[handiham-world] Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 30 July 2014

  • From: <Patrick.Tice@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:56:11 -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, 30 July 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.

Ham Radio Memories

IC-7200 tuned to 3.925 MHz and LDG AT-200Pro tuner

It's summer and time to daydream a little.

Sweet, sweet summertime.  Ever since I was a small kiddo growing up in
southern Minnesota, I've cherished summer.  A lot of it had to do with
getting out of school for summer vacation. I never had any problem keeping
my grades up, and never had to serve a sentence in summer school.  So I had
the summer free, and nothing was sweeter than collecting my stuff from the
desk on the last day of school and walking home with my neighborhood friends
knowing that the whole summer stretched before us!

But summer did have hot, humid days and sometimes during the heat of the day
it was better to stay in the basement and work on some project, play board
games, or read comic books. One of my projects was a Knight-Kit Span Master
4-band AM and short-wave radio.  Dad bought it for me and gave me some
pointers on soldering, which I had never done before. When the Span Master
was completed, it worked like a charm.  The simple circuit was pretty
foolproof, and in spite of its simplicity it performed amazingly well.  The
circuit was a regenerative design that could produce a lot of gain without a
lot of parts.  I put the radio on the headboard shelf of my bed and ran a
wire antenna out the nearby window of my second-floor room.  

Oftentimes my room was too hot to go to sleep until long after dark.  We
didn't have air conditioning, so I'd wait it out by listening to the Span
Master late into the summer nights.  I could pull in AM broadcast stations
from many hundreds of miles away - stations that were not there during the
day.  It was my first introduction to radio propagation and how the
ionosphere worked.  There were three other bands on the selector switch,
too.  They were short-wave bands, and it didn't take me long to figure out
that these bands were sometimes active during the daylight hours for
propagation over thousands of miles.

Radio was fun!  I heard news and music from all over the world.  There were
even "ham" operators on the air.  Back then, quite a few were running AM,
which was easy to receive on any short-wave receiver that covered the ham
bands. After a while, I figured out that by adjusting the regeneration
control on the Span Master I could even hear the tones of Morse code and
hear some SSB signals - sort of. 

I wanted in on that!  I wanted to become a ham radio operator!

To be continued...

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator



Talking Banknote Identifier - Submitted by KB3LLA

As part of the U.S. government's meaningful access initiative, the Bureau of
Engraving And Printing (BEP) will provide an iBillR Talking Banknote
Identifier at no cost to all eligible blind or visually impaired persons who
request one.

Beginning September 2, 2014, in partnership with the National Library
Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress,
the BEP will begin a pilot program where NLS patrons can pre-order an iBillR
currency reader.  Currency readers will be widely available to eligible
others beginning January 2, 2015. NLS patrons or folks who want to become an
NLS patron can call 1-888-657-7323 to pre-register to get a currency reader
when the National program rolls out in January 2015.  Once you register in
September, you will be on the list for the first shipment of readers to go
out in January, or you can wait and sign up in January when the program is
opened up to all blind and low vision folks. If you have questions prior to
September 2, 2014, you can call The Bureau of Engraving and Printing at

iBillR is a currency reader device that provides a convenient means for
blind or visually impaired individuals to identify Federal Reserve notes
(U.S. currency).  Its compact "key-fob" design allows it to be carried in a
pocket or purse, clipped to a belt, or attached to a keychain or lanyard.

The iBillR is a fast and accurate means to identify all Federal Reserve
notes in circulation - $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. It is convenient
and easy to use. Just insert a Federal Reserve note into the device, press
the button on the side, and the denomination is identified. The denomination
is announced in one of three ways: a clear natural voice, a pattern of
tones, or a pattern of vibrations for privacy. The vibration mode also
assists people who are deaf and blind. The iBillR operates on a single, AAA
battery which typically lasts for more than a year. The initial battery is
included. The iBillR does not identify counterfeit banknotes. Banknotes in
poor physical condition are indicated as un- identifiable and are not read.

In addition to distributing currency readers, the BEP will also add a raised
tactile feature and continue to add large, high-contrast numerals and
different colors to each denomination that it is permitted by law to alter.

For more information about the U.S. Currency Reader Program please go to

Identify U.S. Currency with Your Mobile Device

EyeNoteR App

EyeNoteR is a free mobile device application developed by BEP for people who
are blind or visually impaired. It is built for the Apple iOS platform and
allows users to scan Federal Reserve notes and communicate its values back
to the user.  The app is available as a free download on the Apple App

The IDEALR Currency Identifier

BEP assisted in the development of another app that operates on the Android
platform.  The IDEALR Currency Identifier is available as a free download on
Google Play.

Essay Time!  Submitted by W2WU

How about challenging members to an essay?   Subjects:   

.         What brought me into radio.   

.         What Amateur Radio Means to Me.       

.         Did Amateur Radio influence choosing my vocation, If so, how?   

.         Do you have any special memories of Amateur Radio?   

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

Minnesota Radio Camp registration is now closed.  We look forward to making
contacts from Camp Courage, so listen for Radio Camp on the air!  

Camp Courage repeater W0EQO-R has returned to service after a long period
off line, although it was on the air.   The repeater is at our Radio Camp
and is on 145.47 FM, negative offset with a tone of 114.8 Hz (Camp Courage,
Maple Lake MN).    Don, N0BVE, Matt, KA0PQW, and I were concerned about
getting the IT (Information Technology) help we needed at Camp Courage now
that it is operated by the new camping nonprofit True Friends.  But guess
what?  The chief computer guy there is also a ham!  So we are in good shape
for keeping our repeater on Echolink at camp and having internet during the
camp session in August.     We are also looking at improving the HF beam
with a new rotator system.  We expect to install a Yaesu rotor and new
control cable early in the week of Radio Camp.  I am looking for ideas for
camp activities, too!   If you are coming to camp, let me know what you want
to do!  

The annual Radio Camp emergency communications exercise is being planned by
ARRL EMA Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI, and will take place at Camp
Courage on Wednesday, August 20.  We will participate in a simulation
exercise that will sharpen our communications skills, but the nature of the
exercise is a closely guarded secret.  It's like real life, since we never
know what will happen in spite of our best efforts at planning.  The way we
handle this as volunteer emergency communicators is to practice and be
prepared so that when the unexpected happens we will be ready to help. 

Operating Skills at Radio Camp has a textbook.  It is the ARRL Amateur Radio
Public Service Handbook.  Our blind campers should read this book on NLS
cartridge in DAISY format.  Others may order the book from ARRL.

NC4BF online study update:

1.  A completely redesigned Handicapped Exam Prep System (HEPS) is available
at the link below.  The system is designed to assist mentors, family
members, and volunteers help people with disabilities prepare for an amateur
radio license exam.         


2.  A completely redesigned MS Windows-based Exam Prep Support System (EPSS)
is available at the link below.  The system is designed to provide
instructors with the capability to display flashcards, topic/subelement
tests, and sample exams using a video projector or large screen A/V system.
The system supports the NCVEC syllabi (topics/subelements) for the
Technician, General, and Extra exams and also provides a special capability
that enables instructors to import their own collections of questions.  This
capability allows instructors who are using their own instructional material
to display flashcards and test candidates with questions related to the
material.  Simple text files containing question numbers of interest (one
per line) are created and later imported into EPSS as needed.  If the
questions numbers are embedded in the machine-readable text of the
instructional material, they can be extracted using regular expressions or a
software utility with find and extract capability.  If you would like to use
EPSS and need assistance in extracting question numbers from the
machine-readable text of your instructional material, Email me.  (Contact
form is on the NC4BF website.)       


NASA Science News reminds us that it's Perseids time:

NASA Science News for July 29, 2014:  Which is brighter--a flurry of Perseid
fireballs or a super moon? Sky watchers will find out this August when the
biggest and brightest full Moon of 2014 arrives just in time for the peak of
the annual Perseid meteor shower.


VIDEO: http://youtu.be/JkKzMAzT5fs

Your Handiham membership qualifies you for membership in the FISTS CW Club.

Thanks to our good friends at the FISTS CW Club <http://fistsna.org/> , you
can use your Handiham membership certificate to join FISTS at no extra
charge.  Morse is a long-standing tradition in Amateur Radio, but it is also
a robust mode of operation with a large following, and remains the best tool
in your toolkit to collect DX contacts.  

We are pleased to announce that Handiham members are welcome in the FISTS CW
Club.  Simply provide the FISTS Club with proof of your Handiham membership,
which must be up to date, and you will be eligible to join FISTS without any
additional dues.  Handiham members receive a membership certificate when
they join Handihams or renew their memberships, so if you are a current
Handiham member, you may provide a copy of your membership certificate to
the FISTS club and join to enjoy the benefits and fellowship of FISTS and
CW.  Please note that we do not contact FISTS on your behalf due to privacy
regulations.  Please contact FISTS yourself with your Handiham membership

Contact information for FISTS North America is at
http://fistsna.org/contact.html.  You may go to the contact page and locate
club president Karl, KB1DSB. 



Practical Radio

pliers and wire

Practical radio - Keep water out and RF in

Ladder line comes into a balun covered with a plastic food container sealed
with duct tape. Coax forms a choke loop at the base before continuing
through the wall of the house from below the entry point to prevent water
from following it into the wall.

Photo: In this early test of an antenna system, ladder line comes into a
balun covered with a plastic food container sealed with duct tape. Coax
forms a choke loop at the base before continuing through the wall of the
house from below the entry point to prevent water from following it into the
wall.  Later on it will be sealed more permanently and the lightning
arrestor will be repositioned. 

Tip: Try this simple method to keep water out of your house when you run a
feedline through a wall or window!  

Why should you worry?  

Because water will get on the feedline and will cling to the outside of the
cable, flowing down by gravity.  When the feedline enters the house, so does
the water, along the outer jacket of the coaxial cable.  It can get into the
wall, ruining insulation and causing mold to grow, or get all the way into
the ham shack.  You can seal the entry point with something like silicone
sealant or caulk, and you should do that to keep insects out anyway - but
there's an important additional step you should take.  

When you install the coaxial cable allow a couple of feet extra, forming
part of it into a loop that drops below the entry hole you have drilled in
the wall. Run the coax up from the loop and into the house.  Any water
collecting on the cable will now run down to the bottom of the loop and drip
off harmlessly onto the ground.  It can't defy gravity and flow upward along
the outside of the feedline into the house.  This is called a "drip loop".  

Of course you have to be sure water stays out of the inside of the coax as
well.  That means covering or sealing the coax at the antenna end, or
wherever there is a joint or connector, such as at a lightning arrestor.
Water that gets inside the coax can travel all the way along its length,
dripping out onto your operating desk.  It changes the characteristics of
the feedline and eventually destroys it.  

This is practical radio - Keep water away from your ham gear!


Handiham Nets are on the air daily. 


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!  

The two evening sessions are at 00:00 GMT Thursday and Friday.  Here in
Minnesota that translates to 7:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday.  


This week @ HQ

Cartoon robot with pencil

IRB station W0ZSW is on the air. <http://handiham.org/remotebase/>   W0EQO
remains restricted due to firewall issues.   We are contemplating a TS-590S
station to replace one of the TS-480 radios.  

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:

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/August 2014 production news: 

The new Technician Lecture Series is well underway and we are up to seven
lectures. Lecture eight goes live on Thursday, as I'll be out of the office
on Friday.  (Hey, it's summer!)Log in to members only to take the Technician
classes. This week's new lecture is on components and schematics. 

The new Technician 2014 - 2018 Question Pool with only correct answers has
been read by Jim Perry, KJ3P.  Remember that this new pool is for all
Technician Class testing on or after July 1, 2014.  It is also available in
the members section. 

QCWA Journal for July is available, but pay close attention to our website
for the August QCWA recording, which has been completed by Jim, KJ3P.  Check
the Handiham and QCWA websites for the latest. 

The August 2014 QST Daisy digest by Bob, N1BLF, is ready for our members to
play on their NLS or other DAISY players. 

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.  Time has not
permitted updates on this for several weeks. 

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.  

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 


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  <mailto:Nancy.Meydell@xxxxxxxxxx>
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

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



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