[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 18 June 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:36:01 -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, 18 June 2014

This is a free weekly news & information update from  <http://handiham.org>
Courage Kenny Handiham System. Our contact information is at the end. 

Listen here:

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Welcome to Handiham World.

Guy looking at study guide for license.

ARRL Field Day will be here before we know it.
<http://www.arrl.org/field-day>  It's time quick look at some basic good
operating practices.  

We begin today with a feature that usually comes later on in our weekly
visit  the "dip in the pool" segment.  We typically pick out a question from
one of the Amateur Radio question pools, read the question, then  see how
many of us can pick the correct answer from the four possible choices.
Today we are heading to the General Class question pool and looking at not
one but four - yes, four - questions that are related to good operating
practice.  These questions are from section G2 and are consecutive.  We will
go through all four before giving the correct answers and having a short

Let's begin with G2B04, which asks: "When selecting a CW transmitting
frequency, what minimum frequency separation should you allow in order to
minimize interference to stations on adjacent frequencies?"

Possible answers are:

A. 5 to 50 Hz
B. 150 to 500 Hz
C. 1 to 3 kHz
D. 3 to 6 kHz

Next, we go to G2B05, which asks: "What is the customary minimum frequency
separation between SSB signals under normal conditions?"

Possible answers are: 

A. Between 150 and 500 Hz
B. Approximately 3 kHz
C. Approximately 6 kHz
D. Approximately 10 kHz

On to question G2B06, which asks: "What is a practical way to avoid harmful
interference when selecting a frequency to call CQ on CW or phone?"

Possible answers are:

A. Send "QRL?" on CW, followed by your call sign; or, if using phone, ask if
the frequency is in use, followed by your call sign
B. Listen for 2 minutes before calling CQ
C. Send the letter "V" in Morse code several times and listen for a response
D. Send "QSY" on CW or if using phone, announce "the frequency is in use",
then send your call and listen for a response

And finally, G2B07, which asks: "Which of the following complies with good
amateur practice when choosing a frequency on which to initiate a call?"

Possible answers are:

A. Check to see if the channel is assigned to another station
B. Identify your station by transmitting your call sign at least 3 times
C. Follow the voluntary band plan for the operating mode you intend to use
D. All of these choices are correct

The correct answers are B, B, A, C.  Let's look at them and find out why.
The first two questions are related, because they are asking what kind of
bandwidth management you need when operating two popular modes, CW and SSB.
CW signals are much more spectrum-efficient because they are narrower than
SSB signals.  That is why more QSOs can take place via Morse code than by
phone in a given amount of spectrum space.  Let's take a look at some
typical bandwidths:

.         AM phone:  6 kHz  

.         CW:  Up to 150 Hz  (40 of these signals could fit in the space of
one AM phone signal!)

.         SSB: Up to 3 kHz  (Half the width of an AM phone signal.)

.         PSK-31: Around 60 Hz  (Highly efficient with reduced
susceptibility to noise.)

Of course in the real world, you don't park your car in a space exactly its
size so that the bumpers touch those of the car ahead and the car behind.
Similarly, you don't usually want to "park" your signal on the ham band too
close to the adjoining signals, lest you cause interference.   That is why
you want to leave between 150 and 500 Hz between CW stations on the band, as
long as conditions allow.  For SSB phone operation, you want to leave around
3 kHz between signals.  Since most signals will actually be somewhat
narrower, that should leave enough separation to avoid interference.  This,
by the way, is not a hard and fast rule.  There is a lot that can happen on
the bands, given the crowding and intense competition during a contest or
when band conditions change, or when some stations use QRP (low power) while
other are QRO (high power).  Furthermore, overmodulation - especially on
phone - can cause a signal to be much wider than good operating practice
dictates.  Always keep your equipment adjusted properly so that you don't
overmodulate. Use only the power you need to communicate comfortably.  And
in a contest, be patient and expect a bit of interference as the pileups
create cacophony in your headphones!  No doubt you will get to experience
this first hand during ARRL Field Day, which is coming up this month, June
28-29, 2014 <http://www.arrl.org/field-day> .  When stations cannot maintain
ideal separation, use your radio's notch filtering and passband tuning
controls to minimize interference.  Listen to the CW ops at your Field Day
code station and marvel at how they have trained themselves to pull
callsigns and reports out of the mess! 

Next, G2B06, which asks: "What is a practical way to avoid harmful
interference when selecting a frequency to call CQ on CW or phone?"  The
answer is A; Send "QRL?" on CW, followed by your call sign; or, if using
phone, ask if the frequency is in use, followed by your callsign.  You
definitely want to get in the habit of checking when you are planning to use
HF, because (unlike VHF FM repeaters where you can typically hear everyone)
the conditions are often such that you can only hear one side of an ongoing
HF conversation.  That means that the frequency could sound clear to you,
when in fact it is in use, only you are not hearing the station that is
currently transmitting.  What can happen if you start calling CQ is that you
cause interference to the station that is listening to that transmitting
station.  Instead, you should ask if the frequency is in use and give your
callsign.  The station that can hear you will reply that the frequency is in
use, and then you know you need to keep looking for a clear frequency. 

Last, G2B07, which asks: "Which of the following complies with good amateur
practice when choosing a frequency on which to initiate a call?" is
correctly answered by C; "Follow the voluntary band plan for the operating
mode you intend to use."  You may wonder about the other choices being
somewhat likely, but remember that in the Amateur Service the FCC does not
"assign" frequencies and it is up to us - the users - to share them.  While
identifying your station is a good thing, doing it three times when checking
a frequency is overkill and bad operating practice.  In any case, you might
not even want to be on that frequency in the first place, since the
voluntary band plan may call for some other use.  That is why you should
check and then follow the voluntary band plan for the operating mode you
intend to use, especially if you are on a band that is new to you or you are
using a mode with which you are unfamiliar.  As your experience grows, you
will know where and how to operate, but Field Day can challenge you to learn
new bands and modes!

And finally...  A real world reality check.  Field Day is many things, but
it is certainly a very competitive contest for many participants.  Don't get
upset if the bands are crowded and spacing between stations isn't always
maintained.  Look at the experience as a way to learn more about operating
in adverse conditions.  Be helpful, patient, and polite.  Yes, enjoy the
contest, but also enjoy the experience of working with your fellow radio
club members to plan and set up for the big weekend.  Volunteer for
something - there are always plenty of things to do, from planning meals to
putting up antennas.  

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator



Baofeng changes its name to Pofung

Close up of Baofeng UV5R

The popular little dual-band radio that has made VHF/UHF FM so affordable,
the Baofeng UV5R, will now carry a new name: Pofung.  The company website,
http://www.baofengradio.com, tells us about "rebranding to Pofung in
international markets".  The UV5R is notable for its low price - under $40
US from some vendors - and its solid feel.  

.         Tip:  An
<http://handiham.org/manuals/Baofeng/Baofeng-UV5R-eyes-free.rtf> "Eyes-Free
Guide" by KB5ELV and KC9HI is available as a rich text file for blind users,
but it's actually better than the included instructions for all users. 

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

Try QRP HF with the popular Elecraft K3 transceiver at Radio Camp.  We'll
see what happens when we crank the power all the way up to 10 Watts!

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. 

The club behind HAMVENTIONR

You know about the huge ham radio confab in Dayton, Ohio every May. Behind
the scenes doing the work to make it happen is one of the most active ham
radio clubs you'll ever find.  Pay DARA - The Dayton Amateur Radio
Association - a virtual visit by checking out the excellent club website: 

Kudos to DARA and everyone who helped HAMVENTION be even bigger this year.
The attendance was up and the HAMVENTION website
<http://www.hamvention.org/>  has a message for us:

Attendance for HamventionR 2014 was 24,873! Thanks to all attendees, vendors
and supporters! See you in 2015! 

Windows vs. Mac

WA0CAF called my attention to an article available in HTML and MP3 by Curtis
Chong from the June 2014 Braille Monitor:
"Comparing the Windows Computer with the Mac".  It's a good resource for any
blind person who is considering a new computer because it lays out the
strengths and weaknesses of both systems.  What I'd add to the article for
our readers would be the advice to take stock of what kind of tasks the
computer must perform.  The article covers the most basic home uses like
composing letters and articles, email and web browsing and the like, but it
- as you might expect - says nothing about using the Mac with ham radio
applications.  This is not surprising because it was written with a more
general audience in mind.

The conventional wisdom about this is that most ham radio software runs on
Windows, not Mac.  But whoa there, pardner - There is a lot of ham radio you
can do with Mac OS.  Check out Mac Ham Radio before you decide.

IC-7000 Discontinued, IC-7100 gets reviewed

Just as the Icom IC-7100 gets a thorough review in the July QST, I noticed
on a QRZ.com post that the IC-7000 has been discontinued.  One commenter
noted that it had about an eight year run in production. The IC-7100 has a
remote head with the display tilted at an angle to better facilitate its use
as a touch screen interface. No word on blind accessibility, but if you're
interested be sure to check out the article in July QST.  A close look at
the product brochure image shows the "speech" button just under the main
tuning dial, and it's a physical button that shares the tuning lock
function.  On my IC-7200, this button provides built-in speech frequency
announcements, and I'm going to assume it's the same on the 7100.  There is
also an eHam review, of course - The comments are generally positive.
<http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/11080>   The radio covers the same
frequencies covered by the venerable IC-706M2G, 160 through 6 meters, plus 2
meters and 70 cm.  It also has D-Star capability. The specs are on the
manufacturer's website.

From the AREST E-Letter: ARRL Named NOAA Weather-Ready Nation AmbassadorT 

I always find something new in the letter from K1CE.  You can read more on
the ARRL website <http://www.arrl.org/> , and if you are an ARRL member, you
can add the AREST E-Letter to your regular email subscriptions in your ARRL
profile.  The NOAA Weather-Ready Nation website can be found at: 

Bar Code Reader for iPhone

A member recommended an app for iPhone called Digit-Eyes by Digital
Miracles, L.L.C.  It's under $10 and reads barcodes, returning information
from VoiceOver. There is a website at: www.Digit-Eyes.com. 


Practical Radio

pliers and wire

Choosing antenna insulators for the ends of your dipole

Let's make this interesting:  What kind of end insulator do you need for
your Field Day wire antenna installation?

Give up?  

The answer might surprise you.  You might not even need to add end
insulators if you use Dacron antenna rope to tie off the ends!  The antenna
rope is non-conductive, and you can just make a small loop in the end of the
wire then tie the antenna rope to that and finally off to a supporting
structure or tree or whatever.  

But why is this a good idea?

Well, for years and years I would put up wire antennas, faithfully putting
"dog bone" end insulators on each antenna wire.  On a maypole inverted vee
system, which has several inverted vee dipoles on a single center feed, this
could amount to up to 8 to 12 insulators.  The antennas always worked well
and I never thought much about this being the "right" way to do things.  It
wasn't until recent years when I started participating in antenna raisings
with my local radio club that I learned about the Dacron antenna rope trick
from Dave, W0OXB.  According to him, the rope without end insulators is
actually better because you can use a slingshot or other antenna launcher to
get the rope into a tree, then it can be pulled easily through the foliage
and branches without getting caught the way bulky insulators do. 

Last Fall my son Will, KC0LJL, and I put up an inverted vee maypole and I
didn't use a single end insulator.  All the ends are tied off with black
UV-resistant Dacron antenna rope that I bought from The Wireman.
<http://thewireman.com/antacc.html>  Sure enough, the wires did not stick
when being pulled through foliage, and the antenna system works perfectly!
A bonus is that without the bulk and weight of all those extra insulators,
the antenna has less wind and ice loading and was way easier to maintain
over the Minnesota winter. 

But now it's almost summer, and it is time to think about Field Day and
antennas.  Try this simple trick to make your antennas easier to put up and
take down.

This is practical radio - Let's have fun on the air this summer! 


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.  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

Reading online? You'll find the weekly e-letter online to be mobile-friendly
if you use the following link:


Email has changed.

Our new addresses are:

.         Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx

.         Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx

Toll-Free number is working:

A brief outage of our toll-free number has been fixed.  The number goes to
Nancy's extension.  We do ask that you call
logo.png612-775-2291 instead of the toll-free, which is
logo.png866-426-3442, if you possibly can, since we do have to pay charges
on the toll-free calls. 

Digests & Lectures

A reminder:  You may hear the old contact information, including email
addresses and phone numbers, in previously recorded audio lectures or
digests.  Please disregard old contact information and use our new email
addresses and phone numbers.  Similarly, old audio podcasts and HTML
e-letters will have outdated information.  Disregard it and use the latest
email addresses and phone numbers. 

June 2014 production news: There is no need to phone me about this issue
because we have it figured out. I've heard from several NLS cartridge users
that our June digest had a "cartridge error".  We are now confident of the
cause, a file naming problem. The QST DAISY book had the problem and may
either not play at all or lock the player so you have to remove the
cartridge.  For those who could not play the June issue, you can either get
QST from the Library of Congress version or wait until we send out the July
digest, which will have a new working copy of the June QST digest. 

The June 2014 QST Digest in DAISY for our blind members has been re-done.
It is available in the members section as a downloadable DAISY zip file,
with compliant file names. If you have downloaded the file before, delete it
and redownload the new file, which should work just fine.  We apologize for
the inconvenience.

Jim, KJ3P, has completed the May 2014 CQ digest this week for our blind
members.  This is the issue that has gone out with the June NLS cartridge.
Meanwhile, QCWA Digest for June 2014 is also now available. 

The new Technician 2014 - 2018 Question Pool with only correct answers has
been read by Jim Perry, KJ3P.  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.  There has been no
time to read for several weeks due to Dayton, Memorial Day, and the
telephone.  I hope to do more soon. 

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 website.

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

Remote Base News

I would like to hear from blind Ham Radio Deluxe users!  If you are blind or
have another disability such as a motor impairment  and use HRD, I'd like to
hear how it is working for you.  We may consider HRD as a replacement for
the W4MQ software, so internet remote trials will eventually be scheduled if
we find interested testers. If you know how to use HRD and want to be a
tester, please drop me a line at Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx.

You can download the latest free version of Ham Radio Deluxe 5.2 on the
IW5EDI website.
<http://www.iw5edi.com/software/ham-radio-deluxe-5-download-links>   Thanks
to Ken, KB3LLA, for reminding me to post the link.  By the way, Ken also
reports that so far as his initial tests go the menu system in HRD version 5
is JAWS-accessible. 

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 and can only be operated by
administrators at this time.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

*       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 Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx or call her at
logo.png612-775-2291. If you need to use the toll-free number, call

Nancy Meydell, Handiham Secretary:
logo.png612-775-2291 (General information about the Handiham program,
membership renewals)

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA:
logo.png612-775-2290 (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. 

logo.png1-866-426-3442 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
<http://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3> 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:
 <mailto:Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx> Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

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

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



C 2014  

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute 
Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422
logo.png866-426-3442 Toll-Free <mailto:Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Email us 

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, 18 June 2014 - Patrick.Tice