[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 07 May 2014

  • From: Pat Tice <Pat.Tice@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 7 May 2014 19:39:42 +0000

[Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health]
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the 
week of Wednesday, 07 May 2014

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Kenny Handiham 
System<http://handiham.org>. Our contact information is at the end, or simply 
email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> for changes 
in subscriptions or to comment. You can listen to this news online.

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Welcome to Handiham World.
Suddenly my station is out of date.  How did that happen?

That station you put together was state of the art, or at least pretty darned 
close to it.  Now it's yesterday's mashed potatoes.
[Page from old Allied catalog showing Knight Kits from 1960's.]
Pictured: A page from a 1960's vintage Allied Radio summer catalog showing 
several Knight Kit radios - Ocean Hopper, Space Spanner, Ranger III superhet, 
and Ranger clock radio (with analog clock, of course!)

HF - "High Frequency" short-wave radio once ruled the roost when it came to 
global communications.  Long distance telephone calls cost a small fortune and 
HF was available to anyone who could afford a radio that had the short-wave 
bands on it.  You could tune around and hear stations from around the globe, 
which was impressive in the era before communications satellites and 
smartphones.  Those of you who have lived through those years in middle of the 
20th Century will know what I'm talking about; It was almost magical to pull a 
signal from Europe or Asia out of the air.  It was a time when the world was a 
much bigger place, and things were much farther away - given the limited 
communications and the economics of high-speed transportation back then.  
Amateur Radio was a gathering spot for scientists, engineers, and other 
technology-minded folks.  It was truly a high-tech test bed for worldwide 

What happened?

Technology evolved and grew to allow low-cost worldwide communications.  
Transportation became relatively cheap and thus mundane.  It became so easy to 
communicate anywhere that worldwide travel and conversations with people on the 
far side of the globe were everyday occurrences.

What was once "Oh, wow!" became "So what?"

Don't think for a minute that you are the only one that is shaking off 
technology whiplash.  Everyone experiences it to some extent, because the pace 
of change is accelerating and even the coolest dudes will be left wondering how 
their wearable tech got so out of date.  But here's the thing:  Amateur Radio 
has change in its DNA.  It's about technology - communications technology and 
everything related to it, which includes hardware, software, design, 
construction, experimentation, and deployment of entirely new modes and systems.

Think about that and then think about attending Hamvention(tm).  It's about 
making things... New things. I'll have more about what I found out in a couple 
of weeks.

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator

Hamvention(tm) is May 16 - 18, 2014.

Are you attending the 2014 Hamvention(tm)?  If so, we would like you to visit 
the Handiham booth, which will be at #330 in the Silver Arena.  Because I will 
be preparing for Hamvention(tm) next week, there will be a short e-letter, if 
time allows.  If there is no e-letter, it is because I didn't have time to put 
it together.  If you can't make it to Dayton, you might want to tune in to the 
W5KUB Helmetcam webcast<http://w5kub.com/>.

The 2014 Hamvention(tm) is all about "Makers... The Future of Ham Radio".  We'd 
love to see you, and there is plenty of new stuff for you to learn about, 
thanks to the "makers" among us.

May CQ arrives today

My copy of CQ for May appeared this morning in an email notification.  
Subscribers can read the issue on the Zinio website<http://www.zinio.com/>. You 
can read about the May issue on the CQ 

2014 Radio Camp (Saturday, August 16 through Saturday August 23, 2014)

The Equipment Program will be at Radio Camp.  Campers will be able to take home 
equipment, provided that the Equipment Program has it available.  Campers 
should let us know what they need to get on the air. Categories of equipment 
that can be made available for you to take home from camp are:

VHF/UHF radios

HF radios

Accessories like speakers and tuners

Morse code accessories

Other accessories - Please let me know what you need.

Dip in the pool dives into the Extra Class:

Today we are checking out a question about best practices.

E1B01 asks, "Which of the following constitutes a spurious emission?"

Possible choices are:

A. An amateur station transmission made at random without the proper call sign 

B. A signal transmitted to prevent its detection by any station other than the 
intended recipient

C. Any transmitted bogus signal that interferes with another licensed radio 

D. An emission outside its necessary bandwidth that can be reduced or 
eliminated without affecting the information transmitted

This question is partly about knowing what is meant by a specific term, the 
word "spurious".  It is also about best practices in operating, which tell us 
to keep our signals within the allotted band space, maintain good signal 
quality no matter what mode of operation, and to keep all equipment in top 
operating condition.

A visit to Wikipedia gives us a simple definition of spurious emission: "A 
spurious emission is any radio 
frequency<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_frequency> not deliberately 
created or transmitted, especially in a device which normally does create other 
frequencies. A harmonic<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic> or other signal 
outside a transmitter<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmitter>'s assigned 
channel would be considered a spurious emission."

We can all agree that we do not want to operate in a manner that interferes 
with other stations by transmitting outside our intended frequency bandwidth. 
Modern transceivers are well-designed and meet FCC compliance standards, so 
what's the problem?

There is always another factor in play here:  the operator.  Even a 
well-designed transmitter can emit spurious signals when it is not operated 
correctly.  Some possible causes of spurious emissions can be:

*         Overdriving the transmitter with too much audio (overmodulation)

*         Overdriving linear amplifiers

*         Improper use of audio compression

*         Operator modification of circuitry or failure to use low-pass 
filtering with class C amplifier circuitry; failure to properly tune tube-type 

*         Failure to recognize parasitic oscillation - it may be happening if 
there is output from an amplifier stage even if the exciter circuit is off!

What to do:

If you get reports on the air of problems with your signal, take them 
seriously.  Be sure you have the transmitter controls set within a normal 
range.  If you are using aftermarket microphone preamps and other such 
circuits, turn them off and run some tests with your friends on the air to 
determine if that is the problem.  If you are running a linear amplifier on HF, 
try a series of tests with and without it.  Be sure it is tuned properly.  
Basically, try the simple stuff first before assuming that there is a problem 
with your equipment.  If you get stuck and can't figure out what's causing the 
spurious emissions, there are other resources.  Try your local radio club.  
Many clubs have a "MAP" - Member Assistance Program" - that helps club members 
solve problems with their stations.  Club volunteers can put their collective 
skills and knowledge to work finding out what is going on. A second resource is 
the ARRL TIS - Technical Information 
Service<http://www.arrl.org/technical-information-service>.  It is well worth 
it to be an ARRL member and a member of your local radio club, as I have 
recommended many times in the past. Another obvious resource is the internet.  
Internet discussion boards can sometimes be a treasure trove when searched for 
archived comments on a particular problem.  This is often the way to go if you 
trace the issue to a hardware device like a particular rig or microphone preamp.

Field Day coming up - Join us in Oak Park Heights, MN

  *   The 2014 field day packets and rules are available from ARRL.  Visit:
  *   Our affiliated club, SARA<http://www.radioham.org>, will be holding Field 
Day on Saturday, June 28 & Sunday, June 29, 2014 at Autumn Hills Park in Oak 
Park Heights Minnesota. Details and specifics for this year's events are being 
pulled together. Watch this space for details.
  *   The Field Day site is wheelchair accessible and there is paved on site 
accessible parking.
  *   Several radios will feature voice frequency readout.
  *   No overnight operation is planned - daytime only.
  *   Accessible restrooms are on site.

Practical Radio

[pliers and wire]

Do I really need that spare HF radio?

For many of us, it is all about downsizing these days.  We are constantly 
reminded about this when we hear about friends and neighbors moving to condos, 
apartments, assisted living, to another state or city for a new job - We are a 
people on the move.  This can make ham radio - especially HF operation - more 
challenging than ever.  That's when you have to consider just how extensive a 
station you need to be active in the hobby.

Here's the thing:  Only you can answer that question because only you know what 
kind of hamming you want to do!  If HF is important to you, then it is not 
unreasonable to keep a spare radio available in case you have problems with 
your main transceiver.  If you are only on HF occasionally and can do without a 
radio for a period of time when it might be at the repair facility, then you 
can slim down your ham shack.  The real problem comes when we simply collect 
more and more radio gear over the years, thinking that it is good to have spare 
station equipment, but then we don't pay any attention to that "spare 
equipment", which sits on a shelf in the basement.

My motto is:  If you have it, make sure it works.  For example, let's say you 
do have a spare radio.  Is it ready to pop easily into place as a substitute 
for the main radio?  It will be a lot easier if its power cable is set up with 
Anderson Powerpoles(r) so that you don't have to fiddle around with nuts and 
lug bolts on the power supply.  How about the CMOS battery?  They do go dead 
eventually, and it can be frustrating to think your spare rig is ready to go in 
place, only to find out that all the memories are dead.  If you used or even 
tested that second radio once in a while, you would catch that problem.  Maybe 
it's a better plan to keep the spare radio connected to the power supply and 
have it in place, even if you have to switch the antenna from one radio to the 
other for testing.  If you actually use your spare radio on the air every so 
often, you will know what its condition is and be aware of any potential 
problems before they become too serious.  I like the idea of a spare 12VDC 
power supply, too.  Having a spare rig won't do you any good if the only power 
supply you have has gone bad. I have my Icom IC-7200, my main rig, connected to 
one supply and my Icom IC-706M2G connected to another.   I use the 706 mostly 
for VHF/UHF FM repeaters, but it can easily be switched to the HF antenna 
system should the 7200 be out of service.  The nice thing about this 
arrangement is that it essentially duplicates the HF station capabilities with 
the exception of the antenna system.  And since both rigs and power supplies 
get used almost every day, I know that they are in good condition.

If you do have to shelve some of your equipment, take the time to do a periodic 
assessment.  You are MUCH more likely to do such assessments if the rig is easy 
to take off the shelf and connect to the power supply, so mind my advice about 
the Powerpoles(r) .  If you cannot do any assessments and you have not touched 
a spare radio for a year or more, then it is time to cull the herd.  That radio 
could be doing someone else some good, so sell it at a hamfest or a club swap 
meet, on eBay, or through consignment. You could also donate it to a new ham 
who has passed his or her General exam at your local VE session.

Just one more thing:  If you are comfortable operating a remote base station, 
you can consider that as a "spare" radio without any need to keep more than one 
transceiver of your own.

This is practical radio - Have what you need, get rid of what you don't.  When 
downsizing day finally comes, you'll be glad you did.

Handiham Nets are on the air daily.


Summertime is a busy season for everyone, and that means our net control 
volunteers as well.  If we cannot fill a net control position this summer, 
please feel free to just start a roundtable conversation.  We are looking for 
some help with the daily midday sessions and with the Thursday evening 
Technology Net session.  Please contact Matt Arthur, KA0PQW, at his ARRL.net 
address if you think you might be able to help.

PICONET is an Upper Midwest regional HF net on 3.925 MHz Monday through 
Saturday.  It has long been associated with Handihams and Handiham members, so 
check in if you get a chance. Visit the PICONET website for more details and 
net schedules.  With summertime absorption starting to become a problem on the 
75 meter band, your best bet to check in will typically be around or shortly 
after 9:00 AM CDT, when the net begins.   This net can be heard on the Handiham 
Remote Base HF stations W0EQO and W0ZSW and by stations in Minnesota, SW 
Ontario, SE Alberta, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, NW Illinois, and 
northern Iowa. In the winter when the 75 meter band goes long, contacts across 
the country are possible.

Listen for the Handiham Wednesday evening net tonight and try to answer the 
N6NFF trivia question during the first half hour.  Check in later just to get 
in the log and say hello.  The trivia question answer is revealed shortly after 
the first half hour.  If you are up to a challenge, see if you can correctly 
answer this week's question.

We are scheduled to be on the air daily at 11:00 USA Central Time, plus 
Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 19:00 USA Central Time.  A big THANK YOU to 
all of our net control stations!

We maintain our nets at 11:00 hours daily relative to Minnesota time.  Since 
the nets remain true to Minnesota time, the difference between Minnesota 
Daylight Saving time and GMT is -5 hours and the net is on the air at 16:00 
hours GMT.

The two evening sessions are at 00:00 GMT Thursday and Friday.  Here in 
Minnesota that translates to 7:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday.

The official and most current net news may be found at:

This week @ HQ

[Cartoon robot with pencil]

Email changes coming THIS WEEK!

We are making some changes this Spring in our email systems.  Watch this 
newsletter and the Handiham website<https://handiham.org> for any changes in 
our contact information.

Important!  Beginning May 9, our old email addresses that end in either 
"courage.org" or "couragecenter.org" will no longer work.  Our new addresses 
will be effective beginning on May 9, 2014.  The new addresses are:

*         Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx<mailto:Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx>

*         Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx<mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>

Please do not use these new addresses until Friday, May 9th.  We are not sure 
if mail sent to them before that will get to us.

I'll be taking Fridays off for a while.  Our office will be closed Fridays.  
Our usual hours are 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM CDT, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT.  Outside 
those hours, you may email us or leave a voice message.  There has been a high 
volume of telephone traffic lately.  My policy is to handle calls from Handiham 
members first, then take care of technical calls from nonmembers as time 
allows.  During HAMVENTION week, I'll be out of the office most of the time, as 
you might expect.  Since conditions in the arena are not good for cell service, 
I will not be answering calls.  The best way to reach me will be via email.  
Nancy will be in the office during her usual hours next week.

Digests & Lectures

QCWA Digest for May 2014 and the Doctor column from QST are now available for 
our blind members in the Members section.

The new Technician 2014 - 2018 Question Pool with only correct answers has been 
read by Jim Perry, KJ3P.  It will be available later this week in the new audio 
section after you log in.  Remember that this new pool is only for testing on 
or after July 1, 2014.

I have started a recording project for Operating Skills, based on the ARRL 
book, "Internet Linking for Radio Amateurs" by K1RFD. The goal is to make more 
information on VoIP available to our blind members.

Jim Perry, KJ3P, Bob Zeida, N1BLF, and Ken Padgitt, W9MJY do the volunteer 
digest recording.  Thanks, guys!

Secure, blind-friendly Handiham website login:

*         We ask that you please log in securely if you are using any kind of a 
public network or unsecured wireless.

*         To the best of our knowledge, the Handiham website was not 
compromised by the Heartbleed bug.

*         Test your own or other websites for Heartbleed at this 

*         I also use a Chrome extension called Chromebleed to detect visited 
sites that may be 

Remote Base News

[W0EQO station in the server room at Courage North.]

Handiham Remote Base internet station W0ZSW is on line for your use 24/7.   
W0EQO has an internet firewall issue.

  *   If you use Skype for audio, please connect and disconnect the Skype call 
to the remote base manually.  The automatic calling and hang up is no longer 
supported in Skype.
  *   200 watt operation is restored on 160, 80, and 40 meters for Extra and 
Advanced Class users on W0ZSW.

*         Outages: Outages are reported on 
Digital Cartridges now Stocked at Handiham HQ:

Nancy now has the NLS 4GB digital cartridges and mailers available at our cost. 
 She says:

We now have a supply of digital Talking Book cartridges and mailers available 
for purchase for our Handiham members.  The total cost for a set is $15.50.  We 
will download any digital study materials from the Members Only section of our 
website onto your cartridge at no additional cost.  Minnesota residents please 
add $1.13 MN Sales Tax.

[Pat holding up NLS digital cartridge and mailer]

Want to log in instead?  Let's go:

Secure, blind-friendly Handiham website login:

Stay in touch

[Cartoon robot with cordless phone]

Be sure to send Nancy your changes of address, phone number changes, or email 
address changes so that we can continue to stay in touch with you. You may 
either email Nancy at 
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> or call her at 
612-775-2291. If you need to use the toll-free number, call 1-866-426-3442.  
Remember that our email addresses change on May 9, 2014.

Nancy Meydell, Handiham Secretary: 612-775-2291 (General information about the 
Handiham program, membership renewals)

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA: 612-775-2290 (Program Coordinator, technical questions, 
remote base requests, questions about licensing)

Mornings Monday through Thursday are the best time to contact us.

The Courage Kenny Handiham Program depends on the support of people like you, 
who want to share the fun and friendship of ham radio with others. Please help 
us provide services to people with disabilities.

Call 1-866-426-3442 toll-free. -- Help us get new hams on the air.

Get the Handiham E-Letter by email every Wednesday, and stay up-to-date with 
ham radio news.

You may listen in audio to the E-Letter at Handiham Weekly E-Letter in MP3 
Email us to subscribe:

That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Kenny Handihams!
Coordinator, Courage Kenny Handiham Program
Reach me by email at:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

Courage Kenny Handiham Program<http://handiham.org>
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422

Remember that our email addresses change on May 9, 2014.

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

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

(c) 2014

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422
866-426-3442 Toll-Free

www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org>

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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 07 May 2014 - Pat Tice