[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 19 November 2008

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 14:51:53 -0600

Courage Center's Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 19 November
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!


Cartoon policeman frowning and holding hand up
"Halt that bad ham radio behavior."


CQ Magazine calls for a new sheriff


CQ Magazine, in the person of editor Rich Moseson, W2VU, a good friend of
Handihams, has called for the FCC to stop dragging its feet on amateur radio
enforcement. As our readers and listeners know, the FCC's chief enforcer for
the Amateur Service, Riley Hollingsworth, has retired and has not been
replaced. Rich observes that some pretty dodgy stuff is being heard these
days on the HF bands, as the lack of FCC enforcement becomes more and more
obvious. Here is the news release from CQ, after which I'll be back for a
few comments of my own:

 

(Hicksville, NY November 18, 2008) -- CQ magazine is calling on FCC
Enforcement Bureau Chief Kris Monteith to move swiftly to name a successor
to Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, as Special Counsel for Amateur Radio, and to
bring FCC enforcement back to the ham bands. 

 

Writing in his "Zero Bias" editorial in the December 2008 issue, CQ Editor
Rich Moseson, W2VU, noted that the Commission not only has failed to name a
successor to Hollingsworth, but that not a single amateur enforcement action
has been taken since his retirement this past July. At that time, the
editorial noted, the amateur radio community was assured that the
Commission's dedication to enhanced enforcement in the Amateur Service
remains strong. However, the FCC's total inaction since July suggests
otherwise. 

 

"This is deeply disturbing and of grave concern," wrote Moseson, adding, "It
would be a tragedy, and a travesty, if the FCC were to go back on its
promise to be there for us and allowed amateur enforcement to once again
drop off the radar." 

 

The need for continuing amateur enforcement was reinforced after the issue
went to press when CQ was informed of an outburst of racist diatribes on 20
meters, including the transmission of recordings of a Hitler rally and Nazi
marching songs. "This type of behavior was all too common before 'Sheriff'
Riley came to town a decade ago," noted Moseson, "and it quickly disappeared
once it became obvious that someone in authority was paying attention. But
now, only a matter of months since Riley handed in his badge, it has become
obvious to these hams that they are once again free to do whatever they
please without fear of any consequences." 

 

"The FCC must get back into the amateur enforcement business, and it must do
so quickly," says Moseson, "before the situation once again gets out of
control. Enforcement Bureau Chief Monteith must act promptly to name a
successor to Riley Hollingsworth and assure amateurs that they have not once
again been abandoned by the Commission." 

 

You can read the entire W2VU article in accessible PDF on the CQ website:
<http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/Zero%20Bias%20Dec08.pdf> 
http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/Zero%20Bias%20Dec08.pdf

So what do you think? Have you heard outrageous conduct on the air? What
bothers me is that newcomers to short-wave listening will hear this stuff
and be turned off - or that word will get around to the general public and
lawmakers! This is the sort of thing that can bring down the entire Amateur
Radio Service, chipping away at civil discourse and dedication to public
service bit by bit. In a moment, we'll hear from Avery, K0HLA, on his
memories of short-wave listening. What, I wonder, would have happened if he
had heard some of the awful stuff Rich is pointing out on the air back then?
Would little kid Avery had even decided to continue listening?

For your Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Center Handiham Manager
patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  _____  


Avery's QTH


Avery's QTH

Welcome once again to my Humble QTH:

Before we get into this issue of My Humble QTH we are looking for volunteers
to be net controls for our Monday net on 14.265 MHz. The net is scheduled to
be on the air immediately after the SATERN Net, so we start at approximately
9:30 A.M. Central Time, or 15:30 GMT.

Anyone wishing to help out please let me or Pat know.

Recently I received an email talking about how the person progressed into
the ranks of amateur radio. It seems SWL'ing (Short-Wave Listening) started
it all for them.

I wrote back with my similar experiences and Pat, WA0TDA, thought the
readers of Handiham World might have also had similar experiences and would
like to hear mine. So, here goes. It will be old stuff for the old-timers
and all new for the youngsters.

Many years ago when I was very young, my family and I would visit a family
relative who owned one of those newfangled Zenith Transoceanic short-wave
receivers. I could not wait until we arrived so I could tune around the
bands with that radio and find out what I could hear. Boy! Some interesting
stuff was on short-wave. I sure wished we had a radio like that. Sometimes,
usually at night, there would be station after station on and other times
nothing but static, most often in the daytime.

Some time passed as I grew and I managed to save up enough to purchase a
Hallicrafters S-40B which covered not only the ham bands but also the
short-wave bands and even many bands in between. Now I could SWL any time I
wanted. That S-40B had things the Zenith did not, like a BFO (beat frequency
oscillator) so now I could copy Morse code and all those thumpy noises were
transformed into something that was more understandable. Even some of those
new SSB signals could be understood if tuned in correctly. Before going off
to school every day, I would tune in the BBC, Radio Australia, Radio Moscow,
HCJB, the Voice of America and some others. I did notice that the same news
event would have different slants on it depending on which country was doing
the reporting. It was a lot of fun sometimes to wonder which was the most
correct. Later in the day when I got home from school, I would tune around
the bands listening for that next station to add to my heard all states
award or heard all continents award listed in Boy's Life magazine that I
used to get through the Boy Scouts. I used to wait for the next issue just
to read that one article on radio that was always in there.

About this time I started listening to the hams. Gosh! Wouldn't it be fun to
get a license so I could talk back too?

Well, I did. First I got my Novice, then my General. Well, as I found out,
my S-40B did not work so well when stations were very close together in
frequency so I purchased a Heathkit "Q" Multiplier and wired it into my
S-40B. Wow! Now I could copy some of those stations I couldn't before. It
made a big difference.

Now that I had my ham license, I needed a transmitter and a much better
antenna. So a long wire was run across my yard to a pole just across the
alley (the alley which was no longer used). I did notice that even listening
to signals a very big difference was made as I tuned around the bands when I
changed the settings on my Heathkit antenna tuner. Wow! This is great stuff!
Now I was hearing things I never knew existed before.

About this time the person with that Zenith radio updated to a newer version
and gave me the older one. I thought I was in heaven! Now I could listen to
short-wave stations while talking to hams. Neat.

Today, most of the ham rigs have general coverage receivers on HF and every
now and again I go down on the very bands I used to listen to so many years
ago to see what I can find. It has changed and it will change some more, but
there are some neat stations there. I get a magazine called "Popular
Communications ". There are all kinds of stories on SWL'ing and Scanning the
VHF/UHF frequencies. There is even an article about ham radio. Popular
Communications is a sister publication of "CQ" magazine and is owned by the
same company. 

You can reach me at: 763-520 0515
Or email me at:
Avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Editor's note: If you care to see some old Zenith short-wave receivers,
check out Phil's Old Radios pages: 

http://www.antiqueradio.org/transoceanics.htm

.        Login
<http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/244%2523commen
t-form>  to handiham.org to post comments about Avery's QTH. 

  _____  


Feld Hell operating awards


New operating Awards! Exciting new Contests! FAQ with valuable tips for
operating Feld Hell! Handy links! Photos, QSL cards - and more - they're all
here on the newly designed Feld Hell web site.

Hellschreiber, or Hell, is a method of sending and receiving text using
facsimile technology. It is unique in that the characters are not decoded,
but "painted" or printed on a screen. There are several modes of
Hellschreiber, the most popular being a single-tone version call Feld-Hell,
an on-off keyed system with 122.5 dots/second, or about a 35 WPM text rate.
FH has a narrow bandwidth of about 75 Hz. Feld-Hell also has the advantage
of having a low duty cycle meaning your transmitter will run much cooler
with this mode.

Visit http://www.feldhellclub.org to learn more about this mode. Here is a
link to a YouTube video that has some good audio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR-EmyEBVqA

 

 

We sometimes get queries about ham radio modes that can work for deaf
operators. Feld Hell is one mode that can get a deaf op on the air!

  _____  


Get rid of annoying paper phone books


Paper phone book

How often do you use paper phone books?  I haven't used one in years, either
at the Handiham office or at home. I remember when wooden pallets of phone
directories were delivered to Courage Center to be distributed around the
various offices. Then computers came along, with Internet access and on line
directories.  Bye-bye, paper phone directories! 

Or so we wished. Unfortunately, we still have companies hiring people to
drive around the residential neighborhoods and drop off bags of phone
directories several times a year. Just this past week, a stealthy phone book
pest dropped 9 pounds of phone books on our front step. I figure it is about
20 feet between the front step and the recycling bin, which is where these
unwanted books immediately end up. Wouldn't it be great to be able to sign
up someplace to stop this wasteful practice? 

You are in luck, because there is a website that will help you do just that:
<http://www.YellowPagesGoesGreen.org> 
http://www.YellowPagesGoesGreen.org 

They are a grassroots organization that is asking all people interested in
opting out of phone book delivery to please tell family, friends, and
co-workers about our program. We have thousands of people like you signing
up every month and trying to help stop the nonsense of delivering an
unsolicited telephone book to people that do not want one.  

Update! As I was composing this very edition of your newsletter, the DEX
people robo-called me to find out if I got the delivery of their phone
books!  Not only have they helped fill my recycling bin, now they have
disturbed me at home with an unsolicited phone call! Nothing in the phone
message gave me any information about how not to be called in the future,
nor did it tell how to stop getting paper phone directories dropped off!  

  _____  


What's on YOUR holiday gift list?


cartoon guy giving a gift

Mine usually has some radio or computer accessory. This year, with the
entire world economy hanging on by its fingernails, we are looking a bit
harder at necessities or at least at practical gifts. One thing I'm thinking
about is a new USB microphone for the computer. Another is a replacement for
my tired old analog clock radio. The radio choices are intriguing to say the
least! These days one can step up to so-called "HD" radio, which is a
digital format that delivers perfect sound quality and multiple channels in
a very spectrum-efficient way. Our local public radio stations here in
Minnesota broadcast in HD, and one of their channels is the BBC, available
all day and all night. Another possibility is a wi-fi radio. Phil, K9HI,
first alerted me to these neat gadgets several years ago. Unlike a regular
radio, wi-fi radios need a wireless Internet connection to locate stations.
But WOW, do they ever deliver! You can get thousands of Internet streamed
stations worldwide. The down side is that you need a wi-fi connection at
home to make them practical. Still, you can't beat the huge selection of
stations.

So what's on your list? A new antenna? A transceiver? A new antenna tuner
for the XYL?

  _____  


Learn more about the NLS digital conversion


To learn the latest about the National Library Service digital conversion
plan, including how and when you can get digital talking books from your US
network library or from the National Library, attend the December 5 21:00
GMT NLS Digital Conversion Seminar, online, via free telephone conference
call, or in person at the Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco. e-mail
for more information to:  <mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

  

  _____  


AMIS DAISY book reader reaches beta 4


 <http://www.handiham.org/node/95> AMIS open-source DAISY player

Courage Center's Handiham System has begun to produce DAISY format adapted
books for members. The free AMIS player does a good job of reproducing these
books on your Windows computer. Ken, KB3LLA, informs us that AMIS has
reached beta 4 phase, and testing is invited:

AMIS 3, the free and open source DAISY player for Windows, has just reached
its fourth beta release, which is likely to be the last beta before a stable
release. This means it's the last chance to stress- test it before
widespread distribution.

What's new in beta 4? Improvements were made to internationalization,
accessibility, and overall reading experience; and specific requests have
been implemented. There are two new notable features: (1) AMIS supports
text-only books now, in addition to full-text, full-audio and audio-TOC
books; and (2) there is a new piece of documentation, in DAISY format: the
Keyboard Shortcuts book (found in the help menu).

To get AMIS 3 beta 4 and start testing, go to:
http://daisy-trac.cvsdude.com/amis/wiki/BetaTesting

  _____  


CQ COMMUNICATIONS ACQUIRES WORLDRADIO MAGAZINE


(Hicksville, NY and Sacramento, CA, November 12, 2008)

CQ Communications, Inc. has acquired WorldRadio magazine, CQ Publisher Dick
Ross, K2MGA and WorldRadio Publisher Armond Noble, N6WR, announced jointly
today. CQ, based in Hicksville, New York, currently publishes CQ Amateur
Radio, CQ VHF and Popular Communications magazines.

WorldRadio, based in Sacramento, California, has been published monthly
since July, 1971, with a primary focus on the human side of ham radio. CQ, a
general-interest ham radio magazine best known for its support of DXing and
contesting, has been in print since January, 1945.

Armond Noble, N6WR, Publisher of WorldRadio, said that at the age of 74 the
time had come for him to retire. "I wanted to be sure that WorldRadio found
a good home, and that our readers would continue to be served by an
independent voice in amateur radio," Noble said.

CQ Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, said, "WorldRadio has filled an important
niche in our hobby for nearly four decades. We welcome WorldRadio's readers
to the CQ family, and we look forward to meeting their needs for many years
to come."

Current plans call for WorldRadio to continue to be published online as part
of the CQ family of magazines, with Editor Nancy Kott, WZ8C, continuing in
that position. WorldRadio subscribers will also have their subscriptions
transferred to CQ magazine. Readers will be notified of details as plans are
finalized.

  _____  


Letters


My activity in ham radio began many years ago when I was in high school.
During my senior year, I served as president of the amateur radio club at
the Ohio State School for the Blind. The radio club in Columbus Ohio took an
interest in our group; I was invited to perform at the organ for their
annual Christmas party. I appeared with two other club members on a national
TV show to raise money for our radio club. 

In 1999, I had the honor of serving as president of the Scottsdale Amateur
Radio Club. We were involved in many service activities in the Phoenix area.
I provided the program for our club on one occasion; demonstrating packet
radio with the Braille 'N Speak note taker. When we sponsored our annual ham
fest, it was fun for me to be the call in station giving driving directions
to those coming to our gathering.

On two occasions, I served on the planning committee for the ARRL state
convention in Arizona. One of my tasks was to contact prospective
advertisers to help in underwriting this event. Once again, I was invited to
provide dinner music for this convention.

I've had many joys in ham radio, but one of my biggest thrills occurred just
a few weeks ago. I received a phone call from my grandson; he said,
"Grandpa, I just passed my test to get my ham radio license!" I hope he was
as happy as I was at that moment. A few months earlier, I had shown him my
rig, and he was able to talk on ham radio. That little activity sowed the
seed for the beginning of a new ham. His call is: KE7TQU. Perhaps someday,
you'll hear him on the air.

73 From W9OBU 

  _____  


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


Begging dog cartoon - that's us all right! 

Here we are, begging again.

 

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. I
just got mine yesterday!

We want you to look for this issue, because it contains our annual giving
envelope. 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.

*       You can download your very own PDF copy of the news letter here:
<http://www.handiham.org/local/downloads/hhw2009.pdf> 
http://www.handiham.org/local/downloads/hhw2009.pdf 
*       You can listen as Bob Zeida, N1BLF, reads the year-end edition here:
<http://www.handiham.org/audio/hhw2009.mp3> 
http://www.handiham.org/audio/hhw2009.mp3 

 


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>
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.
*       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
conditions!
*       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
that.
*       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 the November CQ magazine digests have been read by
Bob, N1BLF. 
*       George, N0SBU, the "Second Base Umpire of Hugo", has finished the
December tape digest. We expect to mail the cassette issue on Thursday,
November 20. This member service is available in 4-track audio cassette to
our blind members who do not have computers.
*       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

 

  _____  

 

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 11/19/2008 - 20:30 

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