Logo for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for
the week of Wednesday, 29 July 2015
This is a free weekly news & information update from the Courage Kenny
Handiham Program <https://handiham.org> , serving people with disabilities
in Amateur Radio since 1967.
Our contact information is at the end.
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Welcome to Handiham World.
In this edition:
. Used radio delusions.
. Check into our nets!
. This week's website features Windows 10.
. Dip in the Pool returns with a question from the Extra Class pool
about who's responsible when running automated stations.
. The Remote Base HF report: W0EQO will be decommissioned next
. August audio is in production.
. ...And more!
Think you're going to sell that old HT for a pretty penny?
A couple of old HTs. UV5R and VX-5
Think again! What got me to thinking about buying and selling used ham
radio equipment is that I had recently seen a posting from a fellow on a
discussion list about selling a handheld radio. As often happens, the
seller overvalued his old HT and the internet immediately let him know about
it as other posters weighed in.
Here's the thing about old gear. If I buy something I really think is great
- let's say a transceiver - and enjoy using it for several years, why would
I want to sell it? There are several possibilities. Perhaps the radio no
longer meets my needs because it doesn't have the features available in a
current model. Maybe it still works great but I just want something newer.
Maybe I've lost the charger or the radio has an intermittent or has endured
a rough life and is full of scratches and dings. Or maybe I just need the
Let's consider the life cycle of an HT. Bought new, it at least has the
features you want or you wouldn't have bought it, right? And it looks great
and everything works. But if you use it regularly, you are going to drop
it, get it at least a little dirty, leave it for hours in a hot car, run the
battery down to nothing, wrestle it away from the dog, and who knows what
else. Yes, it still works but it's time for a new HT so you decide to list
it on a "for sale" net, list it in an on line swap meet, or put a note in
your club newsletter. When weeks pass and no one is the slightest bit
interested in your radio, you start wondering why the rest of the world
doesn't know a good deal when you offer one!
But the reality of the used market is what it is. It is not beholden to
your opinion about how wonderful your old radio is. Buyers may indeed be out
there, but unless they just fell off the turnip truck, most will be wary
about paying anything close to the new price for anything used.
Overestimating what it's worth:
Sellers often overvalue something for which they've paid a hefty price when
new, but remember that oftentimes when a radio just comes out, the price may
be high and then fall off over its marketing life cycle. The buyer doesn't
care if you paid $400 five years ago. All the buyer knows is that he can
buy a brand-new equivalent or better radio right now for less than half that
price, so if the seller is asking $300 for a used radio, it is not going to
look like a good deal.
The wary shopper knows about the internet:
I know that if I am in the market for a used radio - and I have been from
time to time - I am going to shop around and compare prices. Since almost
everyone has internet access these days, that is not hard to do. A patient
shopper can locate several sellers offering the same model. Any seller who
doesn't take this into account when pricing a used radio is in for a rude
surprise. The radio they value so highly is not rare and others are selling
it for less.
It might not be perfect:
As we said, shoppers are wary creatures, at least the experienced ones are.
Your fellow Amateur Radio operators know that old HTs take a beating in
normal use and that it's unlikely anything offered on the used market is
there because it's just surplus or the seller just needs the money. I know
that I usually wonder why someone is REALLY selling something like an HT.
In a worst-case scenario, the radio has gone for a swim in the toilet or
been dropped onto a concrete driveway or plugged into the wrong charger and
zapped. You really don't know for sure, and that uncertainly factor must be
taken into account in arriving at a fair price. You can bet that price will
be much, much less than when the item was brand-new.
Reality-based buying and selling:
I have to confess a bias toward buying new, since I like to get equipment
that I know will work or in the event it doesn't, can be exchanged or fixed
under warranty. For those things I know I'm going to pay more. But
sometimes it does pay to buy used gear, and I've generally been happy with
my used purchases and have successfully sold a few used items at a fair
price to happy buyers. The secret is to know the market and be able to put
yourself in the mindset of the buyer, even though you are the seller. That
means checking the market prices of other offerings on the internet and in
your area, putting aside your own biases about your sale item, and setting a
reasonable, fair price. If something you are selling is less than perfect,
say so, and both you and the buyer will have reasonable expectations. I
know that if I buy something sight unseen, there is a risk, so try to verify
the authenticity of the seller. Sometimes it's best to buy expensive items
locally so that you can check them out in person. Other times you can buy
over the internet, but be assured of reasonable quality and service by
purchasing used from a known Amateur Radio retailer.
A dime a dozen:
Finally, you have to realize that the market is driven by the type of item
you are buying or selling. Used HTs are notoriously dodgy and many of us
already have more of them lying around than we will ever need. The market
price on HTs will necessarily reflect that reality and used HTs will not be
worth much. On the other hand, a radio accessory like an LDG TW-1 talking
wattmeter is a different story altogether. It's out of production and
cannot be purchased new, but is still a highly desirable accessory for a
blind ham's station. A willing buyer in that kind of market might pay close
to or even in excess of the old retail price, given the fact that this
wattmeter is hard to find.
Do your research, whether you are buying or selling. Ask for help if you are
new to the game. Every ham club has members who have bought and sold used
gear. Take your time shopping and be patient. If you are a seller, think
like a buyer when setting your price. If you are a buyer, try to verify the
reliability of the seller and don't be afraid to offer less. Be honest in
all your dealings. Remember that we are all part of the Amateur Radio
(For Handiham World, this is Pat Tice, WA0TDA.)
Check into our Handiham nets... Everyone is welcome!
How to find the Handiham Net:
1. The Handiham EchoLink conference is 494492. Connect via your iPhone,
Android phone, PC, or on a connected simplex node or repeater system in your
2. WIRES-2 system number 1427
3. WIRES-X digital number 11165
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
Cartoon multicolored stickman family holding hands, one wheelchair user
Our daily Echolink net continues to operate for anyone and everyone who
wishes to participate 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). 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, Michael, VE7KI.
This week's website: Today is Windows 10 release day!
For over a year we have been anticipating the release of Windows 10. Any
change in operating systems is a matter of concern for ham radio operators
because most of us depend on the Windows operating system to control our
radios and perform other radio-related functions like logging contacts. If
you have a reasonably recent copy of Windows, like versions 7, 8, or 8.1,
you can opt to simply receive the free upgrade to 10 via Windows Update.
That's what I'm doing with several PCs and a tablet that I have here. A
couple of other machines run Windows 7 and will remain unchanged, at least
for now. I've also got some old PCs that don't qualify for the upgrade, but
they are seldom used anyway. Some of my friends have been testing ham radio
software with the preview edition of Windows 10 for months, using ham radio
software like Echolink and various HF remoting programs. So far, everything
works. I plan to install the upgrade when it's available and when it won't
interfere with my regular work.
There is an official Windows 10 Launch Site, which you can access here.
Please let us know if there is anything that stops working as a result of a
Windows 10 upgrade. I don't expect any problems, but you never know. For
those of you wondering about screenreader compatibility, Ken, KB3LLA, shared
the news that Window-Eyes 9.2 is now available
0> providing full support for the brand new Windows 10 operating system,
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, and Office 2016. Freedom Scientific has announced
that JAWS 16 and MAGic 13 are Windows 10 ready.
If you don't currently own Window-Eyes, you can get it for free. Anyone who
has a valid license of Microsoft Office 2010 or higher can download
Window-Eyes for free at www.windoweyesforoffice.com. I have Office 2010, so
I now have my own free copy of Window-Eyes, too.
A dip in the pool
Dip in the pool is back! Our question this week is from the Extra Class
question pool, number E1A08. It asks:
"If a station in a message forwarding system inadvertently forwards a
message that is in violation of FCC rules, who is primarily accountable for
the rules violation?"
Possible answers are:
A. The control operator of the packet bulletin board station
B. The control operator of the originating station
C. The control operators of all the stations in the system
D. The control operators of all the stations in the system not
authenticating the source from which they accept communications
While you're thinking about which answer might be the right one, let's
consider who has the best chance of avoiding an on the air mistake in the
first place. Let's say you operate a digital message forwarding station.
It is a public service and a good thing for the Amateur Radio public service
communicators in your area. But the nature of such stations is that they
are automated because no one can babysit them all day long. Or maybe you
are the trustee of your club's repeater, also an automated system. You may
monitor the repeater when you can, but no one can do that kind of listening
around the clock. If someone makes an illegal transmission, you might not be
there to catch it, so are you responsible?
Did you decide which answer is the correct one? If you picked answer B, the
control operator of the originating station, you got this one right. Since
the owner of an automated station cannot be there to control it 24/7, the
person who originates the transmission is the most responsible for the
mistake. It is that person who could have most easily prevented the illegal
transmission by checking the message content or otherwise making sure it was
in compliance before hitting the transmit button in the first place.
But there is some responsibility to go around. Anyone listening or
receiving such a transmission has an ethical responsibility to let the
originator and the owner of the forwarding station or repeater system know
what's going on. That's just part of being a good operator - we want to
help others do the right thing. We want to police our own service before
the regulating authorities have to be engaged. The owner of the forwarding
station or repeater also has some responsibility to maintain legal
operations on the station. If informed of a problem, action should be taken
to make sure it is corrected. While a repeater owner may not be held
accountable when a rogue station makes an illegal transmission, if there is
an ongoing series of such problems that continues to cause complaints, the
owner needs to step up to the plate and fix them.
As we have seen in recent years, government agencies like the FCC have many
more responsibilities and are still trying to be as lean and efficient at
meeting all of them as possible. It is up to us - the community of licensed
Amateur Radio operators - to do what we can to keep the use of our resources
both efficient and civil.
Both Handiham HF remote base internet stations are up and running today.
Handiham remote base station
. W0ZSW is operational part-time only and may go offline with no
notice if thunderstorms approach. We are using ARCP-590 software and have
put the TS-590S back in service.
. W0EQO (pictured above) is operational 24/7 via the legacy W4MQ
software, but please be sure to let us know when something isn't working.
W0EQO will be dismantled in August and brought back to the Twin Cities for a
complete overhaul. This will mark the end of our support for the old W4MQ
software and the closure of the Courage North station.
There is absolutely no doubt that we need new rig control software.
That new software is the RCFORB client from Remotehams.com.
So far we have learned that some blind users are enjoying the RCFORB
software from Remotehams.com, a free service. Please consider testing the
Remotehams.com system and letting me know what you think about it.
New audio: There is new audio since last week.
* QST for August in digital has been recorded by Bob, N1BLF, and is
being processed. We hope to have it in DAISY for our blind members this
Thursday or Friday.
* ARRL General Class License Manual: Jim Perry, KJ3P, has finished the
first three chapters of the new ARRL General Class License manual, recorded
for our blind members. The audio is being processed and I'll let our
General students know when it is ready.
* QCWA Journal for August has also been recorded by Jim, KJ3P. It
will be released when the official Journal for August is posted at QCWA.org.
Last call for July! July 2015 QST has been released in digital print format,
available to ARRL members. The Doctor is In column, recorded for our blind
members by W9MJY, is now available.
Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the July DAISY audio digest including QST
articles of interest to our blind members. It is now available as a DAISY
download. Thanks, Bob!
July QCWA Journal has been recorded by Jim Perry, KJ3P, and is available in
streaming MP3 from a link at <http://www.qcwa.org/qcwa.php> QCWA.org or on
Podcast: If you would like to receive this audio newsletter as a podcast in
software other than iTunes, the RSS feed for the audio podcast is:
Email version: <http://www.freelists.org/list/handiham-world> Subscribe or
change your subscription to the E-mail version here.
Weekly audio reminder: If you are a Handiham member and want a weekly
reminder about our new audio, let us know. Watch for new audio Thursday
afternoons. (Some audio is available only to members.)
Beginner course DAISY download available for our blind members: We now have
the DAISY version of the entire Technician Class lecture series on line for
Some of you have asked about the 2015 General Lecture Series. The new
General pool is used for exams beginning on July 1, 2015. If you are
planning to study for General at Radio Camp in August, you will take your
exam based on the new General question pool. Jim, KJ3P, is helping us with
recordings from the new 2015 ARRL General License Manual.
But you can start studying using the new pool right now! Bob Zeida, N1BLF,
has finished the recording of the new 2015 General Class Question Pool and
it is in the General Class section in the Members part of the website.
Jim, KJ3P, has recorded the DXer's Handbook Second Edition by Bryce, K7UA,
for our blind members. If you are a Handiham member and need a link to the
DAISY download, please let me know.
Thanks to our volunteer readers:
. 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!
o Handiham annual membership dues are $12.00. The lifetime membership
rate is $120.00.
MEMBERSHIP DUES PAYMENT LINK
o 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>
o We hope you will remember us in your 2015 giving plans. The Courage
Kenny Handiham program needs your help. Our small staff works with
volunteers, members, and donors to share the fun of Amateur Radio with
people who have disabilities or sensory impairments. We've been doing this
work since 1967, steadily adapting to the times and new technologies, but
the mission is still one of getting people on the air and helping them to be
part of the ham radio community. Confidence-building, lifelong learning,
making friends - it's all part of ham radio and the Handiham Program.
Begging cartoon doggie
o The weekly audio podcast <https://handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3> was
produced with the open-source audio editor Audacity
How to contact us
There are several ways to contact us.
Courage Kenny Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422
E-Mail: <mailto:Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx> Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx
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 Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, at:
FAX: 612-262-6718 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address! We look
forward to hearing from you soon.
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!
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The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating
information, and Handiham news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is
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