[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 04 December 2013

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 15:07:08 -0600

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 04
December 2013

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.  

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Welcome to Handiham World.

Last week we talked about display advertising in ham radio publications and
how blind readers did not have access to it due to postal regulations. There
is a resource we discovered that will work for you!

Microphone & eyeglasses (drawing)

Blind?  Try alternative ways to access ham radio advertising content on the

Since most of us relish the display advertising in all of the ham radio
publications, I'm not surprised that one of the most popular activities at
Handiham Radio Camp is our discussion of the display ads in the current
magazines.  Last week's e-letter and podcast featured some news about what I
saw in the latest magazines.  Of course that kind of discussion is fun, but
it's hardly comprehensive and it probably doesn't cover what you are looking
for at any given time.  For that kind of targeted research, you turn to the

The Internet is a big place.  That is at once both an advantage when you are
searching for something and a disadvantage.  There is truth to the saying
that you can't really sip information from the Internet - it's more like
trying to drink from a fire hose, with the information coming at you fast
and at high volume.  This is a problem for guys like me who can see the
pages of search results, but blind computer users experience the web in a
different, more linear way.  With screen reading programs providing the
necessary interface between the computer and the user, content must be read
a line or phrase at a time. You cannot quickly take in an entire page on the
screen.  That makes searching a challenge, and it means that blind computer
users need to have a strategy to target their searches in order to narrow
the results more efficiently.  

While looking through my December 2013 QST print version, I discovered what
is just the ticket:  An on line version of the QST Index of Advertisers that
appears at the back of every issue.  The URL is:
<http://www.arrl.org/ads/adlinks.html> http://www.arrl.org/ads/adlinks.html,
which takes you to a page entitled "
<http://www.arrl.org/meet-our-business-partners> Meet Our Business
Partners".  This page is open to any user, whether logged in to the ARRL
website or not.  The thing that makes it really useful is that it closely
mirrors the Index of Advertisers in the print version of QST while providing
links to advertiser websites, or in some cases, toll-free phone numbers.  

Well, if QST has that kind of resource, how about CQ?  I know that the print
CQ has an "Advertiser's Index" at the rear.  Sure enough, a visit to the CQ
website did turn up " <http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/cq_advertisers.html>
CQ Amateur Radio Advertiser Links", exactly what I was looking for.  The URL
is:  <http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/cq_advertisers.html>
http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/cq_advertisers.html. Like the ARRL page,
there are links to advertiser websites as well as phone numbers. 

"This is a bonanza", I thought to myself.  "Is there a third list on the
Worldradio Online site?"

Sure enough - the URL is
http://www.worldradiomagazine.com/wr_visit_ads.html and the site is called "
<http://www.worldradiomagazine.com/wr_visit_ads.html> Visit Our

I suggest that you save all three websites in your browser bookmarks.  I
have lots of bookmarks, so I've created a "Ham Radio" bookmark folder just
for Amateur Radio related pages. Whether you can see the ham radio display
ads or not, these bookmarks will prove useful many times as you research new
products or simply look for contact information from Amateur Radio
manufacturers and services.  

Happy hunting!

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator



Cartoon rabbit running with mail

Emergency alerts by email:

For years I've been getting email alerts about changing weather conditions,
civil unrest, natural disasters - you name it - from a free public alert
service called " <http://www.emergencyemail.org> The Emergency Email &
Wireless Network". This week's alerts are coming thick and fast as winter
storms approach Minnesota.  Email alerts are my preference, but you can also
sign up for these free alerts to be sent to your wireless device, such as a
cellphone. With more of us on the go these days, we may find the smartphone
to be a more reliable way to get notifications.  The URL of the
<http://www.emergencyemail.org> The Emergency Email & Wireless Network is:
 <http://www.emergencyemail.org> http://www.emergencyemail.org. 

The thing I like about this service is the granularity of the choices.  For
example, since I live in Minnesota, I want Minnesota alerts.  But Minnesota
is a big state, and has many variations in weather conditions.  The website
allows me to register and make choices that target my local area.  First I
choose Minnesota from the list of USA states.  That brings up a list of all
the counties in Minnesota, so I choose mine, Washington County.  Next I am
presented with a form page for registration with my email address and my
"home county or parish", which will be used as a password if or when I
update my information.  There is one additional field that accepts my zip
code for even more detailed targeting.  Washington County is long north to
south, so the weather can be quite different in different zip codes. Also on
this page you will find a list detailing the email message types you want to
receive.  Go through the list and make sure you have checked the ones you
want.  Be aware that some are checked by default, including the messages
from sponsors option.  There is also an option to limit certain kinds of
messages between specific hours.  I recommend getting at least the weather
alerts and the Homeland Security alerts.

I subscribe to the weather alerts and get a nice local forecast link along
with radar links.  Since my office does not have a window, I always know
what's going on with the weather by reading my email!  Of course the most
important reason to subscribe is the severe weather alerts, and I know I can
count on getting a targeted message when weather conditions are developing,
which allows me to plan in advance of a storm.  Today, for example, I know
that significant snow will likely hit the Twin Cities.  That means that I
have time to get the snow blower to the front of the garage and the shovels
and salt ready.  I also know in advance that heavy, wet snow may cause some
antenna problems, so I will be checking the antennas several times a day,
perhaps shutting down remote base W0ZSW if the conditions warrant.  I also
know that the local VHF repeaters may be needed for emergency traffic.  I'll
have time to make sure my wife's car has some emergency supplies, including
a cell phone charger.  

Email alerts work for me because I am close to a computer most of the day
and get email on my smartphone when I'm out and about.  You may want to
choose the other messaging options, especially if your cellular service plan
includes unlimited texts.  

Stay alert and stay safe!

Events by N1YXU

Laurie has published her monthly events column.  Check it out on

*        <http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/280>

Holiday Giving for Our Program

Horn of plenty with fruit and handheld radio

You value ham radio and know what it means to be able to get on the air.
From offering our accessible on line licensing classes and tutorials, radio
camps and equipment assistance, to our Internet HF remote base stations, the
Handiham program works hard to make the experience in amateur radio the best
it can be!  For forty-six years, our Handiham program has relied heavily on
philanthropic support to stay current and available to as many people as
possible. We need your help this winter to keep the program strong.  Will
you consider making a gift today? 

*       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. 

To make a credit card gift call 763-520-0542. When giving online, make sure
to select the Handiham designation option to ensure your dollars support the
Thank for you supporting ham radio this holiday season. 


Practical Radio

pliers and wire

What's the best way to connect 12VDC to your radio?

In my ham shack the answer is... It depends.  

If I'm testing a radio that has ring terminals on the included 12VDC power
cable, I'll go ahead and hook it up to an Astron supply using the terminals
on the power supply and run my radio checks.  That is always a bother,
though.  It would be much better if that radio had a power cable equipped
with Anderson PowerpolesR.  I took a photo of a jumper cable that is double
fused (both positive and negative sides are fused).  This jumper cable is
useful on Field Day or in any portable installation or on the test bench
when an extension cable is required because it has Anderson PowerpoleR
connectors on each end.

Typical double fused transceiver power cable with Anderson Powerpoles on
each end.

Why Anderson PowerpolesR?  Well, there are three major advantages:

1.      PowerpoleR connectors are recommended and becoming universal in
Amateur Radio emergency and public service applications.

2.      PowerpoleR connectors can be used by anyone who can plug one
connector into another one. They cannot be connected backwards, even in the
dark, and are easy enough to manipulate even if you are wearing gloves. No
tools are required.  

3.      More and more accessories are available with PowerpolesR installed.

To understand why PowerpolesR are good for you, let's examine a few

The switcheroo

You have your ham shack set up exactly as you like it, but to do a favor for
a friend who has a new radio, you volunteered to help him check it out.
Because he doesn't have an HF antenna set up yet, he brings the radio over
to your shack. 

"No problem", you tell him.  "I don't have a spare power supply but we can
just switch out my HF radio and put yours in its place on my operating

There are two ways this story could go.  If his radio has a power cable
equipped with Powerpoles, you can just remove your radio and plug his in,
connect the antenna, and run your tests.  If the power cord is not equipped
with PowerpolesR, you have to get at the power supply, disconnect the
existing cabling, and connect his using tools.  

Field Day

Field Day is always a part of your annual operating schedule, and you enjoy
participating with your local radio club. Several of the club members
provide radios and accessories, so you always plan carefully exactly what
you need to bring, how to label it so you are sure to get it back again
after a hectic weekend of operating portable at the Field Day site, and of
course you have a checklist that includes necessities like the power cables.
At set up, things can go either of two ways.  If everyone contributing
equipment and accessories to the effort has installed PowerpolesR, all of
the gear can be quickly and correctly connected to the DC power supplies.
No mistakes are possible, since even a newbie can connect PowerpolesR the
right way by simply plugging them in.  The other option - one you don't need
on Field Day during the hectic set up time - is to try to connect all sorts
of different power cables with either no connectors on them, or something
like ring terminals.  Out come the toolboxes because you cannot do this
without tools.  

The contest

How competitive are you?  You are operating in a major contest and a piece
of equipment fails. Every minute of down time means a loss of points.  If
equipment needs to be switched out mid-contest, it is no problem with
PowerpolesR and a major hassle with extra down time if you use nonstandard
connectors. That's why you are able to quickly disconnect the failed unit
and replace it with a working rig - you have wisely installed PowerpolesR on
all of your equipment.  Any time there is a need to move quickly to change
things out, you are ready.  You realize that a race car driver would not
expect the pit crew to use nonstandard tools to replace a failed part, and
you, as a serious contester, do not use nonstandard connectors!  

Back to my ham shack

Remember that I said that "it depends" when considering the best way to
connect equipment in my ham shack?  The "it depends" really means "it
depends on how fast I can get PowerpolesR installed on that new piece of
gear!"  A couple of resources for PowerpolesR are:

*       Powerwerx <http://www.powerwerx.com/> 
*       West Mountain Radio
*       DX Engineering

Guess what?  Every one of the suppliers listed above is included in the
various lists of advertisers we have already discussed.   

This is practical radio.  Use what works for you.


Handiham Nets are on the air daily. 

If there is no net control station during any scheduled net time, just go
right ahead and start a round table discussion. 

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!  

Upcoming holidays in the next 30 days are Christmas, which falls on
Wednesday December 25 and New Year's Day, which is on Wednesday January 1.
When holidays fall on a Wednesday, it is sometimes hard to decide how to
manage the adjacent weekdays to assure that staff (me and Nancy) have some
time off with our families.  This year we have decided to close the office
on the Thursday and Friday after each of these two holidays.  That means
that the Handiham office will be closed December 25 through 29, reopening on
Monday December 30.  Then we will be open Tuesday and close again for New
Year's Day on Wednesday January 1 2014.  We will reopen on Monday January 6

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

There will be a shorter edition of the weekly e-letter released a day early
during both holiday weeks, time permitting.  Thank you for subscribing to
our weekly Handiham World!

And speaking of thanks...

Reaching for the stars - cartoon guy

...what would we do without our volunteers?  Net controls, readers, people
who maintain our stations, teachers of our classes - both on line and at
radio camps, those who help us with computers and software - we couldn't do
it without you!  Thank you so much to all of our wonderful volunteers!

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!  What will Doug, N6NFF, come up with for
his trivia question tonight? Tune in and see how you do with the question
this week, or just check in to say hello.  

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:


A dip in the pool

Pat shows off his new Plantronics USB headset!

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

Let's go to the General Class pool and examine a question about digital

G8B10 asks, "What does the number 31 represent in PSK31?"

Possible answers are:

A. The approximate transmitted symbol rate
B. The version of the PSK protocol
C. The year in which PSK31 was invented
D. The number of characters that can be represented by PSK31

The answer is A, The approximate transmitted symbol rate.  This is also
discussed at some length in the Extra Class course, an example of how the
concepts that you learn for one license can show up again as you study for
an upgrade. 

Please e-mail  <mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment. 


This week @ HQ

Cartoon robot with pencil

Office closings 

.         Our office is closed on Fridays through the end of the year.  This
tends to be a low usage time for Handiham services because of the holidays,
and that makes it perfect for burning off some accumulated vacation time. 


*       CQ DAISY digest for November is now available after the print issue
arrived very late last month.  We do not yet have a December issue so the
reading for that DAISY book is also delayed.  
*       ARRL has published the December QST on line for ARRL members. The
National Library Service is back on schedule for the DAISY version. 
*       Worldradio Online for November has been completed by Bob Zeida,
N1BLF.  Thanks, Bob!

  We do not yet have the December issue, which will result in a delay of the
DAISY book. 

*       QCWA Journal audio for November is in the members section and also
available from the QCWA website.  
*       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.

*       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. 
*       The LDG AT200Pro is back in service at W0ZSW after our run of
testing with the AT1000Pro2.
*       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: 


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

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> Return to Handiham.org


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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 04 December 2013 - Patrick Tice