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 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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Welcome to Handiham World.
In this edition:
. A dip in the Extra Class pool.
. This week's remote HF report: W0EQO is ready to move, and we trim
trees at W0ZSW. Will the wire antenna survive?
. Check into our nets!
. New DAISY download: KB5ELV "Eyes-Free Guide to the Baofeng UV5R".
. ...And more!
A dip in the pool
Dip in the pool is back! Our question last week was from the Extra Class
question pool, number E8A01. We made a mistake in the text, which should
read, "The square wave has a sharp, shrill, grating quality that makes it
hard to listen to for very long." Hopefully this didn't cause too much
confusion. Obviously a sine wave is a pure-sounding tone.
This week we are changing gears and asking a question about our frequency
allocations. It is E1A07, which states:
"What is the only amateur band where transmission on specific channels
rather than a range of frequencies is permitted?"
Possible answers are:
A. 12 meter band
B. 17 meter band
C. 30 meter band
D. 60 meter band
While you are trying to picture that frequency chart that was last updated
on March 5, 2012, let's remind ourselves that almost all of our frequency
bands are pretty much open to our choice of operating frequencies. Even
when using bands like the two meter band, which most of us have more or less
agreed to set up as channelized repeater and simplex frequencies across much
of the allotted space, we still do have the freedom to slide around using
the good old VFO dial. Fans of weak signal work on that band do so all the
If you chose answer D, the 60 meter band, you got this one right. It is
channelized by allocation, and we must use exact frequencies, so the easiest
way to manage this is to set up memory channels in our radios or with our
rig control software like Ham Radio Deluxe if we want to work that band.
Remember, you must have a General, Advanced, or Extra Class license to
transmit on the 60 meter band. There are some other restrictions, too. You
have to stand aside for other traffic on the band since the Amateur Radio
Service is a secondary user. The power is limited to 100 watts PEP,
described as "effective radiated output", which means that you need to
consider the antenna system as well as the power level. This is power
relative to that radiated by a half-wave dipole.
As ARRL states on their frequency allocation page, "Radiated power must not
exceed the equivalent of 100 W PEP transmitter output power into an antenna
with a gain of 0 dBd."
There are additional mode and bandwidth restrictions. Plus, only one signal
at a time is allowed on each of the five 60 meter "channels". That means
one QSO per channel may be going on at any given time.
With all of these restrictions, it is easy for a person who is unfamiliar
with HF operating to make a mistake while using the 60 meter band. You
could forget and transmit on the wrong sideband, for example. While you
might think that lower sideband would be the default for 60 meter operation
because it is used by convention on bands like 75 and 40 meters, you would
be wrong! Only USB, or upper sideband, is allowed on 60 meters. There are
bandwidth restrictions, too. Your signal cannot be too wide when you
transmit, or it will fall outside the 2.8-kHz-wide channel allocation. It
is for these reasons that I don't recommend transmitting on 60 meters until
you have gained some solid HF experience and know your station equipment
When you are ready to operate 60 meters, you will find a band that has some
characteristics of both the 75 and 40 meter bands. It can be open to
skywave propagation longer into the daylight hours than 75 meters, to longer
distance contacts. It is a good band when the sun goes down, as is the 75
meter band. It is not plagued by shortwave broadcast interference like the
40 meter band. While you may have to wait for a channel to clear, you will
often be able to find others listening and ready to make a contact. You can
get started on 60 meters by getting the channels set up in your radio's
memories. Then do some listening and you'll be pleasantly surprised by all
of the stations you hear. Try listening at different times of the day and
night to learn about 60 meter propagation.
. ARRL Frequency Allocations page
. ARRL Graphical Frequency Chart page
Email me at <mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx> Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx with
your questions & comments.
(For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.)
November 4 Remote Base HF Update: W0ZSW and W0EQO are both converted to
Remotehams.com RCForb software. We plan to move W0EQO shortly.
Earlier this week we got a query from a remote base user who wasn't able to
get into either remote base station. It turned out that he had not gotten
the word about the change from the old W4MQ software to the new
Remotehams.com RCForb software. We know that there will always be trouble
getting the news about our stations out there to everyone, since not
everyone keeps up with podcasts and email messages. If you hear questions
about the remotes on the air, be sure to answer them if you can. Remember,
all of us appreciate a helping hand when it comes to learning new things.
TS-480HX with RigBlaster Nomic and LDG tuner.
Image: The Kenwood TS-480HX station.
W0ZSW and W0EQO are both projected to be on the air today as our testing
continues. However, there will be some "down time" today as tree trimming
will be taking place at W0ZSW, and some of the trees the 270 foot wire
antenna goes through will be affected. The station will be shut down during
this operation, which will be completed by the end of the day, Wednesday,
November 4. If the antenna is damaged, the station will be off the air
until repairs are made. An announcement will be made on
https://handiham.org/remotebase if this happens.
With both TS-480 stations operational in our testing phase, we need your
feedback on what does and doesn't work. This will help us make up our list
of issues to post on the Remotehams discussion boards. W0EQO will soon be
moved to its new location at a Boy Scout camp near its former location at
Camp Courage North. Bill, N0CIC, has successfully installed the new 300
foot double extended zepp antenna, fed with 450 ohm low-loss ladder line. It
is in an inverted vee configuration with the feedpoint mounted high on a
standoff from the already existing tower, installed several years ago at the
Scout Camp and documented in a YouTube video. You can view two videos, one
about the tower raising, and another about the ground system being
installed. <http://www.piconet3925.com/Boy%20Scouts/tower.html> Both are
available through links from the Piconet website.
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.
A common question is, "How come I requested transmit access to so and so's
station, but I have not heard anything."
The answer is that the request must be approved by the station owner from
within the host software on the rig control computer at the station. When a
request - or requests - come in, the host software does not notify the
station owner at all. As a station owner myself, I just have to remember to
check the list of pending requests every so often. If I forget, the request
can sit there for a while. Also, remember that not every station owner
grants transmit access. Some have special conditions, such as club
membership or license class. One thing I could suggest if you don't hear
from a station owner, you might have been granted access to transmit but
just don't know it. I don't usually let people know when I approve
requests, and I doubt most other owners do either. If you try transmitting
and it works, that's how you know you have access. If you know a station
owner's email address, you can always drop him or her a line and ask about
it, but other than that there is no set way to manage this process.
60 meter operation: 60 meter transmit is not allowed on our remote base
stations, but you can receive on 60 meters. We do this to avoid the
possibility of non-compliant operation on 60 meters.
Tech support: 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:
1. The Handiham EchoLink conference is 494492. Connect via your iPhone,
Android phone, PC, or on a connected simplex node or repeater system in your
2. WIRES-2 system number 1427
3. WIRES-X digital number 11165
4. 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
We changed to Central Standard Time on November 1. All net times remain
true to Central Time, but GMT is six hours ahead of us.
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.
NASA 3D Models
Ken, KB3LLA, alerts us to a new resource from AFB, NASA 3D Models for the
Education of Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired. Check it out on
the AFB website.
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 recorded by Jim, KJ3P. 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!
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The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating
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