[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 18 February 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 11:46:04 -0600

Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 18 February

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 

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

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!

Echolink screenshotI have heard from net manager Howard, KE7KNN, and the
move of the Handiham Monday night EchoLink net is official -- we will be
making the change beginning the first week in March. 

Frankly, I'm a bit relieved. Monday nights were just not good for me,
because my own local radio club has a 2 m net at the same time. I had tried
flipping back and forth between the two nets, checking into one and then
checking into the other. This never seemed like a good way to operate. I
always felt that I was never really giving either net my full attention. 

But that's just me. 

Monday night is apparently a fairly busy night for others as well. Since
Monday is the start of the traditional work and school week, it may very
well be that family matters simply have to take priority over amateur radio.
We think we will have better luck with Wednesday night net activities. By
Wednesday, most people have gotten their week pretty well planned out. It
may be easier to take a few minutes out of a Wednesday evening, so we hope
to hear more of you checking in. Since the 7:00 PM start time might have
caused a conflict with the CNIB net, which starts at 6:30 PM USA Central
Time and sometimes lasts longer than 30 minutes, we are also moving our
start time by a half hour to 7:30 PM Minnesota time. That means the
Universal Time start would be Thursday mornings at 01:30 GMT. 

The other details about the net remain the same:

*       The Handiham EchoLink net is still the same friendly gathering open
to everyone. 
*       It is still a great place to learn about getting on the air and how
to participate in nets. 
*       There is a net control station to keep things organized, but unlike
many other nets, we invite new net controls to step up to the plate and take
*       There is a Net Manager, Howard, KE7KNN, who will be glad to hear
that you want to participate, either as a station checking in, or as a net
control station. 
*       The net is still on the same repeaters and nodes as the ones we use
for the daily EchoLink net.

*       In the Twin Cities you can use the N0BVE repeater system, 145.450
MHz, negative offset, no tone. 
*       You can connect via nodes 89680 or 267582 on EchoLink. 
*       IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector) 
*       Yaesu WIRES system number 1427 
*       And there are other ways as well, so feel free to connect as you see
fit. The one exception is that we ask you not to connect to N0BVE via IRLP,
since that dumps off all the EchoLink users. 

The first Wednesday of each month the net has a theme of "learning", so
don't miss the opportunity to be a better net participant or control
station. If you are shy, just listen in. We'd love to hear you check in

Patrick Tice


Avery's QTH

Avery's QTH

Welcome once again to my humble QTH:

I just had a minor panic session here. You see, I was in the process of
attempting to answer some emails I received after joining Facebook.

The problem was I could not find my password for Facebook. Seems to me I had
this same problem with SKYPE, The Handiham Remote base and several other
applications. I was told by several computer knowledgeable people that it is
not a very good idea to use the same password for every application. That
sure seems like a sensible idea to me, because someone would be able to get
into all a person's accounts with just finding out the one password.

I had been keeping all my passwords in a pocket-sized notebook about a half
inch thick (which worked out quite well until recently) when I was going
into too many new places on the web and just putting the password down on
any piece of paper that was handy with the good intentions of transferring
them to my little password book. Lesson learned. Do it right away. Don't
wait until later. It's too easy to misplace the paper and forget the
password. Also, make a back up just in case something happens to the
original password book.

Because it is made of paper, it could have many things happen that would
make it unusable. Oh No! Don't keep passwords in a secret file on your
computer. It is too easy for a hacker to find if they break into it. Anyway,
after going through every scrap of paper I could find several times still no
password. Well, I thought most web sites have a place to get back a password
if something like this happens so I will check it out. Sure enough, they did
have a way to get a new password if the other one is lost or forgotten. OH
BOY! That would mean going though most of the process all over again and
waiting for the new password to come. I didn't really want to wait since I
had a "TON" of messages to respond to. I shut down everything and really
gave some thought to the possible solutions. What might I have used as a
password for this? I was very lucky in that all of a sudden it registered
with me like a lightning flash out of the blue. I had it and now I could
answer all my emails. You better believe I have brought my password books
up-to-date. Some people may use a tape recorder or some new fangled digital
device to record their passwords instead of notebooks, which is fine as long
as no one else has access to them.

Now why did I mention this security thing with the passwords?

Two words: Homeland Security.

Did you know that President Bush signed into law a bill that made all
Amateur Radio Operators part of Homeland Security? (It doesn't matter what
class of license a person holds). The reason is because of Katrina and 9-11.
Amateur Radio got the information passed when all else failed. There are
many things we can do to help with Homeland Security. Some are for our own
protection. A good one is not to mention on the air that you will be out of
town before you go or you could come back to a cleaned out home. After you
are back it is too late for someone to take advantage of you. Look out for
anything abnormal going on around you. Is that person out at 2:00 in the
morning really delivering the early edition of the newspaper or are they
scouting the neighborhood to find easy places to break into? Take part in as
many of the emergency classes and emergency training exercises as possible.
Learn how to run a net under very stressful circumstances. An emergency is
not time to find out you don't have the skills to handle it.

Please, please know that it is often times more important to just be
listening and to be there if you are called. You are only wasting time and
tying up the frequency if you don't have the necessary information net
control is looking for.

Summer is a good time to get experience because there are many city and town
festivals where Amateurs take part. Not only are they fun but the learning
experience is different every time.

What? A contest to find out who checks into the most web sites and has the
most passwords, NAW! Don't think so. In so doing, we could be giving away
some information that might make it easier for some hacker.

So, until next time
73 es DX de K0HLA Avery

You can reach me at:
763-520-0515 Monday & Wednesday until 2:00 PM Minneapolis / St. Paul time



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Guy shaking fist at dead computerWebsite outage

The Handiham website experienced a brief outage this morning. It lasted
about an hour and only the Drupal main site was affected. The Remote Base,
the member site, the manuals section, and the audio all remained online. The
problem has now been resolved and we apologize for any inconvenience. The
site's SQL database had temporarily become unavailable. 


Found online: VirtualBox

computerSo what the heck is it? Says Wikipedia: 

VirtualBox is an x86 virtualization software package, originally created by
German software company innotek, now developed by Sun Microsystems as part
of its Sun xVM virtualization platform. It is installed on an existing host
operating system; within this application, additional operating systems,
each known as a Guest OS, can be loaded and run, each with its own virtual

Still don't know what it is? Well, the short answer is that VirtualBox is a
way to run another operating system, like Windows Vista or XP on a computer
that runs Linux. I found out about this software, which is free for home
users, through a Lockergnome newsletter mailing. It works the other way
around too, so you could run Linux from Windows. I really want to try this
system, and to begin testing ham radio applications within it. If there are
any other alpha geeks out there who want to join me in testing and trading
information, here are the places you need to visit:

Wikipedia article:


VirtualBox project home page:


I would like to test the beta release of the new Windows 7 with VirtualBox,
so we could find out if applications like the W4MQ Remote Base software and
EchoLink will continue to run as expected. Although I have a beta release of
this upcoming version of Windows, I have no desire to make my main computers
guinea pigs.  With VirtualBox, I think I would be able to manage testing
quite easily without ruining my current Vista installation. By the way, if
you want to check out Lockergnome, which is a true computer geek website,
you'll find it here:



KNFB Mobile ReaderListen: KNFB Mobile Reader is featured on Tek Talk Audio

In this online audio Tek Talk event, Jim Gashel, Vice President of Business
Development for knfb Reading Technology, Inc. and Michael Hingson, WB6NHM,
Director of National Sales for the National Federation of the Blind,
demonstrated their superior Mobile Reader product line for the blind and
people with learning disabilities - featuring the first cell phone that
reads and translates. 

The knfb Reader Mobile is a major advancement in print access for the blind.
The software, delivered on a multifunction cell phone, allows the user to
snap pictures of any printed material and have it read aloud immediately.
The first of its kind, the pocket-sized device allows individuals to have
print analyzed and read aloud in real time and in real life situations.

WB6NHM has also presented a program at Handiham California Radio Camp,
volunteering in the Operating Skills area.

Hear the archived audio:


Macros make life easier

Dick, WA0CAF, found this great web resource on using macros, which are
shortcut keys for those who don't use a computer mouse to navigate, and
those of us who have discovered that oftentimes the keyboard is mightier
than the mouse:


If you are interested in learning what macros can do and how to write them
yourself, this is the place to go.


This week at Headquarters:

.        N0SBU reaches 1,000 hour volunteer milestone

N0SBU reaches 1,000 hour volunteer milestone

Congratulations to George LaValle, N0SBU, for racking up 1,000 hours of
volunteer work for Courage Center's Handiham System. George does our 4-track
tape conversions, volunteers at Minnesota Radio Camp, and manages his pack
of Pound Puppies!

Another thing George does is faithfully record his volunteer hours, either
in person at Courage Center's Volunteer Department, or by emailing Nancy at
hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the number of hours he wants recorded for
each project.

Thanks to George and to all of our wonderful volunteers!


*       Remote Base Access!  Handiham Members wanting Remote Base access
please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx Include your SKYPE name, as SKYPE is used for
the audio to and from the transceiver. We are starting to compile a user
list. Please do not ask for access unless you are a Handiham member and have
at least a General Class license. We also need to remind our would-be users
that this is a project that will require you to be computer-savvy, have
high-speed Internet access, and to be able to figure things out without much
help from us. We do have some help pages online in the members section of
the website. Look for the Remote Base link after you log in to the website.
We are continuing to develop the help pages with input from you. Please
email us with suggestions.
*       Instruction pages for the W0EQO Remote base have been updated,
including how to get SKYPE. Log in to the members only section and
<http://handiham.org/user>  follow the Remote Base link.

*       Request for General class lectures: George, N0SBU, has completed
putting the website General lectures onto 4-track tapes for members without
Internet access. Contact Nancy at HQ for details.

*       New in Operating Skills: 

*       Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the "Doctor is in" column
from QST for our blind members.  
*       Just in! Volunteer Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the March 2009
QST audio digest for our blind members.  
*       February audio is also posted. QST, CQ, & WORLDRADIO audio digests
are available for our members. Login to the member section of the
<http://handiham.org/user>  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
*       Rustic sign says Courage NorthRadio Camp dates for 2009 are set:  

*       Arrive on Sunday, August 16 and depart on Sunday, August 23, 2009.
Minnesota Radio Camp will be at Courage North, deep in the pines of northern
Minnesota's beautiful lake country. 
*       Once again, campers earning their first license, the Technician, at
Radio Camp will get new handheld radios to start them off on their ham radio
*       It's like a vacation! Those of you who have enjoyed a Handiham Radio
Camp at Courage North before know what a beautiful place it is, located on a
pristine lake with plenty of lakeside activities, woodland trails,
comfortable housing, great food and fellowship, and of course plenty of ham
radio fun. 
*       Radios galore! This year we will have our Kenwood TS-480 remote base
station operational at the camp, as well as an EchoLink node so that you can
stay in touch with your ham radio friends with a handheld radio.  We will
have several other stations available, including the popular Kenwood TS-2000
transceiver and the new Kenwood TM-V71A blind-accessible dual band radio.
Courage North has high-speed Internet access. You can come to camp to take
one of the licensing classes for Technician, General, or Extra, or you can
take a class in operating skills or an Extra Class seminar, which covers
some of the more advanced news and technology in amateur radio today. There
is always time for fun at camp, and we always take some side trips to places
like Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. If you
would like us to send you an application packet, please e-mail Nancy at:

As soon as the application forms are printed, we will send you one. We hope
you can join us for Minnesota Radio Camp 2009. The Handiham Radio Club will
also meet at Courage North during Radio Camp week. This year there will be
bus transportation as well as airline transportation to Bemidji. We also
have plenty of free parking and pick up for free at the bus station and

*       Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session <http://www.handiham.org/node/335>
time & date set:

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session Set

An open VE (Volunteer Examination) session for ham radio licensing has been
scheduled for the last full day of Handiham Radio Camp on Saturday August
22, 2009. The session is sponsored by the Paul Bunyan Amateur Radio Club &
Courage Center's Handiham System.

Walk-in's are welcome. If you have been studying for your amateur radio
license, you are welcome to join us at Camp Courage North, Lake George, MN
to take your exam.

Place - Courage North Dining Hall
Time of session - 9:00 AM
Walk-ins accepted - Advance notice is helpful, but not required.

o   Read more on the <http://www.handiham.org/node/335>  Handiham website:

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 02/18/2009 - 17:42 

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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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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 18 February 2009 - Patrick Tice