[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 22 October 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:14:30 -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, 22 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. 

Listen here:

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Welcome to Handiham World.

Cartoon world with radio tower

Broken technology?

Okay, I'll admit it.  This is going to start with a rant because I'm sick,
sick, sick of things that don't work!

cartoon guy shaking fist at dead computer

We've all been there.  You prepare a masterpiece of literary genius on your
laptop and the entire opus is lost when the hard drive crashes.  You turn on
your transceiver and the display is gibberish.  Your HT battery goes dead
after 10 minutes of use even though it is less than a year old.  It's
contest weekend and your logging software develops amnesia.  

It happens all the time, and no one is immune.  You buy a computer and equip
it with software that you use the way it is supposed to be used, and then
the doggoned thing just quits working.  If you call tech support they always
assume that you, the user, have done something wrong.  

The past couple of e-letters have been challenging.  Between crummy software
that locks up and endless, endless updates that seem to come at users every
week, the ham shack computer can spend a large part of its life just
grinding away at update time!  I've found updates to be one of the most
annoying, resource-consuming, time-wasting, production killers in my home
office and ham shack.

But the heck of it is that you NEED to do the updates to maintain security,
especially if the computer is connected to the internet - and let's face it,
they all are connected at one time or another.  Even our transceivers need
periodic firmware updates these days, and rig control software is evolving
and can be expected to need updates as well. 

What to do?

One approach is to turn off automatic updates.  This may be the best choice
in certain situations, such as in enterprise environments where all the
users on a corporate network will receive updates carefully vetted by the
company IT department staff.  In ham radio remote base stations, automatic
updates may be set to simply notify the station administrator when they are
ready to be installed.  At that point manual intervention is needed by a
station administrator to complete the updates.  This prevents the station
host computer from automatically installing updates and shutting the station
down unexpectedly.  

But what about your ham shack computer?  You can take the same approach, but
the down side is that you have to be disciplined enough to actually deal
with the updates manually on a regular basis.  Even monthly might not be
enough, since internet threats can pop up anytime and you don't want to
leave your computer unprotected.  Besides, third-part software like Java can
update on its own schedule.  Anyone who has a computer that has not been
used at all for several months or more has built up quite a serious backlog
of updates that will take some time and effort to get installed.  In the
end, aggravating as they are, I've decided to leave the automatic updates
turned on.  I've gotten savvy enough to know when my computers will usually
have updates to install and try to work around them. If something doesn't
seem to work correctly, I suspect that updating may be taking place in the

But some of my software is beyond update help.  It just has known failure
points, as I have often confirmed by a simple Google search.  If you have a
problem with a radio, a piece of software, a ham shack accessory, or just
about anything else, all you need to do is head for the internet and search
for the problem.  As likely as not, others will have the same problem and
you may be able to find a solution, or at least others to commiserate with!
If you have a late-model transceiver, consider joining a user group for that
radio on the internet.  I've found out a lot of useful information that way,
saving myself some time and aggravation.  If I find out something myself, I
can share it with the user group.  

This past week we were delighted to finally get HF remote base station W0EQO
up and running.  It has been a frustrating summer of trying to figure out
what to do with it when the station lost its access through the firewall at
the hosting site.  Well, thanks to Lyle Koehler, K0LR, we got the correct IP
address set up and Lyle got the station working again for W4MQ software

"Yippee", we thought, and proceeded to announce the station's availability

Then yesterday, around mid-day, the host computer lost internet access for
whatever reason.  This did NOT make me happy.  The station host computer has
had reliable internet for years, and even when it was experiencing firewall
issues the internet still worked.  Murphy's Law will not be thwarted!

Today my web editing software locked up and I had to start your weekly
eletter and podcast all over again.  This is at the same time that I am
trying to update and document the latest remote base station failure.  Off
to my left is one of my older computer monitors that has started to flicker
and make a high-pitched noise. This is discouraging.  We need to think
things through with a goal of simplifying our technical systems and making
life easier.  I'll keep you posted on some upcoming changes.  

(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.

By the way, Avery likes a YouTube link to "How the military teaches Morse
code <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-petiNdCIY> ".  The date on this old
training film is MCMLXVI.  If you know your Roman numerals, translate it to
Arabic numbers and let us know your answer on the Handiham daily net at
11:00 AM Thursday.  

.         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. 

Taking stock:

Let's find out what's going on.  

.         From Mike, KJ6CBW: An updated version of the ATOM will soon be
available. ATOM is the Audible Transmitter Output Monitor, which goes into
your transmitter's feedline and provides aural feedback that helps a blind
user track power and tuning. 
Close up of Audible Transmitter Output Monitor (KJ6CBW)
Mike writes:

"I'm making a new version of my ATOM that can handle 1000 watts CW, has
better low-power sensitivity and a 9-volt battery that's easy to replace.
Although it will work fine on 6 meters, it's not usable above that band as
its reactance is too low."

We will be testing the new ATOM at Handihams and will also be using it at
the 2015 Handiham Radio Camp.  Some of you may recall that I made a YouTube
video of the first ATOM version
<http://youtu.be/g5R4-s6mFZs?list=UUqHD9Jh2ygAzRihpC6PW6Mw> , which I tested
here at the WA0TDA ham shack.  This accessory is a must for the blind ham
who wants to keep tabs on the antenna tuning process, especially if using a
manual antenna tuner.  It is also useful for tuning tube-type transmitters
because it provides continuous audio feedback. You can find out more about
this product at www.blind-ham-products.com. 

.         Countdown to Standard Time!  We are now only four days until the
return to standard time in Europe 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.  

.         A little over a week 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

From ARRL:  Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald (Split Rock Lighthouse) Nov
1-Nov 2, 1500Z-2345Z, W0JH , Two Harbors, MN. Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio
Association, Courage Kenny Handiham System & Radio City. 14.260 7.260 21.360
3.860. Certificate. Stillwater Amateur Radio Assoc, W0JH, via,
splitrock2014@xxxxxxxxxxxx.  Certificates will ONLY be sent via e-mail in
PDF format. W0JH is operating SSB and digital modes from Split Rock
Lighthouse, Split Rock, MN (ARLHS: USA 783; Grid Square: EN47).

.         Looking for some Halloween fun?  Check out this event posted on
ARRL:  10/31/2014  - Anoka Halloween Capitol of the World Special Event
Station - Third Annual Oct 31, 1400Z-2000Z, W0YFZ, Anoka, MN. Anoka Radio
Club and Emergency Services. 28.375 21.315 14.245. QSL. Anoka County Radio
Club, PO Box 982, Anoka, MN 55303. The event will be live from 9:00am to
3:00pm Central Time. SpecialEvents@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx or www.anokaradio.org 

.         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> .  

.         WA0CAF likes an article about NVDA on the NFB website: Free Global
Access for the Blind to the Computer
<https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/bm/bm14/bm1409/bm140909.htm> . 

.         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> 

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

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



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  • » [handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 22 October 2014 - Patrick.Tice