[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 25 June 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:42:56 -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, 25 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. 

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Welcome to Handiham World.

Cartoon police guy with open hand up indicating stop

FCC Plans $34.9 Million Fine

Well, that gets our attention.  

What we are talking about, in case you are a bit behind in your FCC news, is
the FCC's plan to issue the largest fine in its history to a Chinese
electronics manufacturer for allegedly marketing 285 models of signal
jammers to U.S. consumers for more than two years. This was announced in an
FCC press release on June 19 and the fact that a proposed forfeiture merited
its own press release seemed notable to us.  It's pretty obvious that they
take signal jamming seriously.  The press release explains:

Signal jamming devices or "jammers" are radio frequency transmitters that
intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized communications, such
as cellphone calls, GPS systems, Wi-Fi networks, and first responder
communications.  It is a violation of federal law to market, sell, import,
or use a signal jammer in the United States and its territories, except in
very limited circumstances involving federal law enforcement.  

Jamming signals is almost as old as radio. Back in the Cold War era,
short-wave broadcasts were regularly jammed to prevent entire populations
from hearing news from outside their borders.  These days, jamming is quite
a bit more local when it comes to cell phones and other wireless devices.
It can be tempting to jam cellular signals in theaters, where annoying
patrons use their phones during performances.  Jamming would be a quick way
to disable smartphones in a classroom during an exam, to prevent cheating.
I even read a story about a guy who put a cell phone jammer in his car to
disrupt cell signals along his commuter route! 

But jamming is dangerous business.  It could easily make a call to 911
impossible during a medical emergency or after an accident, when time is of
the essence and lives hang in the balance.  And of course it will disrupt
all kinds of other conversations and cellular-dependent communications as
well.  That's why it's illegal:

"All companies, whether domestic or foreign, are banned from marketing
illegal jammers in the U.S.," said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the
Enforcement Bureau.  "Signal jammers present a direct danger to public
safety, potentially blocking the communications of first responders.
Operating a jammer is also illegal, and consumers who do so face significant
civil and criminal penalties." 

There has always been a certain trust relationship in ham radio regarding
jamming.  It's illegal, and we all know that.  But it's also wrong in a more
fundamental way to deliberately interfere with the communications activities
of a fellow operator.  We do hear some dodgy signals on the air, even
jamming - which we call "intentional interference" - but by and large it is
possible to go for quite a long period of time without having a problem.
Hams can get together and track interference, too - and eventually bring the
perpetrator to justice with the help of the FCC.  It's a painfully slow
process, but it takes time to build a case and collecting the data is
important.  Even this high profile cellular interference case took two years
to investigate and bring forward to this point. 

Ham radio VHF/UHF FM radios should work fine in the vicinity of a cellular
frequency jammer because the frequency bands are so far apart on the
spectrum.  Our repeater systems would remain available via radio, whether
the cell services go down due to interference or from natural or manmade
disasters. A very large part of the population depends on cellular as their
main (or even only) telephone service.  In a disaster, especially a
widespread one, the cellular network can be overloaded.  It is necessarily
built to handle normal traffic plus a bit more, so as to balance the cost of
infrastructure with a reasonable capacity.  A cellular network built to
handle huge amounts of traffic would be expensive because most of its
capacity would go unused during the course of normal communication demands. 

A cell phone without cellular service is like a useless brick.  A ham radio
transceiver without a repeater system is still a fully functional
communications device.  It can be switched to another repeater system or
used as a simplex (single frequency) radio.  A cell phone whose signal is
jammed is useless.  A ham radio transceiver can simply be tuned to a
different frequency, since broad-spectrum jamming is exceedingly rare
outside special military capabilities.  Remember that applications like
Echolink are also susceptible to cellular network failure and dead cell
phone batteries.

That said, I know that I still want my smartphone to work when I need it.
If I see an ad for a jammer or believe that I've encountered one in actual
use, there is a way to let the FCC know:

To report the sale or use of an illegal jammer, contact the FCC Enforcement
Bureau through the FCC online complaint portal
<http://www.fcc.gov/complaints>  or call 1-888-CALL-FCC (or 1-888-225-5322).
To voluntarily relinquish a signal jammer, please e-mail jammerinfo@xxxxxxx.
Additional information, including the FCC Consumer Alert
<http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1642A1.pdf>  on the
jamming prohibitions and the FCC Enforcement Advisory
<http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-249A1.pdf>  to
retailers regarding the marketing of illegal signal jammers, is available at
www.fcc.gov/jammers.   Images of a sample of the illegal signal jamming
devices allegedly marked by C.T.S. are available in the enforcement action.
The FCC enforcement action against C.T.S. is available at: 

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator



David Sumner K1ZZ talk to be web streamed tonight

A talk by David Sumner K1ZZ, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of the
ARRL, at the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) on June 25, 2014 will be
streamed live on the internet for other radio amateurs to enjoy  He is
presenting 'Amateur Radio Across the Pond' in Norwich on Wednesday, June 25
from about 8.00pm BST (19:00 GMT). NARC plans to stream the talk live via
the BATC website. On the night, just go to http://www.batc.tv/ - click "LIVE
EVENTS" button and the stream will be there. David K1ZZ is making a brief
24-hour visit to the UK en-route to the Ham Radio exhibition in
Friedrichshafen, Germany, and NARC members were delighted that he agreed to
deliver the presentation. Now, all radio amateurs can benefit. Feel free to
share this with other hams. 

For more details see http://www.norfolkamateurradio.org/ 

Steve G0KYA NARC Public Relations Officer 

(Above report shared via QRZ.com <http://www.qrz.com> .)

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

We will be using the Kenwood TS-590S at Radio Camp.  Sit down in front of
this excellent radio and find out how accessible a radio can be!

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. 

July 21 is the day for Part 97 changes:

ARRL reminds us that the FCC's recently announced revisions to the Part 97
Amateur Radio rules governing exam credit to former licensees, test
administration, and emission types will go into effect on Monday, July 21.
The new rules were published in The Federal Register on June 20.  

Read the entire story on ARRL.org.

Do you know how to tell if a website is dangerous?

Cartoon guy shaking fist at computer

It may not be so obvious, you know. WA0CAF recommends an article on the
techsupportalert.com website that tells you how to figure out when a website
is one of the bad guys.

Amazon Fire Smartphone has Accessibility Features:

KB3LLA sent me news of the new Amazon Fire smartphone and its accessibility
features.  The referenced article is in the Global Accessibility News,
phone-with-accessibility-features/> "Amazon Unveils New Fire Smartphone with
Accessibility Features".  The biggies are a screenreader, adjustable reading
speed, magnifier, and high contrast for users who have vision impairments,
closed captioning, hearing aid compatibility, TTY mode, and stereo to mono
for hearing assistance, and Amazon Voice Assist, one-handed navigation, and
low motion mode for users with mobility impairments.  The phone is available
with AT&T service.  Can anyone out there tell us if you can install Echolink
on it?  

Field Day is this coming weekend: June 28-29. 

Here is the press release for the Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio Association
ARRL Field Day event <http://www.arrl.org/field-day> , which will be held in
the eastern Twin Cities.  Accessible parking and bathrooms are available at
the site. 

Area amateur radio operators (hams) will be demonstrating communications
skills at Autumn Hills Park (5701 Norwich Parkway) in Oak Park Heights, MN.
Field Day is an annual event held at over 2,500 locations and involves
35,000 radio operators throughout the U.S. and Canada. Portable field
stations will be set to demonstrate the newest digital communications
systems, including satellite capabilities, voice communications and even
historical Morse code.   The event is sponsored locally by the Stillwater
Amateur Radio Association (SARA) and will be open to the public Saturday,
June 28 (1:00 - 8:00 p.m.) and Sunday, June 29 (9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.).
Information about becoming a ham will be available, including workshops for
newly licensed operators and how they can assist communities with weather
spotting and emergency communications. Boy Scouts are invited to participate
and can learn requirements for earning their Radio Merit Badge.   Ham
operators, regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, have provided
vital communications when cell and conventional telephones are overloaded or
inoperative. For over 80 years, hams have voluntarily provided emergency
communications for various public safety departments and support agencies.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the national association for
amateur radio operators.   Anyone interested in learning about amateur radio
is invited to attend the event. For more information visit the SARA web site
at:  <http://www.radioham.org> www.radioham.org 

New Orbiting Carbon Observatory ready for launch:

NASA Science News for June 24, 2014 reports that NASA is about to launch a
satellite dedicated to the study of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The
Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) will map global CO2 sources and sinks,
and help researchers predict the future of climate change.   

SCIENCECAST VIDEO: http://youtu.be/BZtXdBBzJyA   



Practical Radio

pliers and wire

One of the biggest dangers in ham radio isn't even recognized.

Here's an interesting thing to consider:  Do you think you know what the
dangers are in a particular line of work or with a recreational or hobby
activity?  As a former policeman myself, I like to bring up the occupation
of law enforcement.  Think a little while about what you know about police
work.  A police officer carries a firearm.  Guns can cause death or injury
when misused, so there's plenty of training involved.  Still, there is
always some possibility of losing the weapon in an out of control situation
or getting careless and complacent with it, leading to an accident.  Then
there is the operation of the patrol car.  You might have an auto accident.
Bad people could attack you on a traffic stop, or you might get shot at
while responding to a burglary.  You could get ambushed.  Lots of things can
happen, so can you guess what big danger dogs police officers?

Give up?  

The answer might surprise you.  It's obesity and heart disease brought on by
too much sitting!  Police work can indeed be deadly, but if you are a
typical officer you are going to be doing quite a lot of sitting.  Sitting
in a patrol car, sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen doing
reports, sitting while waiting for something to happen, sitting, sitting,
and more sitting.

And sitting is bad for you. At least if you do it all day long. 

Do you do most of your ham radio operation while walking or running?  Me
neither.  Like you and most other ham radio operators, I pull up a chair in
the ham shack and park myself there for what can be hours of on the air

Is it fun?  Yes!  Is it healthy?  Um... Not really if you just sit there
drinking coffee and snacking while chatting on the radio.

Let's face it:  Ham radio is like many other activities in that it is
basically sedentary.  Look at how we all like to share pictures of our ham
shacks.  There is the operating desk, the equipment, and the chair.  Whether
the setup looks like the deck of the Starship enterprise or a piece of
plywood on two sawhorses, it always includes a chair.  And that's where we
park ourselves for far too many hours.  Sitting is probably more dangerous
as a health hazard than many other risks in ham radio. 

Aside from taking ham radio with you on a walk by packing the HT with, there
are really not that many ways to operate the radio without sitting at a desk
or behind the wheel.  We know that too much sitting can be bad for your
health, whether you are a police officer or an amateur radio operator.
Spend about 4-1/2 minutes listening to this audio piece on NPR if you don't
believe me.
you-might-think>  There are some ways to lessen the danger from sitting.  

Mini-breaks can really help.  I work in front of a computer all day long.
Instead of sitting for hours, I get up from the desk and walk around a
couple of times an hour. If I need a bathroom break, I take a trip to a
farther away option rather than the closest one, as long as it is within
reason.  That way I can get the blood circulating.  If your legs feel numb
or "go to sleep", you are sitting far too long and should schedule more
breaks.  Every day I take just a couple of minutes to do some exercises away
from the desk, too.  

I don't have the answer, because there is no magic way to avoid sitting when
you are doing some serious radio - but I can suggest balancing out sitting
with activities that help you move around.

This is practical radio - You still have to avoid plenty of other hazards in
radio and elsewhere, but sitting too much is a sneaky one that you have to
fight every day. Let's stay on the right side of the sod!  Take care of your
health so you can be around for a few more solar cycles at least. 


Handiham Nets are on the air daily. 


While Echolink contacts won't count for Field Day, it is still fun to get on
the Saturday net this coming weekend.  You can trade a few Field Day stories
if you have them. 

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 612-775-2291 instead of the
toll-free, which is 866-426-3442, 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. 

July 2014 production news: 

The July 2014 QST Daisy digest by Bob, N1BLF, is ready for our members to
play on their NLS or other DAISY players. Jim, KJ3P, has completed the June
2014 CQ digest this week for our blind members. 

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
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, 25 June 2014 - Patrick.Tice