[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 11 March 2015

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:45:34 -0500

Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for
the week of Wednesday, 11 March 2015

This is a free weekly news & information update from the
<http://handiham.org> Courage Kenny Handiham System, serving people with
disabilities in Amateur Radio since 1967.  

Our contact information is at the end. 

Listen here:

Get this podcast in iTunes:
 <http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=372422406> Subscribe to our audio podcast
in iTunes

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
 <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham> http://feeds.feedBurner.com/handiham


Welcome to Handiham World.

In this edition:  

.         HF remote operation finds its mojo

.         The week's question: Did you ever have an RF problem in your ham

.         Check into our daily nets.  And get the time right!

.         Take a dip in the pool: What if something isn't covered in Part 97

.         The Remote Base HF report:  A pretty good week.

.         QCWA Journal for March is available in audio.

.         ...And more!


But first...  Remote operation brings questions.

Cartoon robot carring pencil

HF remote base station operation has found its mojo.  What was once a rare
and highly specialized way to control an HF Amateur Radio station from a
remote location has now gone mainstream.  You need look no further than the
pages of QST and CQ to find articles and advertising related to HF remoting.
You can join a pay-for system of excellent state of the art contesting
remote stations, a volunteer-operated system of remotes varying from very
modest receive-only setups to full stations, multiple different remoting
systems designed for individual users, and of course our own Handiham Radio
Club remote base stations.

The technology has improved along with the availability of high-speed
internet, offering us many different highly customizable solutions for
operating HF remote.  One by one, the traditional objections to remoting
have fallen aside as the technology and connectivity have evolved.  You can
now control your remote station with a control head or even an Elecraft K3
for a traditional look and feel interface.  You can use a computer,
smartphone, or tablet.  You can be part of a group station or roll your own.
You don't need a dedicated telephone line or UHF link as long as you have a
good internet connection.  And perhaps the most important, you have plenty
of company since remote operation is more popular than ever.  Many of us
travel for work or pleasure or are downsizing to a condo or apartment - all
good reasons to consider remote operation. That means there will probably be
someone in your ham club who already operates a remote and who can act as a
resource for you as you get started with this new phase of operation.  

My own local radio club, the Stillwater, MN Amateur Radio Association
<http://www.radioham.org/> , has scheduled this month's program to include
our ARRL Dakota Division <http://www.arrldakota.org/>  Director Greg Widin,
K0GW, to bring us up to date on policy issues and what is happening at ARRL
HQ.  One of the topics will be an update on how contacts made via remote
base operation for ARRL awards are to be considered.  

Let's face it; this is not your grandpa's ham radio.  The physical locations
of the station and the control operator are usually different.  You could be
operating your own station remotely but still be on your property, say
sitting on the patio in the back yard and controlling the radio in the
basement with a tablet, or you could be traveling in Asia and operating that
same station from a dozen time zones away!  You might have moved to a condo
with few antenna options and enjoy operating the Handiham remotes
<http://handiham.org/remotebase/>  via a laptop computer.  Maybe you have
joined Remotehams.com <http://www.remotehams.com/>  and like to try
different stations put on the air by other members.  Or perhaps you prefer
the state of the art antenna systems and well-supported stations of
RemoteHamRadio.com <http://www.remotehamradio.com/> .  The fact of the
matter is that no matter what remoting solution you choose, there are going
to be questions about things you never had to think about before:

.         How do I identify my station?

.         How do I identify when I'm operating someone else's station?

.         Can I operate my station remotely when I'm traveling outside my
home country?

.         What if I am mobile while operating but the station is back at my

.         Can an operator licensed in another country operate a station
based in the United States (or vice-versa)?

.         Will I be able to collect contacts toward WAS and DXCC awards when
operating remote?  And what if I use several different remotes while making
these contacts? 

.         How long can I use the station when others might be waiting to use

.         Can I mess up the station if I make a mistake? 

.         If I lose my internet connection during operation, what then?

.         Is there any tech support?  

.         How about training?  Is there anywhere to learn how to operate
remote HF stations?

These are all good questions, and you can bet there are many more that I
haven't listed here.  There is no one "right" answer for many of them
because stations, owners, locations, and policies will be different.  Even
identifying can be a head-scratcher.  There are the legal requirements of
course, so you have to identify using your own callsign and that of the
remote station if it is different from yours.  But if you use a remote that
is in a location other than you, confusion can result when you check into a
net or when you are making any kind of contact.  Think about when you call
CQ on 20 meters.  If you live in Florida and use your W4 callsign but are
actually operating via the Handiham remote located in Northern Minnesota,
someone may hear your call and turn a beam antenna toward Florida instead of
Minnesota.  You need to make it clear that you are operating via a remote
station, not only because it is a legal requirement but because it is
necessary to help others understand where you are located.  

Awards?  Well, they are a contentious issue as you might expect.  Consider
someone who has toiled mightily to work all the USA states with a hundred
watt radio and a dipole hung between the corner of the garage and a tree in
the back yard.  I don't know about you, but I think that operator had to
work harder to make that happen than someone else who completed WAS by
operating a series of remote stations, some of them with top-notch
directional antennas and superior siting at high elevations and in the
clear. Certainly the same goes for working DX and earning DXCC.  This is not
to suggest that operating skill is not important in either scenario, but we
all know that there is a real difference between the kinds of skills needed
to use a modest home station and a remote station, especially a fancy one
with state of the art antennas!  On the other hand, a lousy operator won't
earn awards no matter what the station is like.  No matter what, skill and
strategy are important. 

I don't think the awards are exactly equivalent when they are earned in such
different ways.  That is why I will be interested in hearing what is going
on when I attend my next club meeting and get a news update.  I'd like you
to think about these issues, too.  Change is swirling all around us, and we
cannot ignore it.  We need to make change work for us!

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


Drawing of a computer

Last week's question:  Do you have alternate power for your ham shack?  What
is your plan to stay on the air if the power fails?  What is the best
alternate power source?  (No, you cannot plug a power strip into itself!) 

Field Day Battery
Image:  12 Volt 75 amp hour sealed battery at Field Day site.

My alternate power situation isn't all that great.  Yes, I do own a
generator, but it is sometimes hard to start and noisy once it does.  I do
have a long AC extension cord that I use for the electric weed trimmer and
can get power from the generator out in the driveway all the way back down
to the ham shack and the radio power supplies.  This is not convenient in
any way, shape, or form.  Lately I have been following a discussion in an
IC-7200 group on line, and battery power was a recent topic.  In recent
years my radio club's local Field Day and special event stations have been
powered by batteries instead of generators.  Perhaps a battery and a smart
charging system would be a better alternative than a generator, at least for
the ham shack.  

This week's question:  Have you ever had a ham shack in a location where
there were RF and grounding problems?  What did you do to resolve them?

 <mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx?subject=The%20weekly%20question> Think you
have an answer?  Email me and let me know.  Also tell me if it's okay to
mention your callsign in the e-letter and podcast.  


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

Cartoon multicolored stickman family holding hands, one wheelchair user
among them.

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, VE6UE.


A dip in the pool

circuit board

It's time to take a dip in the pool - the NCVEC Amateur Radio Question Pool,
not the swimming pool.  Looking forward to the new 2015 General Pool that
comes into effect on July 1, we sample the following question.  Let's see if
you can get the answer!

G1B11 asks, "How does the FCC require an amateur station to be operated in
all respects not specifically covered by the Part 97 rules?"

Here are the possible choices:

A. In conformance with the rules of the IARU
B. In conformance with Amateur Radio custom
C. I In conformance with good engineering and good amateur practice
D. All of these choices are correct

This is one of those questions that I like to think of as "catch-alls".  It
is asking about things that might crop up and are not specifically addressed
in FCC Part 97.  The catch-all is that "this is what is to be expected" when
it is not specifically mentioned in the rules.  The FCC says that we are to
operate our stations "In conformance with good engineering and good amateur
practice", so answer C is the correct one.  While the other choices might
sound like good ideas, if you look closely at the question and see the word
"require", you then realize that there is a more exacting standard expected
than conforming with custom, and that is that we are to operate our stations
in conformance with good engineering and good amateur practice, even when a
specific issue is not described in Part 97.  The FCC determines what
constitutes "good engineering practice", and that makes sense because such
practices may change as technology changes.  


Both Handiham HF remote base internet stations are up and running.  

We had a minor outage at W0EQO over the weekend.  It was resolved by remote
access.  Thanks to Lyle, K0LR, for his help with this.

One operating note:  There is no speech frequency readout available at W0ZSW
with the substitute radio.  W0EQO does return speech frequency readout for
our blind users.

The IC-7200 in place of the TS-480HX at W0ZSW.
Photo:  An IC-7200 pinch hits at W0ZSW. 

Our two stations are 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.  Details at Remote Base website
<https://handiham.org/remotebase/> .  

We are working to bring a third remote system online somewhere in the USA
Eastern Time Zone.  Contact me if you are interested in hosting a Handiham
Remote Base station.

We are also looking for a new home for station W0ZSW here in the Twin
Cities.  The ideal candidate would be a local radio club with room for
antennas, and a cadre of volunteers to help with the station.  

A testing team has been formed for a TS-590S station using the Kenwood
ARCP-590 software.  The station is in its earliest stages of testing and is
not open to any other users.  This week testing was suspended so that we
could deal with the other station problems and replace the failed TS-480HX.
The W0ZSW IC-7200  will be unavailable at times because its antenna will be
used for testing the TS-590S.  If you find that W0ZSW is unavailable, please
consider using W0EQO instead. We will try to test during low usage times,
but some disruptions to W0ZSW will be unavoidable.  


Handiham office hours: 

We are on our usual Monday through Thursday schedule this week.  Mornings
are the best time to contact us. Please visit Handiham.org for updates and
schedule changes.  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.  We are always closed
Friday through Sunday.  


New audio: 

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

April 2015 QST has been released by ARRL, so we will be getting to work
shortly to get audio for our blind members.  This is about the earliest I
have seen QST released!  I always wonder if I will fall for whatever April
Fool's joke is hidden in the April issue. 

NLS cartridge production during March is on schedule and cartridges have
been mailed.

In the Technician Lecture Series, we most recently posted a new lecture on
licensing and regulations.

Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the March magazine audio digest for our
blind members.  Bob 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.  Don't miss Dave Sumner's article on Band Planning on page 9 of
your March QST, or in audio in the DAISY QST from NLS or the digest from
Handihams. Regarding this topic, what do you think about the 75 meter phone
band starting the 3.6 MHz?  One of our member likes this as it is and would
not like to see digital modes there instead.  What thoughts do you have?
Phone or digital in this part of the band?  

Also in the members section: The February 2015 Doctor is in column has been
recorded by Ken Padgitt, W9MJY.

We also have QCWA Journal for March <http://www.qcwa.org> , and CQ Magazine
for January/February (March release), recorded by Jim, KJ3P.   

Jim has also recorded the DXer's Handbook Second Edition by Bryce, K7UA, for
our blind members.  

 <https://handiham.org/daisy/open/General_Pool_2015-19_DAISY_Beta.zip> The
new 2015 through 2019 General Class Pool, machine-recorded in DAISY by the
Handiham Program; Beta 1 version in downloadable zip file format.

Thanks to our volunteer readers:

Bob, N1BLF 

Jim, KJ3P

Ken, W9MJY 


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

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:  

.         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 and an
EMCOMM exercise.

.         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.

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
<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 Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx
for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address
and your new address.

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




PNG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

GIF image

JPEG image

GIF image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

GIF image

JPEG image

Other related posts:

  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 11 March 2015 - Patrick.Tice