[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 10 December 2008

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 13:52:47 -0600

Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 10 December

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

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!


WA0TDA: A short news day

WA0TDA: A short news day

Darned if I didn't have to spend most of today in meetings. Well, guess
what? You can't get the weekly e-letter and podcast done while you are
sitting in a meeting. If you try to record even the teensiest bit of podcast
audio about some ham radio topic, your fellow meeting-goers tend to look at
you like you're an odd duck.

So this is a very short edition this week. I plan to be back on track with a
regular edition next Wednesday.

Last week we invited you to use EchoLink to log on to the remote base in
receive only mode. I'm going to give you directions again, in case you
missed last week's edition, and because I left something important out: You
have to log in from a computer as a regular callsign user. Some of our
readers and listeners were flummoxed last week, because they were trying to
log on via a node using RF, or from a -L or -R callsign. Only regular users
are allowed, up to five at a time. Look for the station callsign, W0EQO-L,
node number 261171. Connect to the remote base, and you will turn the radio
on automatically, and the audio stream will begin. If you happen to do this
while the radio is in use, you may hear stations on frequency immediately.
If the radio is in use through the W4MQ software, there may be periods while
the control operator is transmitting where you do not hear anything, but
upon receive you will hear the other signals. If there is no control
operator logged in via the W4MQ interface, you can use the EchoLink text
feature to control the radio's frequency. Simply enter a number like 5 into
the text box and press enter. The radio will respond by changing the VFO to
5 MHz, and you will hear WWV if conditions are favorable. If you want to
listen to PICONET on 3.925 MHz, enter 3925 and press enter. The system does
not require you to enter the decimal point. If the radio is in the wrong
mode, simply sending a U will change the mode to USB, L to LSB, C to CW, A
to AM, and so on. When you log on via EchoLink, there is a possibility that
there will be other users logged on already, and they may be listening to a
frequency they chose. Be respectful of others and don't change the frequency
unless you think the other station might be finished. On the other hand,
don't hog the station when someone else wants to use it. Up to five users
can listen at once. Oh, and one more thing: Since our TS-480 is equipped
with blind-friendly speech frequency output, you will hear the radio tell
you what frequency it is on as soon as you make a change. Please give the
Handiham Remote Base a try and let me know what happens, and I will share
your comments with our engineering team, and possibly even with our e-letter
readers and podcast listeners!
For your Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Center Handiham Manager

.        By wa0tda at 12/10/2008 - 19:07

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Avery's QTH - Those cold December nights

Avery's QTH - Those cold December nights

Welcome once again to my Humble QTH: 
As I sit here in the early evening the snow is coming down outside and the
temperature has dropped to around zero degrees Fahrenheit.
I can remember similar times back in my early days of ham radio. I would
hurry to take our half golden lab & half golden retriever out for his
evening walk. As we walked along the road I could hear the snow crunching
beneath my boots. The dog's padded feet made very little noise. After the
snow stopped, I could look up at the sky and see many stars. The dog of
course would like to take his time and examine all the different smells that
he picked up in that sometimes very still air. Sometimes we would stop and I
would make up a snowball and toss it into the air and the dog would try to
catch it as if fell back to earth. Sometimes he was able to catch it and
looked very pleased with himself. Other times he would miss it and go
digging in the snow trying to find it. The snow from the snowball would mix
in with the rest of the snow and he would never be able to find it, at which
times he would have a puzzled look on his face.
All this time I would be thinking about that 6146 final output tube in my
Heathkit DX-35 warming up. I would always turn on my Worldradio VFO and
DX-35 Transmitter so it would be all set to go when I got back in from our
little walk. Indeed, rigs in those days would drift like crazy if they were
still warming up when you operated on the air. Now this was a very big dog
and could walk for miles in that cold weather and just be having a grand old
time while on the other hand I would be freezing and ready to head for home
he would want to keep on going. So, at some point I would get him to head
back home and after getting all the snow off his feet in he would go leaving
me to get off my heavy boots, winter jacket, gloves, and hat.  
I had to wait a few minutes for my hands to dry out as they were wet from
the snowballs I threw for my furry friend to chase. Once they were dry and
warmed up a bit, I would head over the rig and pound some CW well into the
morning. I found that on nights as I just mentioned the 80, 40, and 20 meter
bands were hotter than firecrackers. I could work almost any station I could
hear. My favorite thing was ragchewing and playing chess over the air. In
ragchewing I used to chat with people and we would find out a lot about each
other, our rigs, and families. Sometimes I would even get to meet them in
person but most often not. At that time the ARRL had a Ragchewers
certificate, and wouldn't you know I qualified for one so somewhere around
here I still have it. ARRL drop that award in 2004, but I think someone else
is offering that same certificate. Playing chess was reserved for 80 and 40
meters during the daytime, mostly when the bands were a little more stable
and were not as apt to fade in or out right in the middle of a move.
Saturdays were good days for chess schedules.  
Back in those days I sometimes had to stand down for the high-powered RTTY
station just a few blocks away. When he came up on the air, my whole S-40B
receiver's front end became overloaded and about all I could hear was that
RTTY no matter where I tuned. The RTTY station belonged to W0BP/AF0BP, Boyd
Phelps, The father of RTTY. I did not know that then, however. He developed
RTTY for the armed forces During WW2.  
Now I no longer have a dog to walk but I do have an FT-100 Yaesu solid-state
rig and a makeshift antenna. It requires no warm up and is ready to go as
soon as I turn it on. So I just may get on the air some and pound some brass
with my not so steady hands, but I hope I can send well enough so people
will be able to understand me some anyway. Santa, you can skip me this year
as I will be pounding the brass and remembering those cold December nights
of years past.   
Everyone have a GREAT Holiday Season! I hope to chat with you on the air
73 es DX de K0HLA Avery 
You can reach me at: 
or email me at: 

.        By wa0tda at 12/09/2008 - 15:28

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On the air - TIPSnet will feature rocket entrepreneur  KB1EHE

On the air

The TIPSnet, a friend of Handihams, meets each Tuesday evening, United
States Eastern Time. The net is available worldwide on EchoLink. On 16
December Eric Knight, KB1EHE, (the same who started the upstart rocket
company in New Mexico a few years ago), will be our guest to discuss
NationalSOS, http://www.nationalSOS.org, a grass roots organization to put
communication gear in the hands of all citizens.

TIPSnet meets every Tuesday from 7pm - 8pm local time (EST) / 0000z on
several repeaters throughout New England, including the SPARC Repeater
System and N1NW system in Norwich in Connecticut. National and International
connections are welcome via 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 during the net


Holiday office hours - snowman with HTThis week at Headquarters:

Office hours

In December, the Handiham offices are closed Wednesday, Thursday, and
Friday, December 24, 25, and 26. On New Year's Eve, which is December 31, we
will be open in the morning, closing at noon. This week Pat is out of the
office Thursday and Friday for meetings.

We wish all of our members, visitors, podcast listeners, and e-letter
subscribers a wonderful holiday season!

In other news...

*       We are getting a job description ready for the volunteer position of
Net Control Manager. Stay tuned as Avery and I work on this!
*       Jerry, N0VOE, is volunteering in the office on Tuesdays. Look for
him on the Handiham EchoLink net from callsign W0ZSW on those days. He
volunteers other days from his home QTH.
*       Pat, WA0TDA, is taking vacation days on Fridays through the end of
the year, but will still send out a weekly education letter, so look for
that. There will be new General and Extra lectures this week.
*       QST, CQ, QCWA Journal, & WORLDRADIO audio digests are available for
our members. Login <http://handiham.org/user>  to the member section of the
Handiham website and find the magazine digests in the Library. The December
QST and Worldradio and CQ magazine digests have been read by Bob, N1BLF. 
*       We have added an "audio this week" link at the top of the member
page once you log in. This is a good place to find out what audio is new on
our website each week, including magazine digests and audio lectures. This
page is updated on Fridays. 

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@xxxxxxxxxxx or call her
toll-free at 1-866-426-3442. Mornings are the best time to contact us. 


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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

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

. Beginner 
. General 
. Extra 
. Operating Skills


Donate online to support the Handiham System

New! Donate online to support the Handiham System

Now you can give to Handihams online!

This year it is possible to support Courage Center's Handiham System with an
online donation. We exist only because of the support of people like you -
people who care about other amateur radio operators. Of course our special
mission is to help people with disabilities to earn their licenses and get
on the air. Often times we hear from people whose circumstances are truly
difficult. They have little money, and they are stuck in their house or care
facility, but have always wanted to get on the air. They may have retired
from a long-time job because of an injury or after losing their eyesight and
now are looking for a way to get back on the air, or to get on the air for
the first time. We are experts at breaking down barriers and helping people
to achieve their ham radio goals - and by extension, other life goals as

Now, don't get me wrong. We also have plenty of highly self-sufficient
members with disabilities who simply enjoy using our audio resources and
want to share their contributions with others who share similar interests.
The point is that we are all about hams helping other hams.

I hope you will consider a gift to support this work. Gifts to Courage
Center and its programs are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by
law, and you will be helping our staff and volunteers to share the
excitement of ham radio with people who will be really grateful! In a
moment, I will give you a link to the secure Courage Center donation
website, but I did want to give you a few brief tips about how to use it.

Once you get to the secure page, you will find "Please make a donation to
Courage Center!", followed by a form page. The first section of the form,
called "Donation Information", is the part I need you to be very careful
about because if you want to support our program, you have to say so in this
section. You are asked to either choose an amount to give, or fill in an
amount. Now comes the "Designation" pull-down. You must use the pull-down
and select "Handi-Hams" if you intend the gift to support the Handiham

screenshot of donation pull-down with Handi-Hams selected
Screenshot of the donation page pull-down menu showing "Handi-Hams"


In the "Additional Information" section, you use a pull-down to choose the
frequency of the gift - a one-time gift, for example. This section also
allows you to check a box if you are giving on behalf of a company or if you
prefer to donate anonymously. There is a comment section as well. Then you
will find the "Billing Information", which is your name and address,
followed by "Payment Information", which is your credit card information.
Finally, there is "Tribute Information", in case you wish to give on behalf
of someone special by honoring them with a tribute. When you complete the
form, click the "Donate Now" button.

Oh, and please do us a favor and let us know if you find any part of the
form to be inaccessible via screenreader.

<https://couragecenter.us/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344>  this
link to the secure Courage Center donation web page.

In you are reading this in plain text, the link is:


Thank you for your support!

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@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

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


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 12/10/2008 - 19:48 

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.         <http://www.handiham.org/node/281?size=thumbnail> Thumbnail 


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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