[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 12 November 2008

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 14:26:36 -0600

Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 12 November

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!

Short-wave is still a big deal... Maybe

Old Knight Kit Span Master short-wave receiver kit from vintage Allied
catalogI could be listening to the repeater, reading a newspaper, checking
out a story online... Sometimes something just pops out at me. This morning,
for example, I was checking through my email, and reading through the FCC's
daily summary bulletin. One item caught my attention: 


That link was worth following, so I took a look at the document on the FCC
website. It turned out to be approval for several religious broadcasters to
operate on the HF bands. Googling the callsign of one of them took me to a
Wikipedia article that confirmed that the station would be broadcasting
near, but outside, our 40 meter band. Whew! 

WRNO Radio Worldwide's website makes the following interesting claim:

"Ten short wave radios exist for every cable and satellite TV, Internet
address, and satellite radio. This 10 to 1 ratio allows individuals, as well
as families to hear broadcasts around the world." The website goes on to
state that short-wave is used by governments around the world for
international communication.

Now, I got to thinking about those statements, because I have been around
the block a few times in this old world, and I seldom accept the first thing
I read as, um, "gospel truth", even when it is on a religious broadcaster's
website. I know that the typical USA or European radio listener probably has
access to more alternatives than ever. Of course the Internet is quite
simply taking over what used to be the short-wave broadcasting schedule.
Even the staid, old, reliables like the BBC have retired some HF
transmitters in favor of Internet streaming audio. No doubt world
governments do maintain some short-wave facilities as backup communications
for emergencies. I expect that the State Department here in the United
States has an interest in a system that remains independent of cables and
Internet problems. Other governments probably do, too. But for day to day
communications, you can bet that the emails and encrypted audio connections
have taken over! 

Then there is that statement about the 10 to 1 ratio of short-wave receivers
to every cable and satellite TV, Internet address, and satellite radio. The
problem is that even though it is likely true in some places in the world,
it is tempting for those of us in the USA to assume that others do not have
modern communications amenities.  Not so! Yesterday I heard a conversation
between a couple of USA stations and a station from India on our favorite
local EchoLink repeater, the N0BVE machine. The topic turned to putting up
TV antennas, and one of the USA stations wondered if a license was required
to do so in India. (It should be noted that a license is required in India
to own a short-wave communications receiver and to be an SWL.) The station
from India replied that no TV antenna license was necessary, but added that
cable and direct satellite TV were really more popular than old-fashioned TV
antennas. This is just one example of how new technologies are spreading
rapidly around the world. I guess I'd assume that short-wave broadcasting is
not nearly as effective as the WRNO website claims that it is. Yes, there
are a lot of old radios out there, but I think they probably are gathering
dust as new technologies sprout up. I think we can take heart that 40 meter
and 75 meter broadcast interference will slowly fade away.  At least we hope

For your Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Center Handiham Manager


Avery's QTH - In which Avery figures out time zones (we think)

Avery's QTH - In which Avery figures out time zones (we think)

Welcome once again to my humble QTH:

Well, guess what? Only my Editor caught the little error I made. Or, if
anyone else did they either didn't say anything or did so to late for me to
receive it.

Last week I was mentioning time zones and said that there was a one-hour
difference between Minnesota and California. Well, that is not true. There
is a two-hour difference between Minnesota and California. I was thinking
that Eastern Time, Central Time, and Pacific Time. After chatting with my
editor via email I decided to check it out. Somehow something was not on
time so I figured it out. Why I was messing up the time zones going from
East to West in the USA:

1) Eastern
2) Central
3) Mountain
4) Pacific
5) Alaskan
6) Russian
7) Hawaii-Aleutian

As per Rand McNally 1998 Road Atlas --- not sure how one would drive to
Hawaii though!

And I was forgetting "Mountain Time", so that is where I had the time
conversion problem. So I learned a lesson in geography, maps, and time
zones. The good old Rocky Mountains and their own time zone got me.

Hey! Bored with the usual ham contacts? Looking for something different?

With winter coming on, there will be many different kinds of contests
sponsored by ARRL, CQ, Worldradio and others with different rules and goals.
Phone, CW & digital modes are used, so there is something there for
everyone. Check out your local club as many times they take part in some or
all of the contests and it is more fun to work together with your friendly
club members.

It is not necessary to operate with your club though. You can do so on your
own if you like, and see how well you do in the contests. For the winner all
there is a certificate or plaque declaring you the winner. Nothing more. If
you don't win, you have gained some very valuable operating experience and
perhaps next time you will do better.

Not too interested in contesting? How about trying to contact as many
special event stations as possible. No contest here. Not many pile-ups to
have to cut through either. If the going is slow, the special event station
may even stick around and chat with you for a while. There are all kinds of
special event stations for just about everything you can think of.
Lighthouses - how many can you work, or oceangoing ships? Many cities and
states have things that happened that might cause them to have a special
event station. If you check out our Handiham website you can find out about
many of the contests and special event stations. All the information is
there as to when it takes place, what the times are, what frequencies are
being used (plus or minus QRM), and where to QSL.

So, this winter when the winds are whistling around the trees and the snow
is so deep one has to use snowshoes to walk on it, and the temperature is
well below zero, work contest or work some special event stations. It can be
a lot of fun, plus you never know what may happen. You could be written up
in a magazine that sponsored the event.

So, for now
73 & DX from K0HLA, Avery
You can reach me at: 763-520 0515
Or email me at:

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t-form>  to handiham.org to post comments about Avery's QTH. 


Media Hits from Google News - Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Media Hits from Google News - Wednesday, 12 November 2008

ca.html> Ham radio operators prepare for storm aid in Oregon
kgw.com (subscription) - 35 minutes ago
Ham radio operators were gearing up for bad weather with a planned practice
drill in Oregon City Wednesday morning. These amateur radio operators were
vital during last winter's storm. They used radios to get help where it was
needed when the power ... 


Last-Living <http://your4state.com/content/fulltext/?cid=39221>  World War I
Veteran Saluted Over Ham Radio Broadcast
WHAG - 17 hours ago
The radio operators talked to people in the Caribbean and as far west as
Montana. The FCC designated specific call letters for the special event so
the ham radio operators in Charles Town sent out their signal under WW1 FWB,
which stands for "World War ...


Sunspots hide from view, but they'll return!

Latest solar image from SOHO
Image credit: SOHO/MDI - Latest solar image 

Sunspot 1007, which appeared last weekend, has rotated to the far side of
the sun. At the moment, the visible solar disk looks pretty clear, though we
have heard reports of some very successful DX activities in the past few

Read more at:




I wanted to take this opportunity to share a nifty accessible website!  The
Vintage Single Sideband website is TOTALLY accessible for blind hams or
those who use screen readers to access the Internet. The efforts of
webmaster Mike, N9MS, are to be congratulated because not everyone will take
the time to do the alt-txt for description of images. Yes, pictures tell a
thousand words, but we as blind people cannot hear the words. As a Handiham
member, I have to say this is real cool. As soon as I get someone to take
photos of my own shack, I will forward them to the Vintage SSB website. 


Pierre, K9EYE

Visit the Vintage SSB website yourself, for a fun tour through some older
equipment that is not quite as old as ancient modulation gear, but almost:


ARRL Frequency Measuring Test is Tonight!

ARRL Frequency Measuring Test is This Week!

The Autumn 2008 ARRL Frequency Measuring Test is November 12.

The format of the November 12, 2008 FMT will feature not just one signal,
but two! Activity on the digital modes has skyrocketed with the advent of
inexpensive radio interfaces and easy-to-use software. RTTY (radioteletype)
remains the most popular data mode using simple FSK modulation. Critical to
good performance on RTTY is using the proper "shift" or difference between
the mark and space tones encoding the 1s and 0s that make up the Baudot
code. Thus, the November FMT will take a step toward the measurement of
shifts of FSK signals. There will be two tones transmitted, one after the
other, each with a 10-second duration. Stations will measure the frequency
of each tone; then find frequency shift
fSHIFT = fTONE 1 - fTONE 2.

# The *UTC* Date and Time for the 2008 FMT is November 13 at 0245 UTC (UTC
Thursday Morning).
# The *LOCAL* Date and Time for the 2008 FMT is Wednesday, November 12 at
9:45 PM EST.
# The FMT home web page:
# 2008 FMT article in accessible PDF from November 2008 QST:

For our Handiham members who may have trouble navigating to the data
submission page, here is a direct link:


Death penalty for ham radio couple's killer

QRZ.com forums are reporting the sad sequel to the murder of a California
ham radio couple. Here is a part of the Orange County District Attorney's
Office's statement:

"In November 2004, Thomas and Jackie Hawks placed an advertisement for their
55-foot boat named "Well Deserved" for $440,000. The couple wanted to spend
more time with their new grandchild in Arizona. Skylar Deleon, who changed
his name from John Jacobson Jr., was the brain behind the plot to murder the
Hawks' and take their boat and life savings with Machain, Gardner, Kennedy,
and his wife Jennifer Deleon.

On Nov. 9, 2004, Skylar Deleon plotted with his then-pregnant wife, Jennifer
Deleon, to gain the Hawks' trust by taking Jennifer Deleon and their
9-month-old baby to meet the Hawks on their boat, which Skylar Deleon and
Machain had staked out three days prior. Gardner is accused of recruiting
Kennedy, a hard-core, documented Los Angeles gang member, to provide

On Nov. 15, 2004, Skylar Deleon, with the help of Machain and Kennedy, took
the boat out of the harbor with the Hawks under the pretense of test driving
it for a possible sale. Once out at sea, they overpowered the victims,
forced them to sign the transfer of title documents, handcuffed and tied
them to the anchor, and drowned them in the ocean. Skylar and Jennifer
Deleon were in constant cell phone communication while the murder plot was
being executed.

During the guilt phase Machain testified that while tied to the anchor of
their yacht, Jackie Hawks was begging for her life as Thomas stroked her
hand to comfort her. When forced to sign yacht ownership papers over to the
Deleons', Jackie Hawks intentionally misspelled her own name by leaving off
an "S" in hopes that someone would notice that something was wrong with the

Read more on QRZ.com:



ARISS SSTV - Slow Scan on the International Space Station with W5KWQ

Ken, KB3LLA, sent us news about the ARISS SSTV Website and Blog:

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Slow Scan
Television (SSTV) Web site set up for Richard Garriott's flight was a big
success. Over 2200 images from SpaceCam, MMSSTV and the VC-H1 were received
by amateur radio operators worldwide and were uploaded to the site.  The
site received nearly 4 million hits! 

See the SSTV images:  

and the SSTV blog:  <http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/> 

Find out more about Richard Garriot, W5KWQ, on Wikipedia:



This week at Headquarters: Handiham Year-End Appeal & Newsletter is in the

Begging dog cartoon - that's us all right!Our annual print edition of the
Handiham World is now in the capable hands of the Post Office, so you should
be receiving your very own copy shortly. We want you to look for this issue,
because it contains our annual giving envelope. I'm going to give you a link
to our online version next week, and hopefully an audio version. That giving
envelope is important, because we survive as a program through the
generosity of our donors. Please look for your annual giving envelope and
consider helping us with a tax-deductible gift.

In other news...

*       One of our members <ftp://ftp.arnewsline.org/quincy/News/news.mp3>
requested a link to Amateur Radio NEWSLINE audio. This is a link to FTP the
file to your computer:  <ftp://ftp.arnewsline.org/quincy/News/news.mp3>

Be sure to let me know if you cannot get the audio by following the link.
Generally speaking, if you browse the web with Firefox, you will simply be
prompted to download the MP3 file. If you use some other browser, you may
have to use a right-click and "Save target as". I know this is a source of
confusion for some users, especially those who have installed third-party
audio players, as these may try to open the file instead of allowing you to
save it. The NEWSLINE editions are typically pretty large files, in excess
of 4MB, so be patient! If you cannot get the NEWSLINE audio this way, let me
know and we will try to figure something else out.
*       Changes are brewing in the amateur radio publications business! We
will be announcing a change in the Handiham audio magazine digest for our
blind members soon, so stay tuned.
*       We have started work on a DAISY book version of the new General
Class question pool. It's slow going, as there is considerable editing to
prepare the pool for conversion. We have already finished the Extra pool.
*       We would like to hear from you about the Handiham HF nets. Do you
want to keep a 20 meter net, a 15 meter net, and a 10 meter net? How about
the 40 meter CW net? Do you remember the old 17 meter non-net informal
get-together started by K2WS on 18.165 MHz? Please write to
<mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> wa0tda@xxxxxxxx with your ideas and suggestions.
Now is the time to decide, as the solar cycle begins to favor better HF
*       Jerry, N0VOE, is volunteering in the office on Tuesdays and
Thursdays. Look for him on the Handiham EchoLink net from callsign W0ZSW on
those days.
*       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
*       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 November
QST and Worldradio 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




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 11/12/2008 - 20:17 

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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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