[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 April 2015

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 12:35:11 -0500

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for
the week of Wednesday, 01 April 2015

This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny
Handiham System <https://handiham.org> , serving people with disabilities in
Amateur Radio since 1967.

Our contact information is at the end.

Listen here:

Get this podcast in iTunes:
<http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406> Subscribe to our audio podcast
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RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
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Subscribe or change your subscription to the E-mail version here.


Welcome to Handiham World.

In this edition:

. W0ZSW to begin TS-590S testing soon.

. The week's question answered: Yes, we do allow cats and dogs into
the ham shack. (But you already knew that, right?)

. Check into our daily nets.

. Take a dip in the pool: There are 10 kinds of people: Those who
understand binary and those who don't.

. The Remote Base HF report: Thunderstorm season begins!

. W0ZSW needs a new trustee.

. April audio is in production.

. ...And more!


But first... Some changes come to our W0ZSW remote base station.

Kenwood TS-590S transceiver with transparent plastic top panel at Kenwood
booth in Dayton.

We have been hinting for some time now about putting the Kenwood TS-590S in
place at W0ZSW. Here you see a cutaway version at the Kenwood booth at last
year's HamventionR.

There are several good reasons to begin our test run soon. One is that the
TS-480HX finals have failed and the temporary replacement IC-7200 does not
provide voice frequency readout for our blind members when operated as a
remote. Another is that the excellent Kenwood ARCP-590 software provides
very good access to all radio functions, which includes the option to turn
the voice frequency announcements off or keep some of them but make the
radio less verbose. This has been one of the most requested options from
sighted users, who find the speech announcements distracting.

But there is a down side to the change, too. While the W4MQ software we
have been using allows us to limit transmit privileges by license class,
there is no such provision in the Kenwood software. The W4MQ software is
also quite limited in its functions to basic controls only. The Kenwood
software really opens up the radio for all sorts of customization by the
users. We already have some supporting material on our remote base website
for the W4MQ software, but nothing for the Kenwood software.

With those things in mind, we are limiting the initial user base to
carefully chosen operators who will be able to learn and use the software
without a lot of hand-holding. These will include some blind users and some
sighted, but what is common to all of them is that they will have operated
remotes in the past and they know what they are doing and can problem-solve.
They know how to stay within the band and follow the rules. This isn't
exactly handy for the rest of the existing W0ZSW user base, but remember
that W0EQO is available as an alternative and does feature a Kenwood
TS-480SAT with speech frequency readout.

W0ZSW currently uses a 270 foot double extended zepp antenna, commonly
referred to as a "W0OXB Special", and it's a great wire antenna that can be
tuned 160 through 6 meters. We expect to use that antenna for the TS-590S,
which means shutting down the existing W0ZSW station - because it won't have
an antenna!

Tech support is a fact of life with this stuff, but we will try to head most
of it off by posting updates on the Handiham Remote Base website. Time is
in short supply, and this is a big project. We appreciate it when users
check the website instead of picking up the phone and calling us to let us
know that W0ZSW is off line. The website is also the quickest way to find
out what's going on, since leaving a voice mail between Thursday afternoon
and Sunday will result in days of waiting for a response.

When the TS-590S goes live, we will begin learning the ways of the new
system. No doubt we will be delighted with some features and puzzled by
others. We will run into problems, of course. There are always unexpected
issues with every new system. What we would like to do is to iron most of
them out before adding more users from the old W0ZSW user base.

Avery, K0HLA, has kindly been the trustee for the station for many years.
He would like to retire from that position, so we need a new trustee.
Please let me know if you can help us with this important work.

(For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.)


Drawing of a computer

Last week's question: Do you allow pets in the ham shack?

PJ the wiener dog sports her "I'm the Boss" t-shirt while overseeing the ham
shack for the "Second Base Umpire" of Hugo, MN.
PJ the wiener dog sports her "I'm the Boss" t-shirt while overseeing the ham
shack for the "Second Base Umpire" of Hugo, MN.

George, N0SBU, says:

Yes, I have PJ in the shack at all times. When I am operating the radios at
times she will sit next to the foot switch for the microphone. As yet she
has not "keyed" the radio. Most of the time she will lie down on the floor
and relax while I am using the radios.

Matt, KA0PQW, writes:

Well yes, of course I let my pet in the ham shack. I can't imagine not
letting Missy Cat in the shack. Since it's just us living here, there just
isn't much choice - especially now that I have two ham shacks, my main shack
in the basement and my living room shack that has the AM station and some
other gear.

Missy Cat likes to come in the main shack and get up on the bench for
petting or a treat. Sometimes she likes to lie on top of the big 35 amp
power supply and warm her belly. But that said, I have to pay attention
because she has been known to get a rig keyed up and have me on the air. I
try to keep microphones so she can't lie on them.

Recently I was on 40 meters talking to someone when the other station told
me, "You have a strange motor sound on your signal."

I had to explain that it was Missy Cat purring while she was standing on the
bench with her head over the microphone.

The upstairs shack, since it's in the living room, is also her territory,
but she doesn't get up on the AM station equipment. She would rather lie on
a chair and hang out. I know most hams can't have a shack in the living
room. Well, being a bachelor I can get by with that.

Maybe someday I will have a third shack; who knows?

And here at the WA0TDA ham shack, both Jasper and Garnet are free to wander

Jasper, left, and Garnet, right, keep watch together out the front window
when they are not both in the ham shack.
Jasper, left, and Garnet, right, keep watch together out the front window
when they are not both in the ham shack.

Jasper is a Corgi-Cocker Spaniel mix and Garnet is a Corgi. Both are
smallish dogs, which is a good thing since my ham shack isn't exactly what
you would call spacious. Garnet wanders by to see what's going on, then
leaves to look out the window. Jasper prefers to lie on the ham shack
floor, under the main operating desk. Once, when Jasper was still a puppy,
he took his place on the ham shack floor and there was a headset with boom
microphone hanging on a hook above him. The wire dangled down right over
his snout, and being a puppy, he decided to have a chew. There went that
headset - the wire was chewed clean through! Anyone who has raised a dog
from puppyhood knows that they go through developmental stages as they grow.
The chewing stage pretty much lasts from when they first get teeth right on
through the first year, and sometimes beyond. Jasper had a taste for good
audio and also devoured a set of iPod earbuds. Garnet preferred carpet and
chewed a hole right in the middle of the carpet on the first step leading up
from the shack. Carpet is a high-fiber snack compared to earphones, I'd

Anyway, from what I hear on the air, pretty much everyone allows their pets
into their ham shacks. Since that is the case, how do we ensure their safety
and keep the station operations as efficient as possible?

As with any of the advice you receive from me, your mileage may vary - so
keep that in mind. First off, you have to know your pet. As I have noted,
young dogs will chew things and get themselves into trouble. If your dog
has a need to chew, keep chewable dog toys handy and keep cords and other
tasty-looking equipment out of reach. Any time a pet is with you in the ham
radio room, you should expect to have to observe and supervise from time to
time. Be aware of what is going on, and unless your pets are completely
laid back and trustworthy, it's better to keep them out of the room during a
high-intensity contest when you will be glued to the radio.

Some equipment is potentially dangerous. A power cable running across the
floor could deliver a dangerous shock when the insulation is chewed through.
A chewed power cable is also a shock hazard for everyone else, and a
potential fire hazard, too. Some equipment gets very hot to the touch while
in use, so humans or pets can get burned. Small paws or tails can get run
over by chair casters. You could trip and fall if you step on a dog toy
left in a place you didn't expect it.

The only reliable way to manage pets in the ham shack is to pay attention to
them, especially when they are young and just learning how to behave. When
they are older and you both know each other's ways, then you can relax a bit
- but you can never just forget about your pets because ultimately you are
the adult in charge. Be the control op of the station AND the ham shack!

Next week's question: Will you do any antenna work now that we've kicked
March out the door?

<mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx?subject=The%20weekly%20question> Think you
have an answer? Email me and let me know. Also tell me if it's okay to
mention your callsign in the e-letter and podcast.


Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is welcome!

Cartoon multicolored stickman family holding hands, one wheelchair user
among them.

Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for anyone and everyone who
wishes to participate at 11:00 hours CDT (Noon Eastern and 09:00 Pacific),
as well as Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 19:00 hours CDT (7 PM). If
you calculate GMT, the time difference is that GMT is five hours ahead of
Minnesota time during the summer.

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. By the way Michael, congrats on the new


A dip in the pool

circuit board

It's time to take a dip in the pool - the NCVEC Amateur Radio Question Pool,
not the swimming pool. Looking forward to the new 2015 General Pool that
comes into effect on July 1, we sample the following question. Let's see if
you can get the answer!

G7B02 asks, "Which of the following is an advantage of using the binary
system when processing digital signals?"

Possible answers are:

A. Binary "ones" and "zeros" are easy to represent by an "on" or "off" state
B. The binary number system is most accurate
C. Binary numbers are more compatible with analog circuitry
D. All of these choices are correct

Binary describes a two-state system, such as
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_code> "on" or "off", or "ones" and
"zeros". When we are dealing with electronics, we can represent two states
by using switches, which can be either on or off. If you design a system of
interconnected switches that allows for many combinations of on and off, you
have the makings of a digital system. Of course you need to tell it how to
make those combinations, so you write software. Anyway, answer A, Binary
"ones" and "zeros" are easy to represent by an "on" or "off" state, is the
correct one.


Both Handiham HF remote base internet stations are up and running.

No major outages were reported in the past week. There is no speech
frequency readout available at W0ZSW with the substitute radio that is
presently in use. W0EQO does return speech frequency readout for our blind

The IC-7200 in place of the TS-480HX at W0ZSW.
Photo: An IC-7200 loaned by WA0TDA pinch hits at W0ZSW.

Our two stations are W0EQO at Camp Courage North and W0ZSW in the Twin
Cities East Metro. Please visit the remote base website for more
information on the status of the stations, the W4MQ software downloads, and
installation instructions. Details at Remote Base website
<https://handiham.org/remotebase/> .

Contact me if you are interested in hosting a Handiham Remote Base station,
either here in the Twin Cities or anywhere else in the USA!

We are looking for a new home for station W0ZSW here in the Twin Cities. I
am hoping that we do not have to close down the station, but that is what
will happen if no one steps up to the plate.

The TS-590S station using the Kenwood ARCP-590 software will go back on the
air using the W0ZSW antenna shortly. The station is in its earliest stages
of testing and is not on the air often, but when it is, W0ZSW is not
available to the regular users. The W0ZSW IC-7200 will be unavailable
because its antenna will be used for testing the TS-590S. If you find that
W0ZSW is unavailable, please consider using W0EQO instead.

If you are an experienced TS-590S and ARCP-590 user and are interested in
participating in these tests, please let me know.

Thunderstorm season begins in Minnesota today!


We are expecting thunderstorms in southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities
Metro area by late afternoon of 1 April 2015 and through the night into the
early hours of 2 April. W0ZSW will be off line during thunderstorms and
remain offline until the danger is well past. In 2014 we had significant
lightning damage, something we don't want to experience this season!

When there are storms or when the TS-590S station is using the W0ZSW
antenna, the W4MQ software will show up as off line. PLEASE do not call to
let us know that the station is off line. Instead, refer to the Remote Base
website <http://handiham.org/remotebase/> or send an email message to let
us know about the problem
<mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx?subject=Remote%20Base%20Problem> .

W0EQO is not expected to be offline, as it is in Northern Minnesota.


Handiham office hours:

Mornings Monday through Thursday are the best time to contact us. Please
visit Handiham.org for updates and schedule changes. Our website will be
available 24/7 as always, and if there is an emergency notification or
remote base outage, the website will be updated accordingly no matter what
day it is. We are always closed Friday through Sunday.


New audio:

April 2015 QST has been released by ARRL, and Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has produced
audio for our blind members. The DAISY book will be ready for download this
week. The April Doctor column has been recorded for our blind members by
Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, and is now available for listening, and will be on the
DAISY cartridge as well.

Recently we had a request from a podcast listener who did not have iTunes
and suggested that we set up an RSS feed. However, do already have such a
feed. The RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting
software is:
<http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham> http://feeds.feedBurner.com/handiham

Subscribe or change your subscription to the E-mail version here.

If you are a Handiham member and want a weekly reminder about our new audio,
let us know. Watch for new audio Thursday afternoons.

In the Technician Lecture Series, the big news is that the entire lecture
series is now complete. We expect to have a DAISY version on line for
download shortly. The new General Class License Manual has not been
released yet. Usually this is ready in print by HamventionR time in

NLS cartridge production will begin soon, when more April materials arrive.

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. Don't miss Dave Sumner's article on Band Planning on page 9 of
your March QST, or in audio in the DAISY QST from NLS or the digest from
Handihams. Regarding this topic, what do you think about the 75 meter phone
band starting at 3.6 MHz? One of our members likes this as it is and would
not like to see digital modes there instead. What thoughts do you have?
Phone or digital in this part of the band?

Jim, KJ3P, has recorded the DXer's Handbook Second Edition by Bryce, K7UA,
for our blind members.

Thanks to our volunteer readers:

Bob, N1BLF

Jim, KJ3P

Ken, W9MJY


Radio Camp News: We will once again be at the Woodland campus, Camp

Cabin 2, site of our ham radio stations and classes.
Photo: A Woodland Cabin with screen porch, fireplace, kitchen, laundry, and
comfortable great room.

Plan to work DX with the triband HF beam antenna. In addition, we will be
installing several wire antennas fed with 450 ohm ladder line for
high-efficiency operation on multiple bands. We will be able to check in to
the popular PICONET HF net on 3.925 MHz. Radios you can try at camp include
the remote base stations running the Kenwood TS-480, and get your hands on a
Kenwood TS-590S or TS-2000, both of which will be set up to operate. If you
have a special request for gear you would like to check out at camp, please
let us know.

Other activities at camp:

. Campers needing radio equipment or accessories to take home and
complete their stations should let us know what they need. Equipment will
be distributed at camp.

. We will have a Handiham Radio Club meeting that will include
election of club officers and planning for the upcoming year.

. The Icom IC-718 will once again be pressed into service on the
camp pontoon boat for HF operation from Cedar Lake. All aboard! QRMers
will walk the plank if caught.

. We'll have time for several operating skills discussions.

. Anyone interested in a hidden transmitter hunt on VHF?

If you want to get a first license or study for an upgrade, let us know.

<http://truefriends.org/camp/> Camp dates are now published in the True
Friends Camp Catalog. They are Tuesday, August 18 (arrival) through Monday,
August 24 (departure),

Please let Nancy know if you wish to receive a 2015 Radio Camp Application.



. 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. The lifetime membership
rate is $120.00.

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 We hope you will remember us in your 2015 giving plans. The Courage
Kenny Handiham program needs your help. Our small staff works with
volunteers, members, and donors to share the fun of Amateur Radio with
people who have disabilities or sensory impairments. We've been doing this
work since 1967, steadily adapting to the times and new technologies, but
the mission is still one of getting people on the air and helping them to be
part of the ham radio community. Confidence-building, lifelong learning,
making friends - it's all part of ham radio and the Handiham Program.
Begging cartoon doggie

o The weekly audio podcast <https://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3> was
produced with the open-source audio editor Audacity
<http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/> .

How to contact us

There are several ways to contact us.

Postal Mail:

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

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

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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 01 April 2015 - Patrick.Tice