This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center <http://handiham.org> Handiham System. Please do not reply to this message. Use the contact information at the end, or simply email handiham@xxxxxxxxxxxx This issue is being delivered in plain text, but is available in HTML with graphics and photos. You can get the HTML version online at the following link: You can also listen to the content online: 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! Remote Base and Morse Code Remote Base Update: Morse Code operation Screenshot: W4MQ Remote Base CW pop up window Did you ever own a gadget, a radio, or a piece of software that you really understood completely? I must say I had a bit of a surprise earlier this week when using the handiham remote base software by W4MQ. I had been using the remote base as a beta tester for a number of months now, but I had never really had occasion to use the CW mode setting, even though I had tuned around in the CW portion of various bands a number of times in the past. In fact, Avery, K0HLA, had asked me if it was possible to operate using Morse code with the remote base. "Heck, I think it must be possible, but I'm not sure how you would hook up a key and whether you would use some kind of modulated audio or just how it would work", I replied. After all, the radio obviously received very well in the CW portion of the bands, and some of our handiham members would likely be interested in operating Morse code from time to time if such a thing were possible. Well, as Lyle, K0LR, and I worked through a number of beta testing issues, one thing that came up was something called "auto mode". This is a setting made by the administrator of the system that causes the radio to go back to whatever default mode is set for a given portion of a ham radio band. For example, on the 20 m band if you were using a frequency of 14.280 MHz, the auto mode would place the radio in the USB mode automatically, so that you would be on the right side band. The user can, however, control the mode manually. It is assumed that this will sometimes be necessary. Anyway, this setting was not being changed automatically when I did my testing, so I noticed that the radio would typically just keep the same mode that I had been listening in on single side band whenever I went to the CW portion of the band. Only this week did I think to manually change the mode to the CW setting. The first thing that I noticed was that the audio filter was automatically changed to a much narrower width that would be more appropriate for Morse code operation. The second thing I noticed was that the radio no longer said "no transmit". And the third thing was that a little pop-up window appeared that would allow me to simply type into a text window and send Morse code automatically! Because I had already logged on to the software using my own call sign, this handy little application already knew who I was. It has several shortcut buttons that allow me to send CQ, call QRZ, call a specific station just by entering the station's call sign in a form field and pressing the call button, and probably even more that I haven't discovered yet. So here I was, using this software for months, and only this week discovering a major feature. I don't know whether to be a little bit embarrassed by this, or whether I should just chalk it up to the fact that there was so much other stuff to test that a fellow might be expected to miss a thing or two here and there. I will readily admit that I seldom have an actual QSO using Morse code, but I do listen to code rather frequently just to see what band conditions are like, mostly on 20 and 40 m. Discovering this new Morse code feature (new to me, anyway) was almost like discovering a gift that I had forgotten to open up at my last birthday party. Who knows what else the remote base might serve up as a really fun and useful feature? We are still hoping to open the remote base and get it out of beta mode within the next few months. It has been doing extraordinarily well surviving the cold Minnesota temperatures in its unheated ham shack. Already this week Courage North has had an early-morning low temperature of -35°F. I think I can almost feel the cold radiating back at me right through my own computer when I connect to the remote base! For Handiham World, I'm Patrick Tice, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/311%2523commen t-form> at Handiham.org to post comments _____ Avery's QTH - Avery's station brag Avery's QTH - Avery's station brag - Avery with coffee cup Welcome once again to my humble QTH: Some of you may have heard a first on the Handiham Net this last Friday and Saturday. It was not a really big deal, but I checked in from the home location both days. As Jim, our net control, will tell you though, ?It is very easy to get into the habit of doing something.? When I went to turn the net back to him, I started to use the W0ZSW call in place of my own K0HLA call but I caught the error about half way through and made the necessary correction and then gave my own call. In case you are interested, I have a Yaesu FT-100D for a transceiver and it is being used with a wire "J" Pole antenna and my new Alinco power supply. The antenna is inside my second floor apartment hanging from the ceiling from one of those hooks used to hang flower pots. When I moved in, I noticed there was one a few feet from each corner of the room so I had no problems with having to get permission to install the hooks as they were already there. I have a couple of HF antennas for it also, but right now I am not using the FT-100D on the HF bands as I have yet to figure out a way to get up an HF antenna that won't cause any problems with neighbors. My balcony is all metal aluminum siding, which makes it a bit challenging to produce a good radiating HF antenna and attach it without damage to the siding. The curtains are metallic and only appear to cause problems on a select few repeaters. If I open the curtains that problem seems to go away, but then neighbors across the way can see into my window and my privacy is gone. A celebrity ham radio writer like me can?t be too careful. I live in Hopkins, MN and the 145.450 N0BVE repeater is in Minnetonka, which is the next city over. That is not as far as one might think. I am within walking distance of the Hopkins-Minnetonka border and could almost see the repeater from my location if there were not buildings, trees, hills, and other visual clutter between our locations, so I do not need much in the way of power to get into the repeater. I am planning on mounting the FT-100D and a couple of antennas (one HF and one UHF/VHF) in my car sometime after the lease is up and I can purchase the car outright. Right now I am unable to do anything which might affect the lease agreement. That would solve all my apartment antenna problems. I will be able to just go operate from my car. Also, in the event of an emergency, I will have power from the car so I will not be relying on the power lines feeding the building. My other rigs include a Kenwood TS-50 with its associated Kenwood external automatic antenna tuner and a Yaesu VX-7R HT. Although I do not use them much anymore, I also have a Yaesu FT-23 HT and a 35 Watt amplifier which I used to use in my truck. The outside mobile antenna mounted right in the middle of the top of the truck gave me pretty good range even without the amplifier turned on. That was a very handy combination as I could use the HT with the amplifier in the truck or unhook the HT and take it just by itself and rubber duck antenna out to another location if necessary. Or, if the battery in the truck went bad I could still call for help using the batteries in the FT-23 HT. Perhaps some of my experiences will give you some ideas on how to get on the air from your own location. So, for now? 73 & DX from K0HLA, Avery You can reach me at: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Or 763-520-0515 Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/308%2523commen t-form> to post comments _____ Take an audio course to learn Windows XP - For free! A computer is nearly a "must-have" for amateur radio operators these days. This can be a problem for a person who is not familiar with personal computers and operating systems like Windows. Learning Windows can seem like a daunting task, too, and since many of our Handiham members are blind or have low vision, it's not that easy to pick up a two inch thick printed book from the local bookstore to do a bit of reading up on the subject. What to do? We were wondering about this problem here at Handiham headquarters. Our star volunteer computer trainer, Dick Chrisman, AB7HW, passed away a few years ago, and we really needed some help with computer training basics. Recently I discovered an excellent series of free audio tutorials covering Windows XP basics. XP is the version still widely used in business and by lots of home users, and it is common to find it as the preferred operating system in brand-new netbook computers. Vista is the latest version of Windows, but most of the things taught in the free Windows XP audio course will still apply to Vista users. The free Windows XP audio course, available in either MP3 or WMA format, may be found on the Access Technology Institute: <http://www.accesstechnologyinstitute.com/freewindows/> http://www.accesstechnologyinstitute.com/freewindows/ Let us know what you think of the course, and be sure to email me at wa0tda@xxxxxxxx if you have any other great learning resources to share with your fellow Handiham members. _____ FAR Amateur Radio Scholarships Announced THE FOUNDATION FOR AMATEUR RADIO, INC., a non-profit organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C., plans to administer forty eight (48) scholarships for the academic year 2009 - 2010 to assist licensed Radio Amateurs. The Foundation, composed of over seventy-five local area Amateur Radio Clubs, fully funds two of these scholarships. The remaining forty-eight (48) are administered by the Foundation without cost to the various donors. Licensed Radio Amateurs may compete for these awards if they plan to pursue a full-time course of studies beyond high school and are enrolled in or have been accepted for enrollment at an accredited university, college or technical school. The awards range from $5,000 to $500 with preference given in some cases to residents of specified geographical areas or the pursuit of certain study programs. Non-USA residents are eligible to apply for some of the scholarships. Clubs, especially those in California, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin (areas of preferred residence for some of the scholarships), are encouraged to announce these opportunities at their meetings, in their club newsletters, during training classes, on their nets and on their world wide web home pages. Additional information and an application form may be requested by letter or QSL card, postmarked prior to March 30, 2009 from: FAR Scholarships Post Office Box 831 Riverdale, MD 20738 Applications are also available for download from the Foundation?s web site: <http://www.farweb.org/> http://www.farweb.org/. The Foundation for Amateur Radio, incorporated in the District of Columbia, is an exempt organization under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. It is devoted exclusively to promoting the interests of Amateur Radio and those scientific, literary and educational pursuits that advance the purposes of the Amateur Radio Service. _____ Earthquake Strikes Costa Rica, Emergency Ham Frequency Declared Earthquake Strikes Costa Rica, Emergency Ham Frequency Declared ARRL: On Thursday, January 8 at 1921z, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale struck the Central American country of Costa Rica. The earthquake, with an epicenter located about 22 miles northeast of San Jose, comes after a series of almost 60 seismic events that have rocked the country since early this week. The Radio Club de Costa Rica (RCCR) -- that country's IARU Member-Society -- is monitoring local repeaters and 7090 kHz. IARU Region 2 Emergency Communications Coordinator Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P, requests that 7090 kHz be kept clear of non-essential traffic due to possible emergency communications dealing with the earthquake. The ARRL encourages all amateurs to be aware of the emergency operations on this frequency. US amateurs should avoid interfering with Spanish language SSB while using digital modes. _____ Manage your own Handiham-World mailing list settings The popular Handiham World Weekly E-Letter is published each Wednesday. Now you can manage your own settings on the mailing list website at Freelists.org. You can set the system to stop sending emails while you are on vacation, for example. Simply use the handy web form below: Enter your email address: For assistance, please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx _____ Handiham EchoLink Net <http://www.handiham.org/node/266> On the air Our daily Handiham net will be on the air Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 11:00 United States Central time (17:00 GMT): 145.450 MHz (Minneapolis-St. Paul) Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide) IRLP node 908 (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. Please direct questions to: Patrick Tice, Handiham Manager wa0tda@xxxxxxxx This week at Headquarters: * Net Manager Howard, KE7KNN, says that we have four net control stations, and we need more so that the same ones don't need to take more than one time a week. If you would like to volunteer, we will be glad to help you get started. One idea that came up was to have some kind of a training net, which would be our topic at least one day a week on the usual daily EchoLink net. Do you have any comments on that? It could be about different topics each week, something that could help all of us in our operating skills. You may email us with your comments at wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx * The daily EchoLink net is on every day but Sunday, and it can also be on that day if anyone volunteers! * QST, CQ, & 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 January QST, CQ, and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob Zeida, N1BLF. Remember that January is the last print edition of Worldradio, so you'll want to catch that audio. * The February, 2009 QST magazine is out in print, and we expect Bob Zeida to begin his reading shortly. * The Winter QCWA Journal is out in print. We are STILL waiting for our reading list from QCWA. * George, N0SBU, has completed the tape cassette digest. It will have some special audio from Matt Arthur, KA0PQW. Many of you will have received your tape digest by now. * 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. * The Friday Handiham-Notify mailing list has been moved to Freelists.org for better reliability. I was just not satisfied with the performance of our Mailman lists on Handiham.org, because they didn't handle large numbers of subscribers consistently, and some of you missed your Friday mailings. The Handiham-Notify list contains our audio lecture links each week, along with links to magazine digest audio, both of which are Handiham member services. 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. _____ WorldRadio Online E-mail Notification List Established (Hicksville, NY) January 8, 2009 -- A new e-mail list has been established to notify readers of the availability of each new issue of WorldRadio magazine, which is converting to a free online-only publication (titled WorldRadio Online) as of its February, 2009 issue. WorldRadio subscribers and any other interested people may sign up for the list at: <http://mailman.sunserver.com/mailman/listinfo/WorldRadio-L> http://mailman.sunserver.com/mailman/listinfo/WorldRadio-L Direct links to this sign up page will be posted on both the CQ magazine website at: <http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com> http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com and the old WorldRadio website at: <http://www.wr6wr.com> http://www.wr6wr.com Monthly e-mail alerts will include highlights of each new issue, along with instructions and hotlinks for connecting with the online issue. The e-mail addresses will be used only by CQ Communications, Inc., and will not be rented or sold. Each issue of WorldRadio Online will be posted in PDF format, permitting readers the choice of browsing articles online or downloading the issue to their own computers to read at their convenience or even to print out in part or in whole. Access to WorldRadio Online will be free of charge. Most of WorldRadio's columnists will continue to write for the new online edition. In November, 2008, CQ Communications, Inc. purchased WorldRadio upon the decision of founding publisher Armond Noble, N6WR, to retire and sell the magazine. _____ 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@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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 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@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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! Pat, WA0TDA Manager, Courage Handi-ham System Reach me by email at: <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: jerry.kloss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ARRL 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.