Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the
week of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the
week of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny Handiham
Program, serving people with disabilities in Amateur Radio since 1967.
Our contact information is at the end.
Subscribe or change your subscription to the E-mail version here.
Welcome to Handiham World.
In this edition:
. A note from the coordinator
. A story from Bill K9BV
. Down memory lane.
. Check into our nets!
. ...And more!
A note from the coordinator...
As the Handiham Program sets goals for the next phase of its existence, it is
important to remember how the program began, why it is important, and who is
impacted by its existence. This week, we will continue our look back at past
Handiham World letters, from when they were still printed and mailed to
members. In the Fall/Winter 1982 Issue of Handiham World, the following article
Per Holking, SM0HEP, from Stockholm, Sweden, got a lesson in what the Handiham
System is all about when he met a DX contact face-to-face. Per, age 27, has
been a ham since 1976. He got started on 2-meters, but upgraded pretty fast and
got his CW ticket in 1978. Since then, he's been active mostly on CW and SSB on
the low bands.
Per is an electronic technician for Stockholm Radio, an organization which
handles emergency traffic and phone patches for ships in the Baltic Sea and
aircraft companies in the area.
While Per was in Sweden, he made a CW contact with Handiham member James Beck,
KA0FXA, Virginia, Minnesota. While he was visiting in this part of the country,
he decided to look up Jim and was surprised to learn that Jim uses a
Puff-and-Sip keyer. "Here I thought he was sending the usual way," Per said.
Per tried his skill on the Puff-and-Sip demonstrator during a visit to Handiham
headquarters and was impressed by what an equalizer the device is on the
What was true some thirty-five years ago remains true today. Through the use of
assistive technology, amateur radio is a hobby that functions as an equalizer,
allowing persons to be identified, not by their disability, but by their call
Do you have a story to share? Please feel free to send your articles and
stories via email at Lucinda.Moody@xxxxxxxxxx or by calling me at 612-775-2290.
A story from Bill K9BV.
Had an awesome evening sail last nite, sailing into the slip in very light wind
with my Mac26d.....
Gave a KB-2 SailNow Lesson, ending at 8pm, and we finished up close to the
Marina entrance....ghosting along and zero boat traffic.....
The 1 + knot of wind was out of the West and we sailed in on a run with full
main and rolled up Genoa.....
As we approached the dock (3?) with the LARGE cruising sailboat, we began to
hear their "cruising music..."
Suddenly, we got a 180 degree wind shift and we still managed - ever so slowly
- to switch into pointing mode and were able to glide by the cruiser with 3
feet of clearance.....chatting with the surprised couple as we passed.....what
Continuing our "ghosting along," we made a slow U-turn and continued....nudging
gently into our Dock 5 slip....
It was one of those "magical moments" that sailing provides......
Bill - K9BV
Editor's Note: For all those who have had the privilege of sailing with Bill at
radio camp, this story brings fond memories of relaxing hours on the water
during good sailing weather.
Down memory lane...
In honor of the celebration of 50 years of the Handiham Program, Diane Scalzi,
WI8K, gave us permission to use her article from the Summer 1992 edition of
I must say I was surprised while talking with Sister Alverna at the 1991 ARRL
National Convention when she asked me to write a story about my amateur radio
career. After all, I didn't think it was anything spectacular. But I was
excited and flattered that she would ask me, and on the chance that it might
inspire others, I decided to give it a try.
I have been totally blind since birth. I probably became interested in our
hobby sometimes in 1985. My friend and coworker, Jerry, KA8STP, would often
bring his hand-held radio to lunch, and we would listen to the repeaters. One
time he used an auto patch to call his sister. The ability to make phone calls
seemed like a worthy goal. Little did I know that amateur radio would have so
much more to offer.
I found that out when, on urging from Jerry, I read a book called Amateur
Radio! Super Hobby! I had borrowed it from the Regional Library for the Blind
and Physically Handicapped. It was through that book that I learned about
Handihams. Several months later, I contacted Courage Center, and the tapes of
Tune In the World with Ham Radio were soon in my possession. They also lent me
a Drake Receiver, and I was able to hear enough CW to spark my interest. I
started learning the code in January, 1986, because I thought that would be the
easier part. I knew all the characters within a couple weeks, and worked on my
speed while I began to tackle the hard stuff. Actually, though, it turned out
to be easier than expected. Tony, W0KVO, explained the theory so well that I
felt he was tutoring me. If there was something I didn't understand, Jerry
filled in the blanks.
Sometime during the summer, I finally decided to try the Novice exam. Jerry and
I took a couple hours leave, and we found a quiet place in the office to work
on it. This was in the days when you only needed one examiner for a Novice
test. Jerry sent a code message, which I recited as he sent it, and then he
read the questions, which I answered in Braille. Fortunately, Jerry is also
visually impaired, so correcting my paper was not a problems. The verdict was
favorable, and the Form 610 was soon on its way. All I had to do was to wait
for the ticket to come through. Could I wait? Not really, but I had to.
Besides, lots of others before me had survived the same ordeal.
My license arrived early in September, 1986. I would be known to other hams as
KB8AHL. It had as nice rhythm in CW. It was just as well that I enjoyed the
code so much; CW was the only mode I could use as a Novice then.
I met Bill, N8BRG, and Doug, KG8F, several weeks later. They adjusted my
vertical antenna, and gave me further information on how to operate the ICOM
IC751 transceiver that I had purchased several months earlier. Bill also took
me to my first club meeting. I joined the L'Anse Creuse Amateur Radio Club that
same night. Several members suggested that I check into the club's 15-meter CW
net, as it would provide valuable practice. One night I did, and have been
doing it ever since. Now, I run that net once a month, and I get particularly
excited when I can welcome a first-time check-in. I definitely agree with those
who say that making contacts is the best way to increase your speed, which is
useful if you want to upgrade.
I began working toward my General class license the following year. Again, the
folks at Handihams came through with the most current study materials. I
continued to make CW contacts, listened to tapes, and copied W1AW religiously
for several months. When exam day came, I discovered that I had left my
calculator at work, and had to use Braille to work the formulas. It was
time-consuming, but not impossible. For the code test, I used a Versa-Braille,
a paperless Braille device manufactured by Telesensory Systems, Inc. This
equipment had the advantages of a quitter, more sensitive keyboard, editing
capabilities, and a bugger that could hold up to 1,000 characters. There was no
need to change lines, as with a standard Braille writer. I thank my employer
for exposing me to this system. Everything worked great, and again, I made it.
Well, I'm not sure why, but I waited until August to buy my first 2-meter HT.
After all, I wanted so much to use it to make phone calls. Soon after that, I
discovered public service and traffic handling. I also began running several
nets. Using a head set with a locking PTT switch is very helpful when you want
your hands free to read and write Braille. Also, these activities don't have to
involve a lot of mobility, which is fortunate for me.
At that point, thanks to the help and encouragement of many local hams, things
had happened rather easily for me. I was enjoying myself immensely, and I had
even joined another radio club. But somehow my mind was ready for further
stimulation. In the winter of 1988, an epidemic of upgrade fever swept our
area, and I caught it. I had remembered telling my examiners that I would
probably remain a General. But, when you catch a fever, you have to do
something to make it go away, so I contacted Handihams and received the tapes
for the Advanced Class License Manual. It soon became apparent that things
might not go as smoothly this time. Tony started reading this stuff about
cosines. Here I thought I had seen the last of those in high school.
Fortunately, I was able to borrow a table of trigonometric functions from the
Regional Library and could use that when necessary. Unfortunately, I didn't
know how to handle the fact that some of the computation were too big for my
calculator. Eventually I was able to work around that problem, too. Meanwhile,
I continued working on my code speed in preparation for the 20-word exam.
On March 3, 1988, I successfully passed both elements. There was no doubt that
taking extra time to prepare was important.
On June 1, 1988, I took and passed the Extra class written exam. Again,
Handihams got me through. My current call, WI8K, arrived in July.
The next challenge of my ham radio career began in the fall of 1989, when the
L'Anse Creuse Club organized a kit-building project in honor of its 25th
anniversary. I really wanted to try my hand, figuring it would be a great way
to examine some real components and to reinforce the information that I had
learned previously. I also wondered how much independence I could achieve. I
decided to build the Heathkit regulated power supply on the assurance that it
would be fairly easy. Dave, N8HUL, agreed to help me, and we started the
project early in March, 1990. I must say, the soldering iron was rather
intimidating, and I almost managed to snip the wrong wire on several occasions.
It turned out that Dave had to provide extensive assistance, especially with
the soldering. But, on the plus side, I enjoyed the opportunity to review some
of the theory I had learned, and now have a nice power supply for my hand-held.
I became manager of the Southeastern Michigan Traffic Net, a local NTS net, in
April, 1991. As part of my responsibility, I compile the monthly net report for
the Section Traffic Manager using Lotus 1-2-3 and an IBM PC/AT clone with a
speech synthesizer. I also run the net once a week, handle as many messages as
I can, and provide training for the net. My favorite part of the job is
assisting newcomers in the fine art of handling traffic.
And now that I have written all of this down, I'm glad to report that my
amateur radio career has been fulfilling and rather eventful. But there is so
much left to do. I hope to be operating packet soon.
None of what I have done would have been possible without the support of the
Handiham staff and all of those in Michigan who have given me so much
assistance. I also thank my husband, Joe, and the rest of the family, who have
put up with a lot. I hope all of you who read this will enjoy amateur radio as
least as much as I have. The challenges are endless. Ours is a most special
What are you waiting for? Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is welcome!
How to find the Handiham Net:
. The Handiham EchoLink conference is 494492. Connect via your iPhone, Android
phone, PC, or on a connected simplex node or repeater system in your area.
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 get-together.
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 evenings at 19:00 hours CST (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, James, KD0AES.
How to contact us
There are several ways to contact us.
Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422
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 Lucinda Moody, AB8WF, at:
73, and I hope to hear you on the air soon!
For Handiham World, this is Lucinda Moody, AB8WF
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