[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 21 May 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 May 2014 10:41:42 -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, 21 May 2014

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

You can listen to this news online.  

MP3 audio: 

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.

HamventionR is a wrap.

Pat Tice, WA0TDA, at the Handiham booth.

Pictured: Handiham Program Coordinator Pat Tice, WA0TDA, at the Handiham
booth.   Our grateful thanks to DARA and HamventionR for their generous
support and for all of their time and effort in making this gathering of
Amateur Radio operators possible.  It's a community that comes together at
Dayton because DARA makes it possible, and there is strength and purpose in
community.  This year's "makers" theme cultivates the creativity and
initiative we need to move the art and science of radio forward.  Thank you,

The brains behind the Handiham booth effort were those of volunteer John
Hoenshell, N0BFJ.  John and his daughter Kathy, KA0YDQ, volunteered at the
booth, and John managed the planning and execution of the entire booth and
lodging process.  Kathy had volunteered at the booth in 2012, too.

We'll see how the numbers come out, but my sense is that this year's show
was bigger than the last one.  In our part of the HARA complex the aisles
were packed from time to time as a cold rain and even a passing sleet storm
drove attendees indoors.  Nonetheless, there were definitely more spaces
filled in the outdoor flea market than last year and inside it sure seemed
like business was booming.  This was the first year in recent memory when we
were so busy at the booth that I wasn't able to attend a single seminar.
ARRL was celebrating 100 years, so several trips to the ARRL area were in
order.  I bought a new ARRL Antenna Book, thinking it just might be time for
an update.  My old Antenna Book was a 1982 model.  No sense rushing into
things, right?  

Another purchase was an ARRL Field Day T-shirt.  My wife Susie, who
volunteered at the Handiham booth, liked the design they have this year and
so did I.  It will be a memento of the ARRL Centennial, too.  I'll post a
photo of myself at Field Day next month and I'll also write up a comparison
between the 1982 Antenna Book and this year's model.  I doubt that the laws
of physics have changed - at least those that relate to Amateur Radio
antennas - but I'm pretty sure there are some good antenna ideas that have
been developed over the intervening years.  

Handiham Radio Club President emeritus Ken Silberman, KB3LLA, also
volunteered at the Handiham booth and each of us got a "gold" ARRL
Centennial coin.  Susie got one too, and brought it home for our son Will,
KC0LJL, who stayed home this year to take care of the house and our two
doggies, Jasper and Garnet.  Will volunteered at the Handiham booth last

Unseenbean coffee next to rig

Ken and I are both fans of Gerry Leary's "Kilowatt Coffee", so we had to
visit his booth.  Gerry's callsign is WB6IVF and his business is artisan
coffee.  When you get a few minutes, pay a visit to his website,
<http://www.theunseenbean.com/about/> "The Unseen Bean" and learn about his
amazing journey into the world of coffee roasting and marketing.  Gerry's
coffee is really good, and because his booth is only a few steps from ours,
we always manage to visit him.  This year Gerry brought along his Elecraft
KX3 <http://www.elecraft.com/KX3/kx3.htm>  and the HAMPod
<http://www.hampod.com/> , which makes the rig entirely blind-accessible
even through the menu settings.  Gerry says that this arrangement makes the
Elecraft radios as accessible as the Kenwood models that use the VGS1 Voice
Guide module
0S> . 

I've been thinking for a while about upgrading Ham Radio Deluxe to the
newest version, so I paid a visit to the HRD booth in "Audio Alley", right
across from Heil Sound.  HRD has been my preferred rig control software for
years.  While you can still get a free version of HRD, the latest release
will set you back $99.95.  There was a $10 off hamfest special but the
software is worth every bit of the price tag - it has been in need of
upgrading for a while and a paid support staff makes this possible.  I had a
chance to visit with the owners and developers and was pleased to learn that
they are interested in accessibility.  Since I use HRD to control my Icom
IC-7200 both right in the ham shack (local control) and via the internet, I
need software that will do both, and HRD fills the bill.  If it works well
enough with a screenreader like Window-Eyes, I might even recommend using it
for the Handiham remote base stations.  

Each trip to Dayton always includes relationship-building, touching base,
and - in the long run, getting things accomplished that will make ham radio
better and more accessible for people with disabilities.  This trip was no
different.  Ken, KB3LLA, and I had discussed making more Amateur Radio
publications accessible to people with reading disabilities or blindness. We
followed up on that by talking to the people who do publish, and are pleased
with their openness to new accessibility technologies.  I always learn
something new on these trips just from casual conversation with others,
sometimes when I don't expect it.  

These things ultimately make Amateur Radio better.  HamventionR provides the
fertile ground in which the seeds of innovation and community are planted. 

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator



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

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. Categories of
equipment that can be made available for you to take home from camp are:

VHF/UHF radios

HF radios

Accessories like speakers and tuners

Morse code accessories

Other accessories - Please let me know what you need.

ARES email available to ARRL members

One of the many services available to ARRL members is the ARESR E-Letter
conducted by Rick Palm, K1CE.  Rick is a long-time friend of the Handiham
program. It's published once a month, on the third Wednesday. Get it by
logging in to the member section on the ARRL website and managing your email
subscriptions.  You must be an ARRL member for this free service.   It is a
must-read if you want to stay up to date on training opportunities,
emergency communications news, and resources. Blind membership is only
$8/year, without QST delivery.  Check it out - Remember that late Spring and
early Summer are prime time for severe weather that includes tornados. Be
knowledgeable - and be prepared by knowing the best practices for emergency

Which reminds me - A look at the national weather map today shows a severe
storm risk in a large part of the USA Midwest.  The story is on
AccuWeather.com, entitled
7312649> "Wednesday Storms to Slam Indianapolis, Cincinnati".  Wow - that
puts Dayton in the crosshairs, so we are really lucky that this bad weather
didn't show up on Hamvention weekend!

A dip in the pool

It's time for a dip in the Extra Class pool.  E9E09 asks, "Which of these
matching systems is an effective method of connecting a 50-ohm coaxial cable
feed line to a grounded tower so it can be used as a vertical antenna?"

Possible answers are:

A. Double-bazooka match
B. Hairpin match
C. Gamma match
D. All of these choices are correct

If you already have a tower, you can use it as a vertical antenna!  I
remember Don, W0DN, who is now a silent key, wanted to work CW on 160
meters.  He had a windmill tower - the kind you used to see on farms across
the country - and he found some cheap surplus wire to lay down as radials
under the tower.  There must have been close to a mile of wire under that
ground!  He fed the tower with a Gamma match, which you now know is the
correct answer.  Man, could he work the stations on the old windmill tower!
The nice thing about the Gamma match when used on a Yagi or on a vertical is
that you can use "plumber's delight" construction, which means that
everything can be bolted together with no need to use insulators to isolate
the tower from the ground system.  Beams fed this way do not need a driven
element split by an insulator in the center. 


Practical Radio

pliers and wire

What is it?

Last week we introduced a new edition of "What is it?"  It is a "mystery
box" that looks a lot like the last one, which was a "beam heading
indicator".  In fact, it is made in exactly the same kind of Bud box.

Mystery box #2: Aluminum box with switch, control, and speaker holes.

Photo description:  This is an aluminum "Bud" box approximately 5" by 3" by
2".  Visible in this view are two controls mounted on one end, a toggle
switch and a rotary potentiometer shaft. On the top are five small speaker
holes and some mounting screws.

End view of box showing two SO-238 coax connectors.

Photo description:  In this view of one end of the box there are two chassis
mounted SO-239 coax connectors.  These will accept two PL-259 plugs. 

View of box with cover off shows circuit board.

Photo description:  This is a view with the cover off.  A circuit board is
visible, along with the 9 VDC battery holder, a speaker, the inside view of
the switch and potentiometer, and the inside pins of the coax connectors.  

Did you figure it out?  The hint I gave you was that there are two coax
connectors, and that usually means RF going in and RF coming out.  

The answer is...  (Drum roll, please...!)

An "Audio Tuning Aid".  This device - like the beam heading indicator - was
built by Handiham shop volunteers back in the day.  This one in the photo is
brand-new, never used, and shiny as a new dime.  It used a small circuit to
produce an audio tone that corresponded in pitch to the RF sensed from a
short bit of coax center with a coil around its center.  If you can see the
photo, it looks like the center of a 1-1/2 inch length of RG-8 with the
outer cover and braid stripped off.  It's connected between the two SO-239
coaxial jacks.  A white toroid core is centered on the coax, and what you
can't see in the photo is that the toroid has several windings of thin
copper wire, which acts as the RF sensor.   I was told years ago by the shop
guys that the device could even work with high power for tuning amplifiers,
but you had to remove some of the turns from this sensing coil.  As I
recall, you tuned the plate and load controls on the radio for the highest
pitch.  If I'm wrong about that, some of you vintage hams who used these
thing back then can straighten me out.

This is practical radio - Learn to look things over and figure them out! 


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

Memorial Day weekend schedule

We are closed for a long Memorial Day weekend on Thursday afternoon,
starting at 2 PM.  We will be closed on Memorial Day May 26.  We reopen on
Tuesday, May 27. 

Email has changed.

We have made changes in our email systems.  

Important!  Beginning May 9, our old email addresses that end in either
"courage.org" or "couragecenter.org" will no longer work.  Our new addresses
will be effective beginning on May 9, 2014.  The new addresses are:

.         Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx

.         Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx

Digests & Lectures

June 2014 production news: I've heard from several NLS cartridge users that
our May digest had a "cartridge error".  I'm still not sure of the cause,
but will go back to version 3.0 of our DAISY production tool OBI to see if
that helps.  If anyone has insight into this problem, please email me at

June 2014 QST Digest in DAISY for our blind members has been completed by
Bob Zeida, N1BLF.  It is available in the members section as a downloadable
DAISY zip file.

QCWA Digest for May 2014 and the Doctor column from QST are available for
our blind members in the Members section.  June materials are in production.

Jim, KJ3P, is recording the May 2014 CQ digest this week for our blind

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.  

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. 

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
612-775-2291. If you need to use the toll-free number, call 1-866-426-3442.

Nancy Meydell, Handiham Secretary: 612-775-2291 (General information about
the Handiham program, membership renewals)

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA: 612-775-2290 (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. 

Call 1-866-426-3442 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



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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 21 May 2014 - Patrick.Tice