToday  
Be sure to use the pull-down to designate Handihams as the recipient of your

To make a credit card gift call 763-520-0542. Be sure to mention the
Handiham designation option to ensure your dollars support the program.
Thank for you supporting ham radio and the Handiham program. We wish you a
very fine and prosperous new year.  (And of course good DX!)

From the archives, it's Daily on the Air (DOTA) - Something to resolve to do
in 2014: 

Cartoon guy driving car with mobile antenna

I've noticed that there isn't much activity on my local repeater. Perhaps
I'm just not listening at the right times, but I've sampled the repeater
throughout the day on different days of the week, and aside from some
scheduled net activity, users seem to be maintaining "radio silence"! I
don't think this is just true of my local repeater, either. Some repeaters
have always been more active than others, but the overall activity level
just seems to me to be down over the past few months. 

Every experienced ham radio operator knows that there is an ebb and flow in
ham radio interest and activity, sometimes corresponding with the season.
Here in North America, during the winter, we are likely to be challenged by
difficult driving conditions that may spur an increase in repeater activity
during commuter "drive time". Ham radio is seen by some as a wintertime
activity, so repeater activity can pick up simply because people are stuck
indoors. There is a daily rhythm to the use of a typical repeater as well,
with long-time users sometimes appearing at the same time of day for a short
exchange. But getting back to my repeater, there are long, silent stretches
of dead air throughout most of the day. I know there are people out there
either listening at home or in their vehicles, but the repeater is still
going unused. 

What to do? I decided that I'm going to try an experiment. I call it the
"DOTA", or "daily on the air". That way it rhymes with "GOTA", which, during
Field Day, stands for "get on the air". With DOTA I simply resolve to have a
contact on my local repeater every single day. It doesn't have to be long,
nor does it have to be at any particular time. It could be with a person I
already know, or it could be a random contact with a person I have never met
on the air. If I don't hear anyone, I will just say, "WA0TDA listening", and
see if I can shake someone loose! My DOTA plan went into effect this
morning, and, not hearing anyone on the repeater, I made a short call.
Immediately, another member of my radio club answered and we had a short
conversation. He told me about his new transceiver, and how he was planning
to earn his HF privileges. During the rest of the day, I think it might be a
good idea to listen to the repeater and see if I hear anyone calling. My QTH
is only about a mile south of interstate Highway 94, and I may be able to
hear stations new to the area as they operate mobile and check out the Twin
Cities repeaters. After all, if I were driving someplace and wanted to have
a QSO, I would want someone to answer me if I made a call on their repeater

My theory is that activity builds more activity. When a repeater is
perceived by the local ham radio community as one that is reasonably active,
it is more likely to get used. Try DOTA yourself and let me know if it works
for you. 

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator



Cartoon rabbit running with mail

CQ publications realigned, changes take place in February 2014

.         CQ has announced a realignment of CQ's publications -- essentially
merging Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online (WRO) into an
expanded digital edition of CQ, to be called "CQ Plus."  Richard Fisher,
KI6SN, who is currently Editor of Pop'Comm and WRO, in addition to being
CQ's Public Service Editor, will be editor of the new supplement.  Read the
entire story on the CQ Newsroom blog:  

Tokyo Hy-Power Files for Bankruptcy     

Confirming reports on internet discussion boards and other sources, ARRL is
reporting that this respected manufacturer of high power amplifiers has
filed for bankruptcy.  Read more at: 

Our take is that the lingering economic recession may have been a factor,
but the changing demographics in Amateur Radio may also be in play here.
There are more of us downsizing and moving to places where large antennas
and big amplifiers are not practical.  Since we are at the top of the
sunspot cycle, perhaps high power does not seem as necessary to fill up the
logbook.  No matter what the cause, this fine company will be missed if it
does go out of business.

2014 Radio Camp Operating Skills (Saturday, August 16 through Saturday
August 23, 2014)

.         Our study guide for 2014 Handiham Radio Camp Operating Skills will
be the  <http://www.arrl.org/shop/Amateur-Radio-Public-Service-Handbook>
ARRL Public Service Handbook First Edition.  It is available from your
favorite ham radio dealer or directly from ARRL.  Blind Handiham members
should contact us for the DAISY version. 

NASA Announces Summer 2014 Internships for Students with Disabilities

Dr. Ken Silberman, KB3LLA, writes:  

NASA is looking to increase the number of students with disabilities
pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through
our internship programs. Disability means both physical and mental
disabilities. NASA has a two-percent hiring goal for employment of people
with disabilities and internships are a good way to get experience. Students
can apply for summer 2014 internships right this very minute! The deadline
for submitting applications is Saturday, March 1, 2014, and we will begin
extending offers to students as early as Thursday, January 16, 2014.  

Get started at: 
 <http://intern.nasa.gov/> http://intern.nasa.gov/ 


Practical Radio - Be safe in 2014.

Yellow warning sticker on aluminum section of vertical antenna
What does that yellow sticker with all the warnings mean? 

I've included a photo of the main upright body from a commercial vertical HF
antenna.  Pictured is a bright yellow, red, and black sticker on the
aluminum tubing, and it is clearly designed to grab your attention when you
pull the antenna parts out of the box for the first time before assembly.
If you are a blind ham, you know that there is a sticker there, but it is
not really blind accessible.  It warns the user that "You can be KILLED if
the antenna contacts electric power lines" and to "WATCH FOR WIRES".   It
also admonishes us to "READ THE INSTRUCTIONS".  A big oval "DANGER" rounds
things out for good measure.

Such warnings are designed to be as universal and self-evident as possible.
You would think that people would know better than to place aluminum
antennas in contact with overhead power lines, but you would be wrong!  

Suppose you sit virtually any other ham radio operator down and ask him or
her,  "Say, you look like a careful operator.  Would you take precautions to
avoid getting electrocuted?" 

Of course they are going to tell you that they are careful and would never
let an antenna contact a power line or stick their fingers into a live power
supply. They would certainly profess to always follow all the safety rules.
They might even add that they own safety equipment like hard hats and
climbing gear. 

What could go wrong?

Well, to me the biggest danger whenever we work around antennas or
electrical equipment of any kind is not the lack of knowledge about what
could happen when one makes a mistake.  It is not the fact that overhead
power lines exist and may be on or next to our property.  It is not that we
work with radio gear that my use high voltages. 

No, it is none of those things.  It is complacency. 

Complacency is what happens when we get too comfortable around equipment or
in situations where danger is just around the corner.  That's why the
sticker is there, prominently placed on a large part of the antenna that
will command your attention as you put the antenna together and when you are
handling it during final set up.  The sticker does warn you of the danger,
but it really serves to remind you that even though you know that power
lines are dangerous, you need to remember to watch out for them. Yes, you
knew that electrocution is possible when putting up antennas.  There is a
lot that you know about safety.  But the sticker is there to bring that
knowledge to the very front of your attention so that you will look around
you RIGHT NOW for hazards in the vicinity of your installation. 

When complacency sets in, one can ignore the usual safety rules.  You get
comfortable working around dangerous power lines and sooner or later you
will raise an aluminum pole too close to a live wire.  The danger is
something you certainly know about intellectually, but complacency makes you
blissfully unaware until it may be too late.  Furthermore, it can happen
even when you are working with others.  I remember reading about a couple of
guys who were electrocuted while putting up a temporary antenna at an event.
Even a team effort can fall prey to complacency!  

Do yourself a favor in 2014.  Be safe by taking a deep breath before
beginning an antenna project or any project with the potential for
accidents.  After you take that breath, think to yourself about the safety
rules that apply to the situation at hand.  Pay attention to the warning
labels, too. 

This is practical radio, so use what works for you!


Handiham Nets are on the air daily. 

Microphone and eyeglasses 

Year-end holiday schedule:

The holiday season is upon us!  Family plans take priority over scheduled
ham radio activities.  We don't ask our net control volunteers to show up to
run the net on these special days, but we do realize that our Handiham nets
do tie us all together in another kind of family - a community of friends.
That means it can still be fun to get on the air and visit, and we can
easily do that at net time even if there is no formal net control station.
You or someone else can take the reins and act as NCS if you want, or you
can all be part of a round table discussion without a net control. Remember
to always keep things in perspective:  Family first!  

.         The Handiham office is open on Tuesday December 31 until 3:00 PM
CST and closed for New Year's Day on Wednesday January 1 2014.  We will
reopen on Monday January 6, 2014.  

.         Handiham nets go on during holidays.  

If this schedule changes, we will let you know on  <http://www.handiham.org>

TMV71A transceiver

We are scheduled to be on the air daily at 11:00 USA Central Time, plus
Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 19:00 USA Central Time.  A big THANK YOU to
all of our net control stations!  

We maintain our nets at 11:00 hours daily relative to Minnesota time.  Since
the nets remain true to Minnesota time, the difference between Minnesota
time and GMT is -6 hours.  The net is on the air at 17:00 hours GMT.   

The two evening sessions are at 01:00 GMT Thursday and Friday.  Here in
Minnesota that translates to 7:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday.  

The official and most current net news may be found at:


This week @ HQ

Cartoon robot with pencil

Last call!  End of the year data dump

.         Housecleaning time!  We are going to remove old audio files as
part of our website cleanup.  If you want to get any of the older files,
such as Handiham World podcasts, please download them now. To find old
podcasts, use iTunes or else feel free to use the direct URL referencing
each audio file.  

.         To get a podcast, use the URL with the filename for the correct
Example:  <http://handiham.org/audio/handiham04DEC2013.mp3>
Note that the filename now reflects the date of that week's podcast.

.         PLEASE don't ask me for a list of filenames or special links to
the episode a year ago that contained the story about this or that, because
I don't have that information without doing a ton of digging, and as much as
I like to help there just is not enough time for this kind of research.
Also, I cannot provide tech support for downloading.  Depending on your
computer's operating system, your web browser, and your screen reader (if
you use one), downloading will be somewhat unique. This makes it hard to
figure out a solution from a distance here in Minnesota.  Plus, it is hard
to type on the keyboard with my mittens on since it is so cold. 


*       Our limited digest version of QST for January 2014 in DAISY is now
available in the members section.
*       Worldradio Online for December 2013 has been completed by Bob Zeida,
N1BLF.  Thanks, Bob!

  Find it in the DAISY section.

*       QCWA Digest for December 2013 is available in MP3 in the members
section and from  <http://www.QCWA.org> www.QCWA.org.  
*       CQ DAISY digest for November is now available after the print issue
arrived very late last month.  The December issue was released yesterday so
the reading for that DAISY book is also delayed.  
*       The National Library Service is back on schedule for the DAISY
*       Jim Perry, KJ3P, Bob Zeida, N1BLF, and Ken Padgitt, W9MJY have
kindly done the volunteer recording.  

Remote Base News

W0EQO station in the server room at Courage North.

Both Handiham Remote Base internet stations W0ZSW and W0EQO are on line for
your use 24/7.  The stations will be available throughout the holidays.  

Many ham radio topics are discussed in on line groups.  What do you think of
starting a Yahoo Group for the Remote Bases?  Or do you know of an existing
remote base group that would be appropriate?  Some of the best advice I have
gotten on technical topics has been through groups of this type.  

*       If you use Skype for audio, please connect and disconnect the Skype
call to the remote base manually.  The automatic calling and hang up is no
longer supported in Skype. 
*       200 watt operation is restored on 160, 80, and 40 meters for Extra
and Advanced Class users on W0ZSW. 

.         Outages: Outages are reported on

Operating tip:  Find out how to tell if the remote base station is already
in use if you are using JAWS: 

*       Listen to the tutorial:
*       Read the tutorial in accessible HTML: 

Digital Cartridges to be Stocked at Handiham HQ in 2014:

A generous donor has afforded us seed money to stock a supply of NLS digital
cartridges and  mailers right at Handiham Headquarters.  That way we will be
able to more quickly serve members who want to get their Daisy book material
or our audio lectures on NLS cartridges for the Library of Congress players.
We will be stocking cartridges soon, and look forward to helping more of our
members get the audio that they need.

Pat holding up NLS digital cartridge and mailer 

Don't care to download Handiham materials via computer? This digital
cartridge and mailer can bring you Handiham audio digests each month, plus
we have room to put the audio lecture series or equipment tutorials on them,

*       If you have trouble logging in, please let us know.  
*       All Daisy materials are in zip file format, so you simply download
the zip file you need and unzip it so the Daisy book folder can be accessed
or moved to your NLS or other Daisy player.
*       Tip: When in the Daisy directory, it is easy to find the latest
books by sorting the files by date. Be sure the latest date is at the top.
The link to sort is called "Last Modified".  
*       You can also find what is on a web page by using CONTROL-F.  This
brings up a search box and you can type a key word in, such as "September".
You may find more than one September, including 2012, but you will
eventually come across what we have posted for September 2013. 

*       Our thanks to Bob, N1BLF, Jim, KJ3P, and Ken, W9MJY, for reading
this month.   <http://handiham.org/drupal2/user> Look for these DAISY
materials in the members section. 

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 call sign 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  <http://www.aph.org> APH, the American Printing
House for the Blind, Inc. 

Digital Talking Book Cartridge, 4GB, Blank; Catalog Number: 1-02609-00,
Price $13.00

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
cartridges:  <http://www.loc.gov/nls/cartridges/index.html> 

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


Stay in touch

Cartoon robot with cordless phone

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  <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call her at 763-520-0512.  If you need to use
the toll-free number, call 1-866-426-3442.  

Handiham Program Coordinator Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, may be reached at
<mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or by phone
at 763-520-0511.  

Mornings Monday through Thursday are the best time to contact us. 

The Courage Kenny Handiham Program 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. 

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
<http://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3> Handiham Weekly E-Letter in MP3
Email us to subscribe:
 <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Kenny Handihams!
Coordinator, Courage Kenny Handiham Program
Reach me by email at:
 <mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:
 <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Courage Kenny Handiham Program <http://handiham.org> 
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422
 <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

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!

ARRL diamond-shaped logo

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
<mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  for changes
of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new

 <http://handiham.org> Visit Handiham.org


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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 January 2014 - Patrick Tice