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 June 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.
Microphone, headphones, and eyeglasses
In this edition:
. Your attention, please!
. A call for public service stories.
. A special event station near the Canadian border opens up a rare
. The FCC honors accessibility innovators.
. This week's website serves up phonetics.
. Dip in the Pool returns.
. The Remote Base HF report: A bad connection gets fixed.
. June audio production continues as another magazine is added.
. ...And more!
Your attention, please!
cartoon guy driving car with antenna and microphone
Do you operate a mobile radio while in motion? Mobile operation can include
operating while driving, biking, skateboarding, and even walking! Recently
we have been running across articles and news stories about how distracted
driving - even distracted walking - can cause accidents and injuries. A
<https://youtu.be/mKKw-Q1M80o> particularly moving 10 minute video produced
by the Minnesota State Department of Public Safety about a death caused by
distracted driving got me to thinking about staying safe when using mobile
While the video is about a distraction caused by cell phone use in a motor
vehicle, any kind of electronic gadget has the potential to distract us from
the task at hand, which should be driving the vehicle, riding the bike, or
safely walking across the street. When I first learned to fly a Cessna, my
instructor warned me to "fly the plane first and worry about the radio
later." That is good advice for any kind of mobile radio use. It may be
necessary to use the radio, but you can cut your risk of causing an accident
by doing so carefully.
Think about it for a moment. You are in motion, and your senses are
providing feedback to your brain about the world around you - specifically
the environment with which you must interact to get where you need to go.
This could be the roadway, the bike path, or the crosswalk. Looking down at
a screen on a smartphone or handheld radio will do two things: It will take
your eyes off the road, path, or crosswalk, and it will engage your brain,
taking your mind off what is happing in your immediate environment. Most of
the time this will not cause a problem, but it is only because of luck. If
your luck runs out, you run into the car ahead of you, ride off the side of
the bike path and crash, or walk straight into the path of oncoming traffic.
Here's my theory: This happens because your brain is busy processing the
information on a screen and not the more important information about what is
going on around you. The brain works a lot like a computer in at least one
way: the "processor" handles one task at a time, maybe for a split-second
or maybe longer, and then moves on to the next task. So-called
"multitasking" is really an illusion because our brains do a series of tasks
in rapid succession rather than at exactly the same time. That means that
if we get stuck on a single brain-consuming task that requires
concentration, we are likely to ignore what is happening around us.
An example is programming a frequency into a radio and including a
subaudible tone. Anyone who has done this knows that it takes a fair amount
of concentration and careful attention to detail. If you have to do it
while you are driving, the only safe thing to do is to pull off the road,
stop the vehicle in a safe place, and complete the radio programming
correctly by allowing yourself to concentrate on one activity at a time.
Similarly, if you are walking, you will likely instinctively stop so that
you can concentrate on programming the radio.
Seriously, one's poor brain can't handle the overload of fiddling with a
smartphone or HT screen while trying to do something else. When we go on
family car trips, I can freely use the smartphone and radio, even
programming frequencies or finding stations on EchoLink, but rest assured
that I am NOT the one doing the driving. My wife or son are at the wheel so
that I can concentrate on using electronic devices safely.
Vehicle manufacturers provide lots of distracting accessories in cars these
days. Some new cars can helpfully inform you of incoming text messages and
even read them to you over the vehicle's sound system! I recommend that you
turn these features off and concentrate on driving. If you use a VHF/UHF
transceiver while mobile, never try to program frequencies or tone while
moving. Don't use the radio at all in heavy traffic. I have had known
spots in my commute where I always considered the radio off limits because
of the traffic levels.
Stay safe so you can communicate another day!
(For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.)
Call for public service stories.
If you are a person with a disability or sensory impairment and have a
public service communications story to tell, won't you please consider
sharing it with us?
We all know that public service communication is an important aspect of
Amateur Radio. Many ham radio operators have participated in some form of
public service communications, whether it be support for events like bike
races, marathons, and parades, or emergency communications in response to
threatening weather and natural or man-made disasters. But what is perhaps
less known is that Amateur Radio operators with disabilities can participate
in these activities and do an excellent job. They can take the courses, be
there for practice exercises, staff a station at a checkpoint during a
scheduled event, and yes - be ready and able to answer the call during a
If you have a public service experience to share, please email us. We'd
love to hear from you!
On the air this week:
W0W special event activates EN48 - a rare grid square - in northern
Minnesota near the Canadian border.
From the organizers: "Vince (K0SIX), Maria (K0MPP), John (WA0VPJ), Brad
(KB0HNN), Dave (NI0W) and Rick (N0VCF) will activate EN48 from June 11th
through June 15th. We will be operating from a cabin located on Gunflint
Lake and only a stone's throw away from Canada. Our operation will run with
the <http://www.arrl.org/june-vhf> 2015 ARRL June VHF Contest."
Check out the details on the W0W special event website.
Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is welcome!
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
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 CDT (Noon Eastern and 09:00 Pacific),
as well as Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 19:00 hours CDT (7 PM). If
you calculate GMT, the time difference is that GMT is five hours ahead of
Minnesota time during the summer.
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.
FCC round logo
FCC CHAIRMAN WHEELER HONORS INNOVATORS IN ACCESSIBILITY COMMUNICATIONS
TECHNOLOGY WITH ANNUAL AWARDS
Washington, D.C. - FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today announced winners of the
fourth annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA).
These awards recognize and honor innovative achievements in communications
technology that benefits people with disabilities.
The Chairman's AAA, a project of the FCC's Accessibility and Innovation
Initiative (A&I Initiative), recognizes outstanding private and public
sector ventures in communications technology accessibility and innovation.
The Chairman's AAA is part of the A&I Initiative's goal to facilitate
ongoing exchanges among industry, assistive technology companies, app
developers, government representatives and consumers to share best practices
and solutions for accessible communications technologies.
Winners were chosen in seven categories: Augmented Reality, CAPTCHA
Alternatives, Internet of Things, Real-Time Text, Teleconferencing, Video
Description and Miscellaneous. Awards were presented to the winners at a
ceremony on Monday, June 1, 2015 at the M-Enabling Summit.
Winners of 2015 Chairman's AAA
Category: Augmented Reality
Winner: Blind Square
Description: This iOS app helps blind travelers navigate routes, discover
points of interest in the environment and network with friends around venues
of mutual interest. Last year's 2.0 release was a major upgrade in features
and connections to other services and won the 2015 Winston Gordon Award for
Excellence in Accessible Technology, awarded by CNIB (formerly known as the
Canadian National Institute for the Blind).
Category: CAPTCHA Alternatives
Winner: Google's no CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA
Description: reCAPTCHA provides a technological advance to CAPTCHA
(Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart)
security protocols by eliminating the need for users to type the characters
or audio clips into a login box. Instead, this new service provides website
security via a risk analysis of the user's web behavior. For many users,
this means eliminating the sometimes difficult-to-read CAPTCHA challenge
text words encountered when visiting various websites.
Category: Internet of Things
Winner: Convo Lights
Description: This VRS application leverages recent advancements in
off-the-shelf lighting technology to enable users to customize visual
incoming call notifications to trigger multiple colors, locations and types
of lighting in users' homes and workspaces.
Category: Real-Time Text
Winner: Beam Messenger
Description: This app allows people to communicate seamlessly via text
messages on mobile devices. Unlike the current methods of text-based
communication that happen in turn-based fashion, Beam Messenger allows
people to chat the way they would in person - in real-time - coming in at
any point in the conversation and without waiting for the other person to
Winner: AT&T Video Meetings with BlueJeans
Description: This mobile optimized and cross-platform interoperable video
conferencing solution extends video collaboration to smartphone, tablet and
laptop users and supports a range of mobile clients and platforms, including
iOS and Android. The web, iOS and Android apps have all been enhanced to
make the service available to a wider range of customers with disabilities,
including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning
disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities,
photosensitivity and combinations of these. AT&T worked with Blue Jeans
Network, creator of the Blue Jeans video conferencing service, in developing
this video conferencing solution.
Category: Video Description
Winner: Comcast's Talking Guide
Description: Voice Guidance on the X1 Entertainment Operating System
"speaks" what's on the television screen to allow viewers who are blind or
visually impaired to navigate user interfaces and video program information
from cable set top boxes' on-screen menus. With this tool, viewers without
sight can easily find, select, record and watch anything on their channel
lineup. The Talking Guide also allows customers who are blind or visually
impaired to independently access settings to enable or disable the Secondary
Audio Program to access content with video description.
Winner: OpenAIR, by Knowbility
Description: Accessible Internet Rally (AIR) is a competition, organized by
Knowbility, that encourages developers to learn about web accessibility and
apply that knowledge by building a prototype website for a nonprofit
organization. In 2014, AIR was made available via IBM Connections, a web
collaboration platform that complies with advanced accessibility guidelines.
Registered professionals can use the platform to gain accessible design
For more information about the FCC, visit <http://www.fcc.gov/> www.FCC.gov
This week's website: ARRL's online QST for members.
Are you an ARRL member? If so, you have access to the digital edition of
QST. Yes, I know that many of you do prefer to read a printed version of
QST, but the digital version has a perk that cannot be replicated in the
print version: links to media files. For example, you may run across a
review of a transceiver or accessory. You will see this in the print
version, but in the digital version there may be a link to a video review of
that piece of gear. This adds a rich experience to the entire review, one
that simply cannot be replicated in print alone. Other articles, like
"Hotel Alfa Mike - Getting Your Call Across" in the June 2015 QST on page 70
are especially enhanced by audio files produced in the new ARRL headquarters
media center. Links to the audio files are available to ARRL members who
log in with their credentials. The files include six clearly spoken
versions of phonetic alphabets. The audio quality is excellent - a credit
to the performer and the new production facilities. Check out the ARRL and
QST at www.arrl.org. For QST, follow the QST link.
A dip in the pool
Dip in the pool is back! Our question this week is from the Extra Class
question pool, number E2D10. It asks:
How can an APRS station be used to help support a public service
Possible answers are:
A. An APRS station with an emergency medical technician can automatically
transmit medical data to the nearest hospital
B. APRS stations with General Personnel Scanners can automatically relay the
participant numbers and time as they pass the check points
C. An APRS station with a GPS unit can automatically transmit information to
show a mobile station's position during the event
D. All of these choices are correct
While you're thinking about which answer might be the right one, let's
remind ourselves what APRS stands for: Automatic Packet reporting System
Did you decide which answer is the correct one? If you picked answer C, An
APRS station with a GPS unit can automatically transmit information to show
a mobile station's position during the event, you got this one right. Since
the APRS station functions automatically, no driver attention to the radio
is required. It is one completely distraction-free way for a transmitter to
be used, even in heavy traffic.
KB3LLA featured on the AFB website
Handiham volunteer Ken Silberman, KB3LLA, is featured on the AFB website in
the "Our Stories" section. While many of us know Ken as a Radio Camp
instructor and past Handiham Radio Club president, he also has some pretty
impressive work life credentials as a NASA engineer and registered patent
345> Be sure to check out Ken's story on the AFB website.
Both Handiham HF remote base internet stations are up and running.
Scan this QR code to visit the Remote Base website on your smartphone.
Handiham Remote Base info QR code
. Our problem with transmit failure at W0ZSW was traced to a bad
crimped power connector. It was repaired by soldering the connector and
testing under load to make sure there was no voltage drop. It was a voltage
drop on transmit when more current was drawn, that led to the transmitter
shutdown. W0ZSW is now back on line with the W4MQ software during the week,
Monday morning through Friday morning, 24 hours a day.
. We have settled (for now) on a schedule of running W0ZSW on the
weekend (Friday afternoon through Sunday) on the Kenwood ARCP-590 software
and on the W4MQ software the rest of the week, though this can change.
Remember that the stations can go off the air during thunderstorms in order
to protect the equipment.
. Help needed! The instructions for using the W4MQ software and the
ARCP-590 software are quite limited, especially for blind users. Are there
any volunteers out there who can help us with recording some how-to guides,
including even very basic instructions?
tware> Email Pat, WA0TDA, if you can help describe how to use either of
these software rig control programs, either in writing or in a spoken word
. If you are a registered user, check the station's schedule for
which rig is in use at the <http://handiham.org/remotebase/> remote base
website and in the W0ZSW Skype status.
Contact me if you are interested in hosting a Handiham Remote Base station,
either here in the Twin Cities or anywhere else in the USA!
<mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx?subject=Participate%20in%20TS-590S%20Testing> If you
are an experienced TS-590S and ARCP-590 user and are interested in
participating in beta tests, please let me know.
June CQ Magazine audio digest has been recorded for our blind members by Jim
Perry, KJ3P, and will be available in the members section later this week.
June QCWA Journal has been recorded by Jim Perry, KJ3P, and is available in
streaming MP3 from a link at <http://www.qcwa.org/qcwa.php> QCWA.org or
<https://handiham.org/audio/QCWA/QCWA-2015-June.mp3> listen here.
The Doctor is In column from the June 2015 QST audio recording for our blind
members has been completed by volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY. Thanks,
Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the June DAISY audio digest including QST
articles of interest to our blind members. It is now available as a DAISY
download. Thanks, Bob!
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 will be 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.
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.
Jim, KJ3P, has recorded the DXer's Handbook Second Edition by Bryce, K7UA,
for our blind members. If you are a Handiham member and need a link to the
DAISY download, please let me know.
Thanks to our volunteer readers:
Radio Camp News: We will once again be at the Woodland campus, Camp
It's June! If you have been sitting on that camp application, time to fill
it out and send it in.
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:
. New! We have acquired an Icom IC-7200 to try out at camp. These
excellent rigs come with built in speech.
. 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.
. 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.
. 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
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 We hope you will remember us in your 2015 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
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!
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
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