[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 05 November 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2014 12:34:56 -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, 05 November 2014

This is a free weekly news & information update from  <http://handiham.org>
Courage Kenny Handiham System. Our contact information is at the end. 

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Welcome to Handiham World.

Cartoon world with radio tower

This special event exceeded expectations!

TS-590S and antenna tuner

The 2014 "Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald" Split Rock Lighthouse Special
Event is now history.  It's been a long-standing tradition in my radio club,
but I had never participated. This year things worked out and my wife and I
planned a weekend getaway that would allow us to stop by the event location
on the first day of setup and operation.  It turned out to be a good
decision, because everything about it exceeded our expectations.

The weather was great;  It was a bit cool, but this is Minnesota in late
October and early November.  XYL Susie and I arrived early on Halloween
afternoon.  The setup was still underway with the final double extended zepp
antenna just getting connected to the current balun so that the coax could
be fed through the window of a nice-sized building designed for group
activities, set some distance away from the lighthouse itself.  Sometimes
with special events you don't know what to expect, and one is not surprised
by outdoor sanitation facilities and bare-bones shelters - or even tents!
But the building was none of that.  It's modern with electricity and indoor
plumbing (yippee) and a very capable wood burning heater.  There were plenty
of tables for setting up stations and deploying food and tools - whatever
might be needed to make a multiday event like this work smoothly. Having
electricity available from the mains is a big plus, since it greatly
simplifies planning, setup, and operation as opposed to a Field Day style
event.  It was also accessible for participants who couldn't climb stairs or
walk long distances.  

The two main stations were Kenwood TS-590S transceivers feeding manual
antenna tuners to match double extended zepp dipole antennas fed with 450
ohm ladder line.  The internal antenna tuners in the radios do not have the
range to match this kind of antenna, but that didn't matter since the
stations mainly stayed on just a couple of bands.  40 and 20 meters were
both excellent.  

View of a small pine covered island in Lake Superior

Image:  This is a view from near the operating positions.  A small
pine-covered island punctuates the sparkling water and sunbeams stream
outward in all directions.  

Being a stone's throw from the shore of mighty Lake Superior sure didn't
hurt for signal propagation.  Ask ham radio operators who live by water -
they all tell you that propagation over the water is enhanced.  Of course
Lake Superior is a fresh water lake, and that may not be quite as good as
salt water, but hey, as they say up here, it's better for you because it's
salt-free AND shark-free!  The lake is so big that it carries ocean-going
ships.  In Northern Minnesota, that usually means iron ore carriers, like
the Edmund Fitzgerald.  

One thing I especially like about this event is the way it combines elements
of contest-style operating with us being in control.  When you organize a
special event, you get to set the rules.  You can make it last a few hours
or days at a time.  You can decide on the station equipment and who will
operate.  You choose the event callsign and what information will be in the
exchange.  And best of all, you can set the balance between goals and
outcomes.  That means that the special event need not be only about
high-pressure operating that collects numbers of contacts.  It can also be
about bringing family members along to enjoy a social event, getting
together for meals and good conversation, and just having fun getting on the
air.  When the contacts are counted at the end, it isn't a big deal to
compare your Q's with everyone else's as you do in a contest.  

Special events need not have a historical significance as a reason to get on
the air.  You can organize a special event around almost anything of
interest.  There have been several "White Rock, SD" special events operated
by SARA.  White Rock is a speck on the map, but its significance is that
it's at the place where three states, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South
Dakota all meet.  That's it!  Geography is often used in one way or another
as a reason to put on a special event, but it could just as easily be
something else.  

What did XYL Susie think about Split Rock?  

"Whoever thought this up really had a good idea", she said.

I have to agree.  Consider working with your radio club to explore special
event station ideas. Start small by running a station in a local park to
introduce others to ham radio.  Or set up an ice fishing hut on a frozen
lake and operate from there.  No kidding - SARA will be using callsign W0JH
for just such an event during the winter of 2015!  We call it the "Ice

Did you contact W0JH during the Split Rock event?  If so, please apply for
your certificate.

Event details for certificate:

.         What:  Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald (Split Rock Lighthouse)
Nov 1-Nov 2, 1500Z-2345Z, W0JH , Two Harbors, MN. 

.         Who:  Sponsors were the Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio Association,
Courage Kenny Handiham System, and Radio City. 

.         How to get a certificate:  Email Stillwater Amateur Radio
Association, W0JH, via: 

Certificates will ONLY be sent via e-mail in PDF format. More info: 

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

Don't forget our nets...

.         Is your code a little rusty?  Or even non-existent?  Avery, K0HLA,
conducts the Morse Code Practice Net immediately following the Thursday
evening Handiham Net on the Echolink and IRLP-enabled network.  Join Avery
as he covers the very basic beginner introduction to the Morse code.  The
code net begins at approximately 8:00 PM Central Time on *HANDIHAM*,
Echolink node 494492, and on IRLP 9008.  Check-ins are taken both in CW and
on phone!  

Avery, K0HLA, sends Morse code.

Happy Wednesday to you!  Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for
anyone and everyone who cares to check in 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).  Tonight N6NFF will pose a trivia question in the first
half hour, so check in early if you want to take a guess.

.         A big THANK YOU to all of our net control stations and to our
Handiham Club Net Manager, Michael, VE6UE. 

Taking stock:

Let's find out what's going on.  

.         Both HF remote base internet stations are up and running:  W0EQO
at Camp Courage North and W0ZSW in the Twin Cities East Metro.   Please
remember that Skype is the preferred audio source for both radios, but is
REQUIRED for transmitting via W0EQO.  Users who try to make do with IRB
Sound on W0EQO will get reports of dropouts and intermittent audio when

.         The Handiham office will be closed on Friday, November 7 2014. 

.         It's here!  The new ATOM is shipping.  In the accompanying photo
of the new ATOM, you can see that the 9V battery is readily accessible right
from the top of the unit. ATOM is the Audible Transmitter Output Monitor,
which goes into your transmitter's feedline and provides aural feedback that
helps a blind user track power and tuning. 

The new ATOM in front of the IC-7200.

Mike, KJ6CBW, writes:

"I'm making a new version of my ATOM that can handle 1000 watts CW, has
better low-power sensitivity and a 9-volt battery that's easy to replace.
Although it will work fine on 6 meters, it's not usable above that band as
its reactance is too low."

We will be testing the new ATOM at Handihams and will also be using it at
the 2015 Handiham Radio Camp.  As you can see in the photo, the new version
has arrived here at the WA0TDA ham shack and home office.  It ships with a
battery installed and a large print manual that also includes Braille. One
question I have already answered from a user is whether it makes any
difference which of the two coax connectors is used for the input.  The
answer is that it doesn't make any difference, which is explained in the
manual.  However, this user could not read Braille, and (being blind) could
not read the regular print part of the manual, either.  When time permits we
will record the manual in MP3 format so that there will be an additional
resource available for users who cannot read large print or Braille. 

This accessory is a must for the blind ham who wants to keep tabs on the
antenna tuning process, especially if using a manual antenna tuner.  It is
also useful for tuning tube-type transmitters because it provides continuous
audio feedback during the tuning process. You can find out more about this
product at 

.         Be sure to check out the new article by Dr. Ron Milliman, K8HSY.
It's "Getting Started on Six Meters
<http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/367> ".  You would be surprised how
easily you can get on six - the antennas are pretty small and the fun
potential is really large!  A DAISY version is mailing this month for those
of you who get the NLS cartridge monthly digest.  

.         Space Weather News for Nov. 4, 2014 reports that  "an active
sunspot is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb.  The new region,
numbered AR2205, has produced multiple CMEs in the past 48 hours.  So far
Earth is outside the line of fire, and the solar storm clouds are sailing
wide of our planet. This could change, however, as the sunspot turns toward
Earth in the days ahead."  

For more information visit: 

.         New audio is being posted in the Members Section this week.  NLS
cartridges were mailed on Tuesday, November 4. 

.         QCWA Journal audio has been recorded and posted for November.  

Go to the QCWA website <http://www.qcwa.org/>  and look for the "Journal on
MP3" link.  This takes you to the directory of QCWA Journals, which you may
wish to sort from newest to oldest by clicking the "Last Modified" a couple
of times until the November Journal shows up on top. QCWA members who have
trouble finding it should email me at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx for assistance and a
direct link. 

If you are a Handiham member and want a Friday reminder about our new audio,
let us know. Thanks to our volunteer readers:

o    Bob, N1BLF 

o    Jim, KJ3P

o    Ken, W9MJY 

.         Radio Camp News: We are considering Radio Camp dates for 2015.  In
play would be the time period from Tuesday, August 18 (arrival) through
Monday, August 24 (departure),  We think this will allow campers who travel
by air to get cheaper tickets.  Please note that camp planning is in its
early stage and we have not set the exact timing yet.   

.         On Sunday, Nov 2, 2014 Minnesota returned to Central Standard
Time.  As always, Handiham nets remain true to Minnesota local time.
Minnesota is 6 hours behind GMT.  

.         November Events by N1YXU
<http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/369>  have been posted.  Find out
what's on the air! 

.         Don't forget about the W1AW portable stations that are on the air
around the country as part of the ARRL Centennial celebration
<http://www.arrl.org/home> .  

.         Did you know that ARRL has a web search function dedicated to
special event stations?  Check it out at: 

The form does not require a lot of information.  For example, if you only
want to check out Canadian special events, you can leave the form blank and
use the pull-down menu to choose "Canada", toggle the "Search" button, and
you'll get a list of past and upcoming events that are listed so far.  You
might find something like the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Maple Leaf
Flag in February 2015!

.         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> 

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
<mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx  for changes of
address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new

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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 05 November 2014 - Patrick.Tice