[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 09/16/09

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:10:15 -0500

Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 09/16/09 

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center Handiham
System <http://handiham.org> . Please do not reply to this message. Use the
contact information at the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

You can also listen to the content online:

Listen to an MP3 audio stream:
Download the MP3 audio to your portable player:
Get this issue as an audio podcast:


Welcome to Handiham World!

It was bound to happen. What I am talking about is something that we had
hoped to put off until the distant future, but you know how old Murphy
works. The unfortunate recent breakdown of our trusty APH four track tape
recorder has placed us in somewhat of a bind with our tape production.

An APH recorder, shown here in a ham shack

Photo: A typical APH 4-track recorder.

While our tape volunteer, George, N0SBU, has been able to get the September
audio digest out, there was a significant delay in the production Of four
track cassette tape for our blind members who do not use computers. Even so,
George had to make a modified version that only included three tracks. The
fourth track is garbled, apparently because of a problem with the machine.

Although the group of 4-track users is shrinking as more and more of our
members become computer-literate and get their audio directly from the
handiham web site, there is a core group of mostly elderly blind users who
still depend on the older audio tape technology. Of course we certainly want
to continue serving these members, but it is difficult to justify buying
replacement equipment in what is an extremely challenging budget year.
Thankfully, our high-speed duplicators are still functioning. If those quit,
it would truly mark the end of the four-track program, because replacement
cost would run into the thousands at a time when the sun is setting on this
old technology.

One possible workaround is to master the digest audio into the correct
format on my computer, using Audacity. The trick is to get the audio tracks
into the correct order and direction of play. I have asked for some help in
determining the way to do this. Of course the computer makes it easy to
reverse the direction of a track from front to back and to make the tracks
speeded up to twice the normal speed so that 60 minutes of program material
will fit into each track on a standard 60 minute cassette master. Remember,
a standard 60 minute cassette plays for only 30 minutes at the regular speed
on a single side. Because the Library of Congress standard calls for
playback at one half the normal speed, if we use the computer to speed the
audio to twice normal, not only will it fit into a single track, but it will
also sound normal on playback at half speed. If we can figure out how to do
this on the computer, we should be able to bypass using the APH machine and
use any standard stereo cassette recorder to produce the master, taking the
audio directly from the soundcard of the computer through a line to the tape
recorder input. In some ways, this is a better way to produce an audio
master in the first place and should result in better final audio fidelity.
On the other hand, we do have to be sure we do it correctly so that users
don't encounter tracks that play out of sequence or even worse, backwards!

We are looking at various alternatives, but we could really use a new or
gently used tape recorder capable of producing National Library Service tape
cassettes. If you can help us out, please e-mail Patrick Tice at

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx 

Handiham Manager


Tapes are on the way

Boxes of tapes stacked in George's SUV, protected by two "Pound Puppies",
plush stuffed dogs.

Here is proof that the September Handiham audio digest went to the Hugo Post
office today. We have had a bit of technical trouble here. My Alpha recorder
4th track went south. I tried the two back up recorders and they were no
better. I used the Alpha recorder to make a three track digest for

Hopefully we will have a new method to make the digest next month. In the
photo, you can see Sid and Spot guarding the tapes on the way to the post
office today.

We sent out 59 digest tapes so far this month.

Have a good week from the Second Base Umpire of Hugo and the Hugo Tape





John West, N1IWT, TIPSnet Program & Publicity Manager, reminds us that you
can find this interesting discussion net on Tuesdays. 

You will want to mark your calendar for the September 29 net, when the guest
will be Hap Holly, KC9RP, producer of the R.A.I.N. Report.

TIPSnet meets every Tuesday from 7pm - 8pm local time (EST) / 0000z on
several repeaters throughout New England, including our hub, the SPARC
Repeater System, West haven and Durham, CT. Multiple repeaters are linked
Nationally and Internationally via VoIP on the New England Gateway ?
EchoLink Conference *NEW-ENG* (node # 9123) and IRLP Reflector 912, Channel
3 (node # 9123).

Live streaming audio is available on the web at:  <http://new-eng.com> 

TIPSnet on the web:  <http://www.tipsnet.org> 

Email:  <mailto:tipsnet@xxxxxxxxxxx> 



Avery's QTH


Dear Avery, 

If you're so smart, tell me why the FCC will change my FRN.


Dear Confused:

Your FRN will never change, but you will need it to get your password from
the FCC.  You cannot do anything to your records without a password from the

I'll bet you have forgotten your password, right? To reset your FCC
Registration Number (FRN) password online you will need the answer to a
Personal Security Question, as well as your FRN. Go to the FCC's CORES
website to begin, selecting "Update your registration information."


The Personal Security Question (PSQ) will allow the user the ability to
change their password without contacting FCC Support staff. All customers
will be required to select a PSQ and provide an answer when they log into
CORES online. Individuals will be able to choose from questions commonly
used in industry such as "what is mother's maiden name", "what is your
favorite pet's name", and "what is the city of your birth". Business
entities will be able to choose from predefined question types appropriate
to their needs, such as "internal employee ID" and "Date of Hire". You may
also define your own customer question. Once you enter a question and answer
into the system, you can immediately begin using online password reset.

More FCC Contact Information:

Phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) 
TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) 
Fax: 1-866-418-0232 
E-Mail: fccinfo@xxxxxxx 

I hope this helps.


Avery Finn, K0HLA
Educational Services Coordinator 
Courage HANDIHAM System 
3915 Golden Valley Road 
Golden Valley, MN 55422 
(763) 520-0515 <mailto:avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 


DTB report

A few issues ago, Ken Silberman, KB3LLA, reported on the Library of Congress
DTB (Digital Talking Book) download service. Here is a report from the ACB
technology site on the service: 

 <http://tinyurl.com/qrcnov> http://tinyurl.com/qrcnov

The article, penned by Guido D. Corona for the ACB, is a cerebral but fun
must-read for anyone interested in the delivery of audio book services. 


Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net

Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset

It's Wednesday, and that means the Handiham EchoLink net is on the air
tonight. Please join us and check in or simply listen in, as you see fit:


Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM)
GMT: Thursday morning at 00:30 Z


145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater (Minneapolis-St. Paul) 
Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide) 
IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector) 
WIRES system number 1427

Everyone is welcome. You do not need to be a member, and the net is relaxed,
friendly, and informal. 

By the way, our Net Manager Howard, KE7KNN, reminds us that we need net
control stations for the Wednesday evening net and for the Monday through
Saturday morning net. If you are in the Twin Cities, all you need is a radio
that can get on the 145.45 N0BVE repeater, and if you live outside the RF
area, you can still be net control via EchoLink, IRLP, or WIRES. 


This week at Headquarters:

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/476> We are on Twitter!

 <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/ham_mobile.jpg> We are
on Twitter!

Look for us on Twitter by searching for "handiham". We invite you to follow
us. Handiham web page posts are now "tweeted" automatically!

·        I am preparing to build a Handiham Radio Club web page, as was
discussed at the last Handiham Radio Club meeting in August. If you have
suggestions on what features you would like to have in the website, please
let me know: wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx

·        Along with the new web page will be special club contact
information for club President Ken, KB3LLA. 

·        VOLLI is now in service.  It stands for VOLunteer Log In, and is a
way for our Handiham volunteers to register and then enter their volunteer
hours without having to fool around with paper records.  We encourage
volunteers to create a username and password, then submit their hours spent
recording audio, doing club presentations for us, and so on. Volunteer hours
are important, because United Way funding depends in part on volunteer
hours. If you are a volunteer and need a link to VOLLI, please email me at
wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx Our special thanks to my son Will, KC0LJL, who wrote the
Java code for VOLLI. He is studying in Tokyo this semester and sends a big
"hello" to our readers and listeners.

·        The Friday audio lectures return  this week.  There will be new
lectures posted by early afternoon on Friday, and a notification will be
sent by email.

·        The Remote Base at Courage North is in service. Please feel free to
use this wonderful member resource.  

·        Remote Base users who try the built-in IRB sound feature instead of
SKYPE are encouraged to send us reports on how the audio worked.

·        Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has recorded audio of the September CQ, QST, and
Worldradio digests, so check out the audio page. The Friday notification
email will have a link. If you are a member and are not getting the Friday
audio lectures notification, let us know and we will get you on the list.

·        Bob will be retiring from reading QST soon. Please email Bob and
thank him for his wonderful work so far: n1blf@xxxxxxxxx 

 Bob Zeida, N1BLF, at his recording studio

·        Don't miss Bob's reading of my 2003 Worldradio article on obtaining
assistance with projects. It is in the podcast audio this week.

*       In Operating Skills: 

*       Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the September "Doctor is
in" column from QST for our blind members.  
*       Login to the <http://handiham.org/user>  member section of the
Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. 

*       Stay in touch!  Be sure to send Nancy your change 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 toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact



Flu prevention tips from Courage Center:

*       Wash your hands often with warm soapy water for 20 seconds, or use
hand sanitizer. 
*       Stay home if you are sick and keep your distance from others. 
*       Cover your cough with a tissue or cough into your sleeve, not your
*       Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
*       Don?t touch your eyes, nose or mouth - it spreads germs. 
*       Sanitize objects routinely touched by more than one person (e.g.,
light switches, door knobs, computer keyboards) 
*       Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink
plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.


Reminder:  Handiham renewals are now on a monthly schedule - Please renew or
join, as we need you to keep our program strong!

You will have several choices when you renew:

*       Join at the usual $10 annual dues level for one year.
*       Join for three years at $30.
*       Lifetime membership is $100.
*       If you can't afford the dues, request a sponsored membership for the
*       Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our
*       Discontinue your membership.

Please return your renewal form as soon as possible. 

Your support is critical! Please help. 

The Courage Handiham System 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. We would really appreciate
it if you would remember us in your estate plans. If you need a planning
kit, please call. If you are wondering whether a gift of stock can be given
to Handihams, the answer is yes! Please call Nancy at: 1-866-426-3442 or
email: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

Ask for a free DVD about the Handiham System. It?s perfect for your club
program, too! The video tells your club about how we got started, the Radio
Camps, and working with hams who have disabilities. Call 1-866-426-3442


1-866-426-3442 toll-free Help us get new hams on the air.

FREE! 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 www.handiham.org
<http://www.handiham.org/> .  
Email us to subscribe:  <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at
www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> :

? Beginner 
? General 
? Extra 
? Operating Skills


That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System!

Manager, Courage Handi-ham System
Reach me by email at:  <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

*       Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*       Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
*       Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
*       Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*       Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


ARRL </p />
<p>diamond logo

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 wa0tda@xxxxxxxx for
changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and
your new address.


·       By wa0tda at 09/16/2009 - 20:08

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Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422
E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442) 

FAX:(763) 520-0577 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address! 

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 09/16/09 - Patrick Tice