[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 04 February 2015

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2015 12:38:25 -0600

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for
the week of Wednesday, 04 February 2015

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

Our contact information is at the end. 

Listen here:
https://handiham.org/audio/handiham04FEB2015.mp3 

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.

In this edition:  

.         The Paperless Amateur Radio license:  Should you worry?

.         You might need an old-fashioned file folder after all.

.         Check into our daily nets.

.         Take a dip in the pool.

.         Amateur Radio Newsline is now on Facebook

.         The Remote Base HF report.

.         Looking for an existing HF net?  Try PICONET.

.         ...And more!

FCC ULS Logo

The Amateur Radio license goes paperless:  It happens this month. 

I'm sure you've heard it by now:  The FCC will no longer be issuing paper
copies of Amateur Radio licenses.  This cost-saving change goes into effect
this month - February 17, in fact - and will save both money and staff time
for the FCC.  It affirms what has already existed in practice, which is that
the FCC's ULS record is the official proof of licensure, not the printed
paper license.  

There has been some pushback.  Some people just like a printed copy of the
license because it seems more tangible.  Others worry about operating mobile
or portable without a printed license that they could present to authorities
in a traffic stop or emergency.  Some people don't own computers or
smartphones and don't have internet access.  

These are all valid concerns, but nothing to be upset about.  As ARRL says
in its online story
<http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-paperless-amateur-radio-license-policy-goes-in
to-effect-on-february-17> :

"The ULS License Manager now includes settings that allow licensees to
notify the WTB that they prefer to receive official authorizations on paper.
Once the final procedures go into effect designating electronic access as
the default, licensees can change the ULS License Manager setting so that
the Bureau will print and mail a license document. Licensees also may
contact  <http://esupport.fcc.gov/index.htm?job=contact_fcc_support> FCC
Support via the web, telephone or mail to request paper licenses."

However, this does not change the fact that the new FCC licenses obtained
via the printed copy request will be printed on plain white paper, and the
ULS database remains the official record, not any printed copy.  It does
address the need for those licensees who do not have computers or who simply
want a paper copy for whatever reason.  Those of us who do not want or need
a paper license to be mailed to us can simply print out a reference copy.  I
have done this myself for years, since the original paper copy goes into my
FCC file folder and never sees the light of day thereafter until it is
pulled out and shredded at renewal time. 

New licensees have a slightly different procedure, as explained by ARRL:

"Under the new procedures, a new license applicant who already has an FCC
Registration Number (FRN) and provides a valid e-mail address under
"Applicant Information" in the ULS will receive an official ULS-generated
electronic authorization via e-mail. New license applicants lacking an FRN
will receive in the mail an FRN and a temporary password to access the
Commission Registration System (CORES). New applicants will no longer
automatically receive a license document and must request one by changing
their "Paper Authorization Preference" in the ULS License Manager."

The new licenses are printed on plain white paper, not the old watermarked
paper stock that cost the government much more.  This nod to the old system
has brought criticism from some, who observe that the plain white paper
copies might not be accepted as valid and would be easier to forge.  What if
you were at the State Motor Vehicle Division applying for callsign license
plates and you were questioned about the validity of the plain paper
license?  The answer is the same no matter what:  The FCC ULS database is
the official record.  Every State Motor Vehicle Division has internet access
and can confirm an FCC licensee's current status if they deem it necessary
to do so.  I'm betting they won't have a problem with the copy you present
to them, but you never know, especially in a time of transition.  

But here's the thing:  The paper copy is not really a valid identification
nor is it the final copy of record.  It is really more of a convenience copy
and any verification dispute must be taken to the FCC ULS database anyway.
Like it or not, this has been the case for quite some time anyway and this
month's move to paperless does not change that.

To sum it all up: 

.         We will no longer receive paper licenses unless we request them.  

.         New licensees will receive an email confirmation and temporary FCC
ULS login.  

.         Reference copies of FCC licenses have been available for years,
and can still be printed anytime.  

Our conclusion:  There is nothing to worry about.  Yes, it is a change, but
not an unexpected one.  Paper is slowly but surely taking its final bows as
it exits the stage to make way for new technologies.  License certificates
join the long parade of paper that includes phone directories,
encyclopedias, instruction manuals, photographs, invoices and statements,
checks, and many other things that clutter our lives and are impossible to
search unless they are carefully stored in file boxes or cabinets.  

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

  _____  

Storing your FCC correspondence

Drawing of a computer

Keep that ULS password safe!

Now that we have assured you that paper is just so yesterday, here we are
telling you that you might still need it.  For example, I renewed an Amateur
Radio license on the FCC's ULS website.  It was easy - less than 10 minutes
and everything was good.  The reason:  I knew the FRN and ULS password.
Now, you can keep these things stored on your computer's hard drive if you
wish, but having a document or text file or even a password database can
spell trouble if you are ever hacked or have a hard drive failure.  It's
better to keep your passwords more secure than that.  I keep an FCC paper
file folder in a metal file cabinet.  In it at the moment are anything I
receive from the FCC, which includes my paper FCC license.  Since these
printed licenses will no longer be sent out by the FCC unless requested, in
the future I'll just print a reference copy and drop it in the file folder.
But more importantly, I keep my FCC ULS login information in the file folder
as well.  If I forget it - and believe me, I will - I know that I can go to
the paper file folder and find it.  A paper folder also serves as a backup
should my computer fail.  

Could I eliminate the paper file?

Sure, but give me a break.  It's still easier to maintain a paper file for
some mission-critical things in our household than to depend entirely on
digital storage.  However, if I did choose to store credentials digitally, I
would make sure I do two things:

1.   Encrypt the file in which they are stored, and...

2.   Keep copies both on my computer's hard drive and in an alternate
location.  This could be cloud storage on a remote server or on a USB thumb
drive kept in a bank safety deposit box.  These copies would also need to be
encrypted, but I could see making an exception for the one in the locked
bank safety deposit box since it is very secure physically.

In the event that something happens to me, I want to know that my family can
find important documents.  Say what you will about paper files, if you
maintain them, they can be accessed even by a family member who does not
have computer experience.  No matter how you feel about digital, we live in
a transforming world that includes people and processes that still operate
in traditional ways.   

  _____  

Good question

Why is it that commercial FCC licenses are good for life but Amateur Radio
licenses are renewed every 10 years?  I would think Ham licenses would be
good for life also.   
73 es DX de K0HLA Avery.  

.         Can anyone answer Avery's question?  I'm not sure why there is a
different renewal policy.  

  _____  

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

Microphone and eyeglasses

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 and Thursday evenings at 19:00 hours CST (7 PM).  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, VE6UE, who takes the Thursday evening Technical Net
session.

  _____  

Still no offers!  Can you help Paul with our slow-speed CW net on 40 meters?

The 40M slow speed CW net is Friday 9AM to Noon EST.  Can you get on 40
meter CW and give Paul, W8IRT, some help?  

You know, we once had several Monday Handiham SSB nets on the HF bands.
Most popular among them was the 20 meter version just after the Salvation
Army net on 14.265 MHz.  Band conditions changed and at the bottom of one
particularly brutal solar minimum the HF nets simply fell out of favor.  40
meters remains useful through the entire solar cycle, so that's not really
an issue here.  Instead, we are up against a limitation of the propagation
footprint on 40 during the daytime and - dare I say it - a lack of interest
in volunteering for an HF net.  This should probably not be surprising,
though every so often I do get calls from people who ask for our HF net
frequencies, thinking that they will be able to take part in an HF SSB net.
I have to wonder who they think is supposed to get on the air and commit to
doing so week after week, just so that they can check in themselves once
every decade or so?  Excuse me if I sound a bit cynical about this, but if
people want to have a net, they can make that happen by stepping forward
themselves, rolling up their sleeves, and getting it organized.  This is not
something to suggest that someone else "should do", so when someone  tells
me that I "should get an HF net going", I am not above telling them that it
sounds like a great idea and by the way, when will THEY be starting THEIR
new net?  

Today we have the more universally-accepted and inclusive daily Handiham
Radio Club VoIP net.  Technician operators can participate, as can many
others who could not if they had to put up large HF antennas.  There is not
much we can do about HF band conditions, but that doesn't mean that we could
never have another HF net.  It does mean that such a net would be limited by
all the constraints of HF operation - uncertain propagation, station
requirements that may be limited to a much smaller cadre of participants,
and of course the limitations of HF band segments for anyone other than
Extra Class.  

Meanwhile, we have the Friday CW net.  7.112 MHz CW, 09:00 - 12:00 ET, plus
whatever time is needed to wrap up the last contact: This is the Handiham
Informal slow speed CW Net. Look for Paul, W8IRT.   You can find Paul's
email address through the Nets link on Handiham.org
<https://handiham.org/drupal2/nets> .  

You can also contact Pat, WA0TDA, and we will get the information to Paul.
<mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx?subject=40%20meter%20net%20help>   

  _____  

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 new question.  Let's
see if you can get the answer!

G5C08 asks, "What is the equivalent capacitance of two 5.0 nanofarad
capacitors and one 750 picofarad capacitor connected in parallel?"

Possible answers are:

A. 576.9 nanofarads
B. 1733 picofarads
C. 3583 picofarads
D. 10.750 nanofarads

This is one of those questions that requires you to know two things:  How to
convert units of capacitance to equivalents so that you can combine them,
and how capacitors behave when connected in parallel.  First, we take a look
at the units, Nanofarads and picofarads.  One nanofarad equals 1,000
picofarads.  That means we can convert the 750 picofarads to .750 nanofarad.
We have three capacitors, two 5 nanofarad ones and a single .750 nanofarad
one.  We then recall that capacitors connected in parallel add their
capacitances, so 5.0 + 5.0 +.75 = 10.75 nanofarads.  Checking the possible
answers, we see that the correct choice is answer D, 10.750 nanofarads. 

.         Tip:  Convert nanofarads to picofarads and back again via Google!
Just put the units into a Google search <https://www.google.com/> .

.         Tip:  Have you ever seen a 1.0 Farad capacitor?
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farad>   There's a photo of one on the Farad
Wikipedia page.   

  _____  

Amateur Radio NEWSLINE is on Facebook.

Get the latest AR Newsline - The popular news feed is back after a short
hiatus, and it's also a popular group on Facebook!  Check out the Facebook
link <https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARNewsline/> , then head for the
traditional website to hear the most recent audio episode:

.
<http://www.arnewsline.org/news/2015/1/29/amateur-radio-newsline-report-1950
-january-30-2015.html> Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1950 January 30 2015

  _____  

Both TS-480 Handiham HF remote base internet stations are up and running.  

Close up of TS-480HX keypad

One outage occurred in the past week. Station W0ZSW went offline due to a
network outage on Sunday night, February 1.  This was an outage that wasn't
completely resolved until well into the next day due to an IP address
reassignment.  Thankfully everything is now back in order.  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/> .   

We are working to bring a third remote system online somewhere in the USA
Eastern Time Zone.  Contact me if you are interested in hosting a Handiham
Remote Base station.
<mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx?subject=Remote%20Base%20Hosting>  

We are also looking for a new home for station W0ZSW here in the Twin
Cities.  The ideal candidate would be a local radio club with room for
antennas and a cadre of volunteers.  

  _____  

Looking for an existing HF net?  Try PICONET:

The PICONET operates on a frequency of 3.925 MHz, Lower Side Band:

Monday - Saturday 09:00 - 11:00
Monday - Friday 15:00 - 17:00

Everyone is welcome. You do not need to be a member of PICONET, and the net
is relaxed, friendly, and informal. The PICONET does have an assigned net
control station and will take NTS traffic. It has a long time association
with the Handihams. Most of the net control stations are in Minnesota, so
the net typically covers Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  If
you are familiar with HF propagation on 75 meters and live in the coverage
zone, you can try checking in from your own station.  Stations from more
distant states may be able to check in during the earliest hour, 9:00 AM,
during the winter and early spring before absorption from solar radiation
gets too bad.  The 4:00 PM hour is also a possibility, especially late in
the hour approaching 5:00 PM in the winter, when stations as far away as New
York State are heard.  Handiham members can easily participate in PICONET
via the remote base stations W0EQO or W0ZSW, both of which are within the
PICONET coverage zone.  

If you would like to listen to PICONET via Echolink, you can use the
Handiham stations to do so.  Instructions are on the Remote Base website.
<http://handiham.org/remotebase/try-the-radios-now/control-the-rigs-via-echo
link/> 

PICONET also has its own website! <http://www.piconet3925.com/> 

Listen to and watch a short story about KB0ROB, Harold, a PICONET
participant who likes to use vintage vacuum tube designs to build beautiful
ham radio gear. <http://youtu.be/rNo3X7_wYfY> 

Here is an entire collection of short audio clips by callsign, of people on
PICONET. <http://www.piconet3925.com/audio_clips/ac1.htm> 

  _____  


February 2015 On the Air by N1YXU


Posted on February 4, 2015
<http://handiham.org/remotebase/2015/02/04/february-2015-on-the-air/>  

 <http://handiham.org/remotebase/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/w0zsw_20131.jpg>
W0ZSW station with TS-480HX

Photo: W0ZSW station

My husband, Bruce (N1LN), is definitely a real contester and true DX chaser.
He has been anticipating the Navassa Island DXpedition as I'm sure many of
you have also. Be sure to check the DXpedition's website for further
information: http://www.navassadx.com/ Happy hunting!

On the weather front, may the temperatures be a little warmer this month
than they were in January.

Until next month..

Regards,

- Laurie Meier, N1YXU

Read the entire February 2015 On the Air column by N1YXU here.
<http://handiham.org/remotebase/2015/02/04/february-2015-on-the-air/> 

  _____  

Handiham office hours: 

We return to our usual Monday through Thursday schedule this week.  Mornings
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.   

The two HF remote base stations are also available every day for your use.


  _____  

Department of possibly useful stuff:

.         Ken, KB3LLA, likes the NFB Technology Resource List
<https://nfb.org/technology-resource-list> .  By the way, 2015 marks the
75th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind <https://nfb.org> .

.         AES Milwaukee Superfest 2015 will be Saturday, March 21, 2015 from
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. <http://www.aesham.com/aes-superfest>   The Handiham
Program plans to be there!  The location is Amateur Electronic Supply - 5710
W Good Hope Rd - Milwaukee, WI 53223.

.         Best renewal experience ever!  That's what I'd call my recent ARRL
membership renewal, which was prompted this week by an email reminder.  The
excellent ARRL membership web page was easy to use and gave me several
choices.  I decided to renew for three years, which saved a few bucks and
also made me feel good about supporting ARRL as it enters its next century.
You can use the same page to join ARRL, the National Association for Amateur
Radio if you are not already a member.
<https://www.arrl.org/join-arrl-renew-membership/> 

.         Coming up on February 14:  Watch for more news next week about the
Handiham-cosponsored <http://www.radioham.org/news/ice-house-special-event/>
Ice Station on the air event.

  _____  

Equipment Program:

 
<mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx?subject=Suggestion%20about%20Equipment%20Pro
gram> If you have suggestions on how to make the equipment program work
better, email us a short paragraph.  
(Please, no phone calls on this topic. I can sort and track the ideas by
email more easily.)

  _____  

New audio: 

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

Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the February magazine audio digest for our
blind members.  Also in the members section: The February 2015 Doctor is in
column has been recorded by Ken Padgitt, W9MJY.

New this week are QCWA Journal for February <http://www.qcwa.org> , and CQ
Magazine for November and December, recorded by Jim, KJ3P.   

Jim has also recorded the DXer's Handbook Second Edition by Bryce, K7UA, for
our blind members.  We expect to have it ready by Thursday. 

In the Technician Lecture Series, we most recently posted the working DX and
satellites section.  I expect to begin the licensing and regulatory section
this Thursday.  We have fallen a bit behind because of last week's
unexpected office closing.

 <https://handiham.org/daisy/open/General_Pool_2015-19_DAISY_Beta.zip> The
new 2015 through 2019 General Class Pool, machine-recorded in DAISY by the
Handiham Program; Beta 1 version in downloadable zip file format. 

Thanks to our volunteer readers:

Bob, N1BLF 

Jim, KJ3P

Ken, W9MJY 

  _____  

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

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 and an
EMCOMM exercise.

.         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.
<mailto:Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx?subject=2015%20Radio%20Camp%20Application%2
0Request> 

  _____  

Membership

.         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.
MEMBERSHIP DUES PAYMENT LINK
<https://pay.usbank.com/default.aspx?id=COURAGE_KENNY_HANDIHAMS> 

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    It is almost year-end, and we hope you will remember us in your 2014
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:
612-775-2290. 


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, 04 February 2015 - Patrick.Tice