[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25 December 2013

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:43:00 -0600

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25
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.  

MP3 audio: 

Get this podcast in iTunes:
 <http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406> Subscribe to our audio podcast
in iTunes

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
 <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham> http://feeds.feedBurner.com/handiham


Welcome to Handiham World.

And a Merry Christmas to you!

Pat with microphone & Santa hat

This week we are taking a few minutes to think about what is important on a
day like Christmas.  Lots of gifts!

No, gifts are nice, but I'm really talking about getting together with
family and friends to celebrate the season, whichever tradition you follow.
The traditional message of peace is a theme that the world could use, and
add to that kindness, sharing, respect for each other...  Pretty soon we are
all getting along!

So, since it is Christmas day, I'll wish you all a merry Christmas.  And
since we celebrate many holidays this time of year, I'll also wish you a
wonderful, happy holiday season from all of us at Handihams!  

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator



Cartoon rabbit running with mail

The Smithsonian Channel on YouTube

It's a channel to check out if you are interested in anything the
Smithsonian might have within its walls, or that might not fit within the
walls but that is still deemed an important part of American history.  In
this case, we are talking aviation:

"The Hercules Ski bird is the go-to aircraft for tough jobs in frozen
places. It's on its way to Greenland, the country that holds the record for
the worst flying conditions on the planet."  

For some reason, an interest in aviation seems to tag right along with
amateur radio, and when I found this 45 minute video on the Smithsonian's
YouTube Channel, I just had to share it.  Blind?  No worries - the audio is
excellent and can carry the story without the pictures. You'll find it at
the following link:


Mobile operation from outlet in car...       

When driving to Handiham Camp, I use my 857D plugged into a "jump pack" and
use a double male cord to keep the "jump pack" charging as well. I can run
full power that way on SSB because the peak drain is intermittent. I recall
an ad for a product that uses a HUGE capacitor bank that claims 100W on SSB
can be run (16 amp peaks) -- never felt a need to buy one with my "jump
pack" system.      

73,  Bill, K9BV

Don't forget about Handihams this year!

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: 
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. 

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

Shout out to Universal Radio <http://www.universal-radio.com/> !

Why?  Well, two things.  

1.      They were the first to get a 2014 catalog to me this year.  It's
always good when catalogs chock full o' ham radio goodies arrive this time
of year.  

2.      Second, this excellent catalog has a page devoted to pictures of
their staff that ALSO includes the Universal Radio pet cats, whose names and
pictures are right there with the humans.  

3.      You know what?  I'll even throw a third in - There is a great page
explaining the basics of short-wave, right before the section with the
short-wave and communications receivers.

Well played, gentlemen.  And cats.  

NC4FB PowerPoint Slides and blind-accessible audio for Tech 2014 Ready for

Microsoft PowerPoint subelement slide sets for the Technician (2014 - 2018)
question pool can be downloaded from the link below.  The slide sets can be
modified as needed with Microsoft PowerPoint or Open Office Impress.  If you
prefer to work online take a look at Zoho Docs:
http://www.zoho.com/docs/  (free 5 GB account).   Note the two links below,
one to the PowerPoint and the other to the audio:

Download the PPT here: 

Download the audio files for blind users here: 



Practical Radio

pliers and wire

What can I do to conserve emergency power?

That is a question you might not even understand.  What I'm referring to is
your ham shack and your capability of operating your station on emergency
power.  The typical ham radio operator has at least some capability to go
"off grid" in a power outage.  This may only be a handheld radio with its
own battery, but hey - that's still something.  You may have something even
more elaborate, such as a bank of storage batteries that you keep charged
for just such an emergency, and you may have HF capability as a result.
Maybe you have a gasoline generator, solar panels, or a wind generator.  

No matter what your emergency power source, there are some things you can do
to preserve what power you do have.  After all, you don't know how long you
will have to depend on it.

1.      Always use the lowest power setting that allows acceptable
communications.  Not only is this the right thing to do anytime, it also
saves power.  Excess power does nothing to enhance communications and does
waste your emergency power.  When using a handheld radio, be sure to try the
lowest power setting to see if you can make the contact.  Step the power up
if necessary.  

2.      Manage your radios according to need.  You may only need to monitor
a two meter repeater most of the time, so there is no need to run your HF
gear until it is needed.  This seems self-evident, but it can be tempting to
keep everything running "just in case".  A single radio may run fine on
battery power, allowing you to save the gas generator for later when it is

3.      Prepare some gain antennas well in advance.  A gain antenna can
allow you to operate your HT on the low power setting while still hitting
the local repeater with a solid signal.  That saves energy!

4.      Use efficient modes when it's practical to do so.  On HF, PSK-31 is
robust, even with low power.  FM is 100% duty cycle and saps power fast.

5.      Pay attention to other energy-consuming devices in the ham shack.
Switch your emergency lighting to use CFLs or (better yet) LED lamps.
Either one is far more efficient than incandescent bulbs, which waste power
as heat. 

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


Handiham Nets are on the air daily. 

Matt, KA0PQW, operates at Radio Camp 2013

I know it's a long way off, but we plan to run the Handiham net at least a
couple of times from Radio Camp in Minnesota, which will be August 16 - 23
2014.  In this 2013 photo, Matt Arthur, KA0PQW, operates one of the HF
stations at Radio Camp.  

Should 2014 be the year we start a new HF net?  

This is the time to do it if we want to get one started.  The bands are
about as good as they'll get, and I'd be open to trying something new.  For
example, how about a 10 meter SSB net in the band section where Novices and
Technicians have privileges?  Or a more exclusive net in the Advanced
portion of 75 meters?  Or a PSK-31 net?  

But back to the present and the Handiham Daily Net:  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!  

.         Christmas week:  We now plan to be closed Monday, Tuesday, and
Wednesday December 23 through 25 for the Christmas break. Then we will be
open Thursday after Christmas and closed Friday.

.         New Year's week:  We will be open on Monday and Tuesday December
30 and 31 and close for New Year's Day on Wednesday January 1 2014.  We will
reopen on Monday January 6, 2014. 

If this schedule changes, we will let you know on 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!  

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

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. 

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.  Here is an example for last week's podcast: 

.         To get another podcast, use the same URL but change the filename
to the correct date.  
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. 


*       Worldradio Online for December 2013 has been completed by Bob Zeida,
N1BLF.  Thanks, Bob!

  Find it in the DAISY section.

*       Our limited digest version of QST for December 2013 in DAISY is now
available in the members section and NLS cartridges are in the mail. 
*       ARRL has released the January 2014 QST, available to ARRL members
through the ARRL website or the QST smartphone app. Our limited DAISY
version should be ready for blind users sometime later this month. 
*       QCWA Digest for December 2013 is available in MP3 in the members
section and from 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.  
*       ARRL has published the December QST on line for ARRL members. The
National Library Service is back on schedule for the DAISY version. 
*       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: 


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

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

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:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

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

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

Return to Handiham.org <http://handiham.org> 


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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25 December 2013 - Patrick Tice