[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 27 August 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:57:08 -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, 27 August 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.

Dennis, K0CCR, seen through the screen porch, logs at station 2. 

.         Dennis, K0CCR, seen through the screen porch, takes a turn at
logging the contacts at station 2.   We'll get to Radio Camp after a quick
reminder about the seasons. 

A Reminder About the Seasons and a Radio Camp Retrospective 

By Patrick Tice, WA0TDA 


IC-7200 display set to 3.925 MHz

Image:  Early morning music on 3.925 MHz means that the band is opening long
into Japan before sunrise.  Winter propagation on 75 meters is starting.  

We are refreshing the Handiham World format a bit to make if flow better.
Hopefully this will work for both the text and audio versions as we move
into the Fall and Winter ham radio seasons.

What?!!  Fall and Winter?  It's August, for heaven's sake!

That's true - and last week at Handiham Radio Camp the summer weather was in
full force with high temperatures in the mid-80's Fahrenheit most days, so
it sure seems like autumn is a long way off.  But the signs of the
approaching seasonal change are already knocking on the door.  Consider this
morning's temperature outside the WA0TDA QTH before sunrise when I took the
dog out: Only 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  And unlike the same trek outdoors at
5:30 AM in late June and early July, it was dark - seriously dark.  The sun
is slipping below the horizon earlier in the evening and rising later, and
the change really gets noticeable around Labor Day, which will be celebrated
in the USA and Canada on September 1.  

When I turned on the IC-7200 and tuned to 3.925 MHz after getting settled
into the ham shack, I heard music - a Japanese broadcast station skipping
into Minnesota on the 75 meter band.  If anything is a sign that the winter
HF propagation season is beginning, it is that kind of long skip on 75.  

When I got back from Radio Camp, there was an email from my local radio
club, The Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio Association or SARA for short)
<http://www.radioham.org>  to remind me about the first meeting of the Fall
season in September.  Since I'm one of the newsletter editors for my club,
that meant rolling my sleeves up and getting to work.  Well, if I wore long
sleeves in August, anyway.  Like many other clubs, my local radio club skips
summer meetings and newsletters when members are more interested in outdoor
activities.  The September meeting is always a nod to the sure approach of
winter and the resulting long nights that make indoor activities more

For decades the Radio Camp was held near the last week of August, so it
always felt like when the camp session ended, we turned the last page of
summer.  This year we followed that tradition, and will likely do so again
as we begin planning for Handiham Radio Camp 2015.  

I know that Radio Camp 2014 will hold some great memories for me.  From the
very first day when several of us arrived early to set up antennas to the
final take-down and hectic travel day, everything really went pretty well.
For those of you who have never experienced Radio Camp, it's a bit like a
special event station, a really long Field Day, a public service exercise, a
ham radio class, and one heck of a social event, all rolled into one
jam-packed week.  Camp brings people with disabilities together for a week
of ham radio fun and learning, but just because it's called "camp" it
doesn't mean that we sleep in tents.  We have modern wheelchair-accessible
cabins with laundry facilities, a kitchen and internet access. The stations
have to be set up when we get there, but there was no problem doing that,
thanks to our team of antenna putter-uppers that included:

Phil, K9HI (L) and Dave, W0OXB set up the wire antennas.

.         Dave Glas, W0OXB, designer of the "W0OXB Special" dipole fed with
450 Ohm ladder line and a current balun, the official antenna of Handiham
Radio Camp 2014!  Dave is the antenna launching expert, putting the golf
ball attached to the fishing line he deploys from a casting rod with the
help of a fancy slingshot exactly on its target.  In the photo, Dave is in
the foreground.

.         Phil Temples,  K9HI, ARRL EMA Section Manager and assistant
antenna rope wrangler.


Bob, W0GAF, stands in woods holding spool of mason line used to put up wire

.         Bob Jensen, W0GAF, SARA Education Coordinator and expert antenna
rope wrangler. Here Bob stands under a tree holding a spool of the mason
line that we used to pull the wire antennas up into the trees.   (You start
by launching a light fishing line over a tall tree branch, then tie mason
line to it, then tie the antenna rope to the mason line to pull everything
up into place with stronger line.)


Don Rice, N0BVE, gets a wireless router working.

.         Don Rice, N0BVE, added an extra wireless node to extend our
internet at camp.  Before that he led the team to replace the old
non-working CDE-style antenna rotor on our tower with a new Yaesu rotor and
300 feet of new rotor cable.  


L-R: Lee, WB8TRA, Bill, N0CIC, and Don, N0BVE posing at the tower. 

.         L-R:  Don's assistants in the rotor replacement project were Bill
Jones, N0CIC, Lee Lorentz, WB0TRA, and Matt Arthur, KA0PQW (not pictured).
The work was necessary because the old rotor was frozen in place, leaving
the triband HF beam antenna stuck pointing south.  Don did the tower
climbing and Lee and Bill were the ground crew. (Photo courtesy N0BVE.)

.         Matt Arthur, KA0PQW, who was in charge of the HF station using the
tower and beam, said that "it was great experience for the campers to work
DX."  Most of the operators at camp do not have access to a directional,
rotary HF antenna system at home.  

.         Don, N0BVE, also donates and maintains the W0EQO-R repeater system
located a short distance north of the HF tower.  

Walter, WB6JTJ, listens on his HT. 

.         Walter Hampton, WB6JTJ, listens to camp traffic on his 2m HT. 

The W0EQO two meter repeater with Echolink host computer. 

.         In this photo the W0EQO repeater is to the far left, while the
Echolink host computer for W0EQO-R sits atop the tuned cavities.  


Rachel, KC0VBV, and Phil, K9HI, make contact with the Marshfield Fair
station NN1MF. 

.         Rachel, KC0VBV, and Phil, K9HI, are all smiles after making
contact with the Marshfield County Fair special event station NN1MF. 

During Radio Camp week, our Handiham campers had a unique opportunity to
make contact on the Camp Courage repeater, W0EQO-R, via Echolink with
special event station NN1MF at the Marshfield Fair in Marshfield,

One of the amateurs with whom they spoke was Mark Vess, KC1ACF. Mark has
been a ham operator for just over a year but he has been an avid short wave
listener since childhood. He offered us his perspective into our hobby and
the Marshfield Fair Special Event station:

"One of the Whitman Amateur Radio Club's goals is to engage members of the
public and introduce them to the wonderful world of amateur radio. We also
log call-ins as well as a special event station. I was lucky enough to be
contacted by the Handiham group. As we are all ambassadors of our hobby, I
spoke with a number of Handihams over two days and we had a blast talking
ham radio. What a great group of folks. We made sure that all call-ins were
duly placed in the call book for future reference. Mark says the Whitman
club is also willing to arrange contacts with operators at any time.
Supporting the hobby is what we are all about"

Mark also states that a large number of kids and adults at the fair were
able to "get on the radio" as the Whitman Amateur Radio Club had operators
standing by from as far away as Malaysia. The Marshfield Fair is a real
country fair with 4-H animal exhibits, motorcycle races, truck pulls,
lawnmower races, demolition derby, a great midway and lots of rides and good
food. It is the best venue for bringing amateur radio to the public. See you
next year at the Marshfield Fair, at the WARC booth or on the air. 


Phil Temples, K9HI, holds HT at the ready as he follows the public service
exercise script. 

.         Phil Temples, K9HI, prepared a scripted EMCOMM practice exercise
for us again this year.  "The Sumner County E911 EMCOMM Incident" will be
remembered for its excellent execution as a practice exercise at Radio Camp.

.         It's a normal day, with typical incidents in Sumner County.  An
ambulance call for a woman with labored breathing and a reported robbery at
a convenience store are dispatched without incident.  Then comes a report of
an explosion at a telecommunications hub...

.         "We have never had an EMCOMM exercise run as smoothly and
professionally as this one", said Pat Tice, WA0TDA, Handiham Program
Coordinator.  "Everyone listened carefully and waited to be called.  When
the calls came, the various locations used tactical callsigns and clearly
communicated their information.  Sumner County may be fictional, but I feel
good about the practical communications experience we had, should the real
thing arise." 

Lucinda, AB8WF, acts as net control during the practice exercise. 

.         Lucinda Moody, AB8WF, acted as NCS during the exercise.  She is
reading one of the script pages shortly after being directed to open a
numbered envelope.   


Bill Vokac, K9BV, was lead instructor for General Class. Here he is showing
us a circuit board. 

.         Bill Vokac, K9BV, was lead instructor for General Class. Here he
is showing us a circuit board. Licensing classes have been a traditional
part of Handiham Radio Camps for many years.  

Matt, KD0WQQ, checks a circuit board out while he studies for his General. 

.         Matt, KD0WQQ, checks the same circuit board out while he studies
for his General.   After the Friday VE session, Matt had his General Class


Joe, Bogwist, N3AIN, at the controls of station 2, a Kenwood TS-590S. 

.         Joe, Bogwist, N3AIN, sits at the controls of station 2, a Kenwood
TS-590S.  Joe taught our on line audio class about how to use this radio
from a blind operator's perspective.  His "Radio in the Dark" series
explains how it's done.  At camp Joe taught others how to use this excellent
blind-accessible HF radio. 


One of the camp pontoon boats sits at dock ready to head out on Cedar Lake.
The Icom IC-718 station and mobile antenna get us on HF while on the water. 

.         One of the camp pontoon boats sits at dock ready to head out on
Cedar Lake. The Icom IC-718 station and mobile antenna get us on HF while on
the water.  Lakeside and other recreational activities provide a
mid-afternoon break for everyone during a typical camp day.  

Bill, N0CIC, becomes "Captain Bill" when he runs the pontoon boat. Here he
jokes with the campers and pretends to need a hard hat to survive the boat

.         Bill, N0CIC, becomes "Captain Bill" when he runs the pontoon boat.
Here he jokes with the campers and pretends to need a hard hat to survive
the boat ride.  


Bill, N0CIC, also made repairs on equipment through the week.  

.         Bill, N0CIC, also made repairs on equipment through the week. Our
volunteers bring the tools and equipment they will need to do their jobs at
camp.  Bill was ready when we needed to replace an open PL-259 on a vital
piece of coaxial cable.  

I wish I had time to detail everything about our great camp experience this
year, but time is short for me as we head into the Labor Day holiday
weekend.  But I do want to thank everyone who participated in the session,
campers, volunteers, True Friends Camp staff, and the staff at Courage Kenny
Rehabilitation Institute and our supporters, who made the 2014 Radio Camp

Every time I make my way home after camp, I am really jazzed about getting
on the air.  The week's activities only whet my appetite for more ham radio,
and I know that everyone else feels the same way.  That's why, I my own
sneaky way, I began this little discussion with a reminder about how the
seasons are changing and how we will soon - heck, we already are - enjoying
more and better HF propagation, thanks to the longer nights and the
prospects of diminished thunderstorm static.  Even though camp can only last
a week, we now have a wonderful opportunity to keep the communications going
by getting on the air every single day!   Please take a few minutes to think
about the following:

.         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.

.         With 75 meters becoming more usable, consider checking into the
PICONET on 3.925 MHz, which has a long Handiham affiliation. It's on Monday
through Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 11 AM and Monday through Friday
afternoons from 3 PM to 5 PM Central Time.  The 3 to 4 PM hour will begin
after Labor Day, but details and schedules are at www.piconet3925.com, so
check there for sure. 

.         Don't forget about our remote base station, W0ZSW, which is
available for your use. You can easily use it to check into PICONET on 75
meters or MIDCARS on 7.258 MHz.  The YL System net is happy to get your
check in on 14.332 MHz.  

.         Take advantage of your camp training during the EMCOMM exercise
and learn more about public service communications in your area.  Want to
feel inspired?  Listen to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, tell us
how important Amateur Radio is in emergency communication and disaster
planning.  <https://handiham.org/audio/fugate.mp3> 

.         Finally, I mentioned that my own local radio club is getting
started with meetings again in September.  I like being part of a local club
that offers me an opportunity to participate in face to face activities
related to radio and technology.  If you don't belong to a local club
yourself, this is a great time to find and join one.  If you need some help
with that, the excellent ARRL Club List can be a good resource.

You can find out more about the Handiham program, an educational resource
for people with disabilities, at our website, https://handiham.org. 

Oh, and before I forget - This coming week we will be closed on Monday,
Labor Day, September 1.  Changes in our hours related to the holiday weekend
will be posted on our website.

73, and I hope to hear you on the air soon!  Have a wonderful and safe
holiday weekend. 

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
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