[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter

  • From: Patrick Tice <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 14:10:07 -0500

*Courage Kenny Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 05
June 2013*

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Kenny Handiham
System <http://handiham.org/>. Our contact information is at the end, or
simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for changes in subscriptions or to
comment. You can listen to this news online.

MP3 audio stream:

Download the 40 kbs MP3 audio to your portable player:

Get this podcast in iTunes:

RSS feed for the audio podcast if you use other podcasting software:
http://feeds.feedBurner.com/handiham <http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham>
*Welcome to Handiham World.*

[image: Allina Health Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute logo]
What's new?  The Courage Kenny Handiham Program!

*We are now the Courage Kenny Handiham Program, a community-based service
of the new Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. The change was official
on 1 June 2013.*

A clinical service line of Allina Health, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation
Institute was created in 2013 by the merger of Courage Center and Sister
Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
provides a continuum of rehabilitation services for people with short and
long-term conditions and disabilities in communities throughout Minnesota
and western Wisconsin. Our goal is to improve health outcomes, make it
easier for clients and families to get the right services for their needs,
and reduce costs by preventing complications. (However, the Handiham
Program serves lots of people outside Minnesota and western Wisconsin -
worldwide, in fact.)

Courage Center, begun in 1928, and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute,
opened in 1942, were both founded to bridge a gap in services for people
with disabilities. The Handiham System was founded in 1967.

For more information on our combined services and locations visit our
websites: www.allinahealth.org/sisterkenny or www.couragecenter.org.

*What does this mean for the Handiham program?  *

[image: Image: Close-up of IC-7200 transceiver tuned to 3.925 MHz.]

It means that we are now part of a new, larger and more comprehensive
organization. This will bring us advantages and resources that will help us
serve our Handiham members better.  The Handiham staff has not changed, and
our volunteers still help us on a daily basis.  The Handiham program has
always been driven by the good work of our volunteers who record spoken
word audio, teach at radio camp, represent us in their local clubs and
hamfests, maintain the remote base stations and software, help us with
mailings and other duties, and act as net control stations.  The new
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is also a non-profit organization,
and we will continue to depend on the help we get from our supporters.

Our contact information is nearly the same as before.  There is a slight
change in our postal mailing address, which is now:

*Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Handiham Program
Mail Route 78003
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422*

Our phone numbers, email addresses, and websites are the same as before.

[image: Cartoon family, all holding hands]

Since many of our education services are web-based, such as the audio
lecture series, and our remote base HF stations are internet-accessible, we
serve our members everywhere, cutting across time zones around the planet.
Our goal is to help you learn ham radio, whether it is to earn a license or
upgrade, or to hone your operating skills. We would like to expand our
audio offerings in the coming year to include more rig manuals and audio
tutorials. If you can teach a listener how to use a radio or ham radio
accessory, we would appreciate hearing from you. The best audio tutorials
are done by people who own the radio they are teaching about and who have
an above average understanding of how to use it. The rest is a matter of
teaching into a microphone, proceeding to tell a newbie how to run their

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham Coordinator
UPS care & feeding: Keeping an uninterruptible power supply happy.

[image: A typical 12V 7.5 Ah battery from a UPS.]

Over the years I have had many uninterruptible power supplies.  They are
(for me) a must-have for the home office and ham shack.  A "UPS", as they
are called, can provide power to your ham shack computer for at least long
enough to do a controlled shut down that includes saving your work in the
event of a power outage.  If the outage is one of those short drops caused
by a lightning strike somewhere in the nearby power grid, a UPS is probably
going to simply bridge the short outage and keep your system up and running
without a problem or a need to do a controlled shutdown.  Generally if
there are storms approaching I shut my systems down in advance, but that
cannot always happen. A UPS can be a real bonus in those cases!  Most of
them also include some kind of surge protection.

Early on I learned that you cannot overload your UPS.  Placing a ham shack
computer on it is one thing, but adding several pieces of ham gear (such as
a power supply and transceiver) will greatly shorten the life of the
battery in the UPS, or possibly even damage the circuitry. The UPS has been
a mixed blessing, both at work and at home.  They tend to work well when
they are working, but they are subject to failure due to the  internal
storage battery - a weak link, as far as I am concerned. The problem is
that the UPS can be ready to fail when you need it, but you don't have a
clue that this is about to happen!  A typical scenario is that the UPS has
been in service for quite a few months, perhaps saving the day a few times
in short outages, and then the power dips and everything goes dark -
including your "protected" devices.  Some UPS designs include a USB
connection to your computer, allowing the system to report battery status.
That is certainly a nice feature!

Suppose you have a UPS that has been in service for several years and the
battery no longer takes a charge.  Should you junk the device and replace
it with a new one?  Or should you attempt to repair it?

The answer is that it depends.

If the UPS has not been damaged and the only problem is the battery, you
can consider just replacing the battery.  There are some considerations,

   - Is the UPS capable of doing the job?  Does it have enough capacity?
   These devices are rated by capacity and they are more prone to failure if
   you keep pushing their limits by plugging in too many things. If your
   existing UPS is not up to the job and the battery has failed, consider
   replacing the entire device.
   - Are you comfortable doing minor maintenance on your ham shack
   equipment?  It isn't a difficult job to replace a UPS battery but if you
   have never worked on anything like this, you can get help.  The biggest
   problem is identifying the existing battery so that you can buy the correct
   replacement.  There are some fairly standard dimensions, but be aware that
   the battery will likely fit fairly snugly in the device and there is no
   extra space should you buy a replacement that is a little too big!  You
   have to pay attention to the voltage and the Ah ratings. The battery will
   have a model number, which you can compare when looking for a replacement.
   Disconnect everything from the UPS and unplug it from the AC outlet.
   Generally there is a cover on the battery compartment that is secured by a
   single screw.  Remove the screw and slide the cover off to reveal the
   battery.  The battery has two spade lugs (usually), and you just slide the
   connectors off.  This allows you to remove the old battery.  At this point,
   you can decide to get a replacement locally at someplace like Batteries
   Plus (which is where the one in the photo came from), or from a web
   retailer like Amazon.com. If you need help, a local retailer is best. You
   want to make sure that you get the correct battery!
   - A new battery installation is pretty easy.  Make sure everything is
   disconnected from the power mains and nothing is plugged into the UPS.  The
   old battery is removed by now, so you need to slide the new battery into
   its place. The terminals have to be closest to the leads that will connect
   to the spade lugs.  The replacement battery may come with little plastic
   lug protectors, which can be removed.  Since the spade lugs are EXACTLY the
   same size and shape, if you are blind you may need assistance making sure
   the positive lead (usually red) goes to the positive battery terminal
   (usually marked red and sometimes having an raised + stamped into the
   plastic case by the terminal.)  That leaves the negative to go to the
   remaining terminal  (black with a -.)  The stamped plastic + and - are VERY
   hard to discern by feel.  It is vital that the battery be hooked up
   correctly, or damage will result!  Once the battery is in place, the cover
   can be slid back into place and the locking screw replaced.
   - Charge the device and test it.  If it works, put it back into service
   and you are good for another few years, hopefully!
   - The old battery must not be thrown into the trash.  If you buy the new
   battery locally, the retailer will usually recycle the old battery for
   you.  If you order the battery over the internet, you can recycle the old
   one at your city or county recycling center.  Usually their hours of
   operation and instructions for recycling are available on line.

Let's summarize what we have learned:

   1. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a good short-term power
   device for your ham shack computer because it can bridge short power
   outages and also allow you to shut the computer down properly in the event
   of a longer power outage. It also has surge protection.
   2. A UPS can fail prematurely if you overload it, so buy one with enough
   capacity and follow the directions for connecting equipment. They are not
   intended to power ham transceivers or take the place of long-term alternate
   power sources!
   3. Check your UPS periodically to make sure it is working.
   4. If the battery fails, it can be replaced, as long as the UPS is still
   okay otherwise and has enough capacity to serve your needs.
   5. Get help with the replacement if you are not comfortable doing simple
   6. Always disconnect all devices from the UPS and disconnect the UPS
   from the power mains before working on it.
   7. Be sure you get the correct replacement battery.
   8. Install the battery correctly, observing polarity and replacing all
   covers and screws.
   9. Charge and test the UPS before putting it back into service.
   10. Put the UPS back into service - you are good to go!

Bulletin Board

[image: cartoon robot with pencil]
W2WU alerts us to the pending FCC RF Exposure Reassessment:

*The FCC revision for RF exposure measurement and restrictions have now
been published in the Federal Register:*



360 comments have been filed as of this morning, mostly from people who
believe RF is dangerous to life as we know it.

Here is the schedule for comments:

Comments must be filed on or before September 3, 2013, and reply comments
must be filed on or before November 1, 2013.

*The dockets are: ET Docket No. 03-137, and Notice of Inquiry, ET Docket
No. 13-84, FCC 13-39, adopted March 27, 2012 and released March 29, 2012.*

If you have time, kindly go here:

and in the top box enter for example 03-137 for proceeding number.

A review of the existing filed comments will show that most of them are
from people who blame RF exposure for every malady they have. Example:

"Electromagnetic chaos within all technological creation causes malfunction
on brain and human DNA and lower the use of it and added extreme protection
will benefit everybody."

It's important those of us who enjoy our spectrum resources file rational
comments to balance the hysteria of some of the currently filed comments,
most from people who seem to think RF is dangerous to all living things.
There are also organized comments filed by what appear to be pseudo-science
agencies who seem to benefit from increasingly draconian and restrictive
limits to RF exposure.

Ron W2WU

*Editor's note: * What more can we say? There are all sorts of
out-of-this-world theories about things that science-challenged people
don't understand. RF exposure seems mysterious because you can't see RF.
When a science-challenged person doesn't understand something and can't see
it, that person might be tempted to blame everything from an aching back to
their cat's cranky disposition on "RF from that darned ham radio guy down
the block".  The reality is that RF energy is all around us all the time,
and RF exposure guidelines are based on a prudent compromise that takes
into account practical usage of RF generating devices and the safety of
users and others who might be in the vicinity of the device. Pseudo-science
and new-age superstition cloud the discussion. Ignorant commenters usually
do not understand wavelength, exposure over a time frame, antenna patterns,
operating mode, and even the difference between transmit and receive! As
Ron suggests, balancing this nonsense with informed comments will be
important to the Amateur Service. ARRL also has an update at
WA0CAF likes an article about a common computer complaint (Yes, it is about

   - "How Computer Manufacturers Are Paid to Make Your Laptop

Handiham Nets are on on the air.

[image: TMV71A transceiver]

*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!  What will Doug, N6NFF, come up with
for his trivia question tonight?  I guess we'll just have to tune in and
listen!  He has been getting sneakier of late, tricking many of us last
week with an "all of the above" question.   Tune in and see how you do with
the question this week, or just check in to say hello. *

*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 time and GMT is -5 hours.  The net is on the air at 16:00 hours
GMT.  *

*The official and most current net news may be found at:
http://www.handiham.org/nets *
*A dip in the pool*

[image: Pat shows off his new Plantronics USB headset!]

It's time to test our knowledge by taking a dip in the pool - the AMATEUR
RADIO question pool, that is!

*Let's go to the Extra Class pool and examine a question about RF exposure:*

E0A01 asks, "What, if any, are the differences between the radiation
produced by radioactive materials and the electromagnetic energy radiated
by an antenna?"

Possible answers are:

A. There is no significant difference between the two types of radiation

B. Only radiation produced by radioactivity can injure human beings

C. Radioactive materials emit ionizing radiation, while RF signals have
less energy and can only cause heating

D. Radiation from an antenna will damage unexposed photographic film but
ordinary radioactive materials do not cause this problem

Of course answer C, Radioactive materials emit ionizing radiation, while RF
signals have less energy and can only cause heating, is the correct one.
People who are science-challenged do not understand this distinction, and
may think that "radiation" from your ham radio station is as bad as an
accident at the local nuclear power plant.  This is nonsense, but there is
a lot of ignorance and misunderstanding out there!  RF exposure limits are
designed to prevent injury caused by the heating of tissues.  The
"non-ionizing" radiation from a ham radio station cannot cause the same
health risks as exposure to dangerous ionizing radioactive elements like
plutonium.  Ham radio is a very safe activity, and most of us ham radio
operators will die of old age!

Please e-mail handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to comment.
This week @ HQRemote Base issues

[image: Cartoon guy shaking fist at dead computer.]

The remote base HF station at Courage North, W0EQO, has been off the air
nearly a week following some networking projects up there.  We are trying
to figure out what's going on.  In the meantime, W0ZSW remains operational,
though the bands are quite noisy and conditions have been sub-par here in
the Upper Midwest. One of our goals is to cut the noise levels at W0ZSW.  A
reminder, though:  June is prime 6 meter season.  After hearing someone
mention on the daily Handiham net that he couldn't hear anything on W0ZSW
on 6, I promptly logged onto the station and worked a great SSB contact on
50.128 MHz USB with a guy near Atlanta.  Hint:  Listen near the SSB calling
frequency, 50.125 MHz USB. Power level is limited to 50 Watts on that band
when using W0ZSW.
Merger news

*As we mentioned, Courage Center has merged with Allina Sister Kenny
Rehabilitation Institute.  The new organization is Courage Kenny
Rehabilitation Institute, which combines these two respected nonprofits. *

   - The formal merger took place on Saturday on June 1, 2013.

*The June 2013 
for our blind members is ready for use, and...

   - QCWA Journal for JUNE 2013 has been added today in MP3. QCWA members
   may also access this audio from the QCWA website <http://www.qcwa.org/>.
   Just follow the link in the page header.
   - Our thanks to Bob, N1BLF, Jim, KJ3P, and Ken, W9MJY, for reading this
   month.  Look for these DAISY materials in the members section.

*Radio Camp application packets are still available.  *

2013 camp dates call for arrival on July 28 and departure on August 2.  We
have confirmed that we will offer our campers who pass Technician at camp
brand-new handheld radios. Radio camp will emphasize ham radio fun and
getting on the air.

*We will feature:*

   - Technician beginner small group class - Get your first license and get
   on the air!
   - General Class study group for those who need a quick review before
   taking the General exam.
   - Extra Class study group for those who need a quick review before
   taking the Extra exam.
   - VE session conducted by SARA, the Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio
   Association, on Thursday, August 1, at 1:30 PM.
   - Operating Skills small group get on the air sessions and discussions
   - ARRL update - What's new at ARRL.
   - Extra Class seminar for those with Extra Class licenses who want to
   participate in more advanced technical projects and discussions
   - Several stations to operate, including maritime mobile on the camp
   pontoon boat with Cap'n Bill, N0CIC
   - Sailing with Skipper Bill, K9BV
   - Handiham Radio Club meeting and elections
   - Dining in the nearby newly-remodeled Woodland dining hall.
   - Fun in the sun during Minnesota's excellent summer season - at Camp
   Courage on beautiful Cedar Lake!

For a Radio Camp application, email Nancy at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or
call her at 763-520-0512.

*Digital mailers are important: *If you do mail a digital cartridge to us,
please be sure that it is an approved free matter mailer. Otherwise it will
quickly cost us several dollars to package and mail out, which is more than
the cost of the mailer in the first place. We don't have a stock of
cartridges or mailers and not including a mailer will result in a long
delay getting your request back out to you.

*DAISY audio digests are available for our blind members who do not have
computers*, playable in your Library of Congress digital player.  Handiham
members who use these players and who would prefer to receive a copy of the
monthly audio digests on the special Library of Congress digital cartridge
should send a blank cartridge to us in a cartridge mailer (no envelopes,
please), so that we can place the files on it and return it to you via free
matter postal mail.  Your callsign should be on both the cartridge and the
mailer so that we can make sure we know who it's from. Blank cartridges and
mailers are available from APH, the American Printing House for the Blind,
Inc. <http://www.aph.org/>

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Catalog Number: 1-02610-00, Price: $12.00

Digital Talking Book Cartridge Mailer Catalog Number: 1-02611-00, Price:

Order Toll-Free: (800) 223-1839.

The Library of Congress NLS has a list of vendors for the digital

Get it all on line as an alternative:  Visit the DAISY section on the
Handiham website after logging in.
Stay in touch

[image: 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 hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or call her at
763-520-0512.  If you need to use the toll-free number, call

Handiham Program Coordinator Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, may be reached at
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or by phone at 763-520-0511.

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 Handiham Weekly E-Letter in MP3
format <http://handiham.org/audio/handiham.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:

Nancy, Handiham Secretary:

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!

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
handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  for changes of address, unsubscribes, etc.
Include your old email address and your new address.
Return to Handiham.org <http://handiham.org/>

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