[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 10 December 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:01:44 -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, 10 December 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

Yes, you can say it on the air.  But should you?

Just last week I started teaching the "Communicating With Other Hams"
section from the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual. Since this is the Technician
course, I never assume that my students will know how to start and conduct
an actual contact on the air.  The contact has certain procedural
requirements, of course.  You need to follow the rules for identification,
but aside from that FCC mandate, you do actually have very few restrictions
on either what you say or how you say it.  A basic contact consists of
exchanging callsigns, signal reports, names, locations, and station
information.  If you are in a contest, you'll do a quick exchange of the
required contest information and move on to the next contact. In a net, your
contact time may be extended over most of the time the net is in operation,
even though you may actually say very little unless you are called upon to
handle traffic or do whatever it is the net is all about.  In a casual
conversation between stations or in a social net, the topic of conversation
can vary widely and can go in any direction.  It's always safe to talk about
the weather, but maybe discussing photography or aviation may be your cup of
tea. Go for it!

This brings me to the section in the book entitled "Appropriate Topics".  It
should go without saying, but indecent and obscene language is prohibited.
This is the sort of thing that isn't really defined and is hard to enforce,
but most of us generally have no trouble recognizing bad language when we
hear it.  Then there is the fatal triad: sex, religion, and politics.  These
three topics are deadly at the Thanksgiving day table because any one of
them - or any combination - is guaranteed to offend someone and start a
family feud.  When I first started my ham radio career, one of the best
pieces of advice I received was to avoid talking about sex, religion, or
politics on the air.  It was good advice then and is good advice now.  

Just don't do it!

Yesterday I was listening to an early morning net on 75 meters, and some guy
decided to tell a joke about a priest hearing confession and an Obama
supporter.  In a matter of a few seconds, he managed to offend a major
religious group and anyone who voted for the President.  This is bad, bad
form.  The venue - a popular, long-running net, should never have been the
forum for this kind of thing, which included two of the three "don'ts":
religion and politics.  

What's the net control to do?

The introduction of topics in bad taste can put the Net Control Station in
an uncomfortable position.  Put yourself in the unenviable role of the NCS.
You don't know whether to chastise the guy or just move on.  It can be
tricky, because you have to tread a fine line between blowing the incident
out of proportion, thus calling even more attention to it and causing people
to start choosing sides, or just doing nothing - which is an implicit
acceptance of bad behavior on the net.  Since every incident will be unique,
it's hard to be ready with the appropriate response. 

I would not be afraid to say, "Please avoid topics involving sex, religion,
or politics on the (fill in the blank) net."  This is a fairly benign
reminder to your net participants that you do not welcome certain topics.  

How important is this advice?

Plenty.  I have observed cases of true upset that involved politics.  People
have left nets and even radio clubs over this sort of thing.  But that's the
least of it.  A person who has enjoyed the fun and challenge of ham radio
for years may hear discussions that are so insulting that they may decide to
simply give up on Amateur Radio and direct their energy elsewhere.  It is
even more so for a newbie, who might quickly become disillusioned by on the
air activity that is annoying or inflammatory.  Yes, I have heard from such
people, so I know it does happen.  

Advising and Assisting - another important consideration.

This is another section in the chapter on basic communications.  Radio and
antenna checks are covered, as well as how to respond to mistakes made on
the air and how to give accurate signal reports.  Earlier this week I was
put in mind of this very thing when a station who had trouble checking into
a VoIP net took the Net Control Station to task - on the air - and tried to
tell him how to run the net.  This initiated a measured response from the
NCS explaining the procedures, as you might expect.  Please remember that
the NCS is in charge, so listen and follow his or her directions.  After
that, there is no need to discuss anyone's mistakes any further, especially
in a judgmental manner.  The telephone may be a better way to handle more
detailed conversations about operating behavior so that "dirty laundry" need
not be aired on the net where everyone can hear all about it.  

"You're the idiot!"

Yes, I really heard some guy say that to someone else on 40 meters this
morning as I was writing this up. An out-and-out name-calling exchange
between two stations took place on 7.185 MHz this morning shortly after 8:00
AM Central Time.  I happened to be listening on frequency after successfully
adding W1AW/9 to the logbook earlier in the day.  This deteriorated into a
long rant over which someone else was saying "cuckoo, cuckoo" to cover up
the ranting monolog. Even worse, since W1AW/9 had been working a real pileup
earlier, the frequency was almost certainly listed in the DX Spots, which
meant that people were going to be checking out the frequency.  What an

It's only a hobby...

That's a phrase I've heard before and there is something to be said for it.
Amateur Radio is such an enormously diverse collection of people and
interest groups that it can be easy to get caught up in one particular
aspect and fail to observe the big picture.  Some people go "all in" and
have many thousands of dollars of equipment and antennas and spend a lot of
time on the air.  One can slip into an alternate reality where ham radio
takes on more importance than anything else, resulting in strained relations
with family and friends - and even with other ham radio operators who don't
see things the way you do.  It is important to have balance in life.  Don't
take things too seriously.  Live and let live.  Enjoy your time on the air,
but give other activities some time and space in your life. Others will make
mistakes on and off the air, but be diplomatic about it and help them learn.
Be prudent and thoughtful in how you conduct yourself on the air.  Remember
that what might be okay in an Internet forum is not okay on 75 meters.  And
don't forget the Golden Rule.

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

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

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.
Sometimes the questions are real brain-busters and other times they are
softballs.  Even I can get some of them right, so you can too!

Note that nets may or may not be on the air during and around special
holidays like Christmas and New Year's Day.  If the net does not
materialize, please feel free to start a round table discussion. 

Operating tips for any net:  

Please listen to the Net Control Station (NCS).  He or she will let you know
who is being called, how to check in, and how the net is to be conducted.
Most Net Control Station operators have broad discretion on how they will
accept stations checking in and will state their preference at the beginning
of the net and periodically through the session. 

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

Speaking of getting on the air...

Today's featured net is the Eye Bank Net, W0EYE, is on the air daily at 0045
UTC (Although I was hearing them today at 7:00 AM CDT.)  The frequency is
3.970 MHz, and in the winter you will easily hear stations from over 1,000
miles away at that hour.  Be sure to pay a visit to W0EYE on QRZ.com
<http://www.qrz.com/>  for an interesting biography of what the Eye Bank Net
is all about.  

Taking stock:

Let's find out what's going on.  

ARRL introduces on line exam review:

There is a new beta web page on the ARRL website called "ARRL Exam Review
for Ham Radio™".  You create an account specifically to use the site.
Anyone may use it; you do not need to be an ARRL member.  Check out ARRL
Exam Review for Ham Radio <http://arrlexamreview.appspot.com/> ™ here.  

QST for January 2015 is out in digital:

Check it out by following the QST link on ARRL.org.
<http://www.arrl.org/qst>   Remember that the digital QST is a member
service, so you must be logged in.  

Did you miss the December Events by N1YXU?  

This month's column is posted on Handiham.org.
<http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/377>   Check it out and think about
what you would like to have listed for January.  

Add interest to your club newsletter with a quiz:

I'm an editor for my club newsletter. <http://www.radioham.org/>   The
December edition had some blank space left on the last page, so I decided to
add a short quiz about what had been covered in the preceding pages.  I
titled the article "Were you paying attention?" and ended up with 10
questions gleaned from the articles as they appeared from the first page to
the last.  For example, one question was, "Who is the program speaker at the
December meeting?"  Another was, "Who survived an allergen-filled ham and
cheese hoagie sandwich at the airport?"  I guarantee you would have to read
the newsletter to answer that second one!  This kind of quiz is a fun way
for club members to get a chuckle or two out of their newsletter while
reinforcing the content that they have read.  Don't be afraid to try
something different to maintain interest.  Humor can help make otherwise
routine newsletter content into something that is easier to read and

Hara Arena problems? 

ARRL and other sources are reporting that the long-time venue of Dayton
Hamvention®, Hara Arena, has fallen on hard times.
-hara-arena>  The situation is a complex one for the privately-owned
property, which must compete with facilities that are subsidized with tax
dollars.  Check out this story from TV station WDTN,
> "Hara Arena tackling financial struggles".

CQ for December is out in digital <http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/> . 

The CQ Plus section of the digital edition includes our Ham Radio Challenges
column, which replaced the old "With the Handihams" in Worldradio.  

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

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. 

Handiham office hours: 

We are open Monday through Thursday this week.  Mornings are the best time
to contact us. 

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.  

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

Our schedule will vary around the Christmas and New Year's holidays.  Please
visit Handiham.org during the holiday season for updates and schedule
changes.  We will be closed on Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24 through
Sunday, December 28, reopening Monday December 29 through Wednesday December
31.  We will be closed on New Year's Day, January 1, 2015.  We reopen on
Monday, January 5. 

Equipment Program News:  

As I mentioned last week, due to the unexpectedly early arrival of winter I
now have less access to the offsite equipment storage. It is really cold
here and I have to shovel the snow away from the door to get in.  That puts
the equipment program in slow motion, so it is going into hibernation.  On
the plus side, we have made progress fixing some Astron linear supplies that
had been damaged by lightning.  Dave Glas, W0OXB, helped me find some good
storage containers.  Dave is now working on testing the radio gear and
reorganizing it in the existing rolling storage containers so that it will
be ready for upcoming events like the February 2015 Ice Station WØJH Special
Event on Frozen Goose Lake here in Minnesota.  We will have more on how you
can contact W0JH on the air and get a special certificate.  The rolling
storage will also help us deploy accessible stations at ARRL Field Day in
June 2015, and of course at Radio Camp in August 2015. Thank you,

This past week we received the donation of two lightly-used handheld radios
that will be made available to the new Technician licensees at Radio Camp
2015.  Last month we received the donation of a Flex 5000 software defined
radio that will form the core of our latest internet remote base HF station.

The equipment program has been the most challenging part of our long-time
offerings to manage.  Logistics, space, time, money - it's all part of the

If you have suggestions on how to make the equipment program work better,
email us a short paragraph.
gram>  (Please, no phone calls on this topic. I can sort and track the ideas
by email more easily.)

New audio: 

Microphone and eyeglasses

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

October CQ digest is in production by Jim, KJ3P.  This is the latest print
copy we have received to date. Jim has also completed the QCWA Journal for
December.  Please find it in the new audio section of the Handiham member
website or on the QCWA website <http://qcwa.org/> . 

Any Handiham or QCWA member who cannot find the link to this month's QCWA
Journal may email us for assistance and a direct link. 

Also in the members section: Magazine Digest for December 2014 by Bob Zeida,
N1BLF - 25 MB DAISY zip file download.

Also in the members section: The December Doctor is in column has been
recorded by Ken Padgitt, W9MJY.

Thanks to our volunteer readers:

Bob, N1BLF 

Jim, KJ3P

Ken, W9MJY 

Still open!  Be a NASA Summer Intern:  Ken, KB3LLA, sends out a call to
students who are interested in STEM careers.

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

We have replaced the rotator on the tower at camp and plan to work DX with
the triband HF beam antenna.

Tentative dates are 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 stages and
we have not set the exact timing yet.   Please let Nancy know if you wish to
receive a 2015 Radio Camp Application.

Great room in cabin two.
Photo:  A Radio Camp cabin. 

Year-End Appeal

Pat with NLS cartridge and mailer 

Could I ask for just a moment of your time before I finish this recording

I’m so grateful for your support of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s
Handiham program. Your participation is vital to the delivery of amateur
radio services by and for people living with disabilities. I’d like to ask
for your help in 2014 with a donation to the Handiham fund this December.

Courage Kenny’s Handiham program brings people together from around the
world to connect and share experiences through amateur radio. The Handiham
program provides a forum for people with disabilities to build confidence,
set goals, develop friendships and volunteer in service to others.   Your
support allows us to stay current in technologies that help our members,
including  blind-friendly software and online audio lecture production.
Your donation will help to expand DAISY (Digital Accessible Information
System) cartridge services for our members without computers and maintain
member-only benefits like 24/7 access to the Handiham Remote Base HF
Stations for those who cannot put up antennas of their own, as well as
assistance from staff about assistive technology.   

From offering our accessible online licensing classes and tutorials, radio
camps and equipment assistance, to our high frequency (HF) remote base
stations, the Handiham program works hard to make the experience in amateur
radio the best it can be!  The Handiham program is one of Courage Kenny’s
Community-Based Services, a resource for recreation, life-long learning, and
enduring friendships through ham radio.     

For forty-seven years, our Handiham program has relied heavily on
philanthropic support to stay current and available to as many people as
possible. We need your help this holiday season to keep the program strong.
Will you consider a gift today?   The Handiham program would not be what it
is today without your support. 

Thank you for considering a donation to the Handiham program this holiday

Sincerely, Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Program Coordinator 

·         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    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    This weekly letter and podcast was produced with Microsoft Expression
Web <http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36179>  and 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
<mailto:handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx  for changes of
address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and your new

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



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