Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for
the week of Thursday, 12 November 2015
This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny
Handiham Program <https://handiham.org> , serving people with disabilities
in Amateur Radio since 1967.
Our contact information is at the end.
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<http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406> Subscribe to our audio podcast
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Welcome to Handiham World.
In this edition:
· Well, this is different!
· A dip in the General Class pool.
· This week's remote HF report: W0EQO is ready to move, and W0ZSW
has a new antenna tuning procedure.
· Check into our nets!
· ...And more!
Here's one thing I've never done before!
Pat with recording headset and ARRL License Manuals
Patrick Tice, Amateur Radio operator WAØTDA
Picture this: I'm holding a handful of ARRL License manuals and on my head
is a USB headset with boom microphone. I'm getting ready to do more
recording for our Handiham members. Perhaps it will be an audio lecture
about basic rules and regulations for our unlicensed members who are just
beginning to learn about Amateur Radio. Maybe it will be a more complicated
subject like the structure of receivers for our members looking to upgrade
to General. Or maybe it will be a more in depth discussion of the
relationship between RMS voltage and peak voltage for our Extra Class
students. There have been classes at radio camps, classes at Courage Kenney
in Golden Valley and Stillwater, and at libraries and retirement homes.
There have been countless hours on the phone, answering questions about the
math and physics of radio. And of course there are the on line classes we
have offered on demand via the internet, especially designed for our members
who cannot use regular print materials to study.
Yes, I've done a lot of things in ham radio education over the past 25
years, but there is one thing I've never done before, and that is to retire.
Today I want to share this formal announcement with you:
MINNEAPOLIS (Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015) Pat Tice, Handiham program
coordinator for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, has announced his
retirement effective December 11, 2015. Tice has led the amateur radio
program for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute since 1991. ARRL, the
American Radio Relay League, is engaged in ongoing discussions with Courage
Kenny to ensure that Handiham program services will continue after Tice
Founded in 1914, ARRL is the national association for amateur radio. With
more than 161,000 members, it is the largest organization of radio amateurs
in the world. ARRL helps people earn their amateur radio licenses; provides
continuing education in science, math and technology; and provides operating
events and skills training in support of all aspects of amateur radio.
ARRL is a nonprofit with a mission closely aligned with the Handiham
Program, said Tice.
Courage Kennys Handiham Program has more than 600 members and more than 200
volunteers, member clubs and associates. For more than a decade Tice has
produced a weekly newsletter/podcast Handiham World, available by email
and iTunes, which will cease regular production, at least temporarily, upon
his retirement. Weekly nets, the Handiham remote base stations, and Handiham
website will remain in place as the program moves forward in 2016. Nancy
Meydell, program secretary, will continue in her role in the Handiham
Program. Meydell can be reached at 612-775-2291.
Just a few more words on ham radio education:
Pat with 2 meter quad antenna
Whichever of the courses we have taught over the past quarter-century, it
has always been my pleasure to be able to help our Handiham members learn
about the science, math, and art of radio no matter whether they were just
starting out or had been on the air for many years. In the process, I
learned plenty, too. The knowledgeable volunteers who helped us out at the
Handiham radio shop at what was then Courage Center and at Radio Camp
sessions and other events probably forgot more about engineering electronics
than I'll ever know! And from our members with disabilities - well, I guess
I learned a lot about living life to a good purpose and about reaching
Our donors, most of whom are or were ham radio operators themselves,
impressed upon me the importance of sharing something they really loved -
Amateur Radio - with others who needed a helping hand. Your kindness and
generosity are much appreciated.
Yes, I have done and learned a lot in this work, but as I said, one thing I
have yet to do is to retire, and I'm going to do that in mid-December.
Because that is only a month from now and there is much to be done, I have
to say goodbye to our regular weekly e-letter and podcast. We will continue
to provide occasional updates on Handiham.org and other services and
activities will continue as usual, including the HF remote base stations and
the daily Handiham net. The audio lectures and other resources that are on
the website will still be available. Nancy will continue to answer the phone
and help to direct you to our resources.
A special thank you to our Handiham Secretary, Nancy Meydell, whose careful
attention to providing excellent service to our Handiham members will
continue after my retirement!
(For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.)
About Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
<http://www.allinahealth.org/couragekenny> Courage Kenny Rehabilitation
Institute, part of Allina Health, provides a continuum of inpatient and
outpatient rehabilitation and community services. We help people achieve
health and wellness through providing excellent services, innovative
programs, ground-breaking research and barrier-shattering advocacy. Learn
more about <http://www.allinahealth.org/couragekenny>
allinahealth.org/couragekenny or find us on
Facebook and <https://twitter.com/CourageKennyAH> Twitter.
<http://www.allinahealth.org> Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention
and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals,
families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A
not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from
beginning to end-of-life through its <http://www.allinahealth.org/clinics>
90+ clinics, <http://www.allinahealth.org/hospitals> 13 hospitals,
<http://www.allinahealth.org/pharmacy> 16 retail pharmacies, specialty care
centers and specialty medical services that provide
<http://www.allinahealth.org/homecare> home care,
<http://www.allinahealth.org/seniorcare> senior transitions,
<http://www.allinahealth.org/hospice> hospice care,
<http://www.allinahealth.org/oxygen> home oxygen and medical equipment, and
<http://www.allinahealth.org/ems> emergency medical transportation services.
Learn more at <http://www.allinahealth.org/> allinahealth.org and join us
on <https://www.facebook.com/Allina> Facebook and
Now it's time for a dip in the pool.
Dip in the pool is back! This week we are tapping the General Pool for a
question about impedances. It is G5A08, which states:
"Why is impedance matching important?"
Possible answers are:
A. So the source can deliver maximum power to the load
B. So the load will draw minimum power from the source
C. To ensure that there is less resistance than reactance in the circuit
D. To ensure that the resistance and reactance in the circuit are equal
While you are trying to remember what impedance is, let's think about the
word "matching". If you have done much listening on the bands or reading
about connecting antennas and feedlines, you certainly have run across
conversations about matching one thing to another. Perhaps impedance was
also mentioned in the same conversation. Anyway, when things are "matched",
that means that they are complimentary, fitting together in some way that
makes them work together. A key must match a lock, or the door will not
open. A connector on a garden hose must fit, or match with, with a second
connector on a faucet for water to flow. In Amateur Radio, we are always
matching things to one another as we connect pieces of equipment and antenna
If you chose answer A, So the source can deliver maximum power to the load,
you got this one right. In radio we are often working with alternating
currents, such as radio frequency signals. We want to generate a signal with
a transmitter, then get it to an antenna and radiate it over the airwaves.
We connect the transmitter to the antenna with a feedline, such as coaxial
cable, with the expectation that the transmitted signal will reach the
antenna and be radiated. For this to take place with any efficiency, we
must match impedances. The transmitter output impedance must match the
feedline impedance. The antenna impedance must match the feedline
impedance. Impedance is basically like the concept of resistance in DC
circuits, except for AC circuits. Maximum power transfer takes place when
impedances match, which is why most modern transceivers have antenna jacks
labeled 50 ohms and the most common coaxial feedlines are also close to a 50
ohm impedance rating. Antennas vary, but can be matched with baluns that
include matching transformers. A typical flat top half wave dipole will
have a theoretical feedpoint impedance of around 73 ohms, so there will be a
slight mismatch if 50 ohm coax is connected directly to the feedpoint. The
result will be a slightly elevated SWR reading and some loss of power. Some
of us prefer to install a dipole in the inverted vee configuration, with the
highest part of the antenna at the center feedpoint and the two dipole legs
running downward at an angle. This easy little trick lowers the feedpoint
impedance without a balun or transformers and makes for a better match. Of
course there are plenty of other places to pay attention to impedance
matching. You will want to match microphones to preamps, observing the
correct impedances. You will want to make sure an audio amplifier is
matched by the correct headphone or speaker system.
While most of our modern equipment makes matching easy, there are plenty of
vintage radios out there that may have different specs and requirements for
accessories like microphones. Always check impedances when checking to pair
pieces of equipment.
(For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.)
November 12 Remote Base HF Update: W0ZSW and W0EQO are both converted to
Remotehams.com RCForb software. We plan to move W0EQO in the next couple of
days, so it is packed up for the move and off the air.
Yesterday saw a massive low pressure system move through the United States,
leaving snow in states like Colorado and severe weather in much of the USA
Upper Midwest. At the W0ZSW and WA0TDA location in the Twin Cities east
metro, there were strong winds and buckets of rain - 2.39 inches in the
gauge. There was also pea-size hail - unusual for November. As a result,
the stations were offline with feedlines disconnected to protect them from
lightning damage. Service is restored this morning, the 12th of November,
as the storm moves into the Great Lakes area and southern Ontario. Earlier
this week we had an internet outage for about an hour, but otherwise the
stations pretty much were available during the hours of 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM
Central time as usual.
This past week I made a diagnosis of somewhat problematic performance at
W0ZSW, which wasn't automatically matching the antenna as expected. The LDG
AT-200PRO antenna tuner is not responding quickly enough to match when you
transmit after changing bands. The solution is to use the TXt key to tune
the rig, then use the transmit key to transmit your callsign. I will
continue to investigate this issue. Both W0ZSW & W0EQO TS-480 radios are
set to automatically pick the correct sideband according to the band plan.
This convenience helps to assure that the radio will be ready to receive and
transmit on the correct sideband after a band change without the user having
to manually set the sideband. Another user note: W0EQO is set to
automatically turn the radio's power off after you disconnect from it. This
means that when you first connect, it is likely to be powered off so you
will not hear any sound. Turn the power on by pressing (clicking) the power
button. Your comments on this procedure, especially from screenreader
users, would be appreciated.
TS-480HX with RigBlaster Nomic and LDG tuner.
Image: The Kenwood TS-480HX station.
W0ZSW is on the air today as our testing continues. In other W0ZSW news, we
have added "remote memories", which allows users to check out the memories
tab in the software and see which frequencies we recommend. Clicking on
them changes the frequency and mode that is stored in each memory. Several
of our favorites are 3.973 LSB, the "Breakfast Club"; 3.925 LSB, Piconet;
7.258 LSB, MIDCARS road and weather information in the Midwest; 10 MHz AM,
WWV; and 14.300 USB, the Maritime Mobile Service Net. My station, the "100W
IC-7200 Twin Cities Minnesota" listing in the RCForb software lobby, is also
Transmit access: You can use the Remotehams.com website to your advantage
by uploading a copy of your Amateur Radio license so that station owners can
check it if you request transmit privileges on their stations. The neat
thing about this procedure is that once you upload your license, the job is
done and you don't have to do it over and over for every new station you
want to use. A dialog box will come up in the software if you are connected
to a radio and attempt to transmit. You will be given information about
requesting transmit access. After transmit access is granted, you will be
able to transmit. Please be aware that there is no way for the station's
owner to know that you have requested transmit access unless he or she
happens to check the requests in the hosting software! This may not happen
for days or weeks if the station owner is busy, forgets about checking, or
whatever. The transmit request sits in the host software requests list and
absolutely no notification is sent to the station owner. It may be helpful
to send a request by email to the station owner stating that you have
requested access to his or her station. There is usually some explanation of
the station's use and purpose when you go through the list in the RCForb
lobby. Some stations have a pop-up message with further explanation and
details of the station's capabilities once you connect to a station. Pay
attention to these, since they can include instructions for users. Some
stations are reserved for members of a club. Some are open to any licensed
user. You just have to check the list.
The Remotehams.com website includes a robust user discussion area divided
into topics. There is also on line documentation. One thing that can be
frustrating about trying something new, such as remote HF operation, is that
there is a lot to learn about and new users might be impatient about reading
the forum posts and documentation. This is pretty much true when we talk
about VoIP enhanced systems like Echolink as well. But hang in there and do
some reading, then don't be afraid to try out the software, learning by
trial and error. "Learning by doing" is a time-tested, proven way to learn
and retain knowledge. Here are some useful links:
· Remotehams.com main page - (Start here.)
· Remotehams.com client software download page - (Be sure to
download the CLIENT software, not the host software.)
· Remotehams.com support forums page allows you to browse questions
by topic area. <http://www.remotehams.com/forums/>
· Remotehams.com RCForb rig control software manual
<http://www.remotehams.com/help.html> and other documentation page.
What are you waiting for? Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is
How to find the Handiham Net:
· The Handiham EchoLink conference is 494492. Connect via your
iPhone, Android phone, PC, or on a connected simplex node or repeater system
in your area.
· You will also find us on the IRLP linked repeater system. Look
for IRLP 9008.
The Handiham Net will be on the air daily. If there is no net control
station on any scheduled net day, we will have a roundtable on the air
Cartoon multicolored stickman family holding hands, one wheelchair user
Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for anyone and everyone who
wishes to participate at 11:00 hours CST (Noon Eastern and 09:00 Pacific),
as well as Wednesday evenings at 19:00 hours CST (7 PM). If you calculate
GMT, the time difference is that GMT is six hours ahead of Minnesota time
during the winter. Note that we do not have a Thursday evening session at
this time, that session has been moved to Sunday evenings at 8:00 PM Central
Doug, N6NFF, poses a trivia question in the first half of the Wednesday
evening session, so check in early if you want to take a guess. The answer
to the trivia question is generally given shortly after the half-hour mark.
A big THANK YOU to all of our net control stations and to our Handiham Club
Net Manager, Michael, VE7KI.
A better backpack for blind users
Ken, KB3LLA, alerts us to a new backpack that allows a blind user to
maintain better control of the technology devices and other things that
typically are awkward for students or business people to haul around.
Traditional backpacks may hold lots of stuff, but they can be hard on your
back and posture, while also making the things you want to get at hard to
reach. The blind alive website suggests an alternative:
November Events by N1YXU
This is definitely my favorite time of year. Whats not to love about
college football, the gorgeous colors in the fall foliage, and the annual
Thanksgiving holiday with parades, foods, family and friends? There is also
quite a bit happening in amateur radio. Be sure to look through the details
Have a great month! <http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/452> Here are
your November events.
Regards, - Laurie Meier, N1YXU
QST for December is out!
This is not just any digital issue of QST. It is the one with the holiday
gift guide, and a special link to the digital version of the very FIRST
issue of QST, which came out 100 years ago in December, 1915. In that
issue, which had a cover price of ten cents, there is an application for
ARRL membership. Aside from the usual name, address, and callsign
questions, the form also asked, "Length of your aerial" and "Height above
ground". There were also blanks to answer whether you used a "spark coil or
transformer" and "What tone has your spark?"
Both the 2015 and 1915 issues will make for some pretty good reading. If
you want to start dropping hints to Santa about how good you've been all
year long and how you really would enjoy (and deserve) a new radio or
accessory, the gift guide starts on page 129 of the digital edition.
New audio: CQ for November in DAISY audio is available this week for our
blind members. NLS cartridges for November have been mailed this week.
November QST has been published by ARRL and is available to ARRL members as
the online digital magazine and in print. Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has recorded
the Handiham digest version for our blind members, and it is ready as a
compressed DAISY file for you to download and play on your NLS or other
DAISY book player. Find it in the Handiham members section.
· QCWA Journal for November has been re-recorded this past week by
Jim, KJ3P, following a change in the content that needed updating. QCWA
audio is released when the official Journal for the month is posted at
QCWA.org, so always watch for it at QCWA.org.
<http://www.qcwa.org/qcwa.php> It is also available in the Handiham.org
members section. Handiham NLS cartridge users will get the QCWA Journal
audio as a DAISY book.
· New in Op Skills: A small DAISY book version of the KB5ELV
<https://handiham.org/daisy/UV5R_Tips_KB5ELV.zip> "Eyes-Free Guide to the
Baofeng UV5R" dual-band HT, recording by volunteer George Thurner, W8FWG.
(Downloadable zip file.)
· Reminder: Joe, N3AIN, tells us how to install Windows without
sighted help by using a blind-accessible tool.
help.mp3> Anyone may follow this link and listen to or download the MP3
file. We have been hearing some good things about Joe's recording.
Other audio posted earlier:
* The Doctor is In column from November QST has been recorded for our
blind members by Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, and is available in the members section
* QST digests for September and October in digital have been recorded
by Bob, N1BLF. We have these in DAISY for our blind members.
* ARRL General Class License Manual: Jim Perry, KJ3P, has finished the
first three chapters of the new ARRL General Class License manual, recorded
for our blind members. The audio is processed into DAISY for our General
Podcast: If you would like to receive this audio newsletter as a podcast in
software other than iTunes, the RSS feed for the audio podcast is:
Email version: <http://www.freelists.org/list/handiham-world> Subscribe or
change your subscription to the E-mail version here.
Weekly audio reminder: If you are a Handiham member and want a weekly
reminder about our new audio, let us know. Watch for new audio Thursday
afternoons. (Some audio is available only to members.)
Beginner course DAISY download available for our blind members: We now have
the DAISY version of the entire Technician Class lecture series on line for
Some of you have asked about the 2015 General Lecture Series. The new
General pool is used for exams beginning on July 1, 2015. If you are
planning to study for General at Radio Camp in August, you will take your
exam based on the new General question pool. Jim, KJ3P, is helping us with
recordings from the new 2015 ARRL General License Manual.
But you can start studying using the new pool right now! Bob Zeida, N1BLF,
has finished the recording of the new 2015 General Class Question Pool and
it is in the General Class section in the Members part of the website.
Thanks to our volunteer readers:
· You can pay your Handiham dues and certain other program fees on
line. Simply follow the link to our secure payment site, then enter your
information and submit the payment. It's easy and secure!
o Handiham annual membership dues are $12.00.
o If you want to donate to the Handiham Program, please use our donation
website. The instructions are at the following link:
DONATION LINK <http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/8>
o The weekly audio podcast <https://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3> was
produced with the open-source audio editor Audacity
How to contact us
There are several ways to contact us.
Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422
E-Mail: <mailto:Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx> Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx
Preferred telephone: 1-612-775-2291
Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442)
Note: Mondays through Thursdays between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM United States
Central Time are the best times to contact us.
You may also call Handiham Program Coordinator Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, at:
FAX: 612-262-6718 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address! We look
forward to hearing from you soon.
73, and I hope to hear you on the air soon!
For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.
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 Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx
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and your new address.
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