[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 15 October 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:14:42 -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, 15 October 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

Are you a teacher?

You could be.  All it takes is a willingness to learn how to share your
knowledge about Amateur Radio.

Pat, WA0TDA, holds three license manuals.

How did you learn to walk?  Who taught you how to tie your shoes?  To wear a
coat when it's cold outdoors and a hat when the sun was hot?  

Mom and Dad!

Of course our parents were our first teachers.  If you are a mom or dad with
children, you know what I'm talking about.  In a way, all of us are teachers
at one time or another.  We help each other to learn almost as second nature
when we explain the rules of a game to another kid or help our little
brother to find his way home from the school bus.  

The teacher isn't always in a school classroom.  True, the teachers you had
in school had trained extensively in education and had university degrees in
their specialties.  They were professional educators, and certainly knew how
to teach.  But as we travel the road of life all of us collect knowledge
about things we find interesting.  Sometimes we become so engaged in a
profession or hobby that we become experts at these things without even
realizing it!  After all, there is usually no degree conferred on us for
being experts at quilting or becoming extraordinary skateboarders.  These
activities, like an in-depth knowledge of Amateur Radio, come to us slowly
over a long time, perhaps years or decades.  In fact, we humans are
hard-wired for learning.  We want to learn, and we will do so on our own
without teachers, during most of our lives.  

Perhaps we should think of teachers more as "facilitators" who smooth the
path for learning by creating the right environment.  The best teachers are
themselves enthusiastic about learning and eager to share their knowledge
with their students.  I sure like sharing my ham radio hobby with others!
If you feel the same way about radio and electronics, maybe you should
consider being a teacher yourself.  

Amateur Radio is, as they say, a big tent.  A visit to any hamfest or radio
club meeting will quickly make it obvious that there are many, many
interests under the big tent.  Some of us will like designing and building
projects.  Others will enjoy competitive radio sport.  Many have entered
Amateur Radio to participate as public service communicators.  Most of us
also just enjoy casual conversations on the air, making friends and staying
in touch with them.  You never know what direction your ham radio experience
will take over the years, but given enough time you will develop some
definite preferences and become knowledgeable and skilled in those things.
You may be "teacher material" and not even know it!

Suppose you like public service.  Why not share what you have learned with
your radio club by organizing a club program and inspiring others to join
you during the next public service net or event?  You can be a mentor,
working alongside a newbie during a scheduled event like a parade or
walkathon.  Or maybe you are a whiz at electronics.  Give a talk at the
local high school's physics class about ham radio and explain how it can
make hands-on science come alive!  If you are an expert user of your
particular radio, you could teach others how to use it by submitting audio
tutorials to us here at the Handiham Program.  Open your mind to the
possibilities because there are many ways to be a teacher without having to
stand in front of a class giving lectures!

If you can teach into a microphone and help us with audio tutorials on any
ham radio topic, please drop me a line at Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx. If you
can record printed material for our blind members, we can use help with that

(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.

.         Speaking of code, my old Bencher paddle is mechanically "sticky",
unlike the one in this photo, which is being used to send CW during a
contact at radio camp. People seemed to be having fun on CW at camp, so I
decided to dig out my own old Bencher.  Unfortunately it had been stored
quite a long time and wasn't really in working condition. 
A typical Bencher CW paddle
I am no expert on CW and CW equipment, so I posed a question about how to
rehab the old Bencher on Google Plus.  I got mostly responses suggesting
cleaning the contacts, but I think the stickiness is really in the
mechanism, not in the contacts.  This is a paddle that has seen some hard
service, in that it was not stored correctly and other things were jammed up
against it and maybe even on top of it.  Then there was the time I dropped
it.  My bad, but that's water under the bridge and now I need to get it
working again, so I'll be looking for some instructions on how to diagnose
what really should be quite a simple problem in the mechanism.  I'm also
going to acquire a plain old straight key sometime.  When you learn CW on a
straight key, you build up sort of an affinity for the solid feel and
greater control of the way you shape your code.  Back in the day, the
particular characteristic sound of your sending was called "your fist".
It's because you use your hand cupped above the knob on a straight key,
forming a sort of fist.  In the days when everyone used straight keys, you
could tell who was sending by the mannerisms that crept into their style of
keying.  To this day, some of us refer to "fist" as a style of sending CW
with a straight key.  The International Morse Preservation Society uses
"Fists" as a shorthand name in "The Fists CW Club".  To learn more, pay a
visit to: 

.         Happy Wednesday to you!  Our daily Echolink net continues to
operate for anyone and everyone who cares to check in 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).  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. 

.         I heard an awesomely loud and clear AM station on 3.730 MHz this
morning.  The group that meets there specializes in running old "boat
anchors" - AM (amplitude modulated) equipment that earns the boat anchor
name by virtue of its size and weight. The transmitters can be particularly
heavy because of the large vacuum tubes and transformers needed to run
higher power. Listen on 75 meters before and within an hour after sunrise
and you will be surprised at how good the band can be.  With 75 meters
becoming more usable by the day as we approach winter, consider checking
into the PICONET on 3.925 MHz, which has a long Handiham affiliation. It's
on Monday through Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 11 AM and Monday through
Friday afternoons from 3 PM to 5 PM Central Time.  Details and schedules are

.         Don't forget about our remote base station, W0ZSW, which is
available for your use. You can easily use it to check into PICONET on 75
meters or MIDCARS on 7.258 MHz.  The YL System net is happy to get your
check-in on 14.332 MHz.  You can find the YL System Net website at: 

Taking stock:

Let's find out what's going on.  

.         From KB3LLA: National Federation of the Blind Announces Release of
Unified English Braille Version of The McDuffy Braille Reader

Baltimore, Maryland (October 14, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind
<http://www.nfb.org/>  announced today the release of a new version of The
McDuffy Reader: A Braille Primer for Adults by Sharon L. Monthei, which is
designed to guide students through the Unified English Braille (UEB) code.
The primer, first published by the National Federation of the Blind in 1989,
has been used as an effective Braille teaching tool in many rehabilitation
settings around the country. Ms. Monthei has revised this popular Braille
instructional manual in light of the coming changes to the Braille code. By
January 2016, Unified English Braille will be the official Braille code used
in the United States. The UEB edition of the McDuffy Reader is available
from the National Federation of the Blind Independence Market for $20.00
plus shipping and handling. You may contact the NFB Independence Market via
email at independencemarket@xxxxxxx and via phone at (410) 659-9314,
extension 2216. 

.         Countdown to Standard Time!  Depending on your location, we are
now around two weeks until the return to standard time.  It happens first in
Europe when clocks go back 1 hour on Sunday, Oct 26, 2014. Here in the
United States and Canada it happens on Sunday, Nov 2, 2014.  As always,
Handiham nets remain true to Minnesota local time.  In the summer Minnesota
is 5 hours behind GMT.  In the winter Minnesota is 6 hours behind GMT.
Where do I get my date and time information?  Check it out at

.         Two weeks to go for another lighthouse station opportunity!  Plan
to work the Split Rock Lighthouse Event - October 31st - November 2nd.  It
is sponsored by SARA, the Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio Association
<http://www.radioham.org/>  each year.  We'll have more about this as we
approach the end of October.  The event station callsign will be W0JH, the
callsign once held by Father George Metcalf, who served as chaplain to
General Patton
f-patton-chaplain>  and who was an enthusiastic, long-time supporter of the
Handiham program.  SARA, a Handiham-affiliated club, now holds his callsign.

Split Rock lighthouse, as seen from land against clear blue sky.
Image: Split Rock Lighthouse stands tall against the clear, blue Minnesota

.         Wondering what else is on the air?  Check out the October Events
by N1YXU <http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/node/361> .  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> .  I have found
the ones I've tried to be easy to work, both on CW and SSB.  I was surprised
earlier this week (Monday) to add W1AW/0 from Missouri to my log on 20
meters.  I had not expected the skip to be that short on 20, but you can't
argue with success!  He came back to me on my first call, too.  I never use
more than 100 watts, and the antenna was a plain old inverted vee in the
back yard.  Don't miss the fun during the ARRL Centennial!  

.         WA0CAF likes the latest edition of The DAISY Planet, the DAISY
Consortium's monthly newsletter for August. It has a "Dear DAISY" column
that those interested in DAISY publishing will find interesting.  More at: 

.         New Handiham membership application:  We have a new membership
application.  You don't have to do anything if you are already a Handiham
member, but for those who are joining us, the new application will be sent
out beginning this week.  The application is also available on line, in both
PDF and plain text versions.  

Blind-Friendly Printable Text Application: Fill it out in notepad, then
print, sign and mail by postal service to Handiham headquarters. It's easy,
you only have to type your answer in right after the question, one per line:
Go to Printable Blind Text Membership Application

Printable PDF Membership Application: Print, fill out, sign and mail by
postal service to Handiham headquarters.
Go to Printable PDF Membership 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!

Handiham annual membership dues are $12.00.  The lifetime membership rate is

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> 

.         The ARRL ARES Newsletter is out.  In this edition ARRL
Southeastern Division Director Doug Rehman, K4AC, writes that ARES members
should change their passwords following a breach at ARRL.org
<http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-investigating-web-server-breach> .  He

"If your password on  <http://arrl.org> arrl.org hasn't been changed since
before early 2010, you need to change it now. If your password is newer than
early 2010, I'd recommend that it be changed as a precautionary measure."

Good advice!  I'll be checking my passwords for sure. Since many of us have
multiple passwords to manage, we may wish to try a password manager.  An
example Doug gave is "Password Safe", a free, open-source password manager
for Windows XP right on up through 8 that allows you to have just one master
password while still maintaining unique passwords for all other websites.
It is at: 

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, 15 October 2014 - Patrick.Tice