Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 10 December 2008 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 handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxx Listen to an MP3 audio stream: <http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u> http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.m3u Download the MP3 audio to your portable player: http://www.handiham.org/audio/handiham.mp3 Get this issue as an audio podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/handiham _____ 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 patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx . By wa0tda at 12/10/2008 - 19:07 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/280%2523commen t-form> to post comments _____ 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 soon. 73 es DX de K0HLA Avery You can reach me at: 763-520-0515 or email me at: Avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx . By wa0tda at 12/09/2008 - 15:28 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/279%2523commen t-form> to post comments _____ 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 at: http://new-eng.com _____ 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 year. * Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our activities. * 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> 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 toll-free. DONATE USED HAM GEAR 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> 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 well! 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 program. screenshot of donation pull-down with Handi-Hams selected Screenshot of the donation page pull-down menu showing "Handi-Hams" selected. 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. Follow <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: https://couragecenter.us/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294 <https://couragecenter.us/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?pid=294&srcid=344> &srcid=344 Thank you for your support! That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handi-ham System Reach me by email at: <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxx> 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 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/281%2523commen t-form> to post comments . <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.