[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 21 January 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 13:56:11 -0600

Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 21 January
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 

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!


WorldRadio Online first issue is ready to read!


WorldRadio Online first issue is ready to read! Front cover screenshot.

It is a banner day in ham radio publishing. A long-time print journal has
made the transition to that great printing press in the clouds, the
Internet.

The February 2009 issue of WorldRadio Online was uploaded late on Tuesday,
and is available for downloading and viewing. Currently it is available only
at the main CQ Amateur Radio website, but will also be available at the
entire CQ family of websites soon. We are pleased to note that the "With the
Handihams" column appears on page 26 in this maiden issue. With this
publication, CQ Communications, Inc. joins the other major amateur radio
publisher, ARRL, in offering significant online content.

Although Bob Zeida, N1BLF, will continue to read selected portions of
WorldRadio for our monthly magazine digest that serves our Handiham members
who cannot read regular print, we are pleased to note that the online
version has a number of very useful accessibility features for people with
disabilities.

The format is Adobe PDF with embedded, searchable text. This is the industry
standard, and beside providing the useful search feature that allows users
to easily locate key words anywhere in the entire publication, it also
allows blind users with screenreaders to access the embedded text and read
the articles. Since some of the advertisements also carry embedded text,
blind users will have access to them for the first time. In reviewing the
ads, we noticed that they are hyperlinked to the advertisers' websites.

For those of us in the bifocal stage of life, you can enlarge the print on
your computer screen. This can definitely make life easier when you are
enjoying the columnists you know and love, like Krusty Ol' Kurt and his
Aerials column and you don't have to strain to see the fine print.

Then there is the color. Long ago in the late 1970's, when Don, W0DN, and I
began advertising our funky new Butternut antenna in the ham magazines,
there was no color to be found on the pages of the ham radio publications.
Yes, QST and CQ readers enjoy a splash of color these days, but WorldRadio
never changed its newsprint textured paper and black and white format. That
has changed, and the new look adds pizzazz!

Want to take a look for yourself? It's all free and supported by
advertisers. Please go to:

http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com

You will need to click on the WorldRadio Online box in the upper left corner
of the home page to download the magazine. A direct link to the download is
here, in case you find the navigation a bit confusing:

http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/images/0209_WorldRadio_Online.pdf

I would appreciate it if you would send me comments on accessibility if you
are using screenreaders like Window-Eyes, JAWS, Orca, or a web-based
screenreader. Please let me know which screenreader you are using and list
your comments on how readable the text was for you.

For Handiham World, I'm...

Patrick Tice
wa0tda@xxxxxxxx

  _____  


Avery's QTH - I'm a new ham. What rig should I buy?


Avery's QTH - I'm a new ham. What rig should I buy? TM-V71A shown here.

Welcome once again to my humble QTH:

The question that just keeps on popping up is, "I am new to amateur radio
and what rig should I get?"

Well, that depends. What do you wish to do with your license?

Do you want to do public service work? Do you want to do contesting? Do you
just want to get on the air once in awhile and chat with people? What class
of license do you have? What bands can you use and which ones can you not
use? If you are going to be a contester you may want a rig with more
features than if you are just going to be on the air once in awhile chatting
with people.

What rig works for one may or may not work for someone else. Some people
like Fords and some people like Chevys but both will get a person between
points "A" and "B".

One of the big issues with any of today's rigs is the huge learning curve.
People have a hard time learning the rig's operation and many times have to
carry the instruction manual with them to figure out how to work all the
functions. My own VX-7R Yaesu HT and FT-100 mobile rigs, for example, each
have lots of menu items and to just find the right one to do what you want
is quite a challenge for anyone.

Once people get by that learning curve, they usually will like whatever rig
they have. It is a matter of gaining the familiarity that builds confidence
in your gear.

As it turns out, the blind-friendliest rigs just happen to be the these four
Kenwoods:

TH-F6A multiband vhf/uhf handheld radio with wideband receiver: No voice
chip, but has a menu system with tone prompts that are distinctive enough to
allow pretty thorough navigation through the menu system by ear alone. There
is extensive training in audio on the Handiham website for this handheld
radio. This rig has been around quite a few years and has a large blind user
base.

TM-V71A 2m/70cm base/mobile: This multiband mobile rig can serve as an
excellent base station, and with the optional VGS1 voice module, blind users
have spoken word access to frequency readout and menus. There is some
helpful support in audio and text on the Handiham website.

TS-2000 Base station transceiver: This larger-sized 100-Watt rig covers
160-2m bands, & the 70cm band. It also has a 2m sub-receiver, and is an all
mode rig that works well for things like satellite work. It has a built-in
antenna tuner and switch selected antenna inputs. The optional VS-3 voice
module allows blind ops to drill through the menu system. However, it can be
a daunting task to learn all the rig's features. There is extensive audio
help on the Handiham website.

TS-480SAT base/mobile transceiver: This small 100-Watt rig has a separate
control head and covers 160-6m. It has a built in antenna tuner and uses the
optional VGS1 voice module for blind access to frequency readout and the
menu system. It is the rig of choice for the Handiham remote base station,
and there is extensive audio training available on the Handiham website.

But again each has its own learning curve. The Handiham site's audio is
available to members who login and navigate to the manuals link.

Other manufacturers make rigs with speech output, too. Their speech systems
don't navigate the menus like the Kenwood systems, though. Still, there may
be other manufacturers that you will prefer if you are not blind, and there
are some excellent choices.

The best thing a person can do is take a trip down to their local ham radio
store and try out different radios! Just like "KICKING TIRES" on a car, a
person is thinking about buying and taking it for a test drive. The second
best thing if there is no ham radio store nearby would be to ask around in
your local club and have people show you their ham radio gear. See if one of
those rigs is something you might like to purchase.

One thing is if a couple people have the same rig as the one you purchase,
there is always someone to ask if you have a question about the unit's
operation.

Be sure and check out our Handiham e-letter because we will keep you up to
date on what is new in the way of accessible ham gear.

The older ham rigs were pretty institutive and easy to figure out even
without a manual. Not so with these new ones. Take, for example, the old
Icom 02AT HT with all switch operation. Even setting the frequency was all
thumb switches so everything could be done pretty easily just by counting
the switch clicks.

I hope this will help answer the question of what rig should I start with!

So, until next time,

73 & DX from K0HLA, Avery

You can reach me at: 763-520-0515

Or

Email me at:

avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

.        Login
<http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/317%2523commen
t-form>  to post comments 

  _____  


FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin resigns effective January 20


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

FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin announced his resignation from the Federal
Communications Commission, effective January 20, 2009. The Chairman said he
leaves the office with great pride in the FCC's accomplishments and with
deep gratitude for having had an opportunity to serve the American public.

Chairman Martin stated that his philosophy during his tenure at the FCC "has
been to pursue deregulation while paying close attention to its impact on
consumers and the particulars of a given market, to balance deregulation
with consumer protection." He stated that he "approached his decisions with
a fundamental belief that a robust, competitive marketplace, not regulation,
is ultimately the best protector of the public interest and the best method
of delivering the benefits of choice, innovation, and affordability to
American consumers."

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that Martin's
resignation is part of the "usual stuff we see when a new administration
comes to office. We look forward to a positive relationship with the new
Chairman and his administration."

Parts of this story were excerpted from the FCC and ARRL websites.

  _____  


Free YouTube video downloader


Free YouTube video downloader

There are lots of ham radio videos on YouTube. Some of these might even make
for good club program material, but what if your radio club meets someplace
without Internet access? Wouldn't it be nice if you could save these videos
on your own hard drive? Free stuff is good and save2pc, formerly called
"YouTube Downloader", is a free tool that downloads videos from YouTube or
Google Video and saves it as AVI or Mpeg or FLV file to your local computer.
The user interface of save2pc is very simple, so you don't need any
technical knowledge to use it. There is no need to use scripts for web
browsers. Just run save2pc and start downloading. Simply paste the URL of a
video into the program, press Start , and the AVI, MPEG or FLV file will be
downloaded into the selected folder. You don't need any players to play
flash video just play it on the default Media Player Classic.

Get it at Majorgeeks:

http://majorgeeks.com/save2pc_d5580.html

  _____  


New EchoLink simplex node joins the Handiham network


New EchoLink simplex node joins the Handiham network

Don Rice, N0BVE, has installed a new EchoLink simplex node in Faribault, MN.
The node is open and ready for use by all amateurs. It's one more way for
you to join our daily Handiham EchoLink net worldwide! Our thanks to Don for
providing this service.

The node's callsign is N0VZC-L, and it is found on 147.450 MHz simplex with
a tone of 114.8 Hz in the Faribault area. I am sure Don would like to get
some signal reports. The node number, if you are not coming in via RF, is
45096.

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)
N0BVE Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide)
N0VZC-L Node 45096
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

  _____  


Northstar to manufacture digital cartridges for NLS players


NLS: The Library of Congress awarded Northstar Systems Inc. of Cucamonga,
California, a contract to manufacture USB flash-memory cartridges for the
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS),
Washington, D.C. The cartridges will be used to record audio books that will
be distributed to NLS patrons across the country and overseas.

The initial contract funding of more than $6.2 million will enable Northstar
to manufacture audio flash cartridges on which NLS will record both new and
existing titles over the next year. The base contract covers three years
with a unilateral government option for four additional years. The books
recorded on these cartridges will be distributed to the network of 128
libraries that serve approximately one-half million blind and physically
handicapped individuals throughout the United States and its territories.

The cartridges purchased under this contract will permit all NLS recorded
books to be issued on either 512 MB or 1 GB cartridges. This will enable
each recorded book to be contained on a single cartridge, greatly improving
the current patron's experience of receiving multiple four-track cassettes.
In addition, Northstar is obligated to furnish participating libraries and
interested patrons with blank cartridges at prices fixed in the contract.
Specific procedures for purchase by these parties are being determined.

Read more of this story on the NLS website:
http://www.loc.gov/nls/newsletters/flash/index.html

  _____  


Hudson River plane crash archived scanner audio


Scanamerica.us is a website that streams scanner audio. It has archived
audio of the recent crash landing of an AirBus 320 in New York's Hudson
River:

http://newyork.ny.scanamerica.us/LibraryArticle136.html

  _____  


Take a free emergency management course


You can take a free course at the EMI Independent Study Distance Learning
Site.

FEMA Independent Study (IS) courses are the Emergency Management Institute
(EMI) distance learning courses. Courses at the site are intended for
emergency management personnel, fire service personnel, first responders,
Department of Homeland Security personnel, and the general public.

http://emilms.fema.gov

  _____  


This week at Headquarters:


*       Nancy has informed me that some Handiham membership renewals are
being processed as donations instead of renewals. This happens when members
use the wrong envelopes, such as the donation envelope in the Handiham
World, instead of the envelope we send out with the membership renewal
notice. This happens because the envelopes have a code on them that is read
by a machine. Renewal envelopes go for renewals and donation envelopes go
for donations. Nancy asks that you please use the membership renewal
envelope to renew your dues each year. If you intended to renew your dues
but instead received a thank you for your donation letter, please let Nancy
know at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*       New training net meets on N0BVE 145.450 repeater, node 89680: There
is a new Handiham training net meeting the first Wednesday of each month at
19:00 hours Central Time. This works out to 01:00 hours GMT Thursday. The
purpose of the net is to train new net control stations in the basics of
running a net. If you have had cold feet about being a net control station
yourself, why not check in on the first Wednesday of each month and get some
pointers? Howard, KE7KNN, is the net manager and you can contact him with
questions by sending an email to wa0tda@xxxxxxxx, who will pass it on.  

*       February audio is starting to be 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 February 2009 QST, and the January 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.
*       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@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 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@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 </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 01/21/2009 - 19:49 

.        Login
<http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/324%2523commen
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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 21 January 2009 - Patrick Tice