[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 15 April 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 14:35:32 -0500

Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 15 April 2009 

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!

CCleaner is a great freeware utility for freeing up disk space

Screenshot: CCleaner is a great freeware utility for freeing up disk space

Image: Screenshot of CCleaner running on the wa0tda ham shack PC.

Free software tour: A free junk remover.

Last week we talked about the free file recovery utility called "Recuva" by
Piriform Ltd. Today we introduce a great freeware disk cleanup utility made
by the same folks. It's called "CCleaner".

John, N1IWT, mentioned that he uses CCleaner when he told me about Recuva. I
had been using CCleaner myself for a long time and knew it to be an
effective disk cleaning tool.

Here is the overview from the CCleaner website:

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It
removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and
freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online
activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully
featured registry cleaner.

The fact of the matter is that most of us are not very good at housekeeping.
Sometimes my ham shack is a mess, because projects and things that I am
meaning to work on collect faster than I have time to tend to them. My
computer is not that much different. Temporary files, deleted files, unused
installation files and all sorts of other junk collect on the hard drive
because I just don't have time to go through all of the fiddling around to
find them, move them to the recycle bin in Windows, and then do a final
deletion. Sometimes there are unused program files taking up a lot of space
and they have made entries to the Windows registry that slow the computer
down. This is the sort of thing that CCleaner can do for you. It can perform
a semi automated cleaning, getting rid of a lot of stuff that you will never
use and certainly do not need cluttering your hard drive.

Your computer will be happier because it will have more hard drive space and
the Windows registry will be leaner and meaner and faster.

One thing you should know, however, is that a program like this is not for
novice computer users. You sort of have to know your way around the Windows
computer before you trust any kind of maintenance software to delete files
from your hard drive. If you know what you're doing, and are confident in
your computer skills, I recommend CCleaner as a worthwhile addition to your
computer utilities. It is for Windows computers, not for Mac or Linux.

You can find CCleaner online:

Now if only there were something automated to clean up my ham shack for me,
I would be all set!

Next week: State of the program. Where we stand during these hard economic
times, and what we can expect in services.

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager

.        By wa0tda at 04/15/2009 - 17:14

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Radio Camp Operating Skills topics list

Montage of camp photos, operating, lakeside, rig, etc.

Handiham Radio Camp is not just about getting a license! Once you are
licensed, you can start learning about how to operate, and that means
learning by practicing on the air, finding out about new modes of operation,
experimenting with new things, and generally having fun for a week with
amateur radio!

We are compiling our Operating Skills topic list, and would like your
suggestions. Here is our list as of April 15, 2009:

Send your suggestions to:

Accessible audible field strength meter
ARES coax antenna you can make!
Remote Base introduction
Remote Base download & installation
Remote Base setup
Remote Base on the air
Foxhunt (hidden transmitter hunt)
Camp wide local net - 2m
Ham Radio Deluxe
Antennas & tuners
Dayton Hamvention stories
DAISY project report
How to be the kind of operator the NCS will love
Portable audio devices
HH Radio Club meeting
Overview of stations and equipment
Repeater Operations
Running a repeater system
EchoLink introduction
Running an EchoLink node
Winlink and Airmail
Technical aspects of running an internet radio show
MCW on EchoLink
Worldwide EchoLink net - Daily @ 11:00
Wednesday evening EchoLink Net @ 19:30
Table-top exercise that consists of training our Op Skills students in the
subtle art of listening.
Emergency Exercise
Handiham Video update
Being part of your local club
International Space Station Contact
Learn how to operate in a contest
Working DX
Third party traffic defined, examples
APRS explained

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Avery's QTH - Algebra? It's not that hard once you know where to learn more.

Avery's QTH - Algebra? It's not that hard once you know where to learn more.

Image: Avery hides from the algebra troll at Camp Courage North. His
stocking cap is pulled over his head. "No one will see me now", he thinks.
Welcome once again to my humble QTH:
Does this sound familiar?
I have my Technician Class license and want to go for my General next month,
but I am having trouble with the math. The algebra is really difficult for
me because I didn't have any in school (or I had it in school, but that was
so long ago I forgot most of it.)
Well, here's the way I answer:
The thing about algebra is that everything is based on what comes before. It
is like building a brick wall. You have to start at the very bottom and put
in a row of bricks. Then you go through and put in place another row of
bricks right on top of the ones you just finished. This is repeated until
the wall is at the final level.
Algebra is much the same way. You keep building on what you learned before.
If you skip a step, it is very difficult to understand what is going on. In
the case of the brick wall, skipping a brick could mean the collapse of the
whole wall.
I am very sorry to say that you probably will not learn enough algebra in
one month to be able to work and understand the formulas required to pass
the General exam. The solution to the problem then would be to take a math
class or two at the local high school adult night school. Many have adult
algebra classes for those wishing to learn from the very beginning or take a
refresher class. There are no grades given, so there is no pressure to have
to study for tests.
You will only get out of the class what you put into it. Once you have an
understanding of algebra, then it is just a question of learning the
formulas, plugging in the numbers you know and working the equation to find
out the number you don't know.
You know what? I'll bet you will find that it will come in handy for other
applications besides amateur radio too. For example, people in different
parts of the world use different scales to measure temperature, Fahrenheit &
Centigrade. In the USA Fahrenheit is used, while in Europe Centigrade is
used. What if you want to convert one to the other? If you know the formulas
and can plug in the known values you can figure out the unknown.
You had a little sample of using algebra when you took the Technician Exam.
Remember Ohm's law? E = I times R is algebra!
Now, that isn't so hard, is it?
So for now,
73 es DX de K0HLA Avery
You can reach me Monday and Wednesday until 1:30 pm Minneapolis Time
At: 763-520-0515
Or email me at: 

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KD5PLB announces NASA module winning name on Colbert Report

KD5PLB announces NASA module winning name on Colbert Report

Image of KD5PLB, Astronaut Sunita Williams: NASA

Astronaut and amateur radio operator Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, appeared on
Comedy Central's Colbert Report to announce the winner of the naming contest
for NASA's new module, which will be part of the International Space

Read more and see the video on the Handiham website:


That crackle might not be thunderstorms - you may be hearing Jupiter!

Jupiter & moons montage - NASA & NSSDC

Jupiter montage - Image credit: NASA and the National Space Science Data

Space Weather News is reporting that "on April 11th, an amateur radio
astronomer in New Mexico heard loud pops and crackles coming from the
loudspeaker of his shortwave receiver. The sounds resembled terrestrial
lightning, but the source was not on Earth. It was a radio storm on

The story continues, "Electrical currents flowing between Jupiter's upper
atmosphere and the volcanic moon Io can boost these emissions to power
levels easily detected by ham radio antennas on Earth."

You can listen to the sounds at:


Callsign & Repeater Lookup

Try the Handiham System for callsign and repeater lookup links!

ARRL <http://www.arrl.org/fcc/fcclook.php3> 

ArtSci Repeater <http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/>  Directory

 <http://hamcall.net/> Hamcall

FCC ULS <http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp> 

QRZ <http://www.qrz.com> 

RAC <http://www.rac.ca/callbook/> 

WM7D <http://www.wm7d.net/fcc_uls/ulsquery.html> 

To make suggestions for additional callsign or repeater resources, please
contact wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx  

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FCC ULS search is easy

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/135> FCC round logo

The FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) License Search website enables
you to search for a wide range of licenses in the Universal Licensing
System. The search here provides access to the most basic attributes of a
license, but you can also specify more attributes and combinations with the
Advanced Search and search within services features like "Amateur" using
service-specific criteria.

Recently we discovered that the FCC website had changed, and the link to a
ULS search on our Handiham website was incorrect. Although it brought you to
the FCC website, you had to search for the ULS pages. That has now been

Why search with the FCC's page instead of the other ham radio callsign
lookup services? Well, that's a good question! After all, the ham-specific
services offer many other features and the FCC site is, well, "just the
facts, ma'am", as Sgt. Friday used to say on the old Dragnet program. One
reason is that new and changed data appear on the FCC site before any other
site. Another is that the FCC site is the definitive one for licensing

Give the FCC ULS site a try! It's accessible and easy - and it's the
official one, too! A direct link is right here:


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Fire Vox talking Firefox extension for blind and low vision users

Blind hams will be interested in this new way to make the popular web
browser Firefox virtually self-voicing!

Text from http://firevox.clcworld.net:  

Fire Vox, built from the CLC-4-TTS Suite by Charles L. Chen, is an open
source, freely available talking browser extension for the Firefox web
browser. Think of it as a screen reader that is designed especially for

In addition to the basic features that are expected of screen readers, such
as being able to identify headings, links, images, etc. and providing
navigational assistance, Fire Vox provides support for MathML and CSS speech
module properties. It also works on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

Read more or download:

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Audacity audio editor for JAWS screenreader users

The popular open-source cross-platform audio editing software Audacity is
really quite accessible to blind computer users who access their machines
with the screenreader JAWS. Ken, KB3LLA, alerted us to an excellent blind
user guide that will make the ins and outs of keyboarding your way through
Audacity much easier.

The "Audacity 1.3.7 Guide" was written by David Bailes:


More guides are available on the Jaws Guides page of the VIP Software Guides
website, which you can find here:


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Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net

Wednesday Evening EchoLink Net happy guy with headset

Tonight you will have an opportunity to meet your friends on the Handiham
net. 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:

.        Minnesota Radio Camp application forms are online! The sooner we
hear from you, the better -- if you are planning to join us at this summer's
session. One of the summer camps that had been held at Courage North in
previous years has been canceled, which means that people who could not get
into that session may want to apply for the Radio Camp. Incidentally, you
can e-mail us with your ideas for projects and topics at the upcoming
Minnesota Radio Camp session.

The waterfront at Lake George

Join us this August at Minnesota Radio Camp! 

Download the camp application package, which contains information pages and
the forms you need to apply for camp. Camp starts on Sunday, August 16, and
finishes on Sunday, August 23. It's a week of extraordinary fun, during
which you can earn your ham radio license or just get on the air. And it can
cost as little as $240 for the week. There are two choices for formats,
either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. 

*       Download Word Forms <http://handiham.org/manuals/forms/mncamp/word/>

*       Download PDF Forms <http://handiham.org/manuals/forms/mncamp/pdf/> 
*       Not <http://www.handiham.org/node/358>  sure?  Take a photo tour!

Having trouble downloading or have questions about Radio Camp or Handihams?
Just email Pat, wa0tda@xxxxxxxx, anytime.

*       Change in hours this week: we will be short-staffed on Thursday,
April 9. The office will be closed starting noon, April 9 until Monday
morning, April 13. ARRL informs us that their office will be closed on
Friday, April 10.
*       New in Operating Skills: 

*       It is hard to believe how time flies, but the May, 2009 issue of QST
magazine is already out in print. We look forward to producing the audio
digest for our blind members soon. Meanwhile, the April QST , CQ, QCWA
Journal, and Worldradio digest audio is online for our blind members. 
*       Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the April "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. The QST, CQ,
and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob Zeida, N1BLF. 

*       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

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: jerry.kloss@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 04/15/2009 - 18:30

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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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